Carfin Pilgrimage Centre was opened in July 1996 and since then has provided a range of services to pilgrims visiting the Grotto. The services now mainly comprise a gift shop and café within the premises.
However, for most of this period, the Centre has had to rely on financial subsidies from the Diocese to remain operational and this position has become further exacerbated recently by the indication of the need to incur significant additional expenditure to meet statutory food and hygiene and health and safety standards expected today.
Unfortunately the footfall and use of the Centre is not sufficient to bring in sufficient income to meet day to day operational costs, notwithstanding the potential improvement costs indicated, and therefore, after considerable thought and discussion, the Diocesan Trustees have decided that there is no alternative but to close the Centre with effect on Tuesday 30th September 2019.
This decision has been taken with deep regret bit I feel it is a decision which has had to be made.
I would like to express my thanks to the management and staff at the Pilgrimage Centre for their excellent work, service and commitment to the Centre over the past 23 years.
Discussions will take place with Fr McGachey, the parish priest of St Francis Xavier Parish, on the provision of alternatives facilities when the Centre closes.
+Bishop Joseph Toal