The Church of St.Thomas, built in 1722, and maintained today with exquisite simplicity and elegance, was largely the work of Francis Hutchinson who was the English chaplain to George I, a writer on witchcraft trials and the Church of Ireland Bishop of Down and Connor from 1721 to 1739.
Hutchinson, who also once owned Shane’s Castle in Randalstown, developed a novel and unique form of presenting the Irish language which he used to print a religious book designed to convert the native population of Ireland to Protestantism.
Hutchinson was not only interested in Irish, he was also pivotal in the foundation of the parish of Rathlin in 1722, the building of St. Thomas’ Church in Church Bay and the opening of the first free primary school on the island.
This cache has been adopted so that it will live on. In memory of a good friend. Alan Shiel “Hezekiah” 1950 -2014