Sep 05

Sad passing of Maureen Lanigan

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe regret to announce that the death has occurred of Diocesan Reader Mrs Maureen Lanigan.

Maureen had been ill for some time and she died at Waterford Regional Hospital.

Deeply regretted by her companion Pierce, brother Andrew, family and friends.

Her funeral took place on Saturday 6th September, in St. Canice’s Cathedral with Requiem Eucharist  .

Burial to follow at St. Peter’s, Kingston, Langley, Wiltshire, England.

“My soul doth magnify the Lord: and my Spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour”.

Aug 31

Break in at Christ Church, Tramore

Tramore copyChrist Church Tramore was broken into over the weekend (30th/31st August 2014).
Intruders ransacked the vestry and chancel and forced entry into the adjoining hall. This was discovered by parishioners as they met for service on Sunday morning.
The intruders got away with two small communion bread boxes, three bottles of communion wine and about 8 euros from a donation box.
This was the second such robbery in Waterford churches over the weekend as Faithlegg church was also targeted.
Dean Jansson would like to thank Fr. Michael Toomey CC who came on the scene offering much kind support for the community.
Within hours parishioners made good the building and were  grateful that services can resume as usualnext Sunday at 11.30 am.
A service  will  be held in the coming weeks to reconsecrate the building.


Jul 07

The Work of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise praised by President Higgins

Saothar Chumann Gaelach na hEaglaise molta ag Uachtarán na hÉireann.

(English version printed below)

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Bhí baill agus cairde Chumann Gaelach na hEaglaise in Áras an Uachtaráin, 24 Meitheamh 2014, ag fáiltiú speisialta leis an Uachtarán, Micheál D Ó hUiginn, chun saothar an Chumainn a chomóradh.

Tá Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise ag comóradh an chéid i mbliana agus ba mhór an phribhléid do bhaill agus cairde an Chumainn cuairt a thabhairt ar an Uachtarán.  Bhí an tUachtarán flaithiúil ina mholtaí maidir leis an gCumann. Dúirt sé;

“We should never underestimate the enormous contribution that Dughlás de hÍde and others of his faith made to Irish language and literature”.

Rinne an tUachtarán tagairt don éacht atá déanta thar na blianta chun na Gaeilge a fhorbairt agus gan dearmad a dhéanamh ar cé chomh lag is a bhí an teanga ag deireadh na 19ú aois déag nuair nach raibh ach 12 faoi gcéad de pháistí faoi deich mbliana d’aois in ann Gaeilge a labhairt, ach go háirithe nuair a bhí ceithre mhilliún duine in ann é a labhairt tamaillín roimhe seo.  Mhol an tUachtarán an Cumann,

“Organisations like Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise play a significant role in ensuring a rich context of empathy and understanding as we view the events and stories which create the many chapters of our national narrative”

Dúirt an tEaspag Michael Burrows, Deoise Chaisil, Fearna agus Osraí agus Éarlamh Chumann Gaelach na hEaglaise go raibh an Cumann fíorbhuíoch as an gcuireadh agus gur chuir flaithiúlacht an Uachtaráin áthas agus gliondar ar a chroí.  Luaigh sé gur bunaíodh an Cumann chun saibhreas na Gaeilge a cheiliúradh in Eaglais na hÉireann agus go raibh traidisiún bródúil fada ag an Eaglais, ach go háirithe an éacht a rinne Dúghlas de hÍde, An Craoibhín Aoibhinn.

“In ár bpaidreacha coitianta bímid ag lorg áilleachta naofa, mar atá ráite sa Saltair, agus tugann an Ghaeilge cabhair speisialta dúinn é de bhrí an fhuinnimh, na fuaimeanna agus na mistéire atá inti”.

Thagair sé don dul chun cinn atá déanta ag an gCumann, ach go háirithe i dTuaisceart Éireann, agus freisin don ról ag an Uachtarán, mar fhile agus ‘ambassador’ iontach don Ghaeilge.

Luaigh sé focail Yeats:

“where all the ladders start” and the ladders that beam angels towards heaven are rested on foundations laid by saints who spoke, prayed, loved and taught through Irish”.



The Work of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise praised by President Higgins

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Members and friends of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise were hosted by President Michael D Higgins at a reception in Áras an Uachtaráin (June 24) to mark the organisation’s centenary.

The Irish Guild of the Church of Ireland has been promoting the Irish language in the Church since 1914 and the Guild was delighted to receive high praise from the President for their efforts in keeping the language alive.

President Higgins said that the Cumann’s centenary was a milestone and an impressive tribute to their efforts in the promotion of the Irish language in the Church of Ireland.

He also referred to Ireland’s first President, Douglas Hyde. “We should never underestimate the enormous contribution that Dúghlas de hÍde and others of his faith made to the Irish language and literature,” he said.

He went on to say that at the end of the 19th Century the language was very weak and was spoken by less than 12 percent of children under 10, having only a few short years earlier been spoken by four million people. But he said there were people who saw the value of the language.

He praised the Cumann saying, “Organisations like Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise play a significant role in ensuring a rich context of empathy and understanding as we view the events and stories which create the many chapters of our national narrative.”

Bishop Michael Burrows, Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, and Patron of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise said that Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise was very privileged and honoured to be received by President D Higgins on this special occasion and thanked the President for his generosity.

Bishop Burrows said that the Cumann was founded to celebrate the richness of the language in the Church of Ireland and that there was a proud and long association of support by members of the Church, not least the major contribution made the first President of Ireland, Dúghlas de hÍde, An Craoibhín Aoibhinn [his pen name].

“We seek out harmony and beauty in our prayers, as instructed in the Psaltar, and our native language helps us in a special way because of the energy, mystery and sounds that permeate the language”.

He also referred to the great progress that has been made in promoting the work of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise in recent times, not least in Northern Ireland.  He complimented President Higgins in his role as ambassador for the language and as a poet, ending with the words of Yeats:

“where all the ladders start” and the ladders that beam angels towards heaven are rested on foundations laid by saints who spoke, prayed, loved and taught through Irish”.

Jul 03

The 40th Anniversary of the Ordination of the Revd Peter Tarleton

Peter, a man of ‘a relentless pastoral faithfulness’

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASunday 8th June 2014 was a special day for the parish of Killeshin and the people of Carlow as they celebrated with the Revd Peter Tarleton on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his ordination.

Parishioners, family and friends from near and far: Dublin, Cork, Cootehill and Limerick from where Peter had previously served, all joined with the Union of Killeshin and representatives from the wider ecumenical community for a service of Holy Communion followed by a sit-down meal in the splendidly restored adjoining schoolhouse.

The Revd Peter greeted everyone at the commencement of the service and the singing was led by the choir and organist Aisling Carter.   The Service of the Word was taken by Lay readers Pat Coleman and Patricia Doogue and the Gospel read by the Revd Fr John Gribben from the Communiry of the Resurrection in Mirfield (Yorkshire) who also preached the sermon.   The prayers were led by Ms Mabel Talbot and Ms Jackie Neale.

In his address Fr John took as his theme the story contained in the 1958 film ‘Auntie Mame’.  It tells of young boy who goes to visit one of Mame’s bohemian parties where she promises to open doors for him that he would never have dreamt to have existed.  A story appropriate for Pentecost Sunday and for the 40th  anniversary of Peter’s ministry.

Fr John told of the further recent connection when all Church of Ireland Bishops were on retreat with him in Yorkshire and where they studied the art of the Italian 13th Century painter Duccio di Buoninsegna.  They concentrated on his paintings of Jesus and his apostles and also that of Pentecost where in one particular picture there is a door standing open for the apostles to go out into the world to preach the gospel symbolizing ‘opening doors’.


Jesus opens doors for everyone to see His world.  He asked St Peter if he loved Him.  He said he did and was encouraged to carry on His work and so it is handed down through the centuries and generations, poured out by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost over 2000 years ago.  40 years ago at Peter Tarleton’s ordination he was handed a bible to go tell the ‘Good News’ – this has been his share in the ministry of Christ, opening doors for people that they might have an abundance of life.

Mame loved a party, as did Christ and Fr John looked forward to the feast after this service.

The offertory was introduced by Fr John Dunphy, Parish Priest Graiguecullen, who explained the work being carried out in Carlow to help those less fortunate and for whom the collection was being donated. How a food kitchen had been started to help those who had fallen on hard times and who can come for food parcels, etc., and that it takes pressure off the financial burden of paying housekeeping bills every month.  This has been possible through the generosity of the community in Carlow and he thanked in advance for the offerings that would be given at this service.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the conclusion of the service Ms Dorcas Collier made a presentation to the Revd Peter on behalf of the  Union.  She welcomed all guests, remarking how Canon George Salter and Peter had been in college together.  In a brief summary of Peter’s ministry she reminded the congregation of his work within the prison service, chaplain to prisoners and their families and also his hospital chaplaincy.  Very much a ‘people person’, when Peter arrived in the parish just over two years ago, he very quickly got to know everyone and where they lived.  Also being very ecumenically minded he rapidly integrated into the whole community of the area.  He leads a very active and sporting life, taking part in marathons both on foot and by bicycle, all of which with a fund-raising angle to his activities.  He is soon to be heading up Mt Leinster.  As well as all that he sings with the Castlecomer Male Voice Choir.  And finally Dorcas said how privileged and blessed Killeshin is to have him as their rector and pastor.

Peter thanked Dorcas and everyone and remembered his own father Dennis, who had also been ministry, as he gave thanks for his 40 years service.


Afterwards, outside the Revd Peter greeted his congregation and everyone made their way to the schoolhouse where the repast and fellowship was enjoyed.


The Bishop who was having a busy Sunday attending various occasions and joined the Killeshin celebrations. At the gathering in the schoolhouse he thanked all those who had carried out the preparations for the afternoon, especially in the catering area.  It has been a joy to see the enthusiasm, the spiritual depth that Peter has brought to this Union of parishes – Peter the ‘perfect priest’ because he combines intelligence, wit and a certain radical edge and in the midst of all that a relentless pastoral faithfulness.


The diocese has been fortunate in attracting someone of Peter’s experience and energy to the area.  Before the Bishop asked everyone to raise their glass to Peter, he reminded him and everyone that no one need leave office until the end of the quarter following their 75th birthday – and in Peter’s case, he is but young!

The final act of the afternoon was the cutting of the wonderful cake in the form of a bible and candle made by Ms Vivienne Rigley.


Jul 03

GFS & Installation of Archdeacon combined


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The afternoon of Sunday 18th May in St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny saw an unusual combination of service.

The main part of the celebration was the Girls’ Friendly Society Annual Service and prize giving. This was coupled with the installation of the Revd Andrew Orr as Archdeacon of Ossory following the retirement of the Ven. John Murray and also the vacant positions in the Chapter of St Canice’s Cathedral were also filled.

The service, organised for the GFS by its Chaplain the Revd Canon Stella Durand was led by the Dean, the Very Revd Katharine Poulton who welcomed the large congregation, many of whom were dressed in the blue uniform of the GFS and who initially paraded a presentation of banners.

The lessons were read by the Revd Canon Stella Durand and Ms Sylvia Quinn, All-Ireland President and the prayers were led by members of the GFS from the various branches

gorr4 image_9The address was given by the Revd Ruth Elmes who told the young congregation filling the cathedral the story of the little girl who learnt to all sorts of things in the GFS and the difficulties she had in baking a cake for competition.

Of course the little girl turned out to be the Revd Ruth herself who assured everyone that no matter how hard it is to do things or how many times we fail and don’t get it right, God is there. When we get it right and are happy and proud and even if we don’t win- God is there. We never have to do things alone, because we aren’t alone – God is there.

Always in our lives we have to face new challenges and learn new stuff but the important thing to remember is that we don’t have to get it right first time and we don’t do it by ourselves. We have people we can ask for help or to teach us. We have family, friends, GFS leaders and colleagues to encourage us and say well done – but even greater than that – we have God with us.  Finally, and reaching over the pulpit as if to confide in her young listeners on their own, she confessed that sometimes although we think that older people and adults always know what they were doing and are always good at stuff, even bishops have to learn to be a bishop, the new Archdeacon will probably have to learn to do some new stuff now and the new canons will have to learn to find their very special seat here in the cathedral.

A perfect way to give good advice to the young GFS members while making an ideal lead into the installation ceremony which took place at the conclusion of the service.

It was then over to the Dean and preceded by the appropriate words of the Bishop’s Mandate spoken by acting Registrar, the Revd Tim Irvine, she led the Venerable Andrew Orr to his stall and formally installed him as Archdeacon of Ossory.

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Similarly the Revd Dr Stella Durand was installed as the prebend of Killamery with the retirement of the Revd Canon George Cliffe and the Very Revd Gerald Field as the prebend of Mayne with the retirement of the Very Revd Dr Philip Knowles.

With the previous installation of the Very Revd Paul Mooney as Precentor and the appointment of the Revd Tim Irvine as Bishop’s Vicar the Chapter of St Canice’s Cathedral was now complete.

To conclude the afternoon, the sparkling array of silverware was handed out at the GFS prize giving and the hierarchy, GFS leaders and their young members all mingled around the refreshments kindly provided.

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The Ven. Andrew Orr, his wife the Revd Canon Susan Green and their family at the Ossory installation




Jul 03

Bishop’s Medal winners 2014


2014 Medal winner: Osasu Igbinedion

Runners – up: Catherine Burström & Rachel Orr 

All three are students in Kilkenny College. 

Thanks to all who took part and congratulations to the 2014 prizewinners.




Congratulations to this year’s prizewinners - 

2014 Junior Bishop’s Medal – Hannah Graham, Kilnamanagh NS 

Joint second – John Moynan & Dylan Whiteford. Both from  

Abbeyleix South NS. 

Third equal – Emma Alexander, from Abbeyleix South NS;

Andrea Caldbeck from Clonenagh NS and Craig Chamney from

Carrigduff NS.


Jun medal 1++++++++++

May 29

General Synod – May 2014 – A Report through an Alternative View.

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Standing Ovation for full communion with the Methodist Church

Synod Statistics announced show that 65% on day one attendance falls to 45% on Saturday, the third day, so perhaps the risk might taken that no day in any year will show more than 500?  Members still talk about the General Synods held in the Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny and in Galway when President Mary MacAleese visited.

There is always varied argument as to the best venue and opinion often revolves around the distance to be travelled, the cost, and the time off needed to be able to attend.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHowever, whatever about the restrictions of Christ Church Cathedral: parking, accommodation, catering and visibility within the church, it does create its own atmosphere.  And it has been suggested that debate does not become as heated because of being in a church. Maybe so, it is certainly different!

The speakers are well relayed around the building and there is a particular eerie quality up in the sanctuary behind the packed pews and the raised podium of bishops.  Here in the vastness of the east end of the cathedral there is only the occasionally person scurrying to the Chapter Room where the Press Office is housed for the duration.

Echoing ethereally round the warm stonework and stained glass can be heard the disembodied voice at a microphone out front of a bishop or a member from the floor making their point.  A perfect place to sit and tarry a while in solitude and contemplate the particular argument of the moment.

And then to lose the relay momentarily through the passageway to the IT Centre where Charlotte deftly andOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA magically manages all the website and audio-visual wizardry and then into the Chapter Room itself where the smiling faces of Jenny Compston and Paul Harron are always ready to give a warm welcome to members of the press, reporting DCOs and anyone else who comes looking for information. Nobody leaves without the offer of coffee and refreshment.

Lurking in dark corners can be seen various privileged members looking for a moment of quiet or a confidential conversation.  Even the ‘odd’ bishop can wander in (they have their own episcopal den to dive down into, the most hierarchical of sanctuaries!)

But in the Press Room, computers are being furiously tapped, cameras casually being re-charged, all the while the relay from the debate continues to be heard. The Dean’s tall figure can be encountered overseeing matters of the cathedral with the staff and volunteers.

The COI Gazette personnel is prevalent with Canon Ian Ellis, the Revd Clifford Skillen and Ella McLoughlin all frantically gathering material for their special Synod Issue.

All this backroom activity is attractive enough without going near the actual business and raison d’être.

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How many CFOs can be spotted!

While this is all fine and well, but what of the business this year?  And what of the input by Cashel, Ferns and Ossory?  Below is simply a flavour of the overall and also specifically CFO!

There were two and half days of debate on six bills, 19 motions and umpteen reports making up the basis of this parliamentary procedure.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe first Bill, proposed by the Very Revd Nigel Dunne (Cork) and Bishop Burrows following the culmination of many years of dialogue to provide for full interchangeability of ministry between the Church of Ireland and the Methodist Church in Ireland, a moment of Church history in the making, and will be of relevance to ecumenical dialogue the world over. This was the most important decision taken during this Synod, drawing a standing ovation from the ‘house’ as the Bill was passed unanimously. It did not represent a ‘merger’ between the two Churches but allowed each to retain its own polity. While providing for ministerial interchangeability between the two Churches, the threefold order of ordained ministry remained fundamental in the Church of Ireland,

The second Bill, also passed unanimously, proposed to extend the term of office of the membership of the current Commission on Episcopal Ministry and Structures until 2016 – with provisions to deal with any current or future vacancies should they arise and to continue the process of identifying means by which a diocesan based and locally effective self-supporting ministry might be developed as a distinctive vocation. It was agreed that in consideration of these possible momentous changes, more time was needed.

Other bills, also passed, concerned the reconstitution of the Chapter of St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick and a bill that OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsought to consolidate statutes relating to the regulation and management of Down Cathedral.

A Bill in the names of the Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory and Sam Harper (Cashel), proposed to amend provisions for the size of select vestries and remove the current upper limit of three persons under the age of 21.

The Bill would permit a Diocesan Council, where a cure was growing or changing, to draw greater numbers of parishioners into its governance. It could also allow a Council to facilitate enlarged select vestries to enhance participation in Church governance and administration in particular situations for specified periods. The Bill was passed unanimously.

Another Bill brought forward by Bishop Burrows and the Ven. Andrew Orr proposed to amend Chapter IV of the Constitution by obliging general vestries, from 2017, to appoint at least one man and at least one woman as parochial nominators and at least one man and at least one woman as supplemental nominators. However, this drew some criticism on being regarded in conflict with democratic rights of election and fell. Despite, as Archbishop Richard Clarke remarked, the fact that emergency aid was present, it would not serve to revive the fallen Bill!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAmong the Motions put forward included the re-affirmation of the importance of RE in Primary Schools (ROI).

The ongoing discussions between the various third level institutions and CICE also received an airing. Here there is still unease as to the status of these two issues although there are some very encouraging and positive results in terms of the future safeguarding of the ethos of CICE.

The Synod was also encouraged to take ‘pride in its people’ and Bishop Burrows, who seconded the motion, praised the proposer, Dr Acheson, for his work on the history of the Church of Ireland and added that there are things to be ashamed of in the Church’s past. However, he added: ‘History is every bit as important as science in finding a gateway to the Divine.’ He reckoned that with this new communion between the COI and the Methodist Church, it would be appropriate for him to add that he had been educated in Wesley College where he recalled thinking both historically and religiously at the examination termed ‘the General’.

The debate was stirred by some perhaps different interpretations of the motions with regard to evangelicalism and gay and lesbian attitudes.


Within this sphere, the main Report was that of the RCB stating that the Church although still in deficit, has seenThe Revd Canon Arthur Minion IMG_4296 some financial recovery over the last year.

The Book of Reports also contained the first Report of the Select Committee on Human Sexuality in the context of Christian Belief.  This, as was expected, attracted considerable debate from all points of view.  The conclusion of which Synod exhorted the Committee to continue working, communicating and listening.

Proposing the report of the Council for Mission, the Revd Adam Pullen (Tuam) focused on the Council’s conference last March, thanking the Priorities Fund and the bishops for their support. The Ven. Andrew Orr (Cashel) reminded Synod that one of the marks of mission was the integrity of the environment. Canon Patrick Comerford (Dublin) invited participation in the tricentennial celebrations of Us. (USPG).

Bishops’ Appeal was headed up by Lydia Monds, Bishops’ Appeal Education Officer who reminded Synod that as long as the world’s poor were trapped in a cycle of hunger, worry and instability, then no one could be content. She sought to reassure Synod that Bishops’ Appeal continued to prioritise the allocation of Church funds in the most efficient and sustainable way possible, so that the funds reached the most vulnerable people and allowed them to live more fulfilled lives.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere was also a thread running through Synod concerning poverty at home, referred to by the Archbishop of Armagh in his presidential address and by others, highlighting the scandal of the increasing levels of poverty. Parishes were urged to tackle the issue of the ‘hidden poverty’ which is obvious through the work of Protestant Aid, and to which parishes were urged to support.

Lydia was, as ever, supported by Billy Kingston stating that there was a very prudent stewardship of funds.

The COI Youth Department gave its presentation.  Bishop Burrows, among others from their dioceses, described the youth work being carried out in CFO.

With the three year contract up with Christ Church Cathedral, Synod would not be returning, although Bishop Burrows did remark that the ‘church’ atmosphere, a scared environment, cannot be matched by any hotel.  Synod did not think that it should be permanently anchored in Armagh and although places of sufficient size for a full complement are scarce, other venues at reasonable cost should be explored.  There was a vote of appreciation paid to the Dean, the Very Revd Dermot Dunne, for all his help and cooperation in the organisation from the cathedral. There did not seem to be an appreciable difference between the cost of the two venues.

Busy Bishop

It would be erroneous for this report to give the impression that the only speaker was our own bishop!  However, he Microsoft Word - x copy 2.dochas been a busy man around the capital of recent days:  he spoke at a special ‘man’s breakfast at St Ann’s, Dawson St on the Friday, conducted the service in Irish in the same church on 29th April and also preached at the Synod Eucharist on the Thursday where he recalled the confidence that had been inspired in the COI by successive Synod services.

He said that they had conveyed a sense of the Church being ‘in good heart and in good health’ and suggested that nowadays there was an over-preoccupation with the notion that all was not well in the Church.

Bishop Burrows said that a Church that was in good health was a Church that talked about God in the public square.

He said that he longed for the Church in all its parts to be ‘a place of godly conversation’. Such open debate would ‘equip and intrigue and draw people in,’ the Bishop stated.


Cashel Ferns & Ossory had one winner amongst all categories and congratulations to Charity Vintage Tea Rooms StMary'sDungarvan COLFacebook page -
 St Mary’s, Dungarvan (Lismore) for the ‘most innovative social media development by a parish’

and accepted on behalf of everyone involved by the Revd James Mulhall.

It was interesting to hear the Rt Revd John Holbrook, Bishop of Brixworth* representing the Church of England saying that it was his delight to be speaking from the podium where the Rt Revd Pat Carey had taken her place and that he longed for the day when his own House of Bishops would be similarly complete.

The Red Chair!

Being the ‘baby’ of the House, Bishop Pat Storey opened the Synod proceedings each morning with prayer and liturgy, as is the tradition and the Archbishop took the Chair for most of the three days, other bishops could be seen usurping his position on occasion!  The Bishop of Cork, suitably ensconced wondered how the Archbishop could remove him if he desired to remain in charge!  The Archbishop on eventual resumption of his prime ecclesiastical seat, considered obtaining a Graham Norton ‘red chair’ for such insurgents and made move to pull the imaginary lever much to the delight and hilarity of the house.  These moments of humour helps to lighten the heavy load of debate that the General Synod is obliged to carry and are much appreciated by all.

Business information – courtesy the Church of Ireland Gazette with permission.

The following photos show that the debate continued over refreshment!

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May 19

The Venerable John Murray retires

‘A celebration of great and fruitful steadfastness’

A Service of Thanksgiving for Ministry

shared with the people of the Parish of Rathdowney Union and of the Diocese of Cashel & Ossory

On Sunday 6th April 2014 (Passion Sunday) in St Andrew’s Church, Rathdowney.

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Clergy robed pictured with the Revd Tim Irvine on the occasion of his installation as Vicar of Kilkenny Union of Parishes at St Lachtain’s Church, Freshford on Sunday 16th March 2014.
The Revd Canon Susan Green, the Revd Canon Patrick Harvey, the Ven. John Murray, the Revd Bill Boyce, the Very Revd Tom Gordon, the Revd Canon Stella Durand, the Revd Jenny Crowley, the Revd Tim Irvine, Ms Maureen Lanigan, the Revd Andrew Orr, the Very Revd Katharine Poulton and Ms Susan Botha.

The weekend of 4th – 6th April was one of particular significance for the Murray family as John, archdeacon of Cashel, Waterford, Lismore and Offaly and rector of Rathdowney retired after over 40 years of service and ministry.

Two events marked the occasion.  On the Friday evening, the parishioners gathered in the Hall for a splendid meal and representations in honour of John, his wife Irene and their family.

On Sunday afternoon, a service of thanksgiving took place in St Andrew’s Church Rathdowney to acknowledge John’s devotion to parish ministry and the wider diocesan position of Archdeacon.

It was then ‘All in an April Evening’ that St Andrew’s Church was full from chancel to gallery in the presence of the Bishop and with clerical colleagues and ecumenical friends that the Revd John Murray took his final service commencing with the processional hymn ‘Stand up, stand up for Jesus’, the procession of clergy being led by the churchwarderns Howard Coburn and Philip Draper and which was followed by special greeting words of welcome from the Rector.


The music and singing were led by organists Ruth Wallace and Laurence Bacon.  The lessons were read by Fr Martin Delaney, parish priest of Rathdowney and the Revd Andrew Orr, Rector of Tullow and Archdeacon designate, with the Gospel read by the Archdeacon of Ferns, the Ven. Chris Long.  The prayers were led by the Revd Canon Patrick Harvey, Rector of Abbeyleix and Killermogh and Fr Jim Murphy parish priest of St Canice’s Church, Kilkenny.

In his pulpit for the final occasion, the evening sunlight was coming through the window and highlighting the Rector as he addressed his congregation.  He began by saying that his family’s association with the Dioceses of Cashel, Ossory, Waterford, Leighlin, Lismore and Ferns goes back as far as 1940 when his father was curate in Waterford. His own introduction to the diocese was in the ‘50s when he spent four years in Kilkenny College. He returned to the Diocese in 1970 when he was ordained for the curacy of Carlow, Killeshin and Cloydagh before moving to Limerick as curate in 1972.


In September of 1970 he had my first introduction to Rathdowney. As curate to Archdeacon Desmond Patton he was sometimes asked to fill-in in other parishes in cases of vacancy or illness. Occasionally he stood in at Rathdowney and had his introduction to Rathdowney with Donaghmore, Castlefleming and Rathsaran in turn. The institution of the Reverend Richard Wilson put a stop to those weekly excursions, although little did he think that h would be back after five years and remain for nearly 37.

In 1977 John was appointed to the Union of Rathdowney, Castlefleming, Donaghmore and Rathsaran (and prospectively to Aghaboe).

To summarise: he was confirmed by Bishop Phair, ordained by Bishop McAdoo, was curate to Dean Walton Empey while Bishop Caird was in Limerick, was instituted in Rathdowney by Bishop Armstrong and two years later by Archbishop Armstrong.

He was made Canon, Treasurer, Chancellor and Precentor in turn by Bishop Willoughby – and all was well until the day that he was summoned to the Palace in Kilkenny and to bring his wife with him! They were both worried. What had he done?

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Valerie took Irene for a walk in the garden and John was ushered up that fine flight of stairs into the study. There was no small talk or beating about the bush. ‘John,’ said the Bishop, ‘I want you to be my archdeacon’. It wasn’t a suggestion or request – just a statement of fact. ‘Now, we’re taking you both out to lunch.’ That was it.

Two years later, just after the Synods of Ossory and Cashel had been united and the untimely death of David Woodworth, John became archdeacon of Cashel as well and that’s how he came to have the possibly longest title of any archdeacon in the Anglican Communion, Archdeacon of Cashel, Waterford, Ossory, Leighlin and Lismore. And it seems now that he may have been to only one to have that title!

He wished Andrew well in his new role and both archdeacons are privileged to be working alongside a bishop who is full of go and new ideas.


John has worked, as Archdeacon, with four bishops – each different in his own way. During that time he has presented 45 rectors for institution, four times in two parishes, three times in seven, twice in six, one in four and none at all in three -  those parishes being Fiddown, Baltinglass and, of course, Rathdowney. Also He said, he has had the privilege to present and stand alongside at least eight colleagues at their ordination and deacon or priest.

But at the centre of the lives of both John and Irene has been the parish of Rathdowney, sharing in many occasions with the families of the parish – both joyful and sad as well as a lot of other events. (116 baptisms, 35 marriages and an equal number of away fixtures, about 114 candidates prepared and presented for confirmation and – unfortunately the larger number of 152 funerals.) They were made welcome everywhere.

The National School has also been a very important part of our lives and it has been fascinating to watch as the children grow and develop move on and, after a number of years return as parents themselves.


Irene became Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union. She had previously been Diocesan Secretary and Enrolling member of the local Branch here – and has been with a few intervals ever since. Latterly she has been the Diocesan Press Officer and a Diocesan Trustee. Her time as President took her to many functions in almost every corner of the Diocese.

Their children grew up here and had their early education just up the road. This was also their home for many years. They now have their own homes and families but they will probably find it difficult when they hear of us talking of ‘going home’ to realise that it is not back to Rathdowney.

The Archdeacon concluded these reminiscences with a reference back to the Gospel and warned of new incumbents with great ideas to wake up a sleepy parish. It is wiser to that he (or she) will learn a great deal more from the people of the parish than they will ever learn from him. John soon realised that there was far more knowledge and common sense in the people of Rathdowney than he could hope to have gathered in a few years in College.


They certainly came here with a few new ideas. Some were treated with caution or even suspicion and some were actually accepted but at the end of the day the Murrays have been extremely happy in Rathdowney with many good friends and with whom it is hoped the contact will be retained. He wished th parish well in finding a replacement and hope that he or she will find as much joy and fulfillment here as John and Irene have.

A celebration of the Eucharist followed and at the conclusion of the service, the Bishop had a few pertinent words to say before John gave the final blessing and the everyone emerged from the church and greeted John and Irene in the grounds before heading into the hall for refreshment and fellowship.


 ..and the previous Friday:


On Friday 4th April, to mark the imminent retirement of Archdeacon John Murray from full-time parochial ministry and ‘the Murrays’ departure from Rathdowney a cheese and wine reception was followed by a splendid meal. The Hall has never seen the likes of it – the decorations, the layout and settings of the tables crowned by the balloons matching the colours of the place settings, all prepared and served by Sheila Maher and her ever efficient staff gave the impression that one was entering a five star hotel. After the meal there was an introductory speech by Raymond Galbraith in which he traced the rector’s progress from the time of his ordination in 1970 up to the time of his appointment to the Parish of Rathdowney Union. He spoke in glowing terms of the contribution of ‘the Murrays’ to the life of the parish and of their involvement in the wider life of the Diocese.

3 Full Hall

A presentation of a composite picture of the five churches in the Parish and a wallet of notes to the rector was made by Mr Eddie Thompson. Laura Neale and Kate Handcock then presented a basket of flowers to Irene. The Bishop gave us some amusing anecdotes about the life, work and attire of an archdeacon in times past (particularly their wearing of gaiters as part of their formal dress)

As well as thanking the present one for his help and advice during the past eight years since he had become Bishop. John and Irene both spoke and thanked the Select Vestry and the parishioners for their support, loyalty and friendship since they came to Rathdowney and for the generous presentation that they had just received. They included thanks to the Parish Priests and Curates of Rathdowney and neighbouring parishes for their friendship and cooperation over long period of time and hoped that their successors would continue to enjoy similar relationships with them and the local Roman Catholic community. Rathdowney had, they said, been their home for almost 37 years. Their children had grown up here and our grandchildren would remember their early visits here – not forgetting their visits to the splendid children’s playground just up the road. Irene in particular thanked the members of the town and surrounding area for their great support to the various charities with which she had been involved.

6 Arch & Irene Cutting Cake

Mr Eddie Thompson then spoke about a scouting trip which he, Arthur Dunne and Charlie Mitchell had made to St Michael’s Church in Limerick to look at a young curate with a view to bringing him to Rathdowney as rector. They were, he said, entertained in the Curate’s House afterwards so they were the first people from Rathdowney to get a cup of tea from Irene Murray. He also spoke of the care that they had given to the people of Rathdowney during their time here, especially to those who were sick either at home or in hospital. Many of John and Irene’s friends from their former parishes of Carlow and Limerick, including Bishop Walton Empey, John’s former Dean and rector while in Limerick, were present and were delighted to share in the occasion. The party continued some considerable time after the formalities had been brought to an official conclusion – the party after the party!

Very generous presentations have also been given separately or severally from the Mothers’ Union, former pupils of Rathdowney National School, the present pupils and the staff past and present.

The Rector’s final service as rector of the parish was held in St. Andrew’s Church on the following Sunday afternoon (–). The Bishop very kindly waived his right to do even the ‘Bishopy things’ during the Eucharist so that the service might truly be a Murray ‘Swansong’. The local congregation was joined by many from around the diocese and from the local Roman Catholic community who had come to wish ‘the Murrays’ well prior to their departure.

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May 19

Institution of the Revd Tim Irvine as Vicar of Kilkenny

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Clergy robed pictured with the Revd Tim Irvine on the occasion of his installation as Vicar of Kilkenny Union of Parishes at St Lachtain’s Church, Freshfor on Sunday 16th March 2014.
The Revd Canon Susan Green, the Revd Canon Patrick Harvey, the Ven. John Murray, the Revd Bill Boyce, the Very Revd Tom Gordon, the Revd Canon Stella Durand, the Revd Jenny Crowley, the Revd Tim irvine, Ms Maureen Lanigan, the Revd Andrew Orr, the Very Revd Katharine Poulton and Ms Susan Botha.

It was a great joy to see St Lachtain’s Church, Freshford filled for the Institution of the Revd Tim Irvine as Vicar of the Kilkenny Union of Parishes on Sunday 16th March, the Eve of the Feast of St Patrick.

Amongst the large number of clergy were the Bishop who welcomed everyone following the opening hymn ‘Come down, O Love divine’, also the Dean of Ossory the Very Revd Katharine Poulton who led the service of Evensong, the Dean of Leighlin, the Very Revd Tom Gordon who preached and the Archdeacon of Cashel & Ossory the Ven. John Murray who presented the Revd Tim at his inauguration. The lessons were read by Ms Maureen Lanigan and the Revd Bill Boyce (rector of St Brigid’s, Mallusk, Diocese of Conor). Tim was also supported by his parents Ron and Roberta. Also present were churchwardens Trevor Colclough (Freshford) and Robert Caldbeck (Kilmanagh).

The Choir of St Canice’s Cathedral led the singing and who also sang the anthem ‘Drop, drop slow tears’ with music by Orlando Gibbons from Hymn 548.

At the inauguration the Archdeacon presented the Revd Tim Irvine to serve as Vicar of the Union of parishes.  The Registrar, the Revd Andrew Orr read the certificate of nomination and ensured that the declarations as required by the Constitution of the Church and Ireland had been made and signed and which were then witnessed by the churchwardens.  This was followed by the Declaration conferring the office of Vicar on Tim.  With the Vicar, the Dean and the Bishop facing the congregation the people were asked to support and give encouragement to their new Vicar.

The sermon was given by the Revd Tom Gordon.

At the conclusion of the service the Vicar stood before the Bishop who anointed his hands with oil, charging him with the work ahead for which he had been appointed.

Tea and refreshments were then served in the adjoining hall with much appreciation to all as

Tim begins this next phase of ministry amongst the people of Kilkenny and Union of parishes.

And when asked for a comment on the evening and on his new status he simply said ‘I’m delighted’ and when asked were there any other special guests at the ceremony he said ‘the parishioners’!

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Tim was baptised in his father’s home parish of Bangor Abbey in 1974, and a few years later moved to the newly established parish of Movilla Abbey where his mother was his new Sunday School teacher, and his father later had the task of preparing him and his friends for confirmation. He was confirmed by Bishop Gordon McMullan in 1988.

After completing his secondary education at Regent House Grammar School in 1992, he read English Literature at Queen’s University, Belfast followed by a post-graduate teaching qualification in English and Drama before returning to Movilla Abbey to teach Sunday School. Before beginning his studies at the Church of Ireland Theological College in September 2000, he taught English and Media Studies at Cambridge House Grammar School, Ballymena and worked in Newtownards library.

Tim was ordained deacon in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin in June 2003 and served his curacy in the Christ Church Cathedral Group of Parishes, where he presided at the Holy Communion for the first time on St Peter’s Day 2004 in All Saints’ Church, Grangegorman, following his ordination to the priesthood the previous Sunday. While at the Christ Church Group, he was the assistant chaplain to St James’s Hospital and the next door parish neighbour of Dean Katharine Poulton and now in Kilkenny he is still neighbours of the Poultons.

In August 2006 he was appointed the chaplain to Rathdown School, in Glenageary, where alongside his pastoral responsibilities he was co-ordinator of Religious Education and again the next-door parish neighbour of the Poultons. From late September 2006 as well as being full-time chaplain to Rathdown School, Tim was chaplain to the Church of St John the Evangelist, Sandymount.  In November 2010 he was appointed to the temporary position of co-ordinator of Religious Education at Alexandra College, Dublin.  In August 2011 he left Dublin to spend a year at Mucknell Abbey, a Benedictine Monastery of the Church of England in the Diocese of Worcester and returned to parish life as curate-assistant in Kilkenny in 2012.

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The Revd Tim Irvine pictured with his parents Roberta and Ron at his installation as Vicar of Kilkenny Union of Parishes at St Lachtain’s Church, Freshford on Sunday 16th March last.


Apr 27

New Dean of Cashel installed


The Revd Canon Gerald Field




The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Patrick’s Rock, Cashel


Sunday 23rd February 2014



The Clergy making preparation for the service with the Dean-Elect.

Note the portrait of the former Dean looking on

between the shoulders of the Bishop and the Revd Gerald Field!



DSCF2107On a blustery Sunday evening in Cashel, the people of Cashel, surrounding parishes along with invited local dignitaries from the ecumenical and civic community gathered to greet and welcome their new Dean and Rector.

The Service was led by the Bishop who had just returned from some months’ sabbatical and he introduced the service by saying he was glad to be back in his Diocese after his travels and study and indeed on such an auspicious occasion as this.

He welcomed everyone, especially the Revd Gerald Field and his family and his supporters who had come across from the neighbouring Diocese of Meath and Kildare and in particular from the parish of Tullamore

The hymns had been chosen especially by Gerald and the service had commenced with ‘God is here! As we meet his people meet to offer praise and prayer’ with the music led by the Choir of Cashel Cathedral and organ played by Marian Thompson.

The bishop offered appropriate words of welcome and introduction, greeting everyone which included those fromDSCF2144 the Cashel Union of parishes, the wider ecumenical and civic community of the area, those who had travelled in ‘bitter-sweet mood from Meath to say farewell to their rector and most importantly to welcome the dean-elect and his family.  The bishop remarked that Gerald was a priest who had the gift of bringing the liturgy alive. He thanked all those who had ‘held the fort’ during the vacancy, especially the Ven. John Murray and priest-in-charge the Revd Canon Barbara Fryday. Finally the bishop reminded everyone of the one person who, by tradition, was not present: the previous dean the Revd Dr Philip Knowles who is fondly remembered and who is we trust enjoying his well-earned retirement.

The incumbent-elect being nominated to serve as incumbent of Cashel Union of parishes was presented to the bishop by the archdeacon, the Ven. John Murray performing this as one his final duties before retiring

The bishop commended the nominee to the prayers of the congregation and recommended that silence be kept being better sometimes than any words can express.

The Service of the Word:

The Collect began the proclaiming and receiving the Word with lessons read by Jimmy Scott and by the Dean’s son and the Gospel read by the Revd Caroline Farrar.

DSCF2118Following the sermon came the formal Institution with the reading by the registrar, the Revd Andrew Orr, of the certificate of nomination which was followed by the declarations being made and signed as required by the Constitution of the Church of Ireland.

The bishop then read the Act of Institution handing it to the rector saying that the care of God’s people in this parish is entrusted to him and to the bishop within the body of Christ.

He asked him to accept the responsibilities and privileges of this ministry as a priest in this diocese, in communion with the bishop, remembering the solemn promises of his ordination as he encourages all God’s people to be good stewards of their gifts. Care alike for young and old, strong and weak, rich and poor. By his words and in his life proclaim the Gospel


The Installation:

DSCF2130Following the Institution of the Incumbent his appointment as Dean of Cashel becomes immediately effective with the registrar reading forthwith the bishop’s mandate to the members of the chapter enjoining them to receive and install the dean.

The bishop took his place with the chapter and the registrar read the mandate to the senior dignitary present and to the other chapter members whereupon the Precentor (the dean of Waterford) led the dean to his place and installed him using the customary words.

The members of the chapter and the bishop then stood and faced the people and presented Gerald as their dean and rector, exhorting the congregation to support and encourage him in his ministry, praying for him as he will pray for them?  The response was a loud and emphatic ‘WE WILL!’

The bishop then requested the people to welcome him among them in the name of the Lord to which the response was enthusiastic applause giving way to the famous Irish hymn ‘Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart…’

The Commission:

DSCF2170Coming then to the more interactive and less legal part of the ceremony known as The Commission the Bishop asked the people as they are called together to be the Body of Christ, serving God’s kingdom, that they are called to witness to the love of Christ and to serve others in the name of Christ. So as it is written in Ephesians: ‘I beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’

On being asked if they would follow this way, the people agreed to follow this was and with the bishop and the dean standing before the congregation members brought forward symbols of the teaching, pastoral and sacramental ministry of an incumbent.

A bible for proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ was brought by Mrs Emma Lalor of Magorban, to the dean from the pulpit.

A container of water, brought by Mr Edward Thompson of Cashel, from the font, exhorting the Dean to ‘Go and DSCF2161make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’.

Mrs Deirdre Wheeler of Pallasgreen brought a copy of the Book of Common Prayer to the dean from the Prayer Desk, helping the dean to be among his people as one leading in public prayer and encourages in everyone a life of personal devotion.

The Revd Bronwen Carling and Mrs Margaret Kingston brought forward bread and wine for the dean among his people to break the bread and to bless the cup, with reverence and joy

Then a vial of oil was presented by Mrs Elaine Wilkinson of Clonbeg, symbolising that, like the Samaritan, the dean act as a reconciler and healer

A towel was presented by Mr Dan Kelly of Tipperary, symbolising the washing of feet and supporting those in need and in trouble

DSCF2149The Revd Canon Barbara Fryday, Priest-in-Charge, presented a copy of the Diocesan Directory which the Bishop said that Gerald be reminded of his place as dean of Cashel in the mission of the wider diocese, and of his contribution to its counsels.

Finally churchwarden, Mr John Fryday of Ballintemple brought forward the key of the church to which the bishop, as ever, that the dean should receive this key and let the doors of this place be open to all people and that buildings and doors should be kept and regarded as open rather than closed reminding everyone of the importance of welcoming the wider world into the church and its people.

To all of these recommendations the dean replied that with help of the Lord, he would support.

The Peace and Prayers:

The Peace was shared by all with the dean going about greeting his new congregation, representatives of theDSCF2160 parish, other churches in the local area and also the wider The hymn: ‘All my hope on God is founded’ and then into the Prayers of the People led by Gerald. This included reference to the ministry of all the baptized, the continuity of ministry in this parish, the role of the cathedral as a place of diocesan gathering and teaching, the witness of the whole local Christian community and the need for peace and understanding between all faithful people, those in need and remembrance of, and thanksgiving for, the faithful departed.

The dean then gave notice of celebrations of the Holy Communion throughout the Union of Parishes on the following Sunday, 2nd March.

DSCF2157The final hymn ‘The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended,’ which has always been one of the favourites of the dean from his time as a boy chorister. He finds its words encouraging on entering a new phase of ministry in a Church that is worldwide and where ‘the voice of prayer is never silent’

During the singing, the collection was as is traditional, largely for the Bishop’s Fund for Training for Ministry. The bishop however announced that as a personal initiative one sixth of all collections at Institutions, Confirmations and Ordinations in the diocese in 2014 would be given to the work of Us. partnering the church in the diocese of Swaziland, especially its schools and agricultural training. He felt this would create an appropriate awareness at major diocesan occasions of fellowship with the global church… and he hoped this extra purpose for the collections might mean that they would be suitably larger! It would also of course be an appropriate sequel to his recent visit to Swaziland and to the visit of Bishop Ellinah to our diocese in the spring of 2013.

Special Words of Welcome:DSCF2171

Before the final procession when the Bishop led the new dean out of the cathedral, some special words of welcome were expressed by members of the congregations and guests and as invited to the lectern by the bishop: Mr Dino Wilkinson for the parishioners of the Union, Mr Tom Hayes Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Very Revd Mgr Christy O’Dwyer, VG of St John the Baptist Parish, Cashel who spoke particularly about ecumenical & community relationship.

A reception was then held afterwards in the local National School building where the Dean and his family were able to get to know his new parish on a more informal basis

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