Carbally Church ~ Moment of Moments

Carbally Church, Co. Waterford
Carbally Church, Co. Waterford

Carbally Church is one of those places that seems to not want to be in the limelight and always shrinks away when I try to take a photograph of it. It’s also locked unless there’s a need for it to be open.

However, it’s a place that has been at the centre of many of the key ceremonies of my life: our wedding day; our son’s christening; and Father’s funeral service.

It’s located about 6 miles from Tramore on a back road to Dunmore East and not far from where the Back Strand of Tramore Beach begins or ends ~ depending on how you look at it.

It’s odd how one church could be the scene of such a variety of different personal events, all involving many of the same people.

There’s a host of moments I associate with Carbally Church but the outstanding one is sitting in the car with Father high up on the hill looking down on everyone chatting in the churchyard for ten or fifteen minutes before he walked me, I half-ran him up the aisle, to his whispered utterings, Slow down, this isn’t a 20 yard dash!

We were laughing and joking; spotting who was talking to who; working like commentators on how everyone was looking since we’d last seen them; wondering could that big tall, strapping young man really be the the baby we both thought we’d seen only a couple of weeks before.

I was aware that this was a moment of moments and one I was unlikely ever to forget. Every single time I pass Carbally Church now, I wonder how Father was feeling as we chatted.

I never, ever thought to ask him even though we passed the church hundreds of times after on our drives together to lovely Dunmore East.

I suspect he would have given me a quip of an answer and kept that poker face on which he always prided himself.




Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

37 thoughts on “Carbally Church ~ Moment of Moments”

  1. Those moments with your Dad were your sacred moments together forever locked in your memories…I imagine those too were your Dads sacred moments of time spent with you…lovely church…

  2. Such lovely memories, you have brought me back this afternoon, spent my childhood Sunday’s at mass there,with fond memories of the people that have passed. I visit often as its the family resting place and a place that also holds lovely memories. So thank you for taking me back.

    1. Caroline, it’s lovely to hear from you and I am so glad that the post brought you back to Carbally which is clearly very special to you. Comments like yours make blogging about ‘local’ places particularly rewarding. Thanks again for writing.

    1. Hariod, thanks very much for your kind words. I must say that I know the photograph hasn’t done justice to the beauty of the church and I was reluctant to post it. However, just seeing it tossed to the side made me think how important a role it has played in my life, though clearly a far bigger one in Caroline’s.

  3. Indeed a place of great import in your life – so many memories. It does look as if it is fleeing the camera, doesn’t it? I suspect it is because it sits at an angle on the lot, so virtually all the pictures would be at an angle. Great story about your Dad on your special day..

    1. Hi Paul, thanks for writing. In many ways, it’s the humility of the church that makes it so appealing to me. The interior is beautiful in a very simple, old-fashioned sense.

    1. Hi Robin, your comment certainly made me think as my connections to Tramore have been somewhat complex. I was born here but we moved when I was 3 and my parents retired back here nearly 30 years later. I finally settled here in 1991 and it was like a ‘coming home.’ No wish to ever live anywhere else now!

    1. Hi Sarah, that aisle episode still makes me laugh too! My main aim was to get it over as quickly as possible. Public gaze is not my thing!
      I don’t know the exact date but I would think the church dates back over 100 years. Must check out its history. It’s lovely inside with great simplicity and soft light.

      1. I’m not into public gaze, either. That’s one compelling reason to self-publish, rather than go down the traditional route and have to do book-signings and talks. I just about deal with singing in public, but have a terrible battle with nerves.
        Churches are so peaceful when they’re empty. Last time I went to visit my daughter in the Isle of Wight, we had a wander around this tiny little village church en route to Quarr Abbey. It was so pretty, with the sun shining through the stained glass and all this dark polished oak wood, but also a simplicity about it.

        1. Sarah, what an interesting perspective on self-publishing. I’d have associated it more with having to ‘push oneself forward’ than the traditional route.

          That church on the Isle of Wight sounds delightful.

          1. Yes, but it’s pushing oneself forward without having to make a physical appearance in public! I don’t like the promotion side of things, full stop, but unfortunately it’s a necessary evil these days. Some self-published authors do the publishing part themselves but pay someone else to market and, apparently, sell loads more copies as a result, recouping their costs one hundredfold. I will have to look into this further.

            Re the church on the Isle of Wight — perhaps I should post some pictures of it on my blog at some point.

  4. He would of been so proud and he would of carried it to his grave with him. I know because, well it may not be quiet the same but I remember every part of the day our youngest lad got married , every word and I shall carry that to my grave even though there is trouble betwix and beteen! ❤

  5. He must have been very proud and happy to share those moments with you. That’s wonderful that you’re able to go back there and relive it all again.

  6. I think the builders looked at the plans wrong there Jean, got the angles a bit squiffy 🙂 Yes, churches represent a fixed point for many key moments in our lives don’t they? Even if we aren’t regular churchgoers that’s the case. On my rare visits back to the Birmingham suburbs I have a little wander by my old primary school and the adjacent church of St Thomas More and I’m whisked back down the years.

  7. Roy, love that word ‘squiffy.’
    I think you should look first at the inclination of she who tries to take photos of the place!
    I can just imagine you back at your school and the nearby church. Does the school still operate as a school?

  8. Haha. Indeed it’s still going strong. A fair old Catholic catchment area around Sheldon (East Birmingham). I was Crown Bearer in the 1963 May Procession 🙂 Fortunately I didn’t have a father with a love of photography.

  9. Andrea, yes, it’s a church with a difference, in my mind, at least. It’s great to be able to see it regularly but, interestingly, it’s always that chat on the hill with Dad that comes to mind when I see it, as opposed to his funeral service, for example, and that’s the last time I was in it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s