Nov 24

Dean Paul Mooney visits Korea


Dean Paul Mooney with members of TOPIK foundation in Seoul


When the invitation card arrived from Seoul in early Summer to attend the 125th anniversary of the Korean Anglican Church, I put the card on the mantle piece  and thought that it would be nice to go but the flight would cost just a bit too much for my budget at the moment. However, personally I have some anniversaries this year that I wanted to mark. It is 30 years since I was ordained as a priest in 1985 and 25 years since I was received as a priest in the Anglican Diocese of Busan in 1990. So, after checking the price of flights, I clicked on the best offer and bought the ticket.

Back to Korea

It was a typically glorious Autumn day in Korea when I arrived in Incheon Airport not too far from where Bishop Charles Corfe landed by sea on St Michael and All Angels Day in 1890. Bishop Corfe had been ordained bishop for Korea by the Archbishop of Canterbury but there was no Anglican Church or Diocese in that far away land.

Bishop Corfe and those who joined in his missionary endeavours would concentrate on the port of Incheon and the nearby capital of Seoul and then spread out into other areas. Progress was slow, Britain had no special connection with Korea, Roman Catholicism was already established in Korea for over 100 years by that time and the English missionaries did not display the entrepreneurial earnestness of the Methodist and Presbyterian missionaries who had recently arrived from North America. Nevertheless, the Anglican Church in Korea would carve out it’s own distinct niche in Korean Christianity. The Korean Anglican Church would remain faithful to Bishop Corfe’s Anglo-Catholic churchmanship and it’s strong respect for culture, social engagement and the oneness of the whole of Christ’s church.

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Early Years

In its early years the Anglican mission in Korea was responsible for establishing orphanages and clinics as well as establishing churches, bible and prayer book translation and the training of clergy. It was in connection with the work of the clinics and orphanages that the sisters of the Society of St Peter,  an Anglican women’s religious community, came to work in Korea from England. In time Sr Mary Clare Whitty, originally from Co. Clare but with deep family roots in Rathvilly, would come from England to establish and train a Korean sisterhood. Sr Mary Clare would die as a prisoner on a forced march in North Korea in 1950 during the Korean War but she is well remembered in the Korean Anglican Church and among the Sisters of the Holy Cross who are still very much alive and active as a religious community in Seoul today.

The Gathering

By the time that I arrived in Seoul, over 200 delegates from the Episcopal Asia Ministries in North America had also arrived as well as a delegation from the Diocese of Peterborough in England which is twinned with the Diocese of Seoul. The Episcopal Asia Ministries had taken the opportunity of the 125th Anniversary of the Korean Anglican Church to combine it with their own annual convention and it was interesting to meet some of the people involved in the wide diversity of Asian ministries in the United States and Canada. The Rt Revd Donald Allister led the delegation from Peterborough and represented the Archbishop of Canterbury while the American delegation was led by the Primate of the Episcopal Church, the Most Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori. A large delegation from the Anglican Church in Japan was led by the Most Revd Nathaniel Mokoto Uematsu, Primate of Japan. The Most Revd Dr Paul Kwong, Archbishop and Primate of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong Provincial Secretary, the Revd Peter Koon, represented Hong Kong and are certainly not unknown to many in Ireland through the links between Hong Kong and the Dublin University Far Eastern Mission.

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Dedications and service

The main celebration was held on the morning of Saturday 3rd October in Seoul Anglican Cathedral and began in a small garden area of the Cathedral where a bust of the Revd Mark Hee-Jun Kim, the first Korean priest of the Anglican Church of Korea, was unveiled. Seoul Cathedral, which is located in the centre of the vast city, was filled, inside and outside, with clergy and laity for a very impressive communion service with a strong emphasis on mission. The Most Revd Paul Kim, Archbishop of Seoul and Primate of Korea, preached on the message of reconciliation and mission and among the laity reading the prayers of intercession was a Filipina migrant who is now a Korean resident and is a member of a vey active Anglican parish that includes many migrants and people who have immigrated into Korea to work in the dirty, difficult and dangerous occupations (3 Ds) that many South Koreans no longer wish to do. I was privileged to be one of those involved in the distribution of communion. The service ended with an impressive rendering of Amazing Grace in a traditional Korean folk song format.

Human Aid

Part of my purpose in making this trip was to arrange matters related to the Anglican Church’s provision of humanitarian aid to projects in North Korea. To this end I was invited to take part in meetings with the Peterborough delegation to brief Bishop Allister on the situation and work in North Korea. I was also involved with meetings with the TOPIK Foundation, the Anglican Communion’s official outreach to North Korea for peace and reconciliation and aid for humanitarian projects as an expression of this spirit of peace and reconciliation. I would hope to be able to go back to North Korea for a trip at the end of this year or early next year with medical supplies for a clinic in the countryside that we have been assisting for a number of years as well as for a larger clinic in a more remote area that we have be asked to assist. To this end I have had 100 sets of reversible stoles made at a sewing workshop in Rajin City in North Korea and I collected these in Seoul. These sets of reversible stoles, made in North Korea, are now available for €65 or £50 as a way of making the money needed for the medical supplies for the clinics we have been helping in North Korea.

Return to Ferns

Autumn in Korea is particularly nice and the sun was shining as I made the journey on the Airport rail link from Seoul to Incheon on the morning of Friday 9th October. Messages regarding parish and diocesan matters were already coming in from Ferns and Kilkenny on the email on my phone and my mind was partly preparing for preaching at a Harvest Thanksgiving Service in Rathvilly on the following evening and so I thought of Sr Mary Clare whose grandfather had been for 20 years curate of that parish, so far away and yet not so far away.


Nov 24

Climate Change Conference in Kilkenny


‘Water is the new oil’


A major conference on the effects of Climate Change on Farming in Ireland and abroad was held in Kilkenny College on Saturday 4 October 2015 under the auspices of the Environmental Committee of the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory.

The Chairperson of the Committee, the Venerable Andrew Orr, said the conference would ask about the Christian response to issues of climate change and rural life:  ‘the future of our planet depends on reducing carbon emissions.  How that can be matched with the need to produce more food for a growing population is one of the challenges which faces us all. The Christian response to these issues needs to be discussed and heard’.

The conference was divided into several sections with presentations from invited speakers, a musical interlude and concluded with a question and answer forum.

The welcome:

The Conference was opened by the Bishop, the Rt Revd Michael Burrows who welcomed everyone: those of all denominations and also those from the political world who on the day might lay aside their individual party views to consider the issues that concerns every single person on the planet. In his inimitable way he quipped that he never preached on the subject of the weather as he could never be right either with prediction or by being in agreement with his flock.

Professor John Sweeney:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Conference quickly moved into action with a presentation from its keynote speaker Professor John Sweeney from NUI Maynooth.  Now retired Professor Sweeney is much in demand speaking on climate change and is a member of The Inter-governmental Panel on climate change, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2007 for their work.

Professor Sweeney with the aid of maps showed his audience where the world was heading in the next number of years and how it was the underdeveloped countries that were going to suffer most from global warming.  He reckoned we had about 30 years to rectify matters, to reverse the trend.  Use of fossil fuels over the last 150 years was largely the cause since the Industrial Revolution with increasing carbon emissions. These were quickly running out and when they gone – they were gone!

Ireland too, he said would experience climate change and while would not suffer extensive flooding such as Bangladesh, would be noticeably warmer, especially inland.  He suggested that while wheat and other cereals might do slightly better, crops such as potatoes which depend on wetter summers, might not be suitable for Ireland any more. Kilkenny, traditionally with its micro-Mediterranean type climate would be considerably hotter.

He was sceptical about the drive to produce more beef and dairy products in Ireland, as more cattle inevitably meant more methane emissions, despite Ireland’s low carbon production methods.


Ms Lydia Monds from the Church of Ireland aid agency Bishops’ Appeal showed the assembled company the effects of climate change already prevalent in Africa and expanded on her time there and the work being done to help underdeveloped areas and the ways in which crops can be best nurtured in such deteriorating conditions.



Musical interlude:

During the interval, Mr Malcolm Noonan, from the erstwhile Green Party sang some relevant folk songs. Having heard these presentations, the final part of the afternoon was given over to an open forum.

The Debate:

This was expertly chaired by Cllr David Fitzgerald FG along with a panel that included Mr Harold Kingston, IFA spokesperson on the environment and rural affairs, former Government minister Mr Trevor Sargent, Ms Lydia Monds, local well known farmer of organic cultivation Mr Rod Calder- Potts and Professor John Sweeney.

Questions and comments came thick and fast between panel and audience and at times became quite heated as the debate ranged over agricultural issues in Ireland, there being many representatives from the sector present.

All agreed that everyone on the planet was entitled to clean water, whatever about the costs.  Such life supporting facilities varies hugely between the developed, comfortable world and the often struggling developing countries.  Such areas are constrained by severe climates and large populations.

There was much debate on the question of agriculture, specifically relating to Ireland which is primarily an agricultural country where one in four are involved in the industry. The centre of the debate was the  Government’s Harvest  2020 plan: can we reduce emissions if we are also driving up production?

Other issues raised included diversity, level of price and profit, transportation of foodstuffs and the pros and cons of organic farming.  Sustainability is also very important

It was underlined that the use of land is vital; controversially, Prof. Sweeney said ‘it is erroneous to think that the farmer owns the land.  He merely looks after it in such a way that he eventually hands it on in as good, if not better condition than he inherited it.’

The ethical issue:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe conference was organised by a church body so it was natural that the ethical question was raised.

The Christian’s role is to help alleviate poverty and care for the poor.  Bishops’ Appeal has spearheaded this in underdeveloped places in the world since its inception in the 1970s.  The church must continue to maintain an active role and not simply be a self-preservation church and become an irrelevancy.  It must shoulder responsibility and not be afraid to ‘rock the boat.’  In the same way the United Nations have too look globally, not locally.

Finally Cllr Fitzgerald asked the panel, having heard the views of the audience and from their own experience, did they have a feeling of optimism.

Alternatives needed:

They all agreed that internationally the debate has widened and made people and countries aware of the urgency. BUT…  Time is running out.  Those who live ‘comfortably’ at the expense of those who do not, have to come to the realisation that they will have to give up those luxuries that they enjoy but that are rapidly destroying the atmosphere and earth of the planet.

There will have to be a vision for greater efficiency – smart farming for instance.  The earth is suffering from the desecration of the last new decades in particular.  Within 20 years there will be nothing to burn, the earth will have reached the dangerous level of another two degrees centigrade and disruptive weather patterns will become more widespread, causing mass destruction, especially in the poorer areas of the world.


In conclusion and appropriately in Kilkenny College Cllr Fitzgerald referred to Dean Jonathan Swift who said: ‘Whoever makes two ears of corn, or two blades of grass to grow where only one grew before, deserves better of mankind, and does more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together.’

The Ven. Andrew Orr thanked everyone for coming, especially the invited guests and rounded off the afternoon sending all out into the suffering earth reflecting on the biblical context: ‘Stewardship and caring means that change is essential.’

Nov 24

National Ploughing Championship 2015


22 – 24 September 2015

‘Celebrating Harvest’


This year the marquee for the Church of Ireland and organised and managed by the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory looked exceptionally splendid with its professionally designed and executed scenery.  This was constructed by Mr Harry Harris, theatre designer and parishioner of Castlecomer, and looked pleasingly inviting with its colourful aspect both at the entrance and the interior which latter gave the fine appearance of depth to its dimension.  The tent was designed to have an open, spacious feel, and to give a hint, of church at one end: the prayer space, which was entered through a doorway inspired by the Romanesque door at Killeshin.  The Diocese was able to fund the expanded and professional design thanks to a generous grant from the Priorities Fund.


Meeting and Greeting:

Within this area, members of the CFO clergy and lay maintained a rota over the three days to meet and greet people, both known and visitors as they came in from the fray of the crowds and stands for a few moments respite, a sit down and this year were offered tea and refreshments.  Over 800 cups of coffee and tea were served!

The special committee set up to carry out the organisation should be well pleased with their work, it was the largest and best display over the last few years when the Championships have been in the Diocese.

While it was left to the CFO to manage it all on the ground, the Committee acknowledges with thanks the monetary contributions from Priorities and the RCB.  Although locally run, it did represent the Church of Ireland as a whole at the event.


Celebrating Harvest:

The staging and surrounds were decorated to reflect the theme of the tent: the Church of Ireland – celebrating Harvest showing the produce of the land. A mosaic in the shape of a sheaf had been mounted on the wall and visitors were invited to write prayers of thoughts on post-its and attach them to the picture. There was also material on information about the Diocese to look at and read.  Each visitor was invited to put their home location on a map and it was interesting to see where they all came from: as far afield as Ontario!


Visiting Groups:

Other organisations had been invited to display their wares and we had representation from the Boys’ Brigade, the Grils’ Friendly Society, the Priorities Fund, the Mothers’ Union, the Bishops’ Appeal and Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise.  In addition The Church of Ireland online bookshop: ‘The Book Well’ had a selection of material which could be purchased.


Phone Charging:

A novel idea was the facility of phone battery charging.  On a day when people were wandering the extensive event and having to travel distances to and from their homes, it was useful for them to leave their phone on charge while having a cup of tea and a chat.


Harvest Art!

There was a competition for anyone to draw a Harvest picture on their table mat, and the judges are hard at work as we write coming up with the winning design.


Time for Meditation:

The centerpiece of the prayer space was an area of stones through which trickling water was being pumped: not just a peaceful meditative sound, but a reminder to all of the centrality of baptism in the Christian journey. In this area too was a large Bible which people could read and which was used for the hourly prayer time, which was led by a selection of different people and in which prayers were offered for farming, the local community and all who were attending the championships.  The Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin the Revd Denis Nulty, and Archbishop Charles Browne, The Papal Nuncio, were also invited to lead the afternoon prayers on the Tuesday afternoon.

Comfortable couches and straw bales made this a pleasant place to sit quietly and pray.


Beaucoup d’Entente Cordiale!

We were pleased once again to be beside our neighbours from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin and there was much coming and going between the marquees as a sign of our ecumenical co-operation.  Bishop Burrows, Bishop Nulty and the Archbishop Browne led the prayers together at the official opening of the championships on Tuesday Morning.


Much coming and going was also in evidence between the Diocesan tent and the French Embassy opposite!  This was the Embassy’s first time at the Ploughing and they were very grateful for all the help and advice we were able to give them.  In return, champagne and canapés found their way on occasion to the C of I tent…..



Particular thanks should go to all who served the tea and coffee, were involved in transport of the materials and to the Revd Alec Purser who did so much of the local co-ordination. The special committee set up to carry out the organisation, headed by the Archdeacon, the Venerable Andrew Orr and his assistants should be well pleased with their work,



The MU changes babies!

Not too far way another arena of respite was busily engaged over the three days:  the regular stand for the COI Mothers’ Union was in full swing offering mothers and young children some moments of rest from the crowds and for the very young a baby-changing service.  This has been much appreciated over the years by the young mothers as they toiled through the displays and in need of a breather and attention to their young fledglings.


Nov 24

Mrs Margaret Stephens

Margaret Stephens

All Saints’ Carnew

16 September 2015

Abridged Address given by the Revd Ruth Elmes of Tinahely & Carnew Union

1 Margaret StephensIt is with some degree of shock that everyone was present remembering Margaret at her funeral. During the tea following the songs of praise on 31 May at All Saints’, (which she helped to organise) she told the rector she was going into hospital for some tests but was hopeful that the doctors would find nothing serious. Her illness was made more bearable by the warmth and concern she received from so many.

Derek and the family have said many times that Margaret would not only be much missed but that she was a person who liked ‘things kept simple’. Margaret left instructions for her service (specifying the old funeral liturgy and the King James Bible) and chose the hymns, the flowers and the instructions for the cup of tea afterwards.

The Bishop spoke of her diocesan role but she also served in many capacities in the parish in Carnew. She was a long time member of the Select Vestry, serving time as secretary, taking services, as a member of our choir and on so many various committees over the years.


As her husband Derek knew, she liked things kept simple and so the address was in this vein.

In line with that simplicity, the qualities mentioned in the first letter to the Corinthians chapter 13 verse 13 sprang to mind. The King James translation reads And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.’ Charity, a late Old English word is defined as ‘Christian love of one’s fellows’ and therefore is translated into love in the newer version of the Bible.

In Christian love, Margaret welcomed people to her home, shared friendship, took an interest in the welfare of others and cared greatly for the plight of those less fortunate as seen by her interest in the Bishops’ Appeal.

Her faith was shown in every aspect of her life through her work – for God, family and community, in worship, and in her personal life. The flowers on the coffin were from her own garden and her appreciation for God’s creation was seen through every window of her home and beyond.

Margaret’s faith was evident during her illness. In June she found herself unexpectedly in the High Dependency Unit of the hospital, seriously ill, and she said that she trusted God and she wasn’t afraid of dying – even in the midst of a health crisis she drew comfort from her relationship with God – she welcomed prayer and her faith continued undaunted by circumstance. Her hope was firmly placed on God and the promise of eternal life. This faith and hope and love sustained her.

To speak of Margaret simply- without mentioning her family would do her a great injustice. Her care, concern and love for her family was evident to all who knew her. She shared a long and devoted marriage with Derek and not only had three sons Karl, Bobby and Ivor but considered herself to have been blessed by three daughters in Georgia, Lorna and Edele and was suitably proud of her wonderful grandchildren -  Robyn, Kenzie, Jasmin, Jill, Sara, Glen, Harry and Charlie who will all miss her very much. She was surrounded by her family every step of the way and they were very present in her final illness returning some of the love that they had received.  Margaret embodied faith, hope, love with a healthy sense of humour!

The Dean of Connor, John Bond sent some words to share with the family:

“Margaret enriched and blessed many lives and we are all the poorer for her passing. She spoke with compassion, clarity and conviction at General Synod and was not backward about coming forward to have her say! Margaret had a charisma all of her own. Her warm, gentle and gracious disposition, combined with her radiant faith and trust in the Saviour made her the exceptional lady that she was. Her husband and family have lost a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister and the Diocese of Ferns and the whole Church of Ireland has lost a faithful servant and a good and valued friend.’

May she rest in peace and rise in Glory. Amen.

Some Thoughts from the Revd Canon Barbara Fryday, Warden of Diocesan Readers.

In spite of knowing how unwell the late Margerat Stephens was, it came as quite a shock to learn of her death.  She bore her final illness with courage and  patience.

Margerat was a lay reader in this diocese for about 40 years. She was commissioned in Ferns cathedral at about the age of 30 years. During that time she conducted worship regularly in many churches where her expression of her deep faith was much appreciated.

She had a passion for the development of lay ministry within the church of Ireland. She spoke regularly at General Synod; always identifying herself as being a member of her beloved Ferns Diocese.

She was always true to her faith. We will miss her passion for that which she believed to be right for our Church at this time and for her expression of a deep faith. To Derek and her beloved family we offer our sincere and heartfelt sympathy.

May she rest in the peace of the Lord.


At Margaret’s request the only people robed were the Rector, the Revd Tom Haskins, the Revd Robert Stotesbury, Mr Richard Codd and the Bishop, though many diocesan clergy were present.

The Bishop spoke at the beginning the service of Margaret’s Diocesan role as she was one of the longest serving readers in the Diocese.

Hymns sung were ‘When I survey the wondrous cross’, ‘Love divine, all loves excelling,’

Breathe on me, Breath of God’ and concluding with Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.’

Lessons were read by Lynn Bailey,  and grandchildren Kenzie and Robyn Stephens.

Prayers were led by Sara Stephens, Jill Stephens and Jasmin Stephens (grandchildren).

Other prayers were led by the Revd Tom Haskins, the Revd Robert Stotesbury and Mr Richard Codd.

A guard of honour was provided on the way in by members of the Carnew agricultural show committee with whom Derek and Margaret were very involved and lent their land for the show each year.

Diocesan lay readers formed a guard of honour with the Revd Canon Barbara Fryday as the coffin left the church process to the adjoining graveyard.

Oct 30

Former Bishop of Cashel & Ossory The Rt Revd Peter Barrett dies suddenly

Peter BarrettFormer Bishop of Cashel & Ossory, the Rt Revd Peter Barrett died suddenly at his home in Dublin on Wednesday evening.

Bishop Michael Burrows paid this tribute…

The diocese will want to surround those closest to him with prayers and love, and many will recall the way in which he touched and enriched so many lives both as dean of Waterford and as bishop.

The last ten years have been so difficult for Peter, and his pilgrimage in very many ways has epitomised the travails and frailty of all us mere mortals who find our vocation in ministry.

But this is a moment to pray for peace for him, and to thank God for all he was at his delightful best.. A person of extraordinary kindness, courtesy and empathy… Someone deeply lovable.

Bishop Burrows would ask that we all privately and in every church next Sunday, thank God for his ministry, and thereby assure his family of a great wave of supportive prayer across the diocese which in 2002 called Peter to be its bishop.

The funeral took place on Monday 2 November in St Paul’s Glenageary, Co. Dublin followed by cremation at Mount Jerome Crematorium, Harold’s Cross.

On Sunday 6 December following Choral Evensong at 3 pm (note the time) in St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, the ashes of Bishop Barrett will be buried near the south west door of the cathedral, in the place associated with former bishops of Ossory.

Over and above present and past members of the chapter, clergy and readers who worked closely with Peter Barrett and who would like to robe on this occasion are asked to inform the dean of Ossory. 





Oct 07

The Revd Bob Gray installed as Archdeacon of Ferns

The new Archdeacon pictured with his sister Penny at St Edna's Cathedral, Ferns

The new Archdeacon pictured with his sister Penny at St Edan’s Cathedral, Ferns.

(Photo Pat O’Connor)






St Edans    1

The new Archdeacon with the two new canons along with the Dean and the Bishop.

On this auspicious first Sunday in September history was made when the Reverend Robert Gray, rector of Ardamine Group, also became the Venerable Robert Gray, Archdeacon of the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns, Waterford and Lismore.  This new position he now shares the United Diocese with the Venerable Andrew Orr, Archdeacon of Ossory and Leighlin.

Also at the service the Revd Canon Mark Hayden was installed as Chancellor and the Revd Canon Arthur Minion as Treasurer, both of the Diocese of Ferns.

The Service was conducted by the Dean of Ferns, the Very Revd Dr Paul Mooney, the guest preacher was the Revd Nigel Kirkpatrick and the Blessing was given by the Bishop, the Rt Revd Michael Burrows.

The Registrar was the Revd Tim Irvine, Vicar of Kilkenny. The organist was Sheila Milne and various people provided an impromptu backing choir which added to the singing.

The lessons were read by Lesley Bailey and the Revd Margaret Sykes and Ivan Dungan read the Gospel.


BOB2 IMG_4672

Archdeacon Bob Gray in his new stall

The Installations:

These took place following the processional hymn and the welcome by the Dean and began with the Bishop’s Mandate being read. That being accomplished, the Registrar, the Revd Tim Irvine gave the mandate to the Dean.

The Dean, following the letter of appointment, installed the three canons in turn by taking each by their right hand and placing them in their appointed stalls, stating that ‘I receive and install into the real, actual and
corporal possession thereof, and I shall ever defend them so installed, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.’


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The Ven. Bob Gray with his guest preacher the Revd Nigel Fitzpatrick.

 The address was given by the Revd Nigel Kirkpatrick who based his sermon on the furnishings of the Vestry of the four main churches. The Revd Nigel Kirkpatrick, from Belfast will be remembered from last year when he and the Revd Andrew McCroskery toured Ireland cathedral by cathedral on their motor cycles, fund-raising for Bishops’ Appeal.

The Occasional Prayers were taken by the Precentor of Ferns, the Revd Canon Roger Harmsworth.

The congregation especially held the Horan family in their thoughts and for those recently involved in the fishing tragedy in Kilmore Quay near the Saltee Islands.

These took place following the processional hymn and the welcome by the Dean and began with the Bishop’s Mandate being read. That being accomplished, the Registrar, the Revd Tim Irvine gave the mandate to the Dean.

The Dean, following the letter of appointment, installed the three canons in turn by taking each by their right hand and placing them in their appointed stalls, stating that ‘I receive and install into the real, actual and
corporal possession thereof, and I shall ever defend them so installed, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.’

BOB4 IMG_4669




Sep 26

New Rector for Enniscorthy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Revd Nicola Halford has been appointed rector of Enniscorthy & Monart Union of parishes.

Ms Halford who has been curate in Wexford and Kilscoran Union of parishes since October 2012 succeeds the Very Revd Chris Long who retired at the end of July.

A date for institution will be announced in due course.

Sep 08

NOTICES – including Synod reminder


Aug 03

Enniscorthy bids Farewell to the Ven Chris Long


Sunday 24th July 2015


On a typically wet July Sunday, the congregations of the Enniscorthy Union gathered in St Mary’s Church Enniscorthy to pay tribute to their rector for over 10 years.

The service was conducted by Assistant Priest the Revd Robert Stotesbury and the Holy Eucharist was celebrated by the Ven. Chris Long.  Also present was the former dean of Ferns, the Very Revd Leslie Forrest.

The lessons were read by Mr George Spencer and Mrs Linda Long, wife of the rector.

The music was led by the organist Ms Hilda Plant and trumpeter Mr Anthony Nolan.

The Sermon was given by the rector.

Following the service various presentations were made.


The Revd Chris Long explained that George Spencer was also retiring and that they had decided to ‘go out’ on the same day.  They both have background in the Royal Air Force and George had been a reader not only during Chris’ time but also five years before that.  Chris made a presentation to George and Sarah Rigley from the parish of Clone offered a bouquet of flowers to Mrs Rachel Spencer.

Chris said that George had been very much involved in the building of the new rectory and for all his contribution to the parish, everyone was truly grateful and Chris on behalf of all thanked him for his help and involvement.

George thanked everyone and said he and Rachel had spent 17 happy years in Enniscorthy – in the 29th house they had lived in since they were married!

Mr Joe Smith from Monart spoke of Chris and he said that Chris had been rector and friend to all and it was with heavy heart that goodbyes were said this day.

On his watch the group of parishes became a Union, improvements to the churches and the property and more recently the completion of the refurbishment of the Church Institute.

All of this included being seconded as Archdeacaon covering Wexford, Waterford and part of Tipperary.   Chris was also the main mover behind the amalgamation of the dioceses in the singe Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory.

Chris could always be depended on to accomplish with a smile and a sense of humour.  Joe thanked Chris for his care of everyone, ministry to the sick whether at home or in hospital, his presence in times of joy and in time of sorrow.

His work was acknowledged with the young and at the national and secondary schools.

His sermons in particular were well worthy of intense listening.

Chris encouraged ecumenical connections throughout the area among many other attributes.  Joe wished him and Linda many happy years in their retirement and hoped they would keep in touch with the parish. With that he presented a cheque and a booklet of farewell messages and photographs to Chris on behalf of the Union.

Mr Colin Levinstone also presented Chris with a framed set of photographs of the five churches.

Ms Holly Rothwell presented Linda with a bouquet of flowers.

Mrs Fiona Reed member of the Board of Management spoke on behalf of Enniscorthy National School and expressed gratitude to the Archdeacon.

In his ten years involvement with the school he brought patience, compassion and a sense of humour to the task of looking after and developing the school.  He will be sorely missed and she made a presentation to him on behalf of the Board.

Members of the British Legion also made a presentation.


Robert Stotesbury paid tribute to Chris for his ministry and for his help to Robert over the past five years and wished him well in retirement to which Chris replied.

Chris concluded by thanking everyone and that he was grateful and touched for all the kind words expressed. Although he was retiring from office he and Linda were not going too far away – to live in Rosslare – and he hoped the connection between them and the parish would be maintained.

Everyone then went across the road to the Institute where tea and refreshments were served.

Not one but two ‘retirement’ cakes were on display and duly cut by Chris and Linda and which was then enjoyed by all.

As the Longs take their official leave of the Union, the Revd Robert Stotesbury steps in as priest-in-charge until such time as the vacancy is filled and the pulpits of the Union are graced by a new rector.



Jul 07

New Archdeacon of Ferns announced

bgrayThe Reverend Canon Bob Gray has been appointed as Archdeacon of Cashel, Ferns , Waterford and Lismore in succession to the Venerable Chris Long who retires at the end of July.

Mr Gray is currently rector of the Ardamine, Kilnamanagh and Monamolin Group of parishes.

His installation as Archdeacon of Ferns is scheduled for Sunday 6th September in St Edan’s Cathedral at 4.00 pm in the context of Evensong.

The Reverend Nigel Kirkpatrick has accepted the invitation to preach.

Mark Hayden will be installed as Chancellor and Arthur Minion as Treasurer at the same service on that day.

All are welcome to robe, choir dress.

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