The Camus Parish Church Restoration Project is the restoration of a local church and the provision of an inclusive participation community heritage programme.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception is the focal point for worship and other community activities in one of the most deprived wards in the UK. It was built in 1895. The heritage is the spiritual outreach to all people manifested in the magnificent building, which was built over a five-year time period.
Rev Hugh O’Hagan P.P., organised the building of the Church. The ancestors of today’s community in Strabane, despite being very poor, paid towards the church fund on a weekly basis, to ensure that on the day the Church was opened it was entirely paid for at a cost of £18,000. The menfolk of the time turned all the beautiful wood turnings in the church by hand. Families of the town made do with less in a time of hardship to ensure that this beautiful building was built to provide shelter, succour and a place of worship.
Today the congregation, the local community, and the diaspora all feel that this Church is their inheritance.
The Church and its traditions make them proud and is part of their birth right and family customs. They have ownership of the Church and are emotionally involved with it since it holds part of their heritage and culture.
The project was awarded a National Lottery Heritage award of £375,000 in December 2019.