A Lisburn man has published a book which delves into the
history and architecture of all 29 churches and chapels
within the Church of Ireland which are dedicated to St Anne.
Entitled 'Dedicated to St Anne' the book represents four
years of research by retired school headmaster Duncan
Mr Scarlett, aged 72, is a parishioner of St George's,
Belfast, but it was during the time he worshipped at St
Anne's Cathedral in the city that he was inspired to work on
'I had hoped the book would mark the centenary of the
consecration of the nave in St Anne's in 2004, but I was
involved in an accident which delayed the project,' he
The former principal of Graymount Girls' School in North
Belfast has long had an interest in church and local history
and the railways, where his late father worked. He has had
articles published in historical magazines, but this is his
He believes that Church of Ireland churches are an important
part of the built heritage of Ireland, but says recording
the architectural history of that heritage has not been a
high priority of the church.
'There is a noticeable dearth of architectural studies,
particularly of the little known churches in more remote
area,' he writes on the cover of the book.
'It is hoped this book' will encourage a greater interest in
the architecture of all churches and not just those famous
and well documented buildings situated in the cities and
His research took him the length and breadth of Ireland,
visiting all the sites, as well as the RCB Library, the
library in Church of Ireland House, Belfast, and the
National Library in Dublin.
'I enjoyed researching the book immensely,' said Mr
Scarlett. 'It was interesting to meet many people who were
so welcoming and helpful and inspiring to see so many
churches which were clearly cherished.
'Unfortunately there were other churches, now closed,
demolished or in ruins, which have been allowed to fall into
virtual oblivion with little written or photographic
In some parishes Mr Scarlett was unable to find any records,
and had to piece together a history from reference books and
The front cover of 'Dedicated to St Anne' is illustrated
with a copy of a cartoon of St Anne, by Evie Hone, the
famous Irish stained glass artist. The window was not
commissioned and the cartoon, which was presented to St
Anne's, Dawson Street, Dublin, is now in the vestry of the
The book is illustrated with photos of all the churches,
taken by Mr Scarlett. He received a grant from the Church of
Ireland towards the publication of the book.
During his research, he unearthed some interesting facts:
' St Anne is a totally fictitious saint constructed
by the early church to fill a perceived gap in the
' One of the 10 bells in St Anne's, Enniskillen, was
made from cannon captured from King James' army at the
Battle of the Boyne, and which was initially made into
two bells, named William and Mary, for the church.
' There is some evidence to support the belief that John
Kelly, 'The Boy from Killanne', worshipped at St Anne's,
Killanne, Co Wexford.
Mr Scarlett, who is married to Sheila and has two sons,
Gavin and Keith, is currently gathering information for
books about Church of Ireland buildings dedicated to St
George and to St Thomas.
A bellringer, he is tower captain at St Thomas', Belfast,
and Ringing Master of the Irish Association of Change
Ringers. His other hobbies include birdwatching and
'Dedicated to St Anne' is available for '8 (11 Euros) from
Mr Scarlett, email email@example.com or telephone
0044 (0)28 9260 1320. The book is also available from the
Good Book Shop, Donegall Street, Belfast.
For further information contact Karen Bushby, Connor
Diocesan Communications Officer, on 028 4066 0798 or 07766
103880 (mob) or email