Scroll Top
Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

Diocesan Synod 2017

The 2017 Diocesan Synod took place in the Woodford Dolmen hotel last Wednesday, October 18th.

Here are some images from the event



  • Carlow: Motivation of the Young

The Judges were very impressed with the Involvement of children who led the congregation.  They put the National Pollinator Programme: and Junior Pollinator programmes into practice in the church grounds. There were Clean up days, Wear your Wellies to church   Day.  They installed a Bug hotel, pollinator plants and Bird boxes

  •  Fintan’s Durrow: Capital Projects

The parish installed Extensive insulation in the attic: this will reduce heat loss, save energy, energy audit reduce costs, and pay for itself in 10 years. Grants can often be obtained from local authorities.

  • Lismore union: Community Involvement

Perennial winners; Co –operating this time with a local group. This year, at the instigation of a parishioner, a group of parishioners with the Local Tidy Towns began work on a project to tackle the Himalayan Balsam which has been invasive along the Blackwater River which runs behind the Cathedral. The Blackwater is the river Carthage followed to Lismore, and where he spent his last 18 months as a hermit. The extensive nature of this invasive weed has been to the detriment of local flaura and fauna and has contributed to the erosion of the riverbanks. The work was researched and involved careful cutting of the weed, removing the pods intact and having them bagged for removal and disposal. The project has made significant inroads and is ongoing.

  • Kells: Church environs

The parish were inspired the spring conference held in Kilkenny College where Dr. Una Fitzpatrick spoke on Bio Diversity and particularly the pollinator programme. First they cleared away old laurel bushes and instead planted of native trees.  Pollinator plants were selected. Spring flowering plants: viburnum, mahonia, forsythia and berberis. We also chose lavender, cistus, buddleia and fuchsia for summer flowering.  Spraying was reduced to the car park only.

  •  Monart: Church Environs

 Again inspired by the spring conference and the bio diversity. 3 areas of the Churchyard were cordoned off and left for the grass to grow long.

The result: orchids not seen for 30 years, cowslips, primroses, devil’s bit scabious, and much more. All  parishioners involved and the results displayed for all to see at the parish picnic.

  •  John’s Kilkenny: Church Environs

Many glad hands with tools gathered to create two curved, raised beds in the southwest corner of the churchyard. A grass strip was left between them to allow for easy mowing and maintenance.

Perennials were planted in one bed: Lungwort, Hellebore, geranium, stonecrop, globe thistle, verbena, Joe Pye Weed, and Michaelmas Daisies. The bed was edged with catnip.

In the second bed a bee flower mix was planted. This will be planted annually by the Sunday School Children. Over the course of the summer the beds have blossomed and bloomed and bees have been happily using this wonderful new resource. The creation of these beds was tremendous fun, with people of all ages participating and enjoying the experience. The bees have continued to come to the flowers, even into late summer, gathering nectar which would become honey back in their hives. The project is a great encouragement to the children of the Sunday School as they learn about the care of the environment in the context of their Christian faith.

  •  Crohane Church: Church Environs

Crohane has done a lot of work in the care of its church grounds over the past year. This has included sourcing new stones / gravel for the church grounds and driveway, this all being sourced from the nearby quarry less than 1km away, which has kept the carbon footprint down and transport costs to a negligible level. Parishioners Ernie Ruttle and Michelle Maher have spearheaded the “beautification” of the church ground by making repairs to walls, painting the and rain-proofing the church doors, repairing and repainting the church gates, and since the Eco Conference last year, contact has been made with wildlife experts by Eddie Maher (Michelle’s husband) to manage our resident bats. Efforts are being made to protect the Communion table, sanctuary area and reading desk / pulpit /lectern from bat droppings, without disturbing the bats themselves. In the churchyard, patches of grass are being left uncut to facilitate the growth of wildflowers.




Schools awards

  • Wandesforde NS Castlecomer

They have been actively working on the biodiversity of the grounds: Tree planting, flower planting, installing bug hotels, birdboxes, hedgehog boxes.

  • Abbeyleix South National school

They have transformed an area of waste ground, installing a bug hotel, bio diversity pollinator plants, apple trees, wildflower .  Information boards for school and general public

  • Christ church NS Waterford

Adopt-a-beach project 2017-2018

This year in school, they have adopted a beach. They have chosen the Saleens beach near Tramore in Co. Waterford. Every child, from Junior Infants to 6th class has visited the beach, and spent a whole day exploring the beach, learning about the birds, animals and sea life there. We saw a seal, and a little egret, heard about the otter, and saw the holes where the sand-martins nest when they come here from Africa. We learned how the marram grass has been damaged by people on quad bikes, and on Saturday 7th October many of our school families spent an hour on Saleens beach helping to replant a patch of damaged marram grass.