About the Cathedral Church of St Canice
Worship and historical significance
St Canice’s Cathedral has been an important site of Christian worship since the 6th Century. For both pilgrim and tourist alike, the Cathedral remains both a hallowed place, and one of significant historical interest. Additionally, St Canice's is the mother church of a bishopric which includes six dioceses and eight counties. It continues to be used as a place of prayer and pilgrimage by those who seek the challenge, comfort, and consolation of God. Regular services are held in St Canice’s Cathedral, and all are welcome to participate.
The Cathedral houses the memorials of the many generations that have gathered within its confines to worship the Lord. Apart from its role as a house of prayer, the Cathedral is at the heart of the heritage of the vibrant city of Kilkenny.
The building’s exemplary acoustics are widely enjoyed each year during the Kilkenny Arts Festival, when the sounds of many voices and instruments entertain audiences who arrive from both near and from afar.
Legislation and ownership
All the buildings within the close are recognised as being of regional or national importance under the NIAH. They are protected under the Irish Church Act 1969 and Planning and Development Acts 1963 – 1999 revised in 2000. The Cathedral Close is the property of the Representative Church Body of the Church of Ireland. This church body is the legal owner of the churches.
The churches within the Church of Ireland are listed into dioceses. The dioceses are divided up into parishes.
The Cathedral church is in the United Dioceses of Cashel and Ossory.
St. Canice's is part of the Kilkenny Union of Parishes with a Union Vestry as well as each church having their own advisory commitee.
The Union Vestry is nominated every year. It plays a vital role in the upkeep and maintenance of the church. This work is all voluntary.
A note from the BishopThe Church of Ireland, a part of the worldwide Anglican family of churches, welcomes visitors and new residents to the churches and cathedrals of the United Dioceses of Cashel & Ossory. Whether or not you are actually a member of the Church of Ireland, we welcome you among us. We notice sometimes that very busy people make a particular effort to worship while on holiday, to seek peace and refreshment.
Our heritage of time-hallowed places of prayer gives ample opportunity to do just that as well as to meet local people and to share stories. The church is renewed by the presence of newcomers, and Ireland, as a whole, is becoming a much more culturally varied and therefore exciting place. Please feel free to contact me personally – meanwhile remember the words of the Psalmist – “I was glad when they said to me: let us go to the house of the Lord”.
Bishop of Cashel and Ossory
For more information, contact St. Canice's Cathedral & Round Tower