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Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

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