Mar 05

The Visit Of The Rt Revd Robert Paterson Bishop Of Sodor & Man (Link Diocese) voer St Brigid’s weekend 2015

‘LINKING THE CATHEDRALS WITH THE ISLE OF MAN’

THE VISIT OF THE RT REVD ROBERT PATERSON

BISHOP OF SODOR & MAN (LINK DIOCESE)

Friday 30th January to Monday 2nd February 2015

The Very Revd Gerald Field, Dean of Cashel hosts the Rt Revd Michael Burrows and The Rt Revd Robert Paterson Bishop of Sodor & Man On Sunday 1st February in Cashel

The Very Revd Gerald Field, Dean of Cashel hosts the Rt Revd Michael Burrows and
The Rt Revd Robert Paterson Bishop of Sodor & Man
On Sunday 1st February in Cashel

 

St Bridget would have been especially pleased this year to see the continued link between the Dioceses of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory and that of Sodor & Man as she has particular significance in both countries.

Bishop Robert Paterson, accompanied by his wife Pauline, enjoyed a busy weekend in the Diocese of CFO on the weekend that celebrated the Feast Day of the Saint and which this year fell on the Sunday, being 1st February.

The Patersons were hosted by Bishop Burrows who treated them to a whistle-stop tour of the United Diocese over the two days of the weekend and which concentrated on the cathedrals,especially those ones where the bishop had not preached on previous visits

The visitors arrived on the Friday evening and were given that time to settle in, travelling from the airport to the Bishop’s House in Kilkenny which was to be their base for the following few days.

Saturday morning saw them attend the launch of the new booklet and CD of hymns in Irish which Bishop Paterson formally launched at the gathering of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise in St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny.  The formalities included the singing of some of the hymns from the book by the ‘Cór Fear na nDéise’ men’s choir in the Chapter Room interspersed by words of welcome by Bishop Burrows, Caroline Nolan (PRO) and Daíthí O Maolchoille (Chairperson), before Bishop Paterson launched the new publications and spoke of Celtic connections and describing his own endeavours with the Manx language.  Having lived for many years in Wales, the Manx people accuse him of speaking Manx with a Welsh accent! There is a longer account of this occasion elsewhere in this edition.

A short bilingual service followed in the chancel of the cathedral with the music led by members of the cathedral choir and their organist and conductor David Forde and organ scholar, Roisin Rowley Brooke.

The event was well attended and many had come from all parts of the country.  All were treated to a light lunch in the cathedral to conclude the proceedings.

While most people wended their way home at that juncture, the Bishops drew breath for a few hours before setting for Lismore.  Here at St Carthage’s bilingual Compline was conducted with the Dean, the Very Revd Paul Draper.

It was then return to Kilkenny for overnight rest in readiness for St Brigid’s Day itself.  The Sunday dawned bright, frosty and crisp and the snowdrops were out in force in the churchyard of St Patrick’s Rock, Cashel to greet the congregation and the two bishops and Mrs Paterson.

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At the Eucharist  Bishop Burrows presided accompanied by the Dean and Bishop Paterson who preached.

The Bishop of Sodor of Man gave some background to the church in the Isle of Man. It was Pope Hadrian IV who divided up the Northern half of the ‘British’ Isles (better blame him for using that phrase by putting in inverted commas as I gather it’s banned in schools here!!) and technically speaking the Southern Hebrides make up the Diocese of Sodor but was lost in 1254 which of course today belongs to Scotland.

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Brigid or Bride is well known everywhere, especially in Wales where the Bishop spent many years and also in the Isle of Man.  She is the patron saint of all sorts of things, she is often described as a mother-goddess but there are details about her that establishes her as a real person.  She founded her famous community in Kildare and she and Patrick were regarded as pillars of the early church and today her famous cross is known worldwide.

The Bishop then turned to the Gospel where there are many outcasts, including amazingly, shepherds.  These are people who come to guard the folds and not to tend or care for them.

But Jesus is the shepherd who is ‘for’ the sheep and loyal to them and not the owners.

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He offers himself to those who are straying and the One whom we belong to. And there is the joy of being ‘found’ and everyone matters, and is called by name and He leads them out.  The sheep follow Him, they are not driven by Him.  He is looking for the one who belongs to Him.  Just like the confirmation candidates, it is not just for the occasion but they should come provoking questions from people – what makes you different?  Listen so that that the Voice may be heard, the same that called Brigid bringing fire and light into one’s life.

Later in the Service the commissioning of the confirmation candidates took place, a recent innovation in Cashel parish in advance of the actual confirmation service.  The five candidates, Ellen Clarke, Christopher Johnstone, Susie Lalor, Gavin Spencer and Bobby West, were invited to approach the steps of the chancel along with their parents and godparents. Bishop Burrows addressed the assembly and concluded by inviting the candidates to assist him in preparing his sermon on the day by considering what question they might ask of him.

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As the young group had affirmed that they were now ‘ready and desirous’ for their confirmation (the Prayer Book’s requirement for admission to the sacrament), they were also invited to take Holy Communion to which their parents had also previously agreed.

Refreshments were served in the cathedral after the service.

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It was then across the roads and the miles of the Dioceses for the episcopal party to the East coast and the Diocese of Ferns.  Being the nearest Sunday to St Edan’s Day this had been declared to be the Patronal and the Dean welcomed the visitors to Evensong in the cathedral.

Four out of the six cathedrals visited is a fair achievement over a single weekend.  Both Waterford and Leighlin were seen ‘en passant’, to be fully visited on another occasion.

On Monday morning the bishops were interviewed by Vicki Sandall of Kilkenny local Radio (KCLR) on a wide-ranging set of topics.

The final event of the schedule was a visit to Kilkenny College where Bishop Paterson met with some of the senior pupils and as a result there is the possibility of an arrangement of a rugby or debating fixture between KCK and a secondary school from the Isle of Man.

And with that, the bishop and Mrs Paterson took their leave to return to their island in the middle of the Irish Sea with many memories of their time in Cashel, Ferns and Ossory.

 

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St Brigid

(Also known as Bride, and sometimes called ‘Mary of God’) was a contemporary of Patrick who founded and ruled over a religious community at Kildare.

Her spirituality strongly influenced the formation of the Church throughout Ireland, immediately after Patrick’s time.

The Church developed through communities of monks and nuns, and her pre-eminence led to her being regarded as a second patron saint.

There are no contemporary writings about Brigid and the legends surrounding her include pagan elements, for there was a Celtic pagan mother-goddess who had a similar name.

But it does appear that she was a remarkable person who through the Grace of God gave unique leadership in her own troubled times.

The list of the saints of the Celtci Church of Ireland is so male-dominated that the revered place given to Brigid of Kildare is itself a testimony to her leadership and holiness.

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Mar 05

New CD and Hymnal launched in Irish in Kilkenny

Ardaígí bhur gCroíthe – Lift up your Hearts

Iomainn agus Carúil Choitianta, as Gaeilge

Familiar Hymns and Carols as Gaeilge

NEW CD AND HYMNAL LAUNCHED IN IRISH IN KILKENNY

Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise

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Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise launched this CD of 16 hymns and carols, Iomainn agus Carúil Choitianta, as Gaeilge, to meet the needs of the growing number of congregations around the country that seek to worship in Irish or bilingually and would like to include some hymns in their services.

A bilingual hymn book accompanies the CD.  The hymn book is intended to supplement the Church Hymnal which already contains a number of hymns in Irish.

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Among a large gathering from all corners of the country, the CD was launched jointly by the Right Revd Michael Burrows (Patron of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise) Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory and the Right Revd Robert Paterson, Bishop of Sodor and Man who spoke on how Manx is being incorporated into worship in the Isle of Man.

The soloists, Cárthach MacCraith, Jacynth Hamill, Éamonn Ó Faogáin and Darren Ó Droma performed at the launch and they were accompanied by ‘Cór Fear na nDéise’ from Co. Waterford.

As well as the two bishops, words of welcome and acknowledgement were spoken by Daíthí O Maolchoille (Chairperson) and Caroline Nolan (PRO).

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Bishop Michael Burrows, Patron of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise, welcomed everyone, and said ‘I’m delighted about this latest initiative on the part of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise and it is a particular pleasure that this launch is taking place in Kilkenny during the visit of Bishop Robert Paterson from the Isle of Man.

His diocese and ours have had a companion relationship for some years now and I have admired the manner in which he has effectively promoted the use of Manx in liturgy… rarely himself completing a service without using some words of it!’

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Bishop Burrows had always thought there was need for an improvement in the status of Irish within the COI liturgy since his TCD days when what was available wasn’t altogether attractive to those of his age at that time. Irish hymns were not included in the 1960s hymnal but some Irish hymns did appear in the 2000s edition of the Irish Hymnal, there at least 10 and they are frequently used.

Some years ago the bilingual edition of the prayer book was published and now these hymns with translations were being launched and ahead of the new supplement to the current hymn book, ‘Thanks and Praise’, to be published in due course.

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This booklet of hymns offers a variety of styles and seasons and gives another way of encouraging enthusiasm to worship in Irish, despite the limitations of some people’s proficiency in the language.  It also helps to push the contact with the language beyond the context of both primary and secondary education, so long the limiting factor for so many people.

As well as new hymns, there a number of familiar favourites: ‘Is iontach grás’ (‘Amazing Grace’), ‘Bí Thusa i mo shúile’ (‘Be Thou my Vision’), ‘Ag Críost an Síol’(‘Christ is the Seed’) and ‘Sé an Tiarna m’aoire’ (‘The Lord is my Shepherd’).  There are some seasonal well-known Christmas songs such as ‘Oíche Chiuin’ (‘Silent Night’), ‘Tar Chugainn’ (‘O Come Emmanuel’) and ‘I nDúlaíoght an Gheimridh’ (‘In the Bleak Mid-winter’).  There are also some hymns suitable for services with children and hand actions. It is primarily aimed at small services where there is no choir present.

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In his remarks Bishop Robert Paterson declared his own limitations in both Manx and Welsh where he had lived for many years.  But he did try to speak both when the opportunities arose. Manx is a mixture of all the Celtic tongues with some English thrown in for good measure.

The Bishop said he had served on the Liturgical Advisory Committee in Wales for many years and instead of straight translation from English to the target language, it was found preferable to use the more poetic disposition of the Welsh liturgy to be constructed initially and then translated into English which seemed to enrich the language considerably.  As a result many of the ancient Welsh Christian songs have found their way into English liturgy in Wales.

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Manx Gaelic almost died out in the 20th Century but today it is being encouraged, especially by the church. And now there is a Manx language primary school.  About 5% of the population on the island speak Manx fluently.  There are booklets to help in translation and the Lord’s Prayer is always said in Manx in the cathedral.

And so the Bishop of Sodor and Man officially launched the book and CD and was delighted to bring them back to the Isle of Man, especially to the singers and choirs.

The launch was followed by a short bilingual service with music led by Roisin Rowley-Brooke, the cathedral organ scholar, along with members of the cathedral choir which David Forde also conducted and played the organ. ‘Cór Fear na nDéise’ also added to the singing.  The service was led by Bishop Burrows who invited all to say the Lord’s Prayer in whatever language they were comfortable with to sound a cacophony of diverse worship.  The Bishop of Sodor and and Man gave the final blessing in Manx.

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There was a light lunch afterwards and thanks was offered to those who had organised the refreshments.

The exhibition, An Ghaeilge in Eaglaise na hÉireann, will shortly go on display around the Diocese. It provides an insight into the role of extraordinary men and women in the Church who have been advocates for the place and role of the Irish language in the life of the church.

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Further information is available from Caroline Nolan, Irish Language Development Officer

Tel: 00+353 85 1632772  or  00+44 7885 633651 or by email: gaeleaglais@gmail.com or www.facebook.com/gaeleaglais

Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise

The Irish Guild of the Church was founded in 1914 to (1) promote all that tends to preserve within the Church of Ireland the spirit of the ancient Celtic Church and to provide a bond of union for all members of the Church of Ireland inspired with Irish ideals, (2) promote the use of the Irish language in the Church, (3) collect from Irish sources suitable hymns and other devotional literature, (4) encourage the use of Irish art and music in the Church.

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Mar 05

Introduction service of the Revd Margaret Sykes to New Ross

DIOCESE OF CASHEL FERNS & OSSORY

DIOCESE OF FERNS

NEW ROSS AND FETHARD UNION OF PARISHES

THE LITURGICAL INTRODUCTION TO MINISTRY IN THE PARISHES OF

THE REVEREND MARGARET SYKES (part-time Priest-in-Charge)

And her commissioning as Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union

St Mary’s Parish Church, New Ross

Friday 16th January 2015

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The introduction of the Reverend Margaret Sykes as preist-in-charge to the New Ross and Fethard-on-Sea Union of parishes at St Mary’s Church, New Ross on Friday 16th January 2015.
L-R: The Revd Tim Irvine (Restrar), The Revd Margaret Sykes, The Rt Revd Michael Burrows, the Very Revd Leslie Forrest (Preacher) and the Ven. Chris Long.

The Welcome:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe large church of St Mary’s Church was warmly illuminated both externally and internally to witness the ceremony of introduction of the Revd Margaret Sykes to the parish.

Outside in the floodlights and the cold winter air, the people ascended the hill and the steps into the porchway to be greeted by the officers of the parish.

 ‘As with gladness men of old’ was the hymn that called God’s people with the organ played by Connie Tantrum announcing the Procession after which the Bishop welcomed everyone and then led the service.

The normally sparsely populated pews were amply filled with parishioners, friends from the ecumenical and political wider community of New Ross.

 

 

Special guests included the Rt Revd Mgr Joseph McGrath from New Ross, Cllr Anthony Connick, Cllr John Fleming and Cllr Michael Sheehan.

The Bishop made mention of those who allowed the ministry to continue during the vacancy, especially the Ven. Chris Long and the Revd Canon Roger Harmsworth assisted in many ways by the parishioners.  He also welcomed the Revd Richard Greene. It is not often that the previous cleric in charge would be present but in this case it was good to have him present amongst Margaret’s colleagues.

He reminded the parish that this is a part-time ministry and that there are certain boundaries and he urged the parishioners to respect that, notwithstanding emergencies.

Also present were many from the family of the Mothers’ Union who had come to support their president-elect.

The Bishop also welcomed those who had come from areas where Margaret’s ministry had previously been relished:  Gorey, Ardamine, Ferns and most recently from Baltinglass.

The Bishop thanked all those who had prepared the service for the evening and the hospitality afterwards and he also looked forward to hearing the preacher Dean Leslie Forrest.

The archdeacon presented the Revd Margaret Sykes to be introduced by the Bishop who commended the prayers of the congregation and silence was kept.

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Ministry of the Word:

The lessons were read by Joan Deacon and the Revd Margaret Sykes and the Gospel by the Revd Canon Roger Harmsworth.

The Sermon was given by the Very Revd Leslie Forrest former Dean of Ferns.

The address:

The dean began by thanking the Bishop and Margaret for the invitation to speak. It was, he said, a time of considerable strife in the world but everyone had come this evening to bear witness to God’s love and hope.  The French have a saying plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (the more change there is, the more things stay the same); St John spoke of the light that shines in the darkness that can never be overcome.  The Dean went on to relate a recent experience in Galway with the story of the man who had suffered a diving accident but had survived to recover and tell the tale. ‘A new broom sweeps clean’ maybe an old cliché but the Christian life is more than that: it is a whole life’s journey with all its challenges and opportunities and perhaps sometimes near death experiences.

IMG_5599The River Jordan where Jesus was baptised appears insignificant and for many appears less than there own home waters, nevertheless putting aside dignity and bathing there, it can bring healing and faith. Crowds flocked there to be baptised by John the Baptist and they thought he was the expected Messiah.  He assured them he was only the forerunner, the messenger.  Nevertheless there was an air of excitement and of expectation, of something about to happen.  There was, but Jesus was to arrive quietly and without fuss to seek John’s baptism.

The Dean underlined that everyone had come this evening with expectation and in prayer and in this season of Epiphany to support a new journey of hope that begins for Margaret and for all the parish and community.  He told the congregation that the people are fortunate to welcome Margaret as their priest and he knows from working alongside her, of her pastoral gentleness and compassion and of her wisdom in preaching and of her faith in the God that both loves and challenges.  Just as Jesus reached out for strength from his Father, all here must reach out to minister one another.

The Dean concluded by recalling the words of Archbishop Tutu in that a congregations needs a priest just as the priest needs the people and which he or she serves, existing on their behalf, to help them to love God. The priest is there to serve and to love the people.  According to St Paul, there is not an expectation to be successful but rather be faithful – a great relief to all.

So whether Margaret as president of the Mothers’ Union, a role for which she is eminently suited or as priest-in-charge of the parish, she will need everyone’s prayers as she journeys on through her life and now here in the New Ross area in this exciting stage of her life, the Dean blessed the parish and their new priest.

The Introduction

The Archdeacon presented Margaret to the Bishop who introduced her to the congregation and commending her ministry, aasked her to entrust to her a share in the care of God’s people here and invited her to serve as priest-in-charge of the parish.

The Bishop and Margaret as priest-in-charge stood and faced the people as he presented her to the congregation as priest and pastor asking them to support and encourage her in her ministry, praying for her as she will pray for them to which they agreed and they welcomed her with enthusiastic applause.

The ‘Charge’

IMG_5606Then followed the ‘Charge’ to the congregation to be called to witness to the love of Christ and to serve others in the name of Christ. This is shown by presenting symbols of the teaching, pastoral and sacramental ministry of a priest by members of the congregation.

Desmond Thorpe brought a bible from the pulpit; Neill Williams presented a container of water from the font; Suzanne Barrett brought a copy of the Book of Common Prayer from the Prayer Desk; Mike Barrett brought forward bread and wine; Ruth Watchorn presented a vial of oil; Sam Watchorn presented a towel representing the washing of feet; and the Revd Canon Roger Harmsworth presented copies of the Diocesan Directory and finally Nicola Foley as churchwarden brought forward the key of the church, which the Bishop remarked, hoped to keep the church open to parishioners, to holidaymakers and visitors.

The Peace:

As the sign of Peace was exchanged by everyone, Margaret was greeted specifically by Olive Thorpe, churchwarden of?? – a little clarification possible needed here about Olive’s precise ofices New Ross and Hon. Secretary of the Diocesan Mothers’ Union, and also by Olive Power Branch Chairperson of the MU.

Prayers of the People:

The Prayers of the People were led by Margaret who prayed in particular for her fellow colleagues, for Christian Unity, that there be a light for those who mourn and strength for those who are ill. She lovingly remembered her late husband.

She then announced the services for the Union for the following Sunday in Fethard and Killesk.

Presidential commissioning:

There followed the commissioning of Margaret for her additional and very important ministry in the wider Diocese as President of the Diocesan Mothers’ Union. As the members of the MU stood in solidarity, Margaret was asked by the Bishop if she would accept the office and serve God in the role. Margaret having accepted he admitted her to the office which was acclaimed with loud applause by the assembly.

The Revd Margaret Sykes with officers of the Diocesan Mothers’ Union following her commissioning as Diocesan President at St Mary’s Church, New Ross on Friday 16th January 2015.  L-R: Florrie Carter (Diocesan Secretary), Janet Crampton (Vice-President Ferns), The Revd Margaret Sykes (Diocesan President), Margaret Kingston (Vice-President Cashel) and Linda Ward (Vice-Preident Ossory).

The Revd Margaret Sykes with officers of the Diocesan Mothers’ Union following her commissioning as Diocesan President at St Mary’s Church, New Ross on Friday 16th January 2015.
L-R: Florrie Carter (Diocesan Secretary), Janet Crampton (Vice-President Ferns), The Revd Margaret Sykes (Diocesan President), Margaret Kingston (Vice-President Cashel) and Linda Ward (Vice-Preident Ossory).

Witnessed by the All-Ireland President Phyllis Grothier, Janet Crampton handed over the badge of office to Margaret.  Janet had been the custodian of the badge and the office as vice-president since the death of Maureen Lanigan last year and who was fondly remembered.

Speeches:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASome words of welcome were then spoken by various representatives: Michael Barrett from Whitechurch who said, on behalf of all the churches, that they would the benefit from Margaret’s counsel and welcomed her into the community and looked forward to her time in New Ross.

Fr McGrath welcomed Margaret on behalf his community and hoped that the good relationships that had existed with Richard and those who preceded him would continue.

Phyllis Grothier spoke of meeting with Margaret some time ago when Phyllis persuaded her to become a trustee.  Phyllis remembered the talents of Maureen and that Margaret was now in office with her gifts and enthusiasm and it would be a pleasure and a privilege to serve with her.

Phyllis also paid tribute to Janet Crampton for her wisdom and experience and the vice-presidents for all their endeavours to keep the work and vision of Mary Sumner and indeed of Maureen Lanigan going over the past year and a half.

Phyllis offered her best wishes to Margaret as she took up office – the 2015 MU theme is ‘United in Prayer’ – and the hope that would be especially so for Margaret and her new parish and with the Mothers’ Union.

Before Margaret replied the Bishop recalled the first ordination he had in this diocese eight years ago.  The threeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA priests ordained then were present on this evening: Robert Stotesbury, Richard Greene and Margaret herself whose ministry is now blossoming even further.  She is, said the Bishop, a person of common sense and someone who is calm, two attributes which would sanctify each day for her and those in which she was contact.  And not to forget her impish good humour and those who know her waits for the moment when her eye twinkles – tension is relieved and perspective restored.  Also her experience of life has brought her depth and she can sit in a kitchen, have fun and at the same time talk about God.  Treasure her!

In reply Margaret thanked everyone for coming and supporting her, especially all those who had travelled, including the busload who came from Baltinglass. She mentioned Dean Leslie who encouraged her to follow the path of ministry and thanked for his helpful address.

She thanked Phyllis for her words and Margaret would endeavour to her best both for the parish and the Mothers’ Union and that she would fulfil God’s calling in her two roles with New Ross as a new base for her.

Finally following the procession of the clergy to the vestry, tea and refreshments were served in the church.

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Feb 21

Come to a Dawn Eucharist near you on Easter Sunday

Cover and colour

Feb 20

Good Friday stations in the stations with the Bishop

Layout 1Join the Bishop at a railway station near you for a special Good Friday Reflection

See the timetable on the accompanying poster

From

Gregg W. Ryan FCILT

Heritage Officer IE

Railway Benefit Fund (formerly

This charity (one of the few to enjoy Royal Charter) was founded in 1857 to support needy railway families where illness, bereavement or other misfortunes caused hardship.   All of the major railway companies in Great Britain and Ireland subscribed, and still do.

The Irish Branch, chaired by Revd. Gregg Ryan NSM who works with Iarnród Éireann, remained part of the organisation after the founding of the Free State and continues to hold a seat with the other constituent regions, meeting quarterly in London.

All funds raised in Ireland, mainly through staff payroll and significant gestures such as that being undertaken by the Bishop of Cashel and Ossory, Rt. Revd. Michael Burrows,  are dispensed to Irish railway workers, or their survivors and dependents, in cases of hardship ranging from annuities to widows, funeral or daily expenses.

Feb 05

Institution of the Revd Máirt Hanley to Baltinglass

 

DIOCESE OF CASHEL FERNS & OSSORY

DIOCESE OF LEIGHLIN

PARISHES OF BALTINGLASS with BALLYNURE,

RATHVILLY & STRATFORD-ON-SLANEY.

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THE INSTITUTION TO THE INCUMBENCY OF

THE REVEREND MÁIRT HANLEY

St Mary’s Church, Baltinglass

Sunday 11th January 2015

The institution of the Revd Máirt Hanley to Baltinglass took place on Sunday 11th January 2015 with the Procession heralded by the hymn ‘Dear Lord and Father of mankind,’  and the Bishop welcomed everyone as gaeilge and then went on to lead the service celebrating the new ministry of Máirt.  The Bishop welcomed the parishioners and those from further afield supporting Máirt associated with his journey from Kerry, Wexford and Waterford to this particular point. The Bishop also made special mention of those who had come from the wider, ecumenical, civic and political community of Baltinglass and beyond commenting on the excellent ecumenical atmosphere in this part of the country.

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The Bishop thanked everyone who had been involved in the preparation for the occasion and also those who had been involved in the very considerable work on the rectory. He thanked all those who have stepped in during the vacancy: the Revd Dr Stella Durand, the Revd Margaret Sykes, Bishop Walton Empey along with Hazel Burgess and Mary Jackson.

He remembered with fondness the last incumbent the late Canon Mervyn McCullagh and acknowledged that the parish was still grieving but with the coming of Máirt, his wife Una and their three children Sive, Oscar and Cathal and extended family, a new chapter was beginning.  He remarked that it is not insignificant that it has been 27 years since a service of institution has taken place in the church.

The organ was played by Freda Jones, Drinda Jones and Hilary Jackson.

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The Archdeacon, the Ven. Andrew Orr presented Mr Hanley to be introduced by the Bishop

In the Service of the word the lessons were read by Eric Champ from Killorglin and Lily Carpenter Principal of Taney National School and the Gospel by the Revd Dr Stella Durand.

The Sermon was given by the Revd Dr Adrian Empey Phd, MRIA and former Principal of the Theological College.

In his address he alluded to much of Máirt’s background which was well covered by Máirt himself in last month’s magazine and there is no need to repeat these biographical details.  Dr Empey’s text quoted Samuel: that appearances can deceptive and that the Lord looked to the heart rather than stature.

The former Principal of the Theological College described Máirt as someone who did his own thing paddling his own canoe to the mystification of the more orthodox students. Máirt is not one to follow the crowd and Dr Empey described him as among the unique or even ‘quirky’ of students who found it impossible to ‘pigeon-hole’ him.

His wide interests brings Máirt out of the confines of the Church of Ireland community and into touch with both other religious and secular groups which will stand to him in this his new ministry here in Baltinglass.  His experience ranges from cricket to the Irish language to gardening.

Dr Empey reminds the congregation that a new rector brings with him a rectory family and Una is equally interested in community based activities and there is little doubt that this family of five will find a warm welcome in the parish community.  Church of Ireland communities are by reputation somewhat conservative and with a rather unconventional pastor coming amongst a parish, a period of adjustment may be needed.  But, Dr Empey emphasised that Máirt once found something spiritual in the Church of Ireland which many people often do not and to give it time.  Do not look on his stature and outward appearance but as the Lord does, look on the heart – ‘quite so!’ concluded Dr Empey.

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‘Signing the Contract’

This Institution service is the nearest there is under God to a contract between priest and people in terms of their mutual responsibilities and duties.

The first part encompasses the legal and public side of the institution. The acting registrar, the Ven. Andrew Orr read the certificate of appointment and with declarations and signings completed, the Bishop presented the Revd Máirt to the congregation and commended his ministry, asking him to accept a share in the care of God’s people here in Baltinglass and surrounds and invited him to serve as Rector of the cure of parishes.

The Bishop and Máirt then stood and faced the people as the Bishop presented him to the congregation as priest asking them to support and encourage him in his ministry, praying for him as he will pray for them to which they agreed and they welcomed him with enthusiastic applause.

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The ‘Commission’

Then followed the more pastoral and symbolic outworking of the preceding legal section. The congregation is called to witness to the love of Christ and to serve others in the name of Christ. This is shown by presenting symbols of the teaching, pastoral and sacramental ministry of a priest by members of the congregation.

Norman Styles brought a bible from the pulpit; Hazel Burgess presented a container of water from the font; Mary Jackson brought a copy of the Book of Common Prayer from the Prayer Desk; Frances Wynne brought forward bread and wine; Frances Hopkins presented a vial of oil; Helen Jones presented a towel representing the washing of feet; and the Ven. Andrew Orr presented copies of the Diocesan Directory and finally David Edwards brought forward a key of the church. The Bishop exhorted the new rector to be more enthusiastic about keeping the churches open rather than closed.

The Prayers of the People were led by Máirt both in English and as gaeilge. He included prayers for his new neighbouring cleric in Portlaoise and for the young people who had lost their lives in the recent road accident and also for the people of Paris as they come to terms with a week of terrorism. In all those who have gone before he remembered his own mother and the Revd Canon McCullagh.

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He then announced the services for the Union for the following Sunday in Rathvilly and Stratford-on-Slaney.

The final hymn, not usually heard at an institution, was remarked as appropriate being by the Slaney as everyone had indeed ‘gathered at the river!’

The Bishop concluded the service as he had begun with the closing blessing as gaeilge and then proceeded to the font with Máirt in an act of baptism, it being the feast of the Baptism of Jesus.

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Following that conclusion some words of welcome were spoken in the church. A number of representatives including Fr Tommy Dillon (Baltinglass), Abe Carpenter from the parish, Billy Timmins TD (Baltinglass) and Pat Deering TD (Carlow) formally welcomed the new incumbent. Again there was reference to water linking the Slaney with Máirt being described as paddling his own canoe – plenty of scope for that nearby!  Half jokingly, half seriously, was that if one was of contemplative nature, there is the adjacent Abbey for communion with the saints for inspiration.

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Finally Máirt replied by saying how delighted he was coming among the people of Baltinglass and for giving him this opportunity.  He thanked all those who had travelled, all those who been involved in the preparation of the rectory.  He acknowledged the recent, difficult past it has been for the parish but that they were ready to start a new chapter with him and build bigger, greater, more ‘chocolatey’ moments!

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The evening concluded with refreshments (including plenty of chocolate!) offered in the adjacent school hall afterwards.

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Feb 05

The Institution of the Revd Brian O’Rourke to Portlaoise

DIOCESE OF CASHEL FERNS & OSSORY  DIOCESE OF LEIGHLIN

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THE INSTITUTION TO THE INCUMBENCY OF THE REVEREND BRIAN O’ROURKE

St Peter’s Church, Portlaoise - Friday 9th January 2015 

‘A new coming together as a community and a family’

The congregations from Portlaoise, the Rock (Dunamase) and Ballyfin along with clergy and lay members of the wider, ecumenical and civic community and those who had travelled from Cork, filled St Peter’s Church in Portlaoise to witness the Revd Brian O’Rourke becoming rector of the parish.

St. Peter's Portlaoise New Rector

Brian was accompanied by his wife Agnes and his two children Harriet and Philip and his parents and extended family and the Bishop wished them all well and hoped they would find much joy in their new surroundings.

The procession and organisation of the proceedings were led by the churchwardens Jean Dobson, David Clegg, Denzel Mills and Ian Thompson and the organ was played by Rosemary Day.

Special guest was Brian’s former tutor Dr Richard Buxton from the Church of Wales and the address was given by the Revd Bruce Pierce, Director of Education, St Luke’s Home and Education Centre, Cork.

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The Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory the Rt Revd Michael Burrows welcomed everyone and led the service.

He thanked all those who had helped in the preparation for the occasion: the service, the hospitality and the work in the rectory.  The Bishop also thanked all those who had been involved during the vacancy: Archdeacon Andrew Orr, Archdeacon John Murray, Canon Harvey, Diocesan Reader Nicola Rowan and others.

Conscious of the stream of ministry, the Bishop announced that he had been in touch with the previous rector, the Revd Stanley Monkhouse, who sent greetings and blessings.

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Introduction

The Bishop presented the Revd Brian to the congregation and commended his ministry, asking him to accept a share in the care of God’s people here in Portlaoise and invited him to serve as Rector of the parish.

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Service of the Word

The lessons were read by Diocesan lay reader Nicola Rowan and the Revd Brian O’Rourke and the Gospel by the Revd Canon Patrick Harvey rector of Abbeyleix and Killermogh.

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Address:

In his address the Revd Bruce Pierce began by saying it was a time of expectation and anticipation. It was for him a bitter-sweet night for he will miss Brian’s rich presence in Cork. However, he is excited for him wishing him all the best, an opportunity for him to share his gifts in a new setting.  The Diocese of Cork will miss a man who is warm, witty and at times quirky!  He has been an innovative and caring chaplain and indeed his wife Agnes is a most gracious and gifted lady.

It is a new stage of life for the O’Rourkes moving to pastures fresh and shortly to see their growing family leave the nest to make their own way in life.

Ordained in 1992, Brian has come from a successful career in teaching to a role as school chaplain and also as a rector in Co. Wicklow and then on to 16 years of ministry in St Luke’s Nursing Home in Cork.  He was also rector in St Ann’s where the stranger at the door received a real welcome: ‘well that you have come to us’, a real example of a seed being sown and a community of faith taking that welcoming vision and owning it for themselves and all encouraged by Brian.

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He has, Bruce said, guided the church as it negotiates the changing and challenging milieus of education in Ireland. As pastor of prison and nursing chaplain he has brought the simple message that we are loved even in times of brokenness and despair and as a preacher he has painted the gospel story which has given the tools to help the visitor to self-reveal the message of God’s love as it sits best with them.

He has the ability to explore the boundaries of faith for a community in respectful and sincere manner.

There can be differences of view but he will respect all opinions.

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Brian is been a transformer rather than a ‘changer’ – not always acceptable – who nurtures and encourages a community of faith.  A transformer is obliged to dialogue and explain, something for both rector and each member of the congregation to consider, to be open and through conversation there is the potential for transformation.

The Revd Bruce emphasised that one should look forward while respecting all those who had gone before but not to be limited by the past.

The new rector is appointed to be the faithful provider of word and sacrament in a rapidly changing and less secure world; such a ministry can be a source of meaning and identity.  He will journey with those in care in times of joy and sadness; to pray for and with the people who in a gentle accompanied hope will be brought along.  Shared relationships is the form and the future of the Christian church. Striving for right relationship with all will provide transformation, justice; personal relationships with ourselves with God and also within the community in which everyone lives. Love, nurture all things that strive for right relationships and so walk the journey of faith together.

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‘ Contract signed’

As the service moved from the Word to the Institution there is a logic and shape to the proceedings. The acting registrar, the Ven. Andrew Orr read the certificate of appointment and with legal the declarations made and the paperwork completed in public, the Bishop and Brian stood and faced the people as the Bishop presented him to the congregation as priest and pastor asking them to support and encourage him in his ministry, praying for him as he will pray for them to which they agreed and welcomed him with enthusiastic applause.

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The ‘Charge’

Then followed the ‘Charge’ or ‘Commission’ to the congregation, a symbolically working out of the legalities, as it is called, to witness to the love of Christ and to serve others in the name of Christ. This is shown by presenting symbols of the teaching, pastoral and sacramental ministry of a priest by members of the congregation.

Emma Holohan brought a bible from the pulpit; Rory Foyle presented a container of water from the font; Dennis Walshe brought a copy of the Book of Common Prayer from the Prayer Desk; Simon Wheeler brought forward bread and wine; Jane Byrne presented a vial of oil; Gillian Rowe presented a towel representing the washing of feet; and the Revd Alec Purser presented copies of the Diocesan Directory and finally three of the Union’s churchwardens each brought forward a key of the three churches: Jean Dobson, David Clegg and Ian Thompson. The Bishop exhorted the new rector to be more enthusiastic about keeping the churches open rather than closed.

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Intercessions

The Prayers of the People were led by the Revd Brian remembering in particular the four young people who tragically lost their lives nearby and also for the bewildered people of Paris. He then announced the services for the Union for the following Sunday.

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Fellowship

Refreshments were offered in the Parish Hall afterwards where a number of representatives formally welcomed the new incumbent.  They were introduced by Phyllis Clegg and Archdeacon Orr and speakers included the Bishop, representatives from the three churches: Denzel Mills (Portlaoise), Robbie Wheeler (Ballyfin), Audrey Kidd (The Rock), Fr Pat Hennessy (Ballyfin), Dr Richard Buxton who concluded his words in Welsh and a representative from Brian’s previous parish in Shandon, Co. Cork.

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Comments were made on the shortage of the vacancy and how other vacancies were now being filled.  Representatives of the parishioners and the ecumenical community promised to help the Revd Brian in any way they can and were delighted to have him on board.

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In reply the Revd Brian thanked everyone for the welcome; he especially complimented the parish nominators and Bishop Michael and for persuading him to make the move to Portlaoise.  He mentioned his former archdeacon the Ven. Robin Bantry White and the presence of the Revd Cecil Bryan and his wife Primrose.  As rector of Castlenock, Cecil had baptised Harriet now a number of years ago and so things come full circle.

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Brian informed everyone he likes to cycle – ‘An Revd ar rothar’ – and was relieved to see the lack of hills as opposed to Cork.  We are nowhere he said if we are not community and family; he had spent 15 years developing this ministry in Shandon.  His philosophy was not just going to work with them on Sunday – it was family – and inferring of course it would be the same approach in Portlaoise.

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He acknowledged the presence of his parents and his brothers as well as his own family  and also for those who had travelled not only from Cork but from the Netherlands and Scotland – a coming together which he hoped heralded a new coming together as a community of himself, the Rock, Ballyfin and Portlaoise.  A bouquet of flowers was presented to Mrs Agnes O’Rourke.

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Jan 27

Launch of a new CD of hymns and carols, as Gaeilge

Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise 10686668_765070406906690_7371144575982261690_n

PREAS RÁITEAS- PRESS RELEASE (ENGLISH VERSION BELOW) 

Ardaígí bhur gcroíthe

AIbEiAIAAABECLyH5aqC79S59gEiC3ZjYXJkX3Bob3RvKigyYWY4MDAyODk3MmY2ZTk3NTY4MWNlM2M4NDM1ZWQyYTVjMzg0ODdlMAFxtVY-E_TUsrVw988l3kJQkq5IvgDé Sathairn, 31 Eanáir, seolfaidh Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise dlúthdhiosca nua d’iomainn agus de charúil i nGaeilge.  I dTeach Caibidle Ardteampaill N. Cainneach,  Cill Chainnigh, a bheidh an seoladh ar 10.30 am.

Tá an dlúthdhiosca seo de 16 iomann agus carúl, Iomainn agus Carúil Choitianta, as Gaeilge, á sheoladh ag Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise chun freastal ar riachtanais na bpobal – agus an líon pobal ag síor-fhás -  ar fud na tíre ar mian leo bheith ag adhradh trí Ghaeilge nó go dátheangach agus ar mhaith leo roinnt iomann a bheith mar chuid den tseirbhís.   Tá leabhar iomann dátheangach ag dul leis an dlúthdhiosca.   Tá sé i gceist go mbeadh an leabhar iomann seo mar bhreis ar Leabhar Iomann na hEaglaise ina bhfuil roinnt iomann i nGaeilge cheana féin.

Seolfaidh an Fíor-Oirmhinneach Michael Burrows, Easpag Chaisil, Fhearna agus Osraí, agus an Fíor-Oirmhinneach Robert Paterson, Easpag Sodor agus Mhanainn, i bpáirt le chéile an dlúthdhiosca is an leabhar agus labhróidh an tEaspag Paterson faoin tslí ina bhfuil Gaelg Mhanainn á shníomh isteach san adhradh ar Oileán Mhanainn.

Canfaidh na hamhránaithe aonair, Cárthach Mac Craith,  Jacynth Hamill, Éamonn Ó Faogáin agus Darren Ó Droma ag an seoladh agus Cór Fear na nDéise as Co. Phort Láirge á dtionlacan.

D’fháiltigh an tEaspag Michael Burrows, Éarlamh Chumann Gaelach na hEaglaise, roimh an tionscnamh agus dúirt sé:

“Cuireann an tionscnamh is déanaí seo de chuid Chumann Gaelach  na hEaglaise ríméad orm agus is ábhar áthais ar leith  é go bhfuil an seoladh seo ag tarlú i gCill Chainnigh le linn  chuairt an Easpaig Robert Paterson ó Oileán Mhanainn. Tá gaol cairdis le roinnt bliana anuas idir a dheoisesean agus ár ndeoise agus tá an-mheas agam ar an dóigh inar chuir sé úsáid Ghaelg Mhanainn chun cinn sa liotúirge.  Is annamh a chríochnaíonn sé féin seirbhís gan roinnt focal den dteanga a úsáid”.

Cuirfear críoch leis an seoladh le seirbhís ghairid ar 12 nóin a bheidh á tionlacan ag Roisin Rowley-Brooke, scoláire orgáin an ardtempaill, agus Cór Fear na nDéise. Curifear lón éadrom ar fáil ina dhiaidh.

Beidh an taispeántas, An Ghaeilge in Eaglaise na hÉireann, le feiceáil.  Tugann an taispeántas  léargas ar an ról a d’imir fir is mná iontacha san Eaglais a bhí ina dtacadóirí le hionad is le ról na Gaeilge i saol na hEaglaise.

Beidh fáilte roimh chách.

Tá tuilleadh eolais ar fáil ó: Caroline Nolan, Oifigeach Forbartha Gaeilge

Teil: 00+353 85 1632772  nó  00+44 7885 633651 nó r-phost: gaeleaglais@gmail.com nówww.facebook.com/gaeleaglais

FAISNÉIS CHÚLRA Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise:  Bunaíodh Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise sa bhliain 1914 chun (1) meon na Sean-Eaglaise Ceiltí a choimeád beo in Eaglais na hÉireann agus baill na hEaglaise a chuireann spéis sa Ghaelachas a bhailiú le chéile, (2) úsáid na Gaeilge a leathnú san Eaglais, (3) iomainn agus ábhar diaga eile a bhailiú ó litríocht na Gaeilge agus (4) ceol agus ealaíon Éireannach a chur ar aghaidh in imeachtaí na hEaglaise. Suíomh gréasáin: http://www.facebook.com/gaeleaglais 

Lift up your hearts

ENGLISH VERSION

AIbEiAIAAABECLyH5aqC79S59gEiC3ZjYXJkX3Bob3RvKigyYWY4MDAyODk3MmY2ZTk3NTY4MWNlM2M4NDM1ZWQyYTVjMzg0ODdlMAFxtVY-E_TUsrVw988l3kJQkq5IvgOn Saturday 31 January , Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise will  launch a new  CD of hymns and carols, as Gaeilge,  in the Chapter House of St. Canice’s Cathedral,  Kilkenny, at 10.30am.

Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise is launching this CD of 16 hymns and carols,  Iomainn agus Carúil Choitianta, as Gaeilge,  to meet the needs of the growing number of congregations around the country that seek to worship in Irish or bilingually and would like to include some hymns in their services.  A bilingual hymnbook  accompanies the CD.  The hymnbook  is intended to supplement the Church Hymnal which already contains a number of hymns in Irish.

The CD will be launched jointly by the Right Rev Michael Burrows, Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory and the Right Rev Robert Paterson, Bishop of Sodor and Man who will speak to how Manx is being incorporated in worship in the Isle of Man.

The soloists,  Cárthach Mac Craith,  Jacynth Hamill, Éamonn Ó Faogáin and Darren Ó Droma will also perform at the launch and they will be accompanied by Cór Fear na nDéise from Co. Waterford.

Bishop Michael Burrows, Patron of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise, welcomes this initiative, saying,

“I’m delighted about this latest initiative on the part of Cumann Gaelach  na hEaglaise and it is a particular pleasure that this launch is taking place in Kilkenny during the visit of Bishop Robert Paterson from the Isle of Man. His diocese and ours have had a companion relationship for some years now and I have admired the manner in which he has effectively promoted the use of Manx in liturgy… Rarely himself completing a service without using some words of it!”

The launch will be followed by a short concluding service at 12.00am, accompanied by Roisin Rowley-Brooke, the cathedral organ scolar, and Cór Fear na nDéise. There will be a light lunch afterwards.

The exhibition, An Ghaeilge in Eaglaise na hÉireann, be on display. It provides an insight into the role of extraordinary men and women in the Church who have been advocates for the place and role of the Irish language in the life of the church.

Everyone is welcome.

Further information is available from: Caroline Nolan, Irish Language Development Officer

Tel: 00+353 85 1632772  or  00+44 7885 633651 or by email: gaeleaglais@gmail.com orwww.facebook.com/gaeleaglais

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION  Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise:  The Irish Guild of the Church was founded in 1914 to (1) promote all that tends to preserve within the Church of Ireland the spirit of the ancient Celtic Church and to provide a bond of union for all members of the Church of Ireland inspired with Irish ideals, (2) promote the use of the Irish language in the Church, (3) collect from Irish sources suitable hymns and other devotional literature, (4) encourage the use of Irish art and music in the Church.  Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/Gaeleaglais

Jan 07

The Revd Alec Purser settles into ministry in Stradbally (Laois)

DIOCESE OF CASHEL FERNS & OSSORY

DIOCESE OF LEIGHLIN

STRADBALLY UNION OF PARISHES

THE LITURGICAL INTRODUCTION TO MINISTRY IN THE PARISHES OF

THE REVEREND ALEC PURSER (part-time Priest-in-Charge)

St PATRICK’S PARISH CHURCH, STRADBALLY

5th December, 2014

Celebration,Event,People,

The Revd Alec Purser pictured with the Bishop following his service of introduction as part-time priest-in-charge to the Union of Stradbally parishes, Co. Laois, on Friday 5th December 2014.

 

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The Advent Candles

God’s People of Stradbally Union and the wider community gathered in St Patrick’s Church, Stradbally to witness the introduction of the Revd Alec Purser to the parish and to welcome him formally.  He was already well known having acted as priest-in-charge during the vacancy. The Procession was heralded by the hymn ‘On Jordan’s bank the Baptist cry’…  and the Bishop welcomed everyone and then led the service.

The Archdeacon, the Ven. Andrew Orr presented the Revd Alec to be introduced by the Bishop who commended the prayers of the congregation and silence was kept.

The lessons were red by Yvonne Carter and Emma Purser and the Gospel by the Revd Canon Patrick Harvey.

The Sermon was given by the Revd Canon Patrick Harvey, Incumbent of Abbeyleix and Killermogh Union of Parishes, Diocese of Leighlin.

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Picking up Life’s Truth singly – the address

Canon Harvey referenced many things. Amongst them were … Psalm 19; an Epiphany image on the cover of the Abbeyleix & Killermogh December Parish Magazine – three people looking up into the sky at a vast comet, which he feared might draw the ire of the Church police. But are they the Magi?

The readings at the service were from the readings of the day – something about the forest, waiting patiently, about being a Christian, and a difficult Gospel passage to remind us that it’s His story, not ours. The Canon told a story of a young clergyman frustrated with Church rules who eventually became Rector in Abbeyleix. He listed many of the firsts Alec experienced in the Abbeyleix & Killermogh Union – a service of healing in Ballyroan, his first Abbeyleix Senior Citizens’ Party, his first celebration of Holy Communion One, first baptism and first harvest amongst many others. A paraphrased Talking Heads song ‘Once in a lifetime’ … how did I get to be in the challenging position of an ordained clergyman in the twenty first century? ‘And you may find yourself in a beautiful church … ‘.

He quoted the ordinal – priests are ‘to search for God’s children in the wilderness of this world’s temptations and to guide them through its confusions, so that they may be saved through Christ for ever’. The sense of the ordinary in Patrick Kavanagh’s poetry. A story about cutting the next day’s communion bread in a suit, a white shirt and a yellow polka dot bow tie. Heaven as perpetual Advent. Thy kingdom come.

The Canon thanked Mr Purser for his much appreciated and much missed ministry in the Abbeyleix & Killermogh Union of Parishes, and said how he envied him his fierce & passionate concern for the poor, the hungry, the outcast and the underprivileged. He wished him, Gill, Emma & Sam well in their new place.

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Introduction to a ‘new’ congregation

The bishop introduced Alec to the congregation and commending his ministry and asking him  to entrust to him now a share in the care of God’s people here and invited him to serve as Priest-in-Charge of this parish.

The bishop and Alec as priest-in-charge stood and faced the people as the bishop presented Alec to the congregation as priest and pastor asking them to support and encourage him in his ministry, praying for him as he will pray for them to which they agreed and they welcomed him with enthusiastic applause.

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The ‘Charge’

Then followed the ‘Charge’ to the congregation to be called to witness to the love of Christ and to serve others in the name of Christ. This is shown by presenting symbols of the teaching, pastoral and sacramental ministry of a priest by members of the congregation.

Ann Walsh Kemmis brought a bible from the pulpit; William Kerr presented a container of water from the font; Ian Meredith brought a copy of the Book of Common Prayer from the Prayer Desk; Gavin Stanley brought forward bread and wine; Ruth Wilkinson presented a vial of oil; Sharon Bradley presented a towel representing the washing of feet; and the Very Revd Tom Gordon presented copies of the Diocesan Directory and finally Lesley Colton as churchwarden brought forward the key of the church, which the Bishop remarked, hoped to keep the church open rather than locked. The Prayers of the People were led by the Revd Alec and he then announced the services for the Union for the following Sunday.

Refreshments were offered in the Parish Hall afterwards.

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Who’s in Charge?!

Priest-in-Charge the Revd Alec Purser flanked by Bishops Michael Burrows and Walton Empey.

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Celebration,Event,People,

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Jan 07

Three Diocesan Lay Readers commissioned

 

The Commissioning and Licensing of Readers

Awarding of Theological Certificates

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Three new Diocesan readers commissioned by the Bishop in St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny On Advent Sunday , 30th November 2014: Mike O’Meara, Ms Nicola Rowan and Mr Jason Smith.

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Award of theThird-Level Bishop’s Medal

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Advent Sunday 30th November 2014

 

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The Bishop gathers Diocesan Readers, participants and award winners. 

THE ROLE OF THE LAY READER:

The term ‘reader’ is simply the English translation of ‘lector’, one of the minor orders of the ministry of the Church. In the Church of Scotland after the Reformation readers acted as assistants to the Presbyterian clergy and in a number of cases were given full pastoral responsibility for a parish. They were originally authorised to read the prayers, the lessons from Scripture and a homily and, after 1572, to perform baptisms and marriages.

In the Anglican church lay men (and more recently of course, lay women) have been licensed as readers since 1866. The ministry exercised by today’s readers is far more encompassing than before and liturgically, diocesan readers may inter alia read the morning and evening offices; read the Gospel, lead the prayers of the people and administer the chalice or paten at the Eucharist; and preach.

The ministry of reader is of enormous importance in the life of our dioceses and week-by-week Readers may be found conducting worship in churches. In some cases they are given extra pastoral responsibility and visit the sick and housebound and provide spiritual counsel in the absence of the clergy. They also on occasions administer Holy Communion by extension to homes, hospitals and nursing homes.

Our ceremony of commissioning reminds us all of our call to bear witness to the love of God in Christ. Together we pledge our support to the Church and the people in our parishes. 

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The Advent Candles where the light commences. 

THE SERVICE OF LIGHT:

The ceremony began with service of light. The congregation stood in the silence of the darkened cathedral with readings from Genesis (1: 1-5) and John (1: 1-5)

A light in the form of a candle is presented to the bishop with the words: ‘Jesus Christ is the Light of the world.’ The congregation responded ‘A light no darkness can quench’

A large candle is lit in the midst of the people and from this the congregational candles are lit and was followed by the hymn ‘Hail, gladdening light, of his pure glory poured…’ as the atmosphere grew with the candles creating the soft yellow flickering beams of light.

The Bishop then formally introduced the service.

The Choir of St Canice’s Cathedral led the music and was directed by Mr David Forde and organist Mr Malcolm Proud.

The lessons were read by Ms Nicola Rowan and Mr Jason Smith. The Gospel was read by the Revd Canon Barbara Fryday, Warden of Readers.

IMG_5289The Bishop, the Warden of Readers and the Dean of Leighin along with the newly commissioned Diocesan Readers and those who were awarded certificates of academic awards: Barbara Buckley, Patricia Cobbe, Audrey Clarke-Gordon, John Jarvis, Folayan Iyiola Lawal, Susan Luke, Mike O’Meara, Nicola Rowan and Tom Wheatley also Emma Purser who was presented with The Bishop’s inaugural Third Level Medal – all among the atmosphere of shafts of light.

Address:

The sermon was given by the Very Revd Gerald Field, Dean of Cashel who began by challenging the candidates why they had been ‘called’. This would often apply to anyone getting into difficulties and asking God why and never receiving an answer. Whether it to be ordained or diocesan reader ministry; whether it be as a churchwarden, member of the select vestry, Sunday school or youth leader……..whatever one’s particular ministry within the family of the Church may be, there must surely have been a time when everyone has all wondered, ‘Why me?’

And directly addressing Mike, Nicola and Jason, and those of who have been or will be Commissioned in one’s own Dioceses, may well have asked that question already during study and in leading of worship, in preparation for the ministry to which all have been called by God and his Church, and for which all are being commissioned.

This was Advent Sunday beginning the season in preparation for celebration of Christ’s coming and also preparing for his coming again.

It’s during Advent that there is reflection on those whom God sent, over the centuries, to prepare for His first coming; and, as these weeks will show, they were people to whom were seldom give a second glance such as the prophets, John the Baptist – all a rag-bag lot!  So it is more the potential one has to become the person God needs rather than the ‘somebody’ one might be. It is also not what a person has but what he might give how there is the opportunity to respond and so realise that potential. During the service the candidates will all be asked to give of their time, talents and ability in this office and work to the glory of God and the welfare of his church and by God’s grace it is His gift to them and, like the ministry to which they are called, should be valued, cherished and never taken for granted.

Finally the Dean reminded the congregation that the ‘call’ is for everyone in different ways and to pray for that Grace and to bear witness to the love of God in Christ. It is not others who send but each person who offers himself or herself in their own way and for readers and people alike to say ‘Here am I, Lord, send me!

Presentation of candidates:

Following the creed the candidate readers, Jason Smith, Mike O’Meara and Nicola Rowan, are presented to the Bishop by the warden of readers the Revd Canon Barbara Fryday. The Declaration was signed by the candidate readers and was read by the Bishop.

The candidates promised to give of their time and talents to the best of their ability in this office and work, to the glory of God and the welfare of his church.  And so the Bishop admitted the three candidates as readers and presented them to the congregation. 

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The new Readers are presented to the congregation.

The collection went to benefit the Bishop’s Ministry Fund, which includes in its task the support of training for Readership and other lay ministries.

Conclusion:

During the celebration of Communion the new readers exercised their new ministries.

After the Service, certificates of academic awards were presented to Barbara Buckley, Patricia Cobbe, Audrey Clarke-Gordon, John Jarvis, Folayan iyiola Lawal, Susan Luke,

Mike O’Meara, Nicola Rowan and Tom Wheatley.

The Bishop’s inaugural Third Level Medal was also awarded to Emma Purser.

Refreshments were then served in the cathedral.

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Wexford award winner Folayan iyiola Lawal flanked by his clergy the Revd Canon Arthur Minon and the Revd Nicola Halford.

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Emma Purser who was also awarded the Bishop’s inaugural Third Level Medal.

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