St Canice's Church of Ireland is the parish church of Faughanvale in the centre of Eglinton. The village lies around six miles east of the city of Derry, Co. Londonderry.
A church of this name was first built by St Canice in the 6th century in the nearby village of Greysteel. This village is in the townland of Faughanvale around three miles from Eglinton. The Grocers’ Company of the City of London laid claim to this land in 1615 following the plantation of Ulster. Their manor house, known as Grocers’ Castle, stood on the site of the present rectory. Demolished in 1823, the rubble of the manor house became the building blocks of the new rectory.
The parish built upon their church building throughout the 1800s and 1900s. Some wealthy local families became generous benefactors. These included the Michaels family, the famous Gallahers of the tobacco industry, and the Spencers who share ancestry with Lady Diana Spencer.
Family graves of these families are among the most noteworthy in the churchyard. The parish churchyard at St Canice’s Church of Ireland also contains the burials of 35 men and one woman who died during World War Two.
The church formed a close bond with the nearby RNAS Eglinton, military airfield in the 1940s. Today, naval colours and an ensign hang in the building and the crest of HMS Gannet is displayed.
Faughanvale parish of around 200 families is part of the Diocese of Derry. In 2017, the Bishop of Derry is the Right Reverend Ken Good. The minister of St Canice’s is Reverend Paul Hoey. People attend church in the parish from Eglinton, Derry City, Ballykelly, and Limavady.
World War Two Burials
Commonwealth War Graves Commission burials in St Canice's Church of Ireland Churchyard, Faghanvale, Co. Londonderry.
Crelin Arthur Walford Bodie
Pilot Officer Crelin Arthur Walford Bodie joined the Royal Air Force on a short service commission in October '39. He was killed near RNAS Eglinton in 1942.
John Bernard Johnson
Sub-Lieutenant John Bernard Johnson served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. By 1944 he was based at HMS Landrail with 878 Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm.
John Hugh Nurse
Sub-Lieutenant John Hugh Nurse served with the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm and was based at RNAS Eglinton, Co. Londonderry when he died on 19th November 1943.
Alan Frederick Orchard
Sub-Lieutenant Alan Frederick Orchard was a pilot. He served with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve flying with 878 Squadron from Co. Londonderry airfields.
Dennis Herbert Oxby
Sub Lieutenant Dennis Herbert Oxby was born in Lincolnshire, England and served in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. He died in Co. Londonderry in 1944.