Solas Bhride enters House of Records

   

Kildare Town Achieves New World Record

Guinness World Records has formally confirmed the new world record for the most people to weave a St. Brigid’s cross at the same time.  The record is 357 and it was set at St. Brigid’s parish church in Kildare Town on 21 September 2013.SrRita-GuinRecord_211-a

The world record attempt was organised by Solas Bhríde, Cairde Bhríde, Kildare Heritage Centre and local community groups and was part of a week-long Gathering festival celebrating St. Brigid and her legacy, which was sponsored by IPB and supported by Kildare County Council and County Kildare Leader Partnership.

The record approval process involved detailed assessment of witnesses, photo and video evidence submitted by Solas Bhride to Guinness World Record assessors.  Margaret Walsh of Cáirde Bhríde and Rita Minehan of Solas Bhríde received notice of the success yesterday: “We are absolutely thrilled” said Margaret, “it was such a wonderful day, so many people from Kildare Town, Newbridge, Kill, Nurney, Rathangan and beyond Co. Kildare gathered in the church weaving together, the atmosphere was really very special and it has helped reawaken awareness of the importance of Brigid to our town.”  Brigidine Sister, Rita Minehan, thanked all involved in supporting the St. Brigid Gathering festival and the record event “we couldn’t have done it without so much help from those who organised the supplies, all those who volunteered on the day, all those who participated and everyone else who helped along the way to make it happen, they were all wonderful. This is a truly historic moment for Kildare.” said Rita.

She also went on to say that the World Record Certificate will hang proudly on the walls of the new purpose built Spirituality Centre, Solas Bhride Centre and Hermitages, which is presently under construction and due to open in Kildare Town, in Spring 2014.

A new category for the weaving of St. Brigid’s cross was created by Guinness World Records earlier this year, on foot of an application by Solas Bhríde and Cairde Bhríde of Kildare Town.  This confirmation of the record of 357 marks the first approved entry in this new category and further challenges are awaited.

 

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European Human Trafficking Awareness Day

“Our God hears the cry of the poor…”

An invitation to join in prayer and solidarity with victims of human trafficking on October 18th

Human Trafficking is the ‘slave trade’ of our time. 27 million victims are sold into this slavery each year. When people are treated as objects to be bought and sold, abused and exploited, their condition cannot leave us indifferent. We believe in the dignity and worth of every human person, created in God’s image.

RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation) invite you on Friday 18 October, to join in prayer and solidarity with victims of human trafficking and with all who work with, alongside and on their behalf, to restore their freedom and dignity.

To find out more go to the Website:  www.renate-europe.net

 

World Record Attempt in Weaving St. Brigid’s crosses

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Participants are counted as they enter St. Brigid’s Church for Record attempt. (Left)

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Steward Michael McWey distributes the rushes. (Right)

MC Maeve Mahon gives SrRita-GuinRecord_114instructions
before the weaving
can begin.

The weaving begins!

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Participants proudly hold aloft their completed crosses in St. Brigid’s church and later in the Market Square in Kildare Town around St.Brigid Flame.

The Record attempt took place in Kildare Town on Saturday, September 21st.  The Evidence has been submitted to Guinness World Records and all eagerly await confirmation of the Record.

Kildare Town Attempts World Record Challenge

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Participants, holding their St. Brigid’s crosses aloft, pose for an official photograph after the World Record attempt.

Today hundreds of people gathered at St. Brigid’s parish church in Kildare Town to set the world record for the most people to weave a St. Brigid’s cross at the same time in the same location.

The world record attempt was organised by Solas Bhríde, Cairde Bhríde, Kildare Heritage Centre and local community groups and was part of a week-long Gathering festival celebrating St. Brigid and her legacy. Weaving of crosses took place inside the church and the record attempt finished with a procession of participants into the Town Square led by piper, David Usher. Participants held their Brigid’s crosses high in celebration.

At the close of events, an elated Rita Minehan of Solas Bhríde thanked all involved and spoke of how “the spirit of Brigid lives on in Kildare Town today”. She said that Brigid was “renowned as a woman of extraordinary faith, a spiritual leader, a woman of the land, an advocate of the poor, a peacemaker and a woman of legendary hospitality who is still relevant today. The beautiful procession of crosses in her name is a fabulous reminder of this to us all.”

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Participants in the Record attempt hold their St. Brigid’s crosses aloft around St. Brigid’s Flame in the Market Square, at the closing ceremony of The St. Brigid of Kildare Gathering week.

The ‘most people to weave a St. Brigid’s cross at the same time’ category was created by Guinness World Records earlier this year, on foot of an application by Solas Bhríde and Cairde Bhríde of Kildare Town. Today’s gathering of people in St. Brigid’s parish church marks the first attempt to set this record. The next stage is for Guinness World Records to inspect all witness, photo and video evidence submitted by the organisers. If approved, then the record will enter the Guinness House of Records which would be regarded as a significant achievement for all in Kildare Town. It is also thought likely to spark other community groups to come together in the years ahead to challenge the record, watch this space!

 

 

 

Kildare Town prepares to set World Record

The countdown has begun to the World Record challenge to set the record for the most people weaving St. Brigid’s crosses in the one place at the one time. Participants in the challenge need to be able to weave a St. Brigid’s cross. A number of workshops have been held in Kildare Town Library. Participants at the Workshop concentrate as they learn how to weave the crosses or for some revise the skill learned many years previously.

Weaving Crosses at Library 1Weaving crosses Library 2Weaving at Library 3
The sense of achievement is evident as all proudly display their St. Brigid’s crosses. Now all are ready for Saturday, September 21st when they will join with many others in setting the record.

If you would like to participate in the Record Challenge you might like to attend one of the Weaving Workshops taking place in Kildare Town during the week.

Monday, September 16th:    3.00 pm in Aras Bhride (Parish Centre beside St. Brigid’s Church)

Tuesday, September 17th:    2.00 pm  in Aras Bhride

Friday, September 20th:       3.00 pm in Aras Bhride

Thursday, September 19th:  2.00 pm in Owens Cottage at the Irish National Stud
(This workshop is followed by a guided tour of the Irish National Stud)

Saturday, September 21st:    Kildare Town Library: Between 9.30 am – 12.30 pm participants in the Record Challenge have the opportunity to brush up their weaving skills before the Big Event.

Weavers are urgently needed. Register beforehand online through www.solasbhride.ie or at Solas Bhride,Kildare town or through Kildare Town Heritage Centre, Market Square, Kildare. (There is a registration fee of €5 and €3 for students)

ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST BE ABLE TO WEAVE A ST. BRIGID CROSS.  RUSHES WILL BE SUPPLIED ON THE DAY.
Participants are requested to check in from 2.00 pm on Saturday, September 21st at Aras Bhride.

St. Brigid of Kildare Gathering Festival Opened by the Mayor of Kildare

A large crowd gathered in  Kildare Town on Sunday, September 15h to celebrate the opening of the St. Brigid of Kildare Gathering festival which was officially opened by the Mayor of Kildare Mark Wall. Mayor of Kildare Mark Wall offered “ a special céad míile fáilte to all those named Brigid” and also mentioned all those with an affinity to St Brigid who travelled from near and far to participate in the event. In addressing the crowd, he acknowledged that “Kildare Town can trace its culture, heritage and history back to the 5th Century and is intrinsically linked with Brigid”. The opening ceremony included Irish dancing set from the girls of Scoil Rince Cill Dara and traditional music from the Rambling Boys.

The festival involves a week- long celebration of St. Brigid and her legacy and runs from Sunday 15th September to Saturday 21st September. The festival will see large numbers of visitors to Kildare Town to celebrate the story of Brigid and enjoy music, dance, workshops, readings and pilgrimages.

The highlight of the week is expected to be the final day attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the most people to weave St. Brigid’s crosses at the same time. Registration for the world record challenge is available in person through Solas Bhríde or Kildare Heritage Centre or online at www.solasbhride.ie and by post using the postcard registration form, which was delivered to all homes in Kildare Town over the past few weeks. A cover charge of €5 applies (€3 for students) and a limited number of registrations will be available on the day of the event.

To ensure the attempt meets the strict Guinness World Record criteria, participants not already familiar with weaving crosses are asked to attend one of the open (free) practice workshops – which operate on a ‘drop in’ basis. Details of workshops on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday are listed on the programme of events which is available from www.solasbhride.ie. A drop in practice workshop is also running next Saturday morning at Kildare Town Library from 9.30 to 12.30.

 

 

 

St. Brigid of Kildare Gathering Festival to be Opened by the Mayor of Kildare

The St. Brigid of Kildare Gathering festival is to be officially opened by the Mayor of Kildare on Sunday. Mayor Mark Wall will be in attendance at 2pm on Sunday at the Town Square where he will welcome overseas visitors, visitors from around the country and residents of Kildare Town to the first St. Brigid of Kildare Gathering Festival.

The opening event promises to be a very enjoyable afternoon for all the family with a dance performance from the children of Scoil Rince Cill Dara, and plenty of music and celebration.

The festival involves a week- long celebration of St. Brigid and her legacy and runs from Sunday 15th September to Saturday 21st September. The festival will see large numbers of visitors to Kildare Town to celebrate the story of Brigid and enjoy music, dance, workshops, readings and pilgrimages. Sr. Phil O’Shea of Solas Bhríde said they were delighted that many groups from Kildare Town were involved in organising events over the course of the week “between the Curragh Racecourse, The National Stud, Kildare Heritage Centre, Kildare Town Library and many others, almost everyone is getting involved in some way or another, we are thrilled”.

The highlight of the week is expected to be the final day attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the most people to weave St. Brigid’s crosses at the same time in the same location. Registration for the world record challenge is available in person through Solas Bhríde or Kildare Heritage Centre or online at www.solasbhride.ie and by post using the postcard registration form, which was delivered to all homes in Kildare Town over the past few weeks. A limited number of registrations will be available on the day of the event. A cover charge of €5 applies (Students €3) and to ensure the attempt meets the strict Guinness World Record criteria, participants are asked to attend one of the practice workshop scheduled for the Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday of festival week if they are not already familiar with weaving a Brigid’s cross.
Contact for enquiries: Mary Minehan / Phil O’Shea, Solas Bhríde 045 522 890 / info@solasbhride.ie

 

 

Kildare Town plans a Guinness World Record as it welcomes visitors from around the world 2013

Groups from Kildare Town came together last week at a momentum event in Teach Dara to support Solas Bhríde in planning a Guinness Book of Records event to set the world record for the most people making Brigid’s crosses together at the one time.

The attempt is planned for the final day of a week- long celebration of St. Brigid that runs from Sunday 15th September to Saturday 21st September. The event will see large numbers of visitors to Kildare Town to celebrate the story of Brigid, ranging from visitors / pilgrims from around the world to other tourists from other parts of Ireland and overseas.

In welcoming groups to the momentum event, Mary Keane of County Kildare LEADER Partnership explained that in addition to preparing for a very special Gathering event, the Partnership is actively supporting this project because of its practical application in developing an integrated tourism strategy for Kildare Town and surrounding communities for many future events and projects. Mary spoke of how “Brigid spread her cloak over the Curragh and empowered the local people all those centuries ago and through this event she will inspire another generation.”

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Margaret Walsh, Mary Minehan, Rita Minehan and Phil O’Shea

Sr. Rita Minehan of Solas Bhríde shared details of the upcoming event including the need for large numbers of volunteers in steward, witness and other support roles: “the Guinness Book of Records requirements are very significant and we will need support from across the community to make this happen” noted Sr. Rita.

Peter Minnock, Director of Services with Kildare County Council together with Tony Jones, Fáilte Ireland, Derek Dolan, Kildare Fáilte and Tom McCutcheon, Kildare Heritage Centre were in attendance and each shared their support for the project and their expectation that it would be a tremendous Gathering flagship event for Kildare Town: “I know that if anyone can take on something as significant as this it is the Sisters” said Tony Jones addressing the group, “they have the charm and the foresight to make this happen”.

 The event was also attended by representatives from other groups involved in supporting the Guinness world record event and in organising other events that week which will include a number of music and dance events, walks, pilgrimages, craft demonstrations and craft workshops, each linking to the legacy of St. Brigid.

St. Brigid’s Way Pilgrimage – Pilgrims arrive in Kildare

It was an historic day in Kildare town when the pilgrims who had walked the 9 day Pilgrimage walk from Brigid’s well, Fauthart, Co. Louth to Kildare town, arrived at the Market Square, on Monday, July 15th.

The route of this 9 day pilgrimage started at the annual Pattern Day at St. Brigid’s Shrine in Faughart on 7th July, 2013. It continued from Dundalk through to Tara and then followed along the Grand Canal to Maynooth and on to Kildare. 16 pilgrims walked the full pilgrimage with others joining them for a day or two on route.

Sr. Mary welcomes Pilgrims to Kildare

Sr. Mary welcomes Pilgrims to Kildare

Many people joined them on the final day of their pilgrimage from Milltown into Kildare. On their arrival at the Market Square, Kildare Town, the pilgrims were given a “Cead Mile Failte”. Brigidine sister, Mary Minehan, welcomed them home to Brigid’s monastic city. “You have recreated and walked Brigid’s Way from Faughart to Kildare,” she said, “you have walked the walk and have arrived. We rejoice and are glad.”

Following refreshments, courtesy of Kildare Heritage Centre, the pilgrims, were led in pilgrimage in the footsteps of Noirin Ni Riain blesses Pilgrims at Fire TempleBrigid of Kildare by Brigidine Sisters, Mary and Phil and members of Cairde Bhride. They first visited St. Brigid’s Cathedral and fire temple. Renowned singer Noirin Ni Riain led the reflection at the fire temple.

On route to the well the pilgrims stopped at the construction site of the new Solas Bhride Centre and Hermitages and gave it a special blessing before entering the Irish National Stud for some welcome refreshments. The 9 day pilgrimage concluded at St.Brigid’s well.

Pilgrims enjoy refreshments at Irish National Stud on way to St. Brigid's well

Pilgrims enjoy refreshments at Irish National Stud on way to St. Brigid’s well

Kildare Gathering Celebration

Kildare Gathering Celebration

The Brigid of Kildare Gathering Celebration (September 15th to 21st 2013)

brigidsculptureThe Gathering Ireland 2013 is a Government initiative. At a meeting in the County last year to promote the Gathering many groups present suggested that the heritage of St. Brigid should be celebrated at a Gathering event. Solas Bhride in conjunction with local community groups submitted a proposal to host a Brigid Gathering event in Kildare town in September. We were delighted that the proposal was accepted and generous Government funding was provided for same.

The event hopes to attract between 600 and 800 visitors to Kildare to celebrate the story of Brigid, ranging from people around the world who have an affinity with St. Brigid through schools, churches, parishes, associations, place names … to visitors from other parts of Ireland and overseas.

The celebration will run from Sunday, 15th September to Saturday, 21st of September. In the coming months Solas Bhride will be partnering with a wide variety of Community groups, schools and overseas interests in creating a wonderful programme of events.

Speaking at the launch Sr. Mary said: “Some of the novel events may include, and I stress the word may:

an attempt to make the Guinness Book of Records by having a very large number of people weaving St. Brigid’s crosses in the same place at the one time.

So if you want to make it you better start practicing now with the rushes!

Other events may include:

  • Pilgrimage
  • A feast of music

We are only at the dreaming stage. Who knows what may emerge? We will be engaging in a process of meetings in the coming months to plan this event. We have the experience in Kildare town of churches, schools and local organisations coming together when welcoming the Dalai Lama. A great community spirit prevailed – ní neart go cur le chéile – and we will do it again for the Gathering Celebration.”

The initiative was launched at Owens Cottage, Tully on Lá Fhéile Bhríde, St. Brigid’s Day. To read an article about the launch, including photographs click here!