Lavey Chapel Renovations 2018/2019

Fr Graham PP, Fr Harkin and Woodvale foreman, Dessie Brennan. 1st May 2018.

Experts remove old Angelus bell Tannoy speakers which were possibly fitted 50 years ago or more. Speakers were still working and in use until chapel closed for renovation in 2018. 

Experts remove Tannoy loudspeakers from Chapel

Wheeler dealers ? No, old historic seats were given away to parishioners. They were of various sizes and were generally in good condition.

All Clear

Many sins were heard and forgiven here (I think) in what was a confession box.


Manitou handler driven by Lexie enters chapel after main door was removed.

Cross from Chapel is removed from roof.

Ian, Frankie, Dessie and tourist Gerry.

Fr Eamon Graham PP Lavey, ponders, can I put this chapel together again ?

Balloonists passing by the chapel.

Lexie uses the handler to lift scaffolding on to roof of chapel.

Scaffolding squad

Local onlookers and critics, Paul & Joe

Chapel altar top removed for cleaning and cutting in Ballymacpeake.

Colm has cut old chapel altar down to size before relocation in new graveyard.

Old altar from chapel is rebuilt in new graveyard. A palm or evergreen tree was a familiar sight at this location in years gone by.

Video of placing of old altar in the new graveyard, Lavey Parish.

Newly made metal cross is placed by O'Hagan Crane Hire in new graveyard. 

Video of placing of cross in the new graveyard, Lavey Parish.

Meanwhile back at the Chapel.

Parishers were not aware that over the years we had other members of the congregation in residence in the roof spaces. Crow's nests can be seen in photos below in higher reaches of the roof. The timber on the surface, looks generally good.


Inside the old original roof of the chapel.

Spacecraft landed ? No it's a concrete pumper.

Old stone work arches revealed when plaster stripped of walls.

The Mulholland's field and property was used during renovations for storage of machinery, materials and dumping of rubble. Toilet facilities were also aided until completion of Chapel.

Papal flag, brought from Knock Shrine Co Mayo, proudly flew above chapel, during the papal visit of Pope Francis.

Crow's nests underneath roof slates. Paul and his companions said they never seen so many nests on any previous job.

These sky views below were last seen by workers in the chapel and on the roof in 1873. These trusses are original to 1873 and apparently are in excellent condition. The iron work was probably done by a blacksmith. Google that word.

Dormer windows front and rear cut into roof.

Roofing the chapel again with old Bangor Blue slates begins. Quite a few of the originals survived removal and were refitted.

Fr Graham PP, examines newly revealed old latin writing on the wall at altar. Gloria en Excelsis Deo, (Glory to God in the highest). Painted over from a previous renovation and era. Related celtic type patterns were discovered along the side walls.

This fine old original window was removed and closed up.

Not aliens from Roswell, but hard working men repairing and cleaning the old stone.

Cemetery Sunday 25th June 2018.

Stonemasons build new sacristy and store rooms.

Snow was a rare occurence during renovation period.

Steel structure to support new spire arrives. This will rest on the walls and roof beams. Is that a pulpit ? 

Structure is hoisted onto roof of chapel with the aid of a huge mobile crane.

Paul steers the structure into position with the aid of a rope and a head for heights.

Alpha glass fit stained glass panes to new dormer windows on roof.

The old gallery in a sea of scaffolding

This old oil boiler was possibly installed in 1961 and heated the chapel using underfloor pipes. It was left intact in the sealed off old cellar.

Gas heating system installation in old sacristy

A momentous and historic day for Lavey Chapel. The Spire arrives.

Fr Eamon Graham, PP, beside truck & trailer loaded with new spire. It is in two sections, a base and the spire itself.

Spire base is hoisted into roof of chapel.

The spire is now placed on base section and roof.

The cross is now placed on top of spire. The workmen were in a basket hoisted by the large mobile crane.

Chapel Spire installation video by Jim Kerr Photography

Fr Graham PP, points the way from new spire.

Lightening strikes but everybody is safe


The Altar in Omagh Convent before removal to Lavey. A new base was constructed at Lavey Chapel.

Liam fitting electrical wiring.

Lighting will have mobile phone control and car park lights will be switchable from chapel.

Keystone at new main door is put in place


The Painting Squad.

Road opened and ducting laid to channel electric, lighting, water and communications across road to chapel.

The old ornate panelled wooden gallery is gradually removed

Woodvale Choir arrives early for Chapel opening.

Remember these, the old gallery supports.

New gallery steel beams are delicately moved in through main door.

New gallery begins to take shape

The chapel begins to take shape inside.

New retaining wall next graveyard.

Specialist, high tech, modern, ultra reliable machinery brought in to take away old tarmac.

Door and window frames arrive for fitting

Chapel is just a large workshop for Frankie at this time

Gallery stairs team, Patrick, Brian and Joe.

PP Fr Graham with Alpha Glass and the clerk of works. The three large windows behind the new altar are now fully stained glass and have become an iconic feature of the chapel.


Central heating fitters.

The Old Cross is tied to the handler boom, ready to be lifted to a point above new main door. It has been expertly cleaned to reveal a shiny brass like finish.


Chapel pillars were moved back from the road in the 1980s by Fr Regan PP. From left in photo below, Fr Patrick Regan PP, Fran Magill and stone mason Tommy Rankin, who rebuilt pillars. Interestingly a date stone 1802, was found in one pillar and it is now located in the old graveyard. It was placed in a wall which is the only remains of the original old Lavey Chapel.

Chapel pillars rebuilt again with lighting ducting in 2019.

Tiling of chapel floor begins.

New seating arrives.

Paving and landscaping the chapel surrounds begins

Richard and Danny dig up a teapot and its still warm.

Main altar reconstruction begins.


Nearly there. Fr Graham and Fr Harkin check on final progress.

Lets get the heating on and open up for business.




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