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The united dioceses of Tuam, Killala and Achonry covers all of County Mayo and much of counties Galway and Sligo; geographically, it forms one of the largest sees in the Church of Ireland. Numerically, however, it is the smallest with fewer than two thousand parishioners spread across nine parochial groups. These small congregations struggle to survive. Twenty-nine churches remain open and are well-maintained and lovingly cared for by loyal and devout parishioners.
To the south of the united Dioceses, is the large and vibrant city of Galway. Its cosmopolitan population ensures a healthy mix of faith communities and the ancient Collegiate Church of St Nicholas, in the heart of the city, acts as a focus for much inter-faith activity.
By contrast, most of the rest of the united Dioceses is rural with the majority of the Church of Ireland population resident along the North Mayo and Sligo coast. In the summer months, visitors from around the world arrive in large numbers to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Atlantic Coast and its surrounding areas such as Connemara and Croagh Patrick. Others come for the excellent fishing on the West’s lakes and rivers. All who choose to take the opportunity to join the small local Church of Ireland congregations for Sunday worship are made most welcome; indeed their attendance brings encouragement and support to resident parishioners. Further generous support and co-operation is given by neighbouring Roman Catholic congregations and, in some cases, our churches are maintained thanks to that ecumenical and practical goodwill.
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