Thursday, June 11, 2020

Archdeacon Stephen McWhirter of St Michael’s Church in Ballina has been praying for all those who wear the masks he has been making voluntarily as part of the Ballina Costume Company’s PPE-making initiative.

The Archdeacon of the Church of Ireland’s Kilmoremoy union of parishes has proven to be a man of the cloth in more sense than one during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Archdeacon Stephen McWhirter has been helping out with the Ballina Costume Company’s PPE-making campaign by making face masks.

St Michael’s Church of Ireland owns the premises occupied by the Ballina Costume Company on Bury St so when Archdeacon McWhirter heard that the staff were using their dressmaking skills to create PPE for local healthcare workers he immediately offered to help out.

“I’ve had a lot of experience of sewing all of my life. My mother and grandmother had always sewn,” he explained, adding that he also used his skills with the machine during his days as an art history student when he endeavoured to recreate costumes featured in works of art.”

Fellow clergy member, Rev Karen Duignan of the parish of Easkey and Kilglass, has also been making masks.

In addition to supplying masks for the costume company’s campaign, the Archdeacon has also created some for other clergy members and he has sewn a little cross-shaped stay stitch into each mask made, praying that God’s hand of protection would be on whoever wore it.

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