Out with the old, in with the new as Derryloran Parish heralds a new era

The first sod of the New Rectory is cut by the late Bertie Wilkinson.
The first sod of the New Rectory is cut by the late Bertie Wilkinson.
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IT is a case of out with the old and in with the new at Derryloran Parish Church.

Since 1936, the Rectory, the home of the Rector of the church has stood at Loy Street.

Seventy-six years on a new Rectory will be officially opened this weekend and the Rev Canon R J N Porteus is delighted with his new home.

“It is one of the most eco-friendly clergy houses in Ireland. The vision of the architect Mr Barry Gallagher was to make it as eco-friendly as possible and he has certainly succeeded.”

Canon Porteus admitted that he was looking forward to settling in and making the new Rectory a new comfortable home.

“The old house was a house of its time. It was first resided in by the Reverend Canon James Bloomer in 1936 and it was a big house in the town.”

“In its last few years it was getting rather dilapidated and weary looking.”

In an extraordinary chain of events, a survey of the old house was taken out after a loose slate fell from the roof and smashed the windscreen of a car belonging to Canon Porteus.

“Looking at it the whole scenario it was a slice of luck that the slate fell. Although there was damage to my car, the survey which proceeded, certainly opened our eyes to the condition of the house.”

A quick survey of the entire house revealed a number of problems throughout the home of the Derryloran rector.

“There was a complete lack of insulation, the plumbing was completely inadequate and the entire house needed rewiring.”

“The slate which fell on the roof was a result of nail fatigue on the roof and it was clear to myself and the architect that renovating the house was going to be a huge undertaking.”

After discussions with the Vestry, the Church of Ireland and the Parishioners, plans for a complete new build got under way.

By June 2011, the foundations had already been put in and exactly one year later, Rev Canon R J N Porteus will move into his new humble abode.

“The project has caught the imagination of most of the parishioners. A Parish Building fund was set up and subscriptions to it were incredibly generous. We also set up a Rectory Challenge project which enabled individuals to buy a square for £30.”

“It was a hugely exciting project to be part of. Everyone has been incredibly supportive of the project.”

The new Rectory now meets all of the requirements set by the Church of Ireland for modern clergy housing.

“We really are setting the standard for new housing for clergy. We are all extremely grateful of the support from everyone and it will be fantastic to be able to make it our home this coming weekend.”

“It really is a building for the future and it will be a fantastic home for future rectors of the parish and I am sure they will also feel comfortable in the new surroundings of this wonderful building.”

The opening of the new Rectory parish takes place this weekend.