A CHAPTER IN THE LIFE OF THE GFS!
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
The 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.
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.