Last month the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton visited the Carraig Centre in Ballincollig which is currently under development by Clancy Construction. The Bishop was shown around by project team lead Bill Lane, youth worker Matt Gould and associate minister, the Reverend Robert Ferris.
The building, empty for many years, will have a new lease of life as a community and parish centre in Ballincollig. The Carraig Centre aims to offer people of all ages, different faiths and none, many diverse opportunities to experience belonging and hope in Ballincollig. In 2016, Ballincollig was the largest town in County Cork but, recently, with the alteration of the City boundaries it is now a populous suburban area in Cork City. Bishop Colton said, “Since my arrival as Bishop in 1999 I have been conscious of the faithful ministry and outreach for many years of the Parish of Carrigrohane Union in the town of Ballincollig, but I’ve also been concerned that the town grew and grew where the Church of Ireland had no structural presence or base. This is a thrilling and visionary initiative by this Parish which I, as Bishop, and the Diocese, are delighted to support. It’s also a sign that small parishes and small dioceses can do big things for God. Huge credit is due to everyone who has held onto this vision and worked towards it.”
The Carraig Centre will house community and parish activities, meeting and event spaces will be available to rent by community groups. The group showed the Bishop the various spaces which include a 200 seat auditorium, play area, outside spaces including playground, garden and ball playing area, prayer room, kitchen, staff offices, meeting areas and a recording studio. The Carraig Centre will also host an informal Christian worship service on Sunday mornings, and a strong focus on young people will be an important element of The Carraig Centre’s operation, building on over 10 years of successful youth work in the union’s existing premises. It is expected that construction will be complete shortly and the opening in early summer 2020.