Gods Cottage Latest News
(Ph 0404 45111).
Glendalough, Bray, Co Wicklow.
Opening times for the Summer
10.00 am - 5.00 pm
Browse through the many exciting books in the bookshop, spend quality time
with Jesus, enjoy a relaxing walk in the historic grounds.
Gods Cottage Charity Trust is a registered charity, CHY19187
Website, Facebook, Youtube
Visit us also on Facebook.
Google "God'sCottage Youtube"
A Costly 'Exorcism'
Three years ago when we introduced rules for ministry in God's Cottage they didn't please everyone. Some even left us.
The rule which caused the most opposition was,
"If one has the freedom to invite Jesus to live in one's heart, then one also has the authority to order satan and
evil spirits out of one's life.
For that reason exorcisms are not normally necessary, and nobody has
permission to attempt to perform an exorcism (order spirits out of someone
other than oneself) in God's Cottage."
But in July, a Texan woman sued her parish and the Archdiocese of
Galveston-Houston, claiming she suffered psychological and emotional abuse
through a lay-led exorcism during a retreat.
Note that she is not suing either the person who carried out the 'exorcism'
or the group who organised the retreat.
Instead she is suing the parish in which it took place (which most likely
had no idea that 'exorcisms' were being attempted) and also the archdiocese
which certainly had no knowledge of such events.
Where people engage in 'exorcisms' or the ordering of spirits out of people
on Church property, they are placing the Church or retreat centre at risk.
Incidentally one of her grounds for suing is that the 'exorcism' was foisted
on her without it being advertised in the retreat literature.
It appears she went forward for ministry, and the lay leader thought that
she needed an exorcism and began to order 'spirits' out of her.
Christian Interpretative Centre
Currently the government operates the only interpretative centre in
Glendalough. But the Glendalough monastery was a Christian Centre, and its
story can best be told by committed Christians.
Currently the work is in progress on our new centre in Glendalough, which is
to include an Ecumenical Oratory and a patron's Tea/Coffee dock.
But recently I am finding images coming into my mind of the Ecumenical
Oratory also doubling as a Christian Interpretative Centre.
Just before last Christmas I found myself unexpectedly led to set up the
God'sCottage Youtube Channel and to start making Youtube videos.
These videos centre on 4 topics
1. Glendalough, its history, spirituality and heritage, including St
2. Tutorials on the key steps in the Spirit Powered Life.
3. God's Cottage and how it came to be, and its development.
4. Current challenges facing our country and our Church.
If we find a way of showing some of these videos, especially the Glendalough
ones in the new centre, we would have a ready made interpretative centre.
The videos are in iMovie (Apple Mac), and coming up with a system that is
able to project iMovie videos to a screen is the big challenge.
Advice from those who are familiar with iMovie and know how to do it would
The Work Is Underway
Work has started on the new Ecumenical Oratory and patron's Tea/Coffee Dock
at God's Cottage. It is expected that the work will be completed before
Christmas with an official opening planned for early in the New Year.
While the tender price is c172,624, there will be several extras on top of
that, plus various professional fees - architects, engineers, etc, etc.
There will also be the cost of furnishing, etc.
When completed it will include an Ecumenical Oratory specially designed so
that Christians of all denominations will feel at home in it. So do tell
your non-Catholic Christian friends.
It will also include a self-service Tea/Coffee Dock and a relaxation area.
There will even be a biodiversity meditation/relaxation corner on the bank of the river.
There will be regular updates with photos on the God's Cottage Facebook Page
on the progress of the work.
Meanwhile see my recent video on Youtube, "The arson attack at God's Cottage
and the challenge it created". Google "God'sCottage" (one word) and you will
be able to click on our Youtube Channel.
Then click on videos and you will see all our videos.
Meanwhile donations towards the work will be gratefully received.
Work To Begin Soon
Work is due to begin soon on the building of the Ecumenical Prayer Centre
and Patrons' Coffee Dock behind God's Cottage
The Centre will contain a dedicated Ecumenical Prayer Room with comfortable seating for over 30, but with sliding doors in the partition between it and
the coffee dock.
If these are opened up, it will create an oratory with two aisles, with each aisle having seating for over 30, so a total capacity of perhaps up to
Christians from all different Christian backgrounds will be most welcome, so long as they truly accept Jesus as Lord.
So please do tell your friends and/or relatives in the other Christian communities. Meanwhile, when the partition is closed, one half will be a
self-service patrons' tea/coffee dock. Here patrons will be most welcome to bring their own packed lunches.
This will make the overall God's Cottage complex the ideal place for individuals, families, Active Retirement Groups, School Groups, and Walkers'
Groups to drop in on their visits to Glendalough.
For those who desire either Mass or a ceremony for healing, including an Ecumenical Ceremony, or who would like a guided tour of the monastic city,
we are most happy to arrange it.
But people will also be most welcome to bring their own priest, minister or lay leader.
How God's Cottage Came To Be
I have loved Glendalough from the day that I set foot in it. Over the years,
I came to grieve that there was no indoor place for prayer in the Upper
Valley beside the ancient monastic city, especially as it was once the
number one pilgrimage place in Ireland.
I found myself praying intensely, again and again, that the Church would get
some indoor place for worship beside the ancient monastic city. I never
thought for one moment, that I would be the one to do with it.
Then after the Murphy report into abuse in the Dublin Diocese was released
in November 2009, I felt a great need to get away for a day for prayer, so
about a week before Christmas, I travelled up to Glendalough for a long prayer walk.
The first thing I saw when I got there was the "For Sale" sign on the
Caretaker's Cottage, just beyond the entrance to the monastic city.
The minute I saw the "For Sale" sign, I felt it had to be bought for the Lord.
That night I made some phonecalls to see if there was anybody intending to
do so. When I was told that there wasn't, a real conviction came over me
that I had to do so. If it wasn't bought for the Lord now, the opportunity
might never arise again. Because of its location, I felt it might bring
c150,000, and, over the weekend I worked out how I might come up with that
amount. So on the Monday morning, I phoned the auctioneer - only to be told
that the asking price was c400,000, and that there was an opening bid of
c300,000. I felt that it was completely beyond me, and tried to put it out of my mind.
But over the Christmas break, as each day I went for a prayer walk into the
Glendalough mountains, the conviction came back that it had to be bought for the Lord.
I did not know where the money would come from, but I felt led to step out
in faith and bid c350,000 hoping to frighten the other person off. But he
went to c375,000. It was obvious that anything less than c400,000 would
cause him to bid c400,000. So we bid 400,000 and got it. See Youtube
video, "God's Cottage. Did God guide me?"
But where would the money come from? That is the theme of my next video on God'sCottage Youtube.
(Note that God'sCottage is one word.)
Stepping Out In Faith Again
At our recent public meeting to decide whether to pursue a Leader grant, the
unanimous decision was that we should not insert into our constitution a
clause that could cause problems later on.
Leader will only fund ventures that are open to everybody, and a clause to
that effect would have to be inserted into our constitution for us to get a grant.
In our Ecumenical Prayer Room we will be happy to welcome Christians of all
denominations who love Jesus and who desire to promote His kingdom
Jesus loves all His followers and desires that they love and assist one another.
There are, however, some, who instead of leading people to Jesus Christ, go
around attacking His teaching.
There are others who seek to replace the power of Jesus with occultic powers.
There is no way that a clause could be devised that would allow us to get a
Leader grant and which would also protect God's Cottage from having to allow
such people from holding events in the Ecumenical Centre.
Because of that, the open meeting unanimously decided that we would step out
in faith, turn down the opportunity of a Leader grant, and trust the Lord to provide.
Meanwhile the plan is that, when we open, patrons will be able to bring
their own packed lunches and have tea or coffee in the Coffee Dock. For
groups this will both reduce the cost and the length of time 'lost' over meals.
The Coffee Dock will also be available for families and individuals.
Planning Permission At Last
We have received planning permission to rebuild the main sawmill building as
a Spiritual Centre. It will have two main elements:- an Ecumenical Prayer
Room and a Tea/Coffee Dock where patrons can bring their packed lunches.
The Tea/Coffee dock will be a major benefit to groups, especially those
travelling a distance. If a group stops for a meal either coming or going,
and then goes for a further meal while in Glendalough, the two meals could
have knocked up to 3 hours off their day. But by bringing a packed lunch
they could add up to an hour to their time browsing around Glendalough.
We also plan to make the Tea/Coffee dock available to families and
individuals who are patrons, either to have a packed lunch or just to relax
over a cuppa.
This will hopefully make God's Cottage and Glendalough much more attractive
as a venue for one's day out, and so lead to more people going there.
One decision that we have to make is whether to seek a Leader grant.
As it turns out, Leader have not yet spent their full allocation. However,
while we are exploring possibilities with Leader, I think it is very
unlikely that we will be able to agree with Leader on a clause specifying
who could use the Ecumenical Prayer Room in the Spiritual Centre.
Please note that any such clause would in no way affect God's Cottage
Indeed once the Spiritual Centre opens, we may be stricter as to who can
hold liturgies in God's Cottage, with non-Catholic liturgies possibly going
to the Ecumenical Room.
We are NOT, however, prepared to make the Spiritual Centre available to all
comers, and if Leader looks for that, as is likely, then we won't deal with
them. Even though it will create major funding challenges.
We are, however, willing to make the Ecumenical Room available to all
Christians, and also to all who worship the one true God, including Jews and
Muslims, so long as they promote a message of peace and goodwill.
At the moment, Baptists and Presbyterians are unwilling to use God's Cottage
because of the statues. The Ecumenical Prayer Room would cater for them.
We have proposed the following clause to Leader for discussion. It seems
unlikely that they will accept it.
"In our Spiritual Centre, we welcome all Christians, Jews and Muslims, who
proclaim a message of peace and who show respect for the Centre and its
patrons, subject to the condition set out by Wicklow Co. Council that it "be
used solely as a community drop in prayer centre."
I believe that we should not go an inch beyond that.
On Wednesday June 27th, 7.30 pm, we will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving in
God's Cottage for getting planning permission.
After Mass we will have an open meeting to discuss the question of the
Leader grant, etc.
Our Proposed Rest Centre
Last year the buildings in our sawmill yard in Glendalough were gutted in an
arson attack. Currently we are seeking to restore the main building and
convert it into a Rest Centre where pilgrims (and others) can bring packed
lunches and relax and socialise. There will also be a room for meetings or small private groups.
But it is proving far far more costly than I had ever dreamed. Back in the
old days, one paid for an architect and he looked after everything.
But now as well as an architect one has to have a structural engineer, plus
a quantity surveyor, plus a fire engineer, plus a soil tester for the
treatment plant and soakage pit, plus an archaeologist (because of the
location) and now the Council require a report from an arborist (tree
expert) and from a flood risk assessor. This all involves a major financial
outlay before one even gets planning permission, as well as further expenses
when the work is ongoing.
On top of that, the actual cost of the build itself is going to be double
what I originally was led to believe - with VAT on top of that.
Currently the Council have sent us back two full pages of questions
concerning our planning application. At least that is far better than a
refusal. We can only pray that they will be happy with our answers.
Meanwhile donations towards the proposed work would be greatly appreciated.
So too would prayer support both for our planning and grant applications.
But no prophecies please.
Tenders Invited For Rest Centre
We are currently seeking planning permission for a Rest Centre in the old
sawmill yard at Glendalough. As applications for grants under the Leader
programme for the period 2014 - 2020 have to be in by the end of July, we
are also seeking quotations for the work.
This is because all applications for grants must be complete with quotations
for the proposed work.
This means that we have no option but to invite quotations even while we
await the outcome of our planning application.
And even before the working drawings are complete.
We are rebuilding to the exact same dimensions of the building that was
there, same height and external dimensions, which should help in our
planning application. Internally it is 51' long by 15' wide. Add in walls
that are up to 2' thick. Slate roof, hipped. Plus a raised veranda.
We plan to divide the building into two sections to take away the barn
effect and to allow for a private group to be in one room while others are
in the second room.
Add in two toilets which will be within the existing walls, and a treatment
plant. Also geothermal underfloor heating.
Please tell your friends in the building trade.
Because it is a fairly large project, we will need a minimum of 5
quotations, so builders will be doing us a favour by giving us a quotation
even if their quotation doesn't prove competitive.
This is a process of public procurement. Because of that we will not be in a
position to give anybody the inside track. It will have to be totally fair,
transparent and above board.
Builders interested should apply to Fr. Thady Doyle, Shillelagh, Arklow Co
Wicklow. Or speak to Martina at 053 9429926 between 9.15 and 2.00. Or email
All actual quotations will need to have reached myself Fr. Doyle by
Wednesday July 26th.
Loan Repayments & Rebuilding
Sincere thanks once again to the many people who came to our assistance when
the bank refused us a loan for the purchase of the field and sawmill yard 3
years ago. We will be repaying those who gave us three year loans in mid May.
Meanwhile we are still working on plans for the rebuilding of the sheds that
were burned in the arson attack last year.
We suffered a delay as the architect who had been working on the plans found
himself unable to do them due to the pressure of other commitments.
We have now switched to Adrian Buckley of Buckley Architects, Bray.
Adrian is well known in Catholic and Christian circles in the Bray - Dublin
region, and is involved in promoting Christian renewal. Recently we have
been running the Life in the Spirit seminars in God's Cottage, and by
coincidence, he has been involved in running them in Dublin.
By coincidence also, when our previous architect told us that he would not
be able to proceed with the plans in the foreseeable future, Adrian had
become available due to a project that he and his team were due to work on,
falling through. So he was able to start working on the plans immediately.
This was very important as the walls of the sheds have been left exposed to
the weather since the arson attack. If the wet penetrates the lime mortar it
will destroy the walls.
We are proposing to rebuild the main shed to the same dimensions, and to
turn into a Rest Centre for those visiting God's Cottage and Glendalough - a
place where people can relax and socialise - and bring packed lunches.
The rebuilding of the sheds is a much bigger project than we had planned to
take on at this stage, but if their walls are to be saved we have to do it.
Because it will be a much bigger project than we had planned to take on, if
we get the necessary planning permission, we will once again have to seek
Please, Please, Please, let this be the last false prophecy
Dear Fr. Doyle
Just have faith, and you will get the planning permission for the extension.
A second person wrote "I am led by the Holy Spirit to write this letter" and went on to say that what is required to get planning permission is to get
the prayer support of people with the "God type of faith". A 3rd person made similar remarks.
The sin of presumption has many very subtle roots which, if left unchallenged, can be greatly used by satan - especially if one lacks the
humility to know one's proper place before God or man - or both.
1. Like many others, you PRESUME that you are better able to hear God's voice re God's Cottage than those of us who have spent the last two years
praying and fasting on this matter; indeed who have been praying for God's guidance re God's Cottage since the Cottage was first bought.
2. You PRESUME that if we "have faith" that God will grant us planning permission for this precise extension at this time.
3. The writer of the second letter PRESUMES that (s)he was led by the Holy Spirit to write the letter; PRESUMES that we didn't have people with the
"God type of faith" praying; PRESUMES that it is God's will for us to get this extension at this time.
My apologies for being so firm in this matter, but I have been involved in prayer projects for over 40 years, and in all that time, if in my spirit, I
discerned that a miracle was required for an answer to prayer, one sure sign that such a miracle would not be forthcoming was people jumping in with
PRESUMPTIVE faith assurances, which are in reality false prophecies. To predict an outcome is to issue a prophecy. To do so before God has spoken is
I first knew that we were in BIG trouble re the planning permission, when at the D. M. Conference 2015, a lady, having asked about God's Cottage, then,
without taking time to say a single prayer, prophesied we would get the planning permission.
Since then, no matter what I said or wrote warning against such false prophecies, a veritable plague of people have given them.
They have no idea of the amount of anguish they have caused. My spirit always knew it was false prophecy; that God had not spoken, while my
experience over 40 years of ministry told me that such false prophecies are a very strong sign that one would not get the answer one was seeking.
The most stressful thing for me over the last two years has not been the sheds being burned; and it has not been the refusal of planning permission.
More stressful than all these combined has been having to cope with well meaning people prophesying that we would get the planning permission.
Compare this with what happened when we first bought God's Cottage. Back then, after paying c400,000 for the cottage, it looked for months as if we
wouldn't get planning permission to turn it into a prayer centre.
But in those most difficult days back then, not once did a person come forward with these false assurances. That time we eventually got the
planning permission. This time there has been a real plague of people prophesying that we would get the planning permission, but no planning
It is my belief that satan, who is able to see if there are major obstacles to a particular prayer being answered the way it is being prayed for, is
able to rouse up people who have little ability to distinguish between superficial human emotions (the flesh) and the spirit, and many of whom lack
the humility to know their proper place, to give these false assurances or to give ill conceived advice on how to pray. Think how upsetting such
advice must be to the sick. (See bottom of P 15 re same.) As to the extension, I now accept that it is not God's will that we get this
precise extension in this form. The final block came exactly one week before the fire burned down our sheds.
We did not know our sheds would be burned down. But God did know!
Had we succeeded in going ahead with the extension, there definitely would have been no hope whatsoever of us being able to come with the money to do
something about restoring the sheds.
Furthermore, I now believe that certain elements of our plans were not consistent with God's plans - namely it was not God's will to have a social
room within the same building as the oratory . "My house shall be a house of Prayer" says the Lord.
Why then didn't God show us this earlier and save us all the costs and time?
I first believed it was because we didn't spend enough time seeking to discern that what we were doing was in accordance with God's will. And it is
true that we didn't! It seemed an excellent idea, so we went ahead confident that it was God's will.
However we did pray intensely for God's guidance when we were first refused planning permission, and I now believe that there is a different
I now believe that God wanted us to discover the ancient boundary ditch running beneath God's Cottage.
Because of the modern road to the Upper Lake, God's Cottage has the appearance of being outside the monastery. But it isn't!
The boundary ditch that runs beneath God's Cottage was the boundary around the religious section of the monastery. So part of God's Cottage is within
the religious section of the monastery, and the rest within the outer boundaries of the monastery.
It is the only modern building in Glendalough that has the distinction of being partly within the religious section of the monastery, with the rest of
it within the general monastery.
When one prays in God's Cottage, one is praying within the grounds of the ancient monastery. I believe God wanted this known.
Seeking God's Guidance
As we continue to seek God's guidance following the burning of our sheds and our failure to get planning permission for the proposed extension to God's
Cottage, we feel led to seek planning to restore the big shed as a "Prayer and Rest Centre".
Because of the plague of people who issued false prophecies concerning us getting planning permission for the extension, many of them assuring us that
we would get the said planning permission without taking the time to even say a single prayer for God's guidance; and because it is my experience over
many years that such false prophesying is a sign that one's prayer will NOT be answered, I now hate going into details in public.
May the Lord deliver us from false prophets! They have no idea of the
amount of anguish they cause.
We need prayer support and not false faith assurances. What we are taking on involves major steps in faith.
1. We need to move quickly with the plans and with everything else, before the now exposed walls are destroyed by the elements.
2. Then we will need to get planning permission without delays.
3. Somehow we will need to come up with finance.
When the time comes, which won't be until next Summer at the earliest, we will again be begging for interest free loans even as we repay the existing ones.
See also "My house shall be a House of Prayer" on P. 9
Arson Attack in Glendalough
Two years ago we bought the field at the back of God's Cottage, together
with the sawmill yard and related buildings. Recently we had been allowing
a local trader to park his stall (wagon) at night in the sawmill yard. In
the early hours of Saturday 16th July, there was an arson attack on his
wagon, burning it out. The fire spread to our sheds, burning out our sheds
Firstly our sympathies go to the local trader, Mick Quinn. It was an attack
on his livelihood. Both his wagon and its contents were burned out. To
make it more poignant, Mike underwent treatment for cancer last year.
I have often seen the daily Mass readings speak right into a situation. The
opening words of the first reading that Saturday morning were, "Woe to
those who plot evil, who lie in bed planning mischief" Micah 2:1.
Sadly on this occasion, they were not in bed. Instead they were out putting
their evil thoughts into practice when they should have been in bed.
Our Buildings Burned
The fire spread from Mick's wagon to our sheds. The main shed was a
stonewalled slate-roofed building, 54' long and 19' wide; interior 50' by
15', so two thirds the size of many parish halls. It had served the sawmill
industry in Glendalough for up to 150 years
We didn't have either shed insured because they were locked up and not in
use. The one thing we never foresaw was an arson attack.
We had planned to turn the main shed into a some form of hall when we became
Now its roof is completely gone and its historic stone walls are fully
exposed to the elements.
Faced with this emergency situation, we are exploring the possibility of
having this big shed, with perhaps its 150 year history, renovated.
It would greatly add to the attractiveness of our complex as a retreat
For groups who bring packed lunches, it would be ideal, especially with the
extra toilets. It would also be ideal for talks and meetings, and for
showing films, and also as a prayer room for those Christians who find God's
Cottage 'too Catholic'. It would also be suitable as a "House of Story". And
also as a rest room, where people could relax and perhaps have a cuppa.
Indeed in the 3 months before the fire, while we hadn't planned to do
anything with this shed for many years, I had been getting mental images for
both its potential use and its design.
I tried to put these images aside, but they kept intruding into my mind so
much so that in the month before the fire, I had started to share them,
prefacing my words with, "I know this isn't consistent with our plans but
Perhaps this was the Lord's prompting.
As it happens, just one week before the fire, we had hit another major
problem in our efforts to get planning permission for the extension to God's
Cottage itself. It now looks most unlikely that we will ever get this
permission. Perhaps the Lord was preparing us for the fire and wanting us to
First we'll need planning Permission for change of use, toilet facilities
etc. Sadly our previous requests for a pre-planning meeting were
rejected. If we could only sit down with the planners we could quickly find
out what they are open to, and save us endless time and costs, and even save
them time, because we would submit plans that they are open to.
However the biggest challenge will be coming up with the money.
It would be a far bigger project than we had anticipated taking on at
this time. We are still in the process of paying back the loans people gave
us for the purchase of the field. Finding the money for to renovate the big
shed now will require a miracle. Because we are a Christian group, it seems
we are not eligible for a Leader grant.
Day of Prayer
Wednesday 31st August
We now have to face the fact that, after two years of storming heaven for
planning permission for the extension to the back of God's Cottage, and
spending considerable sums on plans and archaeology, it is most unlikely
that we will get this planning permission. We now face the major challenges
arising from the arson attack. Do we step forward in faith to rebuild the
big shed as a hall, trusting God for the money?
Furthermore, while do not know who is responsible for the arson attack,
there clearly is a person (or persons) walking around Glendalough, whose
heart is filled with malice and evil.
In this situation, we feel it
appropriate to have a day of prayer.
1. That we will be open to God's guidance in this new situation.
2. That, if it is God's will to rebuild the shed, God will open the
doors for us both to getting planning permission and also
to getting the money reqd.
3. For God's protection on God's Cottage and everything connected.
4. For an end to bitterness in the Glendalough region.
We invite you to join us at least in spirit, praying and perhaps fasting.
The main public event in God's Cottage will be in the evening. Rosary 7.10;
Mass of intercession 7.30; followed by prayers of blessing and deliverance;
then Prayer Meeting (bring Bible) to conclude at 9.15 approx, followed for
those who wish, with prayer for outpouring of the Holy Spirit with laying on
Pay Parking In Glendalough
Pay parking has now been introduced at both the Visitors Centre and the
Glendalough Hotel so please redouble your prayers that we will be able to
get planning permission for parking for our own patrons in the Timber Yard
behind God's Cottage .
Revamped Prayer Meeting
For 1,000 years, the monks prayed the office in Glendalough 7 times a day.
They ate a meagre meal at most twice a day, and possible only once. We, by
contrast, sometimes eat 7 times a day, and we pray the psalms hardly ever.
As we reflect on how for 1,000 years, the monks prayed the psalms, it is
totally right than our Prayer Meeting have a segment devoted to praying the
Thus I have introduced a very simple method of praying the psalms which
anyone can follow and which allows everyone to be involved.
I have also introduced a segment from the Living in Jesus prayers from the
booklet, "To pray with the Voice of Jesus" into the Prayer Meeting. This
too is very appropriate since, in God's Cottage, we are seeking to enable
people to become the hands and voice of Jesus in today's world.
The Prayer Meeting could now be considered a Living in Jesus Prayer Meeting
though we call it "An Hour With Jesus".
Wednesdays Rosary & Chaplet 7.30
An Hour With Jesus 8.00 - 9.00 pm
People are welcome to come just for the Rosary, or just for the Hour With
Jesus, or to stay for both
Finds During Dig At God's Cottage
Every monastery had three boundaries:- the inner boundary around the area
known as the Holy of Holies where the celibate monks lived; the middle
boundary around the area containing the public Churches etc; and the outer
boundary around the entire monastery.
It now appears that the middle boundary ditch around Glendalough, enclosing
the Churches etc, ran right beneath where God's Cottage now stands.
We call a clay wall a ditch, but originally the word ditch meant a dyke that
was often supplemented by a stone wall.
The ditch (dyke) that runs beneath God's Cottage is six foot deep (see P.
18) when measured against the present ground level.
Because the ditch runs beneath our proposed extension, we will have to have
this professionally excavated, and we are now waiting on the fresh permit
from National Monuments for this.
So far, the items found include a Bronze Age scraper showing that there were
people there perhaps as far back as 2,500 BC. Also cremated bones again
likely from before the coming of Christianity. Also broken fragments of
pottery from the monastic period, and other bits and pieces some of which
are still to be determined.
Meanwhile it is wonderful to know that God's Cottage sits on the boundary
ditch of the religious section of the monastery.
The inscription on our altar reads, "You shall rebuild the ancient ruins,
build on the old foundations." The next part of that verse (Isaiah 58:12)
reads, "You will be called repairer of boundary walls."
(Here the ditch was the boundary wall).
Archaeological Dig - Help Needed
At long last the archaeological dig is currently getting started at God's
Cottage. This was required by Wicklow Co. Council before we could again
apply for planning permission - though sadly it does not guarantee we will
get planning permission.
Due to the delay in getting permission, a couple of the voluntary helpers
that we had lined up to assist the trained archaeologists, were no longer
available when the time came.
As a result, at the time of going to print, we are short on help.
If anyone with their own transport is available to assist, please contact us
at 053 9429926. If you leave a message on the answering machine, we will
get back to you.
The dig should be complete on or before the first week of May, depending on
weather and what we encounter during the dig.
Loans For Repayment
When we bought the field and timber yard behind God's Cottage, many people
came to our assistance with loans, some for 1 year, some for 2 years, some
for 3, or 4 or 5 years. Those who gave loans for two years are due to be
repaid at the end of May. If anyone's address has changed, I would like the
new address confirmed.
If anyone wishes to have the money paid directly into their bank account
instead of by cheque, please give us your bank details.
Can You Help Us
It has been another extremely tough year for all who are involved in promoting spiritual literature - including our promoters. Even where parents have lived totally dedicated lives, very often their adult children have turned their backs on God.
Thus, as the older people become invalided or die, there is no one taking
their places in promoting or buying Christian literature.
Faced with this challenging situation, it is not God's will that we give up.
Quite the contrary.
It is God's will that we renew our commitment to do what is in our power to
help people to come to know and love Jesus.
Above and beyond many other religious magazines and papers, The Curate's
Diary seeks to lead people to a living relationship with God, and then to
help them to grow spiritually.
Due to shops and prayer groups closing, and promoters dying or becoming
housebound, our circulation has dropped.
Could you take on the challenge of promoting the Diary? Even to sell the
Diary to one or two of your friends?
In so doing, you could make a real spiritual difference in their lives, the
difference that could help them in turn to make a real spiritual difference
in the life of someone else.
Website & Facebook
Visit us also on Facebook.
Being Led Deeper Into Prayer
I believe that the Lord is using the difficulties that we are experiencing
re getting planning permission, to lead everybody close to God's Cottage
deeper into prayer and fasting. In this it is a spiritual training exercise
- and one that I believe the Lord desires to use as a witness to others of
what is required in their ventures.
Meanwhile all profits on the book, "Christian Healing for you and for your
family" during the first two years will go directly to God's Cottage. So
this is an opportunity to help your friends to grow spiritually by giving
them a present of the book and to support God's Cottage at the same time.
It is a book designed to help those who are spiritually open to experience
God's love in their own lives and to bring it to their family.
One is encouraged to read it one chapter at a time, taking in and putting
into practice what is in that chapter before moving on to next chapter.
In this it is also ideal for use by groups, to read one chapter at a time
and then to discuss and share with one another.
See page 13 for price details
When it comes to doing the test digging by hand at God's Cottage, I
understand that we may be allowed 3 volunteers to assist the archaeologists.
I would very much like to hear from anyone willing to assist. If more than
3 volunteer it would allow us to rotate helpers on different days.
Our Planning Difficulties Continue
We have encountered another major obstacle in our efforts to get planning
permission. Wicklow Co. Council had made it clear that there was no point in
applying again for planning permission without an archaeologist report.
This has to be done under the auspices of National Monuments. We had
accepted that because of our location, all digging would have to be
supervised by an archaeologist.
Irish Water were allowed by National Monuments to do all their digging with
a digger when digging a trench between our field and the monastic city.
But National Monuments are now insisting that we get a team of trained
archaeologists to dig test holes by hand, at enormous expense that is
impossible to predict, but truly frightening. Even if they don't find
anything to examine, it could take them up to three weeks to do the dig.
Irish Water's trench was directly between us and the ancient buildings.
Their trench also began near the Upper Lake at the very point the ancient
manuscripts speak of St. Kevin having a Church. Their trench also ran
within about 15 feet of the enclosure around Trinity Church. Yet they were
allowed to use a digger supervised by an archaeologist, while we are being
forced to employ professional archaeologists to dig by hand.
We asked if we could apply for the planning permission first, and only do
this costly testing if we got planning permission, but they refused. They
insisted that it has to be done before we even apply for planning, even
though we have no guarantee that we will then get planning permission.
Once again, we can only take a MAJOR step in faith.
The one good thing to have come out of this is that National Monuments have
deemed our field to have been an inherent part of the monastic city.
In fact the road that now runs between us and the monastic buildings was not
there in the time of the monastery. The road then ended at the entrance to
the monastic city.
This means that both God's Cottage and the field lie within the ancient
monastic city and not just outside it.
So we have secured over two acres of the ancient monastic city for God's
It turns out that before we bought it, National Monuments had carried out a
survey, by electronic means, of much of the field, and determined that items
of archaeological importance do lie beneath its surface.
We asked if we could do the dig by voluntary labour supervised by
archaeologists. They refused. We have now asked if they would allow each
archaeologist to be assisted by one volunteer. In the event that they do
agree to this, I would like to hear from people who would be willing to so
assist. I have no idea when the work will take place, but if we knew who
might be available, we could contact them.
Our Efforts To Get Planning
We still have made no progress in our efforts to get planning permission at
God's Cottage. Even our request for a pre-planning meeting with the
planning officer was turned down. We ask your renewed prayers that God will
somehow open doors for us.
When one remains convinced that what one is seeking to do is God's will, but
one is meeting with obstacles, it is a time to draw even closer to the Lord,
and to dig deeper in prayer.
It can also be time for something that I am not good at - a little bit of
I'm afraid I could only fast if I am in a position to take time away from
everything else except prayer - which I seldom am able to do. I am just not
able to do any form of mental work when I am fasting, and that includes both
writing and speaking to people.
If I even skip breakfast, my brain is gone by 11.30 am. Given the fact that
I am normally working against the clock, that effectively means no fasting
of any consequence.
Meanwhile it is now reaching crunch time re our plans for an extension at
God's Cottage and to have parking approved. We ask your renewed prayers that
God will open doors, and that we be able to get full permission for what we
"Lord Jesus, we are asking You to open the doors for us to full
planning permission, nothing less."
Are We Fighting Dark Forces?
If we are to get planning permission for our carpark and new building at God's Cottage, there are important technical and planning issues to be overcome with the planners, but I now suspect that we are also fighting against dark spiritual forces.
In 40 years of involvement on projects that require intense prayer, I have still to see a successful outcome where people started jumping in before God had spoken, saying things like "you will get permission."
It reveals the sin of pride:- humility would tell them they are not best placed to hear God re God's Cottage; and the sin of presumption:- speaking before God has spoken, presuming that prayer would be answered in a particular way.
Re our efforts to get planning permission, sadly, there has been a real plague of people doing it.
After 40 years of seeing prayer projects not being answered when this happens, it is most upsetting. It is like hearing the devil laughing at what one is seeking to do. It may also attract the attentions of evil spirits, who can see that people are declaring before God has spoken.
Those involved cannot begin to grasp the days of upset they have caused.
And despite all I have written, they continue to come forward, like a plague. I now believe that they are being prompted by dark forces to do this, with pride and presumption leaving them vulnerable to demonic manipulation. I ask them, if the fact that something is God's will and that
people are praying for it guarantees the right outcome, why was there not a
different outcome in the recent referendum?
Jesus said to believe for miracles. He did not tell us to declare them got in advance!
I am now again asking for prayer, but this time including prayer against all forces of evil.
I am praying that for the first time in 40 years I will see a prayer request granted despite people taking it on themselves to speak before God has spoken.
Lord deliver us from all the works of the evil one. Bind all forces of evil working against us.
Bless and inspire our architect to come up with the right solutions. Bless the Council officials who are handling our application, and inspire them to make suggestions for how this important venture can be progressed. Speak into their minds and hearts, Lord.
Let us pray with faith and trust in God, but let that faith reside in our hearts, silently, quietly, waiting on God to speak, moving forward in an act of ongoing surrender to God. "Lord, You take care of it."
The Next Step
We have applied for planning permission for a multi-purpose room at the back of God's Cottage that would serve as a meeting, discussion and prayer room, and also serve as a community lounge with a kitchenette; plus a tiny store and toilets alongside.
It will also include the fire escape that the Council has been seeking from our upstairs balcony over the oratory.
If we succeed in getting planning permission for this relatively small development as the back of the existing repository, it would be a major addition to our facilities.
At the moment we have only one loo, which when a bus arrives from a long distance, is utterly inadequate. When people bring packed lunches or even buy a cup of tea at a nearby stall,
they have to bring it into the oratory with resultant spillages, while we
don't even have facilities ourselves to make a cuppa tea for a guest speaker.
We have no where private to hold committee meetings, and on a wet day,
insufficient space for people to mingle and have a chat, while the only
place people can sit down is in the oratory.
Please pray that we will be successful in getting planning permission for
this very important venture. I believe it will make a MAJOR difference to
the long term success of God's Cottage.
Join us on Facebook
One of our younger members Marion O Gorman, has opened a Facebook page for
Marion says, "If you have Facebook, we would strongly encourage you to
"Like" the page, as it not only shows your support, adds to its popularity,
spreads news of our activities (and importantly, our location) and widens
our audience, but also acts as a quick way of keeping everyone informed of
any news or upcoming events. Moreover, it is an easy way to "recommend" us
to friends and acquaintances and thus invite more people to come to God's Cottage.
"The more Likes we get, the more people we can reach, it's as simple as that.
"Supporters can also leave comments on our page, posts or photos.
Please help us in our new social media venture - it's free and only takes
Glendalough (Ph 0404 45111).
Opening times for September 10.00 am - 5.00 pm & to 5.30 at weekends
Browse through the many exciting books in the bookshop, spend quality time
with Jesus, enjoy a relaxing walk in the historic grounds.
For coming events in God's Cottage see page 7
Gods Cottage Charity Trust is a registered charity, CHY19187
God's Cottage - Parking Arrangements
God's Cottage Car Park is now open daily. For those attending events in God's Cottage, or who spend at least c8 in God's Cottage, parking is free.
For others it is c4. This charge helps to ensure that there will be places for those using God's Cottage.
The carpark is exactly 100 yards to the back of God's Cottage. If the car park is full, feel free to use the field, but watch for stones.
We have installed a CCTV camera in the carpark.
The CCTV will hopefully make it more secure, as cars have been broken into elsewhere in Glendalough.
There are still the 5 parking places in front of God's Cottage itself.
Those who are just popping into God's Cottage for a few moments or who are
infirm may feel free to use those.
At the moment we have just one toilet. It is not enough when there is a group of 50 arriving from a long distance by bus, or when we have a full house. We also have no where to hold our committee meetings except the oratory. Last month two people came in after we started our meeting. Even though it was after the Cottage's official closing time, since they were praying, we didn't like to ask them to leave, even though we knew they could hear everything we were saying in our private committee meeting. Frustrating!!
We also had a situation recently where one of our guest speakers wished for a cup of tea, and we had neither place nor facilities in which to make it.
Also when groups bring packed lunches the only place they can eat them at the moment is in the oratory. Likewise when people buy tea at the stalls down the road, they have to bring it into the oratory and there have been a couple of resultant spillages in the oratory.
Naturally we would like an extension that would cater for these obvious needs, and our architect is drawing up plans. Please pray that we will be successful in getting planning permission for same.
We have turned one large boulder into an outdoor altar, and a second into the table beside the altar.
We have also used some of the smaller ones for seats in front of the altar. So in future, there will be the option of having an outdoor Mass for groups.
A BIG Thanks
To those who came to our assistance in our hour of need when the bank turned us down. Without you the purchase of the field could not have gone ahead, much less the installation of the carpark and the outdoor altar etc.
All I can offer in return is the promise of my humble prayers and a regular remembrance in the Masses I offer in God's Cottage.
I ask also your prayers for our venture and for my ministry.
Loans - A BIG Thanks
Sincere thanks to all who answered our emergency letter seeking loans.
Sincere thanks also to those who would willingly have given us a loan had they been in a position to do so. Spiritually that is as good as having given us one.
The good news is that we now have sufficient loans to keep us going.
Should anyone find themselves in need of an early return of their loan, they should feel free to ask for it. Thankfully we got slightly more in loans than we absolutely needed.
Also, if it ever happens that someone who gave us a generous donation finds
themselves short, they too should contact us.
Our Struggle To Get The Loan
For a horrid few days, I thought that the bank were going to fully refuse to give us the loan we require for the purchase of the field. They turned down our first application. We reduced what we were asking for, and provided more documentation but were again turned down.
For a horrid few days, I was given a very small insight into the desperation that must face those with major financial problems. It is not a nice experience.
I was and am convinced that what we are doing is God's will, and had gone public on the purchase, but it looked as if we would not be able to get the loan we required to complete the deal.
However, we reduced what we were looking for even further, well below the comfort zone, and provided even more documentation.
It was only at this stage that a thought struck me - I had neglected to pray for the bankers.
If one desires God's blessing in one's transactions with the bank, then pray
for the people in the bank who are handling the matter.
Meanwhile we are deeply indebted to two groups of people.
1. Our donors. As the bank checked our figures, every single euro we have
been given over the last four years counted. It was so close that I can
honestly say to each donor, without your donation, it wouldn't have been
2. Those who use God's Cottage. The bank looked especially closely at our
turnover in the Cottage itself. This was a key issue, and again a close
shave. It was so close that I can honestly say to each patron, without your
custom, it wouldn't have been possible.
Meanwhile the loan we are getting is c40,000 smaller than what we would have
liked, and the interest rate is higher. It is going to be very tight going.
So we would really appreciate both donations and interest free loans.
Cash Flow Issues
We will have cash flow issues when we pay for the field, which I expect to
be within the next 4 weeks, so we ask people to make a special effort to
pay Diary renewals and invoices promptly. Purchases in God's Cottage also a
Donations To God's Cottage
I have only just become aware that there was a change to the Charities Act
starting in January 2013. Up until then, while the charity could claim for
the tax refund on donations of c250 or over from PAYE workers, with the
self-employed, the person themselves claimed. Since January 2013, it is now
the charity that claims re self-employed also.
Not being aware of this, last year I just sent people out receipts if their
donation to God's Cottage was over c250, thinking that, if they were
self-employed, that they could claim.
It may not however be too late for us to claim on their behalf.
So if you are self-employed, and gave us a donation of over c250 since
January 2013, or a total of over c250 within the same tax year, if you
would like us to be able to claim the tax refund, please let us know, and we
will send you the appropriate form.
Gods Cottage Charity Trust is a registered charity, CHY19187
Cheques, especially if we are going to be claiming a tax refund on them,
should be made payable to God's Cottage, (though we are able to transfer
ones made out to myself via my own account).
With small postal orders, they suit us best made out to myself as we can
then use them for cash in the local P.O for postage. However if they are
eligible for a tax refund, please make them out to God's Cottage.
God's Cottage - Prayers Please
The biggest limitation on God's Cottage is that we don't own an inch of ground behind it. Even our septic tank is in our neighbour's field. Now that field has been put on the market - and we are praying for another BIG BIG miracle - to be able to buy it.
The field is two acres in size, (that is when one includes half the width of the road and half the width of the river).
In the far bottom corner there was once a saw mill and its site is included. This is making the price very very dear, as some people think, correctly or incorrectly, that one could get planning permission for a retail development where the remains of the saw mill are.
Our interests are different. The council are looking for us to install a fire escape and the only place it could go is out into that field. We would also like to have some parking space, a place for a few picnic tables for those who come with packed lunches or who buy food at the adjacent stalls, a
second toilet, and a store.
At the moment, my print shed is effectively the store for God's Cottage. After my time, God's Cottage will really need its own store. There actually is a store in the top of the field. We might get planning
permission to upgrade it and perhaps to move it closer to God's Cottage. It would also be nice to own the area on which our septic tank is located, and perhaps to have outdoor space for people to just relax and chat.
So please pray that, if it be God's will, that we will succeed in purchasing it.
Meanwhile if people give donations that are specific for this venture, we will be happy to repay them if we do not succeed in purchasing the field. We would also be happy to receive offers of interest free loans which we could call upon if we succeed in buying.
Gods Cottage Charity Trust is a registered charity, CHY19187
(It is best for Cheques to be made payable to God's Cottage, though we are able to transfer ones made out to myself via my own account. With postal orders, they suit us best made out to myself as I can then use them for cash in the local P.O.)
Events in God's Cottage
There is normally a few places for people to join groups in God's Cottage.
To book a place, phone God's Cottage 0404 45111
"The Healing of Families"
Over the years I have received many queries re Family Tree healing, but I have been reluctant to give a public reply. Certain things I saw many years ago left me uneasy, yet I did not wish to condemn something that had potential to help people. Now, however, I have been studying a book, that,
unlike the previous books I read on the subject, contains many authentic insights.
"The Healing of Families" by Fr. Joseph Ssemakula contains several genuine insights that are new to me, and which I believe will help me in my own ministry and indeed my preaching.
It also contains some material that with appropriate modification then becomes good, plus some material that is open to question, and some I would reject. But yet the good outweighs the bad.
Fr. Joseph brings to light some Bible passages that we tend to gloss over. For example we are all familiar with Jesus saying, "I have come that you may have life, life in all its fullness" John 10:10b. But all too often we gloss over the first half of the same verse, Jesus saying, "The thief comes
only to steal, to kill and to destroy."
Fr. Joseph helps us to see the ways in which the thief can gain entry to our lives, and then how to banish him.
He also helps us to identify the areas in which the thief may be stealing our joy, killing our life in Christ, and bringing destruction to us and to our families, and again gives us authentic steps in prayer for dealing with this.
When one combines some sections of his book with insights from Hagiotherapy, they compliment each other and make perfect sense, even where the material in the book itself is imperfect in these sections.
Previously I used the book 'Message of Hope' by the ex-satanist Deborah Lipsky as a sort of study book for the purposes of the Curate's Diary. I now plan to do the same with this book. I will begin a series of articles on the book, analysing its contents, possibly starting next month.
I have also received much inspiration from this book concerning how to conduct healing ceremonies in such a way that the ceremonies will make a real difference in people's lives.
Arising from this I am holding an Afternoon for Healing in God's Cottage,
Glendalough, based on the insights in this book. See P. 7
It will require two afternoons to do full justice to the programme when one
The total programme covers such topics as
1. Identifying how we may have given satan an inlet to our lives
through our own sins. Then dealing with this.
2. Identifying how childhood trauma may have given satan an
opportunity to enter our lives Then dealing with this.
3. Identifying how the sins of our parents or ancestors may have
allowed satan a foothold in our family tree. Then dealing with this.
4. Identifying how we may have invited satan into our lives without
realising it, by contact with the occult or New Age
practices, (incl. horoscopes). Then dealing with this.
(See P. 9 for how one could invite him in through following a
5. Identifying the relationships that may have become tainted by
satan, and then having them cleansed.
6. Learning to seal our lives from satan so as to walk in deeper
union with Jesus and openness to Holy Spirit.
The first afternoon will be on Sunday 15th Sept in God's Cottage, 1.30 to
5.30. Booking necessary. See P. 7.
Meanwhile the book, "The Healing of Families" is available in God's Cottage
for c21.50, or by post from the Curate's Diary office for c23.60 Ireland.
(GB same BUT only if posted when posting the monthly Diary in N. Ireland.)
"St. Kevin and the True Story of Glendalough"
I now hope to have the book ready for the printers by the end of March, and to publish in April.
At 3.00 pm on Sundays, there is the 3.00 o'clock prayer, the Chaplet of Mercy and the Rosary. All welcome. (If a group event is taking place instead, you can join them.
We are happy to send email alerts of events happening in God's Cottage to
those who supply their email address. Emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directions To Glendalough
We have posted basic directions to Glendalough from every part of Ireland on
Or phone God's Cottage 0404 45111 for directions from your region.
Coming Events Include
Mass of Intercession for our loved ones Mon 4th March, Sunday 17th March 1st anniversary of opening - afternoon of Healing, Sunday 7th April Divine Mercy Sunday (Details later), Sunday 14th April Portlaoise Legion Retreat.
God's Cottage - Winter Programme
For groups who visit God's Cottage over the Winter, I am happy to do the
"Steps in Healing" indoor programme with them.
See details of this programme under "My Engagements" on P. 7.
New God's Cottage Brochure
It includes details of the full day and half day programmes I offer in God's Cottage and Glendalough; plus suggestions for how one could make a private pilgrimage to Glendalough; plus a basic map of the heart of Glendalough; plus photos of the cottage inside and out.
For a free copy, just send us a stamped self-addressed envelope.
Sincere thanks to those who organise for groups to visit God's Cottage.
We need at least 50 groups a year to visit to cover running costs.
Currently God's Cottage is open daily from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.
To see a list of coming events in God's Cottage, see 'my engagements' on P. 7 of Curate's Diary or Events page on this website.
Groups are also most welcome to bring their own spiritual director, or to book Fr. Michael Rodgers to be their guide. Our greatest need now is more
groups to hold events in Glendalough using God's Cottage as their base.
God's Cottage - Charity Status Now Operational
The tax benefits from being a recognised charity have now kicked in. Thus where self-employed people living in Ireland donate c250 or more within the
year, they can claim it against their tax bill, while with donations of over c250 from PAYE workers, we can claim the tax refund.
For us the greatest challenge now is to get sufficient footfall in God's Cottage to make it viable. Once again we seek your assistance in this.
It is worth noting that while there is often traffic chaos in Glendalough in the afternoon (especially at weekends), the place is usually deserted in the
evenings - leaving loads of parking spaces.
Groups are most welcome to book to hold an event in the Prayer Centre, and are most welcome to bring their own spiritual director.
Groups who wish to have Fr. Thady serve as their spiritual director should contact him directly (053 9429926).
Small groups are welcome to either book to hold an event in the Centre bringing their own Spiritual director, or if they arrange a date for a
pilgrimage with Fr. Thady, we will then advertise it and invite others to join.
Cost of purchase of cottage 400,000
Associated costs 8,000
Cost of conversion
plus furnishings 126,000
(Note:- the figure of c126,000 for the conversion could change slightly when
the last 2 invoices are fully sorted.)
With those start-up costs, it is very important that God's Cottage pays for
its running costs.
You Can Help
1. By encouraging your friends to visit.
2. By helping to organise a group event.
3. By your generous support.
4. By joining us in prayer for God's anointing upon God's Cottage.
Normal opening hours 10.00 - 5.00
But it is normally open to 6.00 pm daily and 7.30 pm on Sundays in August
Click Here for
now to order