St Matthew’s (COI), Errigle Kerog
Entrance to the Church is by a north facing door – above which is a blank commemorative stone. On the wall to the right hand side of the entrance to the church is the oldest gravestone from the graveyard, recording the death of John Hamilton (1636-1667). This church was built in 1831 and is the third one to be built on the site. There have been five Errigle Kerog church buildings.
The main body of the church is simple and attractive with one main aisle, a raised choir area and small Chancel with stained glass windows. On the left is the Baptismal Font. It is made from two worked pieces of stone from very different eras. The bowl has a Celtic design on it and was found near Favour Royal in the 19th century. The base was perhaps carved 3,000 years ago and has a vaguely astronomical, cryptic motif.
Since the founding of the first church of Errigle Kerog in approximately 492 A.D. there have been almost fifty rectors. Pictures of many of them can be seen on the notice board behind the font. A reproduction copy of the Book of Kells is also there.
Walking up the aisle you can see the Victorian pews and choir area. At the rear of the church is the gallery with the imposing Olaf Organ with carved angels heads and gold leaf on the casing. This two manual pipe organ with pedal board was brought from Waterford and was restored and re-dedicated to this church in 1975.
In the choir area is the Pulpit, the only Black Pulpit in Ireland. It has an inscription on the base and there is a matching prayer desk opposite.
In the Chancel behind the Holy Table are two recently crafted stained glass windows. The right window shows the Last Supper, the left window tells the story of St Kerog.
Directions: On the main road out of Augher heading towards Cloger, after approximately half a mile you will see a signpost to take to the right for Errigal Keerogue Church & Cross. St Matthew’s is on the right about a mile up this road, en-route to Errigal Keerogue Church & Cross.
Address: Old Omagh Road, Ballygawley, BT70 2AA