CLONARD parishioners will be able to enjoy their Christmas Mass even more this year as the traditional hard wooden pews have been consigned to the past.

In a move that’s sure to be viewed with envy by congregations all over the city, Clonard has upholstered its wooden seats just in time for the festive season. On Friday night the church welcomed guests to its sold-out Candlelight Christmas at Clonard event, which featured the St Dominic’s Grammar School for Girls’ Choir, baritone Karl McGuckin and West End star Niamh Perry.

Clonard church manager Tom Brady said even at this early stage it’s clear the cushioned seats are a welcome addition at the church.

“This is a way of providing comfort for the congregation, it’s a way of giving back to them and as a way of thanking them for all their support and generosity shown to the church,” he said.

“Both our concert and carol service over the weekend were packed to capacity and with our annual Féile concerts people can rest assured that the seats will be cushioned for years to come. Clonard attracts people from all over and we are really looking forward to welcoming everyone who comes for their Christmas Masses. We have three vigils on Christmas Eve, one at 6pm, 8pm and 11.30pm.

“We would also like to thank all those who donated so generously to our Christmas crib during the carol service and hampers are now being prepared and distributed by the St Vincent de Paul Society.”