Songs, sunshine and prayer in Inistioge

Songs, sunshine and prayer in Inistioge

Now in its 18th year, over 200 people gathered on Sunday at atmospheric St Mary's Church, Inistioge for the annual Songs of Praise 2016.

The sun was out and many passing tourists stopped to enjoy the atmosphere as friends greeted each other outside and choirs dressed in their black ties or colourful costumes making their final preparations in the centre of Kilkenny's most picturesque village.

At 3.55pm the bells of St Mary's Church called everyone to gather and led by Rev Hilliard with Dean Knowles playing the organ, the enthralled audience enjoyed almost 90 minutes of hymns, old and new as the place of worship filled with music.

With readings of Pentecost Sunday plus stories setting the stage for upcoming Hymns groups such as the Kilkenny Gospel Choir lead by the indefatigable Fr. Willie Purcell brought energy and celebration in their music and entertained the visitors.

“In Cantorium” from Athy, dressed in black tie and dresses for the occasion, performed a very special version of “Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord”.

The local Walpole sisters performed in perfect harmony while Marlyn Hilliard’s renditions on the trombone ensured everyone’s voice was at full strength as the final hymn “Thine be the Glory” could be heard beyond the church doors, through the village.

Afterwards Bishop Burrows and Rev Hillary greeted many at the door as people made their way across the road to Cois Abhann (community centre) for the tea, cakes, conversation and of course to acknowledge the great efforts of those who have created such a special event.