Oct 10

Diocesan Rules – Amended


DIOC RULES-amended


Oct 05

Tributes paid to Maureen Lanigan



1945 – 2014

It was with deep sadness that the Diocese learned of the death of Maureen Lanigan in the first week of September following illness.

She died at Waterford Regional Hospital Thursday 4th September and her funeral took place on Saturday 6th September, in St Canice’s Cathedral with Requiem Eucharist. Her burial followed at St Peter’s, Kington Langley, Wiltshire, England.

The Diocese expressed its deepest sympathies to her companion Pierce, her brother Andrew, her family and friends.

Maureen, English by birth had worked as a nurse in the WAAFs and married in England to Conor. She then came to Ireland as her husband was Irish and when he retired he wished to return to Kilkenny.  They settled in the house in Joiner’s Folly on the outskirts of Kilkenny and Maureen became part of the parish scene of St Canice’s Cathedral.

When her husband died, the former dean the Very Revd Norman Lynas took the funeral service and subsequently suggested to Maureen that she should consider going for lay reading as she continued to reside in Kilkenny.

She involved herself in a variety of aspects of Kilkenny life, including acting as a doctor’s receptionist, working in the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and was instrumental among others in setting up the Kilkenny Rape Crisis Centre.

And then latterly she found friendship in her special companion: Pierce.

There was no avoiding the presence of Maureen in the early years, as she came to service in the cathedral, smartly attired with wide-brimmed hat and high heels.

She was for some years the Hon. Secretary of the Cathedral Select Vestry and when the parishes became a Union she continued to give of herself and sat on the Advisory Committee.

But it was as lay reader that Maureen came into her own.

Initially taking intercessions and readings in the church, she took it on herself to greet people brightly in the pew on a Sunday morning.

She attended the courses laid on by the Very Revd Tom Gordon and was commissioned as Diocesan Reader on Advent Sunday, 2nd December 2007 by the Bishop in St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny.   Many of the parish readers became Diocesan Readers and could then be requested to go further afield from their own parishes to assist with services.   Maureen took on this expanded task and endeared herself to other parts of the Diocese as can been read in the notes and news of many of the parishes in this issue of the Magazine.

But, as can also be seen in this edition, her interest and loyalty to the Mothers’ Union was equally paramount.  First as a member of the Kilkenny Branch, then Branch Leader and then finally as Diocesan President.  And it was only this time last year in May 2013 that she was instituted at the Mothers’ Union Festival Service in Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny.

 ml3 DSC01756 copy

Flanked by bishops and MU officers, Maureen in pictured following her institution as Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union.


An occasion when she was most obviously at her happiest.  It is sad to consider that she never really had the opportunity to discharge her duties in that role.  At her funeral service, the Bishop paid tribute to the officers of the Mothers’ Union in that they never let her think that through her absence with illness, she had been replaced.

Maureen may have been of slight build but she had a strong voice and mind.  Her high-registered English accent made her easily heard and she was not averse to speaking her mind.  As the Bishop also recalled, Maureen was a member of General Synod and he remembered with affection and gratitude how she spoke out fiercely with guts and clarity from the rostrum defending her bishop when he was under considerable pressure in the wider church.


Her funeral service was one she devised herself requesting a celebration of the Eucharist and the music of Stanford, Croft (funeral sentences) and Bach with the singing led by the choir under the direction of Malcolm Proud and David Forde.   The service was led by the Vicar, the Revd Tim Irvine, the lesson was read by Maureen’s friend and Reader Carol Hennessy and the Gospel also by fellow Diocesan Reader George Kidd.

Prayers were led by Janet Crampton and the Warden of Readers, the Revd Canon Barbara Fryday.

Maureen was well enough to robe at St Laserian’s Cathedral for the Restoration of the Lady Chapel and continued to work in the Diocese, including joining the Mothers’ Union in their project meeting the families of prisoners at the family centre at the gates of Portlaoise prison.

She had hoped to be present at the MU Festival Service on 7th September but when she realised that she could only be there in spirit, she insisted that it go ahead, which it did, with the congregation very mindful of their late President.

A recent relapse had been too severe for her to combat and as the Vicar said in his address that the final word for Maureen was not her illness, suffering and death, but the new life in Christ which she now shares in all its fullness. That was the hope that Maureen celebrated each week when she carried out her duties as a diocesan lay reader, leading the community in its celebration of the first day of the new creation, the day on which all things were made new through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

And so the Diocese gave its servant and its friend back to God on 4th September 2014.

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


The Revd Norman Lynas sent this tribute to Maureen from Bermuda on receiving the news of her death. He had been dean of St Canice’s Cathedral and had been instrumental in encouraging Maureen to consider lay reading.


ml5 COI Readers

Maureen Diocesan Reader Sam Harper following their commissioning as Diocesan Readers on Sunday 2nd December 2007 and pictured with with the former Dean of St Canice’s Cathedral the Very Revd Norman Lynas and the former Vicar of Kilkenny the Revd Elaine Murray.


It was with no small measure of sadness that I received the news of Maureen’s death yet aware that for some time she had a clarity and perspective arising from a deep faith that enabled her to face the inevitable with courage and grace.

My first contact with Maureen was in early 1992 when on the daily round visiting her home at Joiner’s Folly. She was an active member of the congregation that attended St Canice’s Cathedral and some time after was elected to serve as a member of the Select Vestry. Diligent, punctual and concise were the qualities I observed and these were utilised to the full when she became the Secretary to the Select Vestry.

Also an active member of the Mothers’ Union she served on the organising committee with a calm and dignity that always sought to see the best in everyone. These qualities were recognised in her appointment as Diocesan President of the MU.

Her training as a Queen Alexandra nurse gave her an insight into the suffering of others and I was often struck by her willingness to visit those facing hardship due to the unrelenting assault of prolonged illness. She was no stranger to grief and hardship having lost her husband whom she met through nursing, in 1994.

Maureen had a conviction that never left her, namely that she had a call to serve in the Church and this call would take the form of training to be a Diocesan Lay Reader. Having fulfilled the training required she was commissioned in 2007 and was clearly delighted with the support she received from the then Kilkenny Group of Parishes now a Union.

On a lighter side Maureen was a quintessential English woman who had difficulty on occasion translating the subversive use of the English language employed by her fellow parishioners. Thus she did not comprehend that the word ‘no” did not mean ‘never’ but had a variety of renderings depending on the intonation of the person addressing her.

Maureen will be missed by her own, as well as the parish and diocesan family for her integrity and humility, and I will remember her with fondness and with thanksgiving as one who made a difference.

Rest eternal grant unto her O Lord, and may light perpetual shine upon her. May the souls of the faithful by the mercy of God rest in peace.


Respectfully submitted,

Norman Lynas.


Oct 03

The Mothers’ Union Festival Service 2014


The Mothers’ Union Festival Service

Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

‘Sowing the Future together’

St Michael and All Angels’ Church Abbeyleix

Sunday 7th September 2014

MUF2 IMG_5141


The sun shone as if it were the height of summer, all of which brought out the brightly coloured dresses of the ladies of the Mothers’ Union as they filled the large church in Abbeyleix.  Not to forget the sprinkling of gentlemen among the congregation!

The Service was taking place at a different time of year and in a slightly different format, it was conducted by the Bishop assisted by the rector the Revd Canon Patrick Harvey.

The Preacher was the Mothers’ Union All-Ireland President Mrs Phyllis Grothier and the singing was led by the organist Mrs Phyllis Clegg.

Through the opening hymn of ‘All things bright and beautiful’ the procession of banners made its way up the aisle to the Chancel after which the service was introduced by the Bishop and the Rector.

Bishop Michael spoke of this being the occasion following the funeral of Maureen Lanigan that had taken place the day before in Kilkenny and to which many of the same members of the Mothers’ Union now in front of him for this service, had been in St Canice’s Cathedral the day before.

He recalled that the last time everyone had gathered similarly was in the Spring of last year in Inistioge when Maureen had been commissioned as Mothers’ Union Diocesan President.  He paid tribute to those who had kept the Mothers’ Union in the Diocese functioning and thriving and at the same time ensuring that Maureen felt that she was still in office.

When the Bishop talked to her only a few days ago, Maureen talked emphatically in the future tense and that this service would happen this weekend come what may.

And so, said the Bishop, we continue to hold Maureen in love before God as we chart the way forward and before the service commenced, what was properly a joyful occasion, he asked the congregation to keep silence and cherish particular memories.

The Bishop reminded the congregation that this was the eve of one of the days of Mary in the calendar and with the Mothers’ Union so concerned for the motherhood of Mary and all motherhood by derivation, this then is the observance of the eve of the feast of the birth of Mary.  He elaborated a little more coming to the conclusion that the liturgical calendar is much neater than life and that liturgy is all about trying to encapsulate something that is neat and beautiful.

At this point the rector, the Revd Canon Patrick Harvey formally welcomed everyone and said what a privilege it was to be hosting this year’s Diocesan Mothers’ Union Festival service here in St Michael and All Angels’ Church in Abbeyleix and invited everyone to partake of refreshments in the South National School just ‘over the hedge’ nearby!

Service of the Word

The lessons were read by Ms Aubrey Hastings and the Revd Margaret Sykes and the Gospel was read by Mrs Pat Costain, the Mothers’ Union President, Isle of Man.

mu2 IMG_5154

Address – Click on next line to open full account of Phyllis Grothier address

Festival Service Abbeyleix address


There then followed the commissioning of the Public Relations’ Officer, Ms Vivien Black.

mu1 IMG_5158

The Intercessions were led by the Unit-Coordinators Ms Phyllis Foot (Action and Outreach), Ms Frances Bradley (Finance and Central Services), Ms Lilia Harper (Marketing), Ms Vivien Black (P.R.O.), and the Revd Margaret Sykes (Faith and Policy).


Through the preliminaries of the celebration of the Passover-style family Eucharist there was prayer which included dialogue between the Rector and Ms Alice Twist.

mUF9a IMG_5159 copy


At the conclusion of the service, Vice-President Janet Crampton spoke and offered acknowledgements to all those who had been in the preparation of the service and the hospitality.

She thanked the rector for being so welcoming and also the local branch of the MU for all their preparation. She thanked the Bishop for his support over the past few days and Phyllis Grothier for her thought-provoking and inspirational address. She thanked the visitors who had come from the Isle of Man and also for the members of the clergy who had given up their Sunday afternoon to be present.  She thanked everyone for coming and that it was a good sign of the numbers that the ‘order of service’ sheets had run out.  She thanked the organist for standing in at the last moment.

She also thanked the Kilkenny Branch for all the work and preparation that was involved for the funeral of Maureen the previous day.

To conclude the banners were paraded out of the church and into the evening sunlight and all made their way to the adjacent national school for refreshments and fellowship.

MUF9 IMG_5162———————

Sep 22

Bikers on a Mission!


On Friday 1st August the Revds Andrew McCroskery and the Revd Nigel Kirkpatrick ‘revved’ up their trusty powerful motorbikes and set off on a marathon 3,000km trip around Ireland.

Not just a random tour as their itinerary took them to every Church of Ireland cathedral on the island, all in a period of 10 days.

In each place they prayed with those who came along to support, for each particular cathedral, its clergy, its people and the diocese it serves, as well as praying for Swaziland and the United Society (US).

The inspiration came when they were discussing how they and their motorbikes could mark the 300th anniversary of the Unisted Society in Ireland.  The plan was to raise awareness and raise funds – and at the same time have some fun.

Linda Chambers and Jan de Bruijn followed the bikes in true ‘tour de France’ style in the support vehicle, a campervan, that quickly became dubbed as the ‘Us bus’!  It carried wet gear, spare gloves, boots and helmets as well as clerical vestments and clothes, etc.


It turned out to be a wonderful experience, in mostly good sunshine but not without suffering the occasional deluge!

The company was good and the welcome and hospitality shown was amazing. All concerned express their heartfelt thanks to those who helped in any way: donating, welcoming, feeding, accommodating – all four on the tour appreciated it all.

The cavalcade descended in Cashel, Ferns and Ossory on Thursday 7th August to Waterford, completing our six cathedrals in three days, finishing up in Ferns on the Saturday before heading to Dublin and finally back to Belfast to complete the circle.

Food for thought for our Bishop for his next escapade?!




Part of the little service included a special prayer for those who travel on our road – so relevant in these days:

God of the journey, we bring you our thanks and praise that you are always our faithful traveller and companion on the way.  Shelter and protect us from all harm, grant us strength and courage for the journey and a peace and joy in our hearts that we can share with all whom we meet.

Grant your rest to the weary, peace to the troubled in mid and comfort to the distressed. As we journey our separate ways this day, may we know that you journey with us in all things until we come to our eternal home in you, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.

WD IMG_1806 copy——————–


Sep 22

Celebrating the restoration of the Lady Chapel in St Laserian’s Cathedral, Leighlin

St Laserian’s Cathedral, Leighlin – ‘A liturgical laboratory in a large room’

IMG_4689 copy

The Service

On a balmy evening of Trinity Sunday 15th June, the multitudes gathered to St Laserian’s Cathedral in Leighlin for the Service of Thanksgiving to mark the restoration of the Lady Chapel and the Installation of the Venerable Andrew Orr as Archdeacon of Leighlin.

The Service was led by the Dean, the Very Revd Tom Gordon in the presence of the Bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory, the Rt Revd Michael Burrows.

The singing was led by the Choir of Saint Nicholas Collegiate directed by Mark Duley with organist Ronan De Burcha.

The Preacher was the Reverend Professor Liam Tracey OSM from Maynooth.

The cathedral was at capacity and included parishioners, friends, and those from the wider ecumenical community and also the newly elected Mayor of Carlow, Cllr John Pender.

Following the gathering of God’s People in the cathedral the evening candles were lit during the singing of the canticle ‘Phos Hilaron’ by Stainer.  The Choir and ministers processed to the hymn ‘All people that on earth do dwell’.

Installation of the Archdeacon

There followed the installation of the new Archdeacon with the Registrar the Revd Tim Irvine reading the Mandate and the Dean leading the Ven. Andrew Orr to his stall in the chancel.

The Ministry of the Word was led by Mr George Kidd of the Cathedral Development Committee and Ms Ellen Atkinson a parishioner of the Cathedral and the Gospel was read by the newly installed Archdeacon.


In his address the Revd Professor Liam Tracey talked of the function of a cathedral both in times gone by and also today.

Dedication of the Lady Chapel

The dedication and Act of Thanksgiving for the restoration of the Lady Chapel took place.  The churchwardens, Mark Wenman and Andrew Marshall, petitioned the Bishop to carry out the task to which the Bishop acceded ‘right gladly’. The Choir sang Charles Wood’s ‘Magnificat’.

The Intercessions were led by young parishioners recently confirmed: Brian Atkinson, Melanie Griffith and Agnes Wenman.

Cutting the tape

At the conclusion of the service a tape was ceremoniously cut by Mrs Elizabeth Tomkins to open the newly refurbished Lady Chapel. She was assisted by Ellen Atkinson and Adam Watchorn, grandchildren of John Atkinson and Sam Rigley, both prominent cathedral parishioners who had died recently and who would have been delighted to see the restoration work complete and to have been present at the thanksgiving liturgy. Both had been hugely involved in earlier years in the maintenance of the cathedral and in fund-raising

Mrs Tomkins was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Ms Roisin Wenman.

IMG_4680 copy

St Laserian’s

A monastic church was founded on the site by St Gobhan in the 7th Century.  His successor, Saint Laserian, was instrumental in establishing the Rome observance of the date of Easter for the Irish Church. The cathedral dates from the 12th Century with the later addition of the 16th Lady Chapel, transepts and tower.

New facilities

Now with the Lady Chapel restored with modern facilities it can boast the provision of hospitality amenities, disabled access and new sound and lighting systems which will expand the use of the cathedral for the purposes of tourism, education and cultural events, in addition to its ongoing presence as a place of worship and prayer.



There has been generous support of those individuals and organisations which has enabled the project to reach its present stage of completion.  In particular the County Carlow Development Partnership (Leader Programme) has been the principal source of funding.

Funding over the years has been Carlow County Council, the Heritage Council, the Vigor’s Bequest, Priorities’ Fund, the Marshall Beresford Fund, the Representative Church Body, the Department of Heritage and the Environment, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and the Kathleen Day Fund.


Acknowledgments by the Dean

In his words afterwards the Dean thanked everyone who had been involved in the extensive work; he paid tribute and made presentations in particular to Ms Margaret Quinlin (Conservations Architect) and her extensive expertise in this sphere, to Connor Morarity (Project Manager) for all his guidance and for ensuring the work was completed and to Pat Tallis (Specialist Conservation Builder), for his detailed work with enormous degree of sensitivity.

The Dean also spoke of the link with St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and thanked to Fr Liam professor of liturgics for attending and for preaching.  The Dean also acknowledged with appreciation the great music provided by the choir and led by Mr Mark Duley.

The Dean went on to acknowledge the small community that is the parishioners and the Development Committee and their unstinting commitment to create and sustain what is now here in Leighlin.

This particular project would not have been possible without the various funding that they were able to tap into, while appreciating all who supported, the substantial part came from the Carlow Leader Programme and Claire O’Shea and how instrumental she was in opening the necessary doors for it all to happen.

The Dean offered his best wishes to the Ven. Andrew Orr in his new role as Archdeacon.

The Bishop concludes

Finally the Bishop recalled his very first visit many years ago as a small child to Leighlin for the Choral Festival when his uncle Andy Willis was rector in Urglin and during Dean Bolton’s time.

The Bishop said that even for him then there is something about the holiness, the atmosphere and the mystery and the possibility that captured him that day.  He never thought he would back, let alone sitting in the ‘big chair’ listening to what is said about those who are meant to sit in it, but it has been marvelous to see over the years and especially in recent years with the work of everyone, how such a vision has been realised.  And also how much this is all due to the skill, the wisdom and the vision of the Dean.

St Laserian’s is a place of pause and gave thanks for the fruits by which ministry is known and to remember ‘God has set our feet in a very large room’ as the Psalmist said.

Leighlin cathedral is truly a large room, a liturgical laboratory, a place of imagination and creativity and ad multos annos.

Refreshments were served in the refurbished Lady Chapel.




Sep 22

The AGM of the Friends of St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, 2014

The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, 2014


The fellowship of the Friends

The 100th anniversary of the day that the Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated and which pre-empted the First World War, coincided with the annual Choral Evensong and 63rd AGM of the Friends of St Canice’s Cathedral that took place in Kilkenny on Saturday 28th June 2014, the eve for the Vigil of Saint Peter’s Day.

The afternoon began with Evensong led by the Dean and Blessing given by the Bishop.  The Choir was led by Mr David Forde and organist Mr Malcolm Proud and the lessons were read by Mr Pat Nolan and Ms Maureen Lanigan.

The Choir sang the ‘Preces’ by Morley and ‘Magnificat’ and ‘Nunc Dimittis’ by Stanford with the Anthem by Charles Wood.

The versicles, lesser litany, etc., were intoned by the Bishop and the occasional prayers were led by the Vicar the Revd Tim Irvine and the last two hymns were sung ‘acapella’: ‘Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom…’ and ‘Before the ending of the day’ both of which as the Bishop remarked that the words of these were not to infer that the day was over, as there was to be a fine afternoon ahead but later ‘taking us to safe lodging’ in the words of John Henry Newman.

The Dean thanked the Choir for its year’s singing and added that after 58 years in the choir Mr Des Wallace was this day retiring.  The Choir made a presentation to him after the service.

The meeting following was chaired by the Bishop who remarked that it was good to see the Hon. Sec. returned to action after recent illness and looking so well.

Following the Report of the Hon. Secretary, there was reference to the committee’s year’s work with projects: purchase of a burse and veil and new carpet runners for the cathedral seats. Also, yet to be realised, a system for discounting cathedral entry attracting local firms and individuals to become more involved. An audio system for the cathedral is also under consideration.

The accounts were presented having been audited by the Honorary Auditor followed by the election of officers.  The Bishop (President) and the Dean (Chairperson) are ex-officio. The Hon. Sec./Treas. was re-elected. The Committee had been elected for three years so it continues.

This year’s outing will take place on Saturday 20th September to the Kildare region and cathedral.

In her Report the Dean spoke of the cathedral developments over the last year including the provision of a Laudian Frontal and the new seat runners. Other matters concerning the cathedral is signage for visitors including an explanatory plinth at the Round Tower part-funded by Fáilte Ireland.  Notice boards will detail service and opening times. Inside, further information will be supplied for tourists and audio-visual items at certain points – the ‘through-the-key-hole’ effect – able to see and hear.  It is envisaged that refurbishment of all exterior doors and work on stonework on the West side to be carried out in due course.  The question of car parking in the ‘Orchard’ to be revisited and a trial of a one way system round the Close to be in place from 1st July.

The Patronal Weekend is 17th – 19th October 2014 with a concert on the Friday evening and on Saturday the new third level bishop’s medal will be presented.



Whatever you do, don’t put your finger in there!

The Bishop thanked the Dean for her imaginative ministry during the year.  He wished Mr Crocket Co. Manager well in his retirement and Mr Des Wallace retiring from the choir after 58 years. He offered best wishes to the Revd Canon Peter Cole-Baker on his forthcoming retirement and hoped that he would retain an active association with the cathedral, all despite the burden of his illness.

He encouraged everyone to avail of the illustrated history of the Church of Ireland recently published and on sale in the cathedral.

The afternoon concluded with Mr Malcolm Proud giving a short recital on the harpsichord playing pieces by Jean-Philippe Rameau, the 250th anniversary of whose death occurs this year.

The assembled company then adjourned to the deanery for refreshments.


Sep 22

The Work of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise praised by President Higgins

Saothar Chumann Gaelach na hEaglaise molta ag Uachtarán na hÉireann.

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’.


 GL2 IMG_8141 copy

President Michael D. Higgins entertains the members of the Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise on 24th June last.



The Work of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise praised by President Higgins

Members and friends of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise were hosted by President Michael D. Higgins at a reception in Áras an Uachtaráin (24th June) 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% 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, 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’.


Report courtesy the Church of Ireland Gazette and photography by Lynn Glanville.


Sep 22

Gold at World Flower Show



Memories of the World Flower Show Dublin June 2014

by Margaret Kingston


COL DSC02106 copy

Margaret Kingston and her winning display

Five years ago AOIFA the Association of Irish Floral Artists, a voluntary organisation of people who love flowers and gardening, made a bid to WAFA the World Association of Flower Arrangers to hold the 11th World Flower Show in Dublin in 2014 and was successful.

Then in 2011 the host city Boston handed over to Ireland.

So I have been living with this excitement for quite a while! I was thrilled when I was accepted to compete and then of course a little trepidation took over when reality registered. The class I was given was ‘Verdant Bower’, an exhibit featuring foliage.

Interpretation is the key in competitive flower arranging so I immediately reached for the thesaurus which informed me that a bower was a shady enclosure or recess in the garden, an arbour and of course verdant means green. I prayed for guidance and was inspired both by the amazing ‘tree tunnel’ of self sown beech trees on the way up to the statue of Christ the King in the beautiful Glen of Aherlow where we are so blessed to live and our own garden in Glencush. One day in the garden I found myself in front of a stone plaque which read,

‘The kiss of the sun for pardon,

The song of the birds for mirth,

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

Then anywhere else on earth’

a verse from God’s Garden by Dorothy Frances Gurney, English poet and hymn writer, written just 100 years ago. I knew immediately I would create my design with greenery from the garden and use no flowers whatsoever. The design changed a lot from the original.

I have a feeling God is very familiar with the elements and principles of design! The sitting room was converted into a flower studio complete with a replica of the stand for the show very kindly constructed by my encouraging and patient husband who gave much needed advice on the ‘mechanics’.

The trip to Dublin in 24 degrees of heat with the car windows open to keep the foliage from wilting was quite a challenge.

At last 18th June arrived. We were allotted six hours 6.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. to create the exhibit. There were 690 competitors from 31 countries present and my abiding memory will be the almost total silence in the two exhibition halls as each competitor concentrated and focused on their creation. I worked according to my own time schedule and had decided I was not going to be distracted or take any notice of the other 23 competitors in the ‘Verdant Bower’ class until I was finished. It was quite exciting to have a competitor from New Zealand on one side and a competitor from Canada on the other.

When I had finished I was happy with my interpretation and my father’s words rang in my ears ‘Do your best and you can’t do anymore’. I had done my best and was proud of it.

That evening the 11th World Flower Show was officially opened by President Higgins who gave a most enlightening address on the history of the fuschia flower which had been chosen as the emblem of this Floral Odyssey in Dublin.

Then the moment all the competitors had been waiting for the Preview when we were allowed into the exhibition halls. As I approached my area I could see a large crowd at my exhibit. It didn’t register with me why until I saw the first prize rosette sitting on my stand. The excitement was unreal especially when we realised Ireland had won first, second and third prizes in this class demonstrating to the world that we really do live in a verdant isle.

Thousands of visitors over the next four days made their way to the RDS to view the exhibits, attend demonstrations and lectures. I really enjoyed meeting so many people from all over the world all sharing their love of flowers truly reflecting the aim of AOIFA which is friendship through flowers.

On reflection now that all the excitement has evaporated I found the whole experience both wonderful and humbling, giving me renewed admiration and awe for God our wonderful Creator who provided all the superb flowers and foliage from all over the world to create such a breathtaking and stunning exhibition and who provided ‘all my needs’ from our garden, the place I feel more close to Him than anywhere else on earth.




Sep 22

Farewell to the Revd Canon Peter Cole- Baker

Templemore Union say farewell to the Revd Canon Peter Cole-Baker on his retirement.

‘A ministry of faithfulness and integrity coupled with dignity and courage’.

2B IMG_4931

The Revd Peter pictured with his two sons

On a sunny, warm afternoon on 27th July 2014, it being the last Sunday in the month, the people from Thurles and Kilfitmone gathered with the people of Templemore in St Mary’s Church Templemore to offer their best wishes for the future and give thanks for the ministry of their Rector the Revd Canon Peter Cole-Baker who had served in the Union of parishes for nearly 15 years.

The service was led by the Revd Canon Ian Poulton, Rector of Clonenagh and assisted by Diocesan Reader Mr Charlie Wallace, Father Eugene Everard the parish priest from Templemore, Mr Adrian Hewson Diocesan Reader in Roscrea and the Revd Tom Sherlock former rector of Castlecomer.

Indeed it was back in 2000 when the then rector the Revd Tom Sherlock moved to Castlecomer from Templemore in October.  In a relatively short few months, the vacancy was filled by the Revd Peter Cole-Baker who was instituted on 1st May 2001 by the then Bishop the Right Revd John Neill.

After graduation from the New Universtiy of Ulster, Peter went to Switzerland to work in the Du Pont Corporation.  In 1995 he returned to Ireland to study for the ministry and completed a curacy in Portrush before becoming rector in Templemore.  He was to return not far from his own place having originally come from Bansha, Co. Tipperary.

In his opening greeting Canon Poulton welcomed everyone and offered apologies from clergy colleagues who were unable to be present.

The service began with the well-known hymn describing God’s will to his people: ‘Be thou my vision’.  The fine organ in St Mary’s was played by Hazel Tynan.

In the Service of the Word the first canticle and the psalm were read by Mr Adrian Hewson with the congregation. The first lesson was read by the Revd Tom Sherlock and the second canticle was read by Fr Eugene Everard with the congregation. The second lesson was read by the Rector that was then followed by the address given by Canon Poulton and which then was followed by the ‘Nunc Dimittis’.


Canon Tom Sherlock who was present at the service

Canon Poulton spoke of the continuity of the church and the responsibility of priests to carry on that work as he looked at the plaques on the wall dedicated to former rectors, indicating the vast connection there is around the country both now and in the past, down through the generations.  A sense of being part of something much bigger and much greater than can be imagined.  One’s time is but brief, no matter how many or few years. It is part of the succession of Christ’s great church.  Peter Cole-Baker is part of that succession having taken the baton for his time in Templemore, now to pass it on.

A priest faces his people, both in life and in death to be judged on the basis of his people, by his work in the parish and this how he will be assessed on the Day of Judgment before the Lord.

Canon Poulton continued by giving thanks for Peter’s ministry; he has surely gone the second mile, and the third mile, putting heart and soul and body into everything he has done.  The best thanks any parish to give to its priest is for it to be all that he would want them to be.  It is said that it is best that if the rector visits in a year after retirement and is not perhaps fully recognized, he will be pleased as the parish will have moved on.   However it is still important for the parish to pay tribute to its rector as is happening this day.

It is no matter if the parish is small or large: great things can come from small numbers (like the parable of the mustard seed and the yeast read earlier); small communities can be lively and confident; what matters is in the heart. It is not where one comes from, it is like the fish in the net: sorted into the good and the bad.

It is important to have made a difference, to hold fast what has gone past and then the challenge to build for the future, keeping the churches open.

He paid tribute to Peter for making that difference and his ministry filled with integrity and commitment and hopefully having moulded the parish into good shape for going forward for the next stage in its life.


Charlie Wallace MC

The prayers were led by Mr Wallace and in the prayers and thanksgivings Canon Poulton gave thanks for the ministry of Canon Cole-Baker and prayed that others in the future would continue to hear ‘the call’.  He prayed that the various vacancies within the Diocese would soon be filled and that parish life would continue as at present with open churches, a challenge for all parishes and priests acting as stewards as they persevere with the continuity of the church and acting as messengers of God.

The service concluded with the reflective hymn ‘Like a mighty river flowing…’ showing God’s purpose.
As the clergy retired to the vestry, they lined up at the altar rail to face the table and bow.  It seemed that the Rector just lingered those extra few seconds, perhaps knowing that that was the last time he would be ‘in office’ in the church and had paused for a quiet second of reflection and reverence.  It was a fleeting but poignant moment as he left the sanctuary for the final time as rector.

Later refreshments were served in the school adjacent.  Presentations were made by all the churches and the occasion was conducted by Mr Charlie Wallace who thanked the ladies the preparing the supper and to Canon Poulton for taking the service.

Mr Derek Coulter  spoke on behalf of St Mary’s, Thurles and thanked Canon Peter Cole-Baker as pastor to the parishioners of Thurles. Despite small numbers, Thurles was always well cared for by Peter, despite his illness.  He often travelled to Thurles on dangerous roads early on winter mornings.


Derek Coulter (Thurles)

Derek thanked him for his visiting of the hospitals, nursing homes and the elderly and indeed everyone over the years in Thurles.  He wished the Rector well in the future and he hoped he would enjoy his retirement in his new home in Wexford and also extended very best wishes to his family for the future.

Mr John Johnson spoke on behalf of the parishioners of Kilfitmone and thanked the Canon for his influence and for all he did for the parish and wished him and his family well in his new home in Wexford.  He thanked him for his perseverance despite his difficulties – he certainly ‘kept going all the time!’

From Templemore Mr William Carr spoke with gratitude for the Canon’s long ministry in Templemore, not just parishioners but the whole community of Templemore. Diagnosed early in his time here, Peter persevered and as Mr Carr knows being warden for a number of years, he never let his disability inhibit him in his work and ministry.  This was especially evident by continuing to attend important Diocesan and national church meetings, much to the surprise and respect of his peers and colleagues.  He was there, no matter where the location was, and summed up by the one word ‘courage’.

He also reminded everyone of his commitment to the Chapter of St Canice’s Cathedral and his ministry there as Canon of the prebendary of Blackrath.

Finally he wished Peter a very happy, fruitful and a well-earned contented retirement.

Father Eugene Everard echoed the sentiments of the previous speakers and spoke of it being an important day for all concerned.  He was delighted to be part of it all and on behalf of the priests of Templemore thanked Peter for his cooperation and genuine ecumenical spirit that has existed among the parishes.  Peter, he said, is an inspiration to everyone.


William Kerr (Templemore)

Word had filtered through that Wexford hurlers had lost in the quarter-final so Father Everard concluded by suggesting that Peter now has a mission of helping Wexford as he moves down to that area!

Gifts from the parishes were then presented by Ms Kathleen Young and who had been the inspiration for the gathering here today.  A bank draft, a framed set of photographs of the three churches were all presented along with gifts for his sons present, Edward and William, and also for Lesley and Kate who could not be present for the occasion.

Mr Wallace spoke finally and said through thick and thin Peter was there, never shunning duty and had ‘fought the good fight’. And also that Peter would be granted many more years to do so

In reply Peter paid tribute to everyone, especially Mr Wallace whom he described as ‘Mr Templemore’ and also Ms Kathleen Young, and thanked her for being so much part of the church and for being there no matter what.

And in typical fashion Peter concluded by saying that the people of the Templemore Union is the living embodiment of what Christ wanted and He would look down and say ‘You lot were worth dying for!’






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.


Older posts «