The Rector of Stranorlar, Meenglass and Kilteevogue, Rev Adam Pullen, has raised concerns about the future of the Church of Ireland church in St Joseph’s Community Hospital in Stranorlar.
Rev Pullen, who is the Church of Ireland Chaplin to the hospital, says he was “shocked and disappointed” to discover that in new plans which had been drawn up for St Joseph’s, the Church of Ireland church had been removed and changed to a day room. The church, which has existed in the hospital for over 50 years, has an historic window donated by Lady Hayes.
“I was most concerned,” the Rector says, “that I and my community were not consulted and yet there was consolation with my Roman Catholic clerical colleges.” The discovery had caused shock and upset among his congregation, he said, which included relatives of residents of St Joseph's .
In a statement, the HSE said a number of critical upgrading works were required to St Joseph’s to improve patient services and patient privacy/dignity. Architects had recommended the relocation of the Church of Ireland Chapel within St Joseph’s but “there was no question of downgrading or eliminating access to religious facilities in the hospital”.
Rev Pullen has written to the HSE’s Area Manager urging him to consult with the Church of Ireland and other Protestant congregations “as a matter or urgency” about the plans for St Joseph’s. Rev Pullen said the matter had “brought back to some their insecurities as complete members of this state” and had had an impact perhaps wider and deeper than the HSE may have realised.