Death of Bishop Robert (Roy) Alexander Warke, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross (1988 to 1998)

The Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, has made the following statement upon receiving the news of the death of his predecessor, the Right Reverend Robert (Roy) Alexander Warke, who was Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross from 1988 to 1998.

I am very sad indeed to hear, and to convey to the clergy and people of Cork, Cloyne and Ross and to the wider community in Cork City and County,  the news of the death, last evening in Dublin, of our former Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Reverend Robert (Roy) Alexander Warke.

Bishop Warke’s daughter telephoned me with the news this morning and, naturally, his death, coming as it does only nineteen days following the funeral of his wife Mrs  Eileen Warke, is a great shock to everyone.  They were an inseparable couple and much loved while they were here.

At a personal level, Bishop Warke was always a constant, prayerful, practical and friendly support to me as his successor, and, following his retirement, took a keen interest in the Diocese and in all that is going on in Cork.  He recently sent his greetings on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the consecration of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral.  

Many people in the United Dioceses still recall and refer to his sermon and involvement in the major Diocesan celebration in 1995 for the Decade of Evangelism held in Millstreet, County Cork when all clergy and people of the Diocese and further afield were invited to be present.

On my own behalf and on behalf of us all in Cork, Cloyne and Ross I extend our sincere sympathy to Bishop and Mrs Warke’s family, especially to his daughters Ruth and Jane and their families,

Bishop Warke was Bishop of this Diocese from 1st February 1988 until his retirement at the end of 1998.  He returned to visit the Diocese as my and our guest on a number of significant occasions including for the 250th anniversary of Kingston College in Mitchelstown when the photograph below of him (on the left) with me and Bishop Samuel Poyntz (his immediate predecessor) was taken:

Episcopal succession: Bishop Roy Warke (left) with (centre) his successor Bishop Paul Colton, and his predecessor, Bishop Samuel Poyntz (right) at Kingston College, Mitchelstown, County Cork in 2011.

Posted in Announcements, Bishop, Bishops of Cork, Diocese, Statement by the Bishop | Comments Off on Death of Bishop Robert (Roy) Alexander Warke, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross (1988 to 1998)

Commemorative Stamp Features Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral Window

An Post have launched a new stamp commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland which came into force on 1st January 1871.  The ‘N’ rate stamp, designed by Vermillion Design in Dublin, is an image of the Sun, Moon and Stars taken from one of the panels in the west rose window of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork. 

The Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, Dean of Cork and the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, with ‘the stamp’ and, in the background, at the west end of the Cathedral, is the creation window, a section of which features in the stamp. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, joined the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton and the Dean of Cork, the Very Revd Nigel Dunne in the Cathedral before Christmas for a ‘photo launch’ which was officially announced by An Post last Thursday, 7th January.

The Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne and the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, discuss the new stamp with the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson during his visit to Cork in December 2020. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

As a memento of this significant occasion, Bishop Colton is making a gift of the first day cover to each member of the clergy, each reader and each licensed or commissioned lay church worker in the Diocese.

First day cover featuring both the stamp and Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork

The Church of Ireland was officially disestablished on 1 January 1871 ending its statutory ties with the Church of England and the State.  Disestablishment was part of British Prime Minister William Gladstone’s attempts to deal with ‘the Irish question’ and ended the status of the Church of Ireland as a ‘state church’.  It was seen by many in the Church of Ireland at the time as a disaster, not least because with disestablishment came disendowment, meaning that the Church had to now fund itself independent of state support.

The 150th Anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral, currently being celebrated, coincided with this major change in the Church of Ireland and is testimony to the sheer determination of the people of Cork to bring the building of the Cathedral to completion.

The Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, Dean of Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The Dean of Cork, the Very Rev. Nigel Dunne said: 

I am delighted that An Post chose one of our windows to put on the new stamp and an image of the Cathedral itself on the collectors pack, not least because this is an ‘all-island’ commemoration and I’m sure there are many other images that could have been chosen. 

It is particularly fitting that this image was chosen since the 150th anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral coincides with that of Disestablishment and reminds us that even in times of great upheaval and distress, great things can still be achieved by people of faith and hope.

Bishop Paul Colton said

The building of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral , a confident enterprise by the people of Cork, funded by voluntary subscription, is still an icon of the disestablishment period in the Church of Ireland. In Cork, Cloyne and Ross we are honoured that An Post chose this part of the creation window in the Cathedral, which is also celebrating its sesquicentenary this year, to represent the 150th anniversary of disestablishment.

In thanking all who had involvement in this initiative, I wish to pay a particular tribute to the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, Dean of Cork, who followed this up and worked with this project over an extended period of time to bring it to fruition.

Acknowledgment: The NewsBlog is grateful to Daragh McSweeney of Provision for permission to use the photographs in this report.

Posted in Anniversaries, Cathedral, Church History, Church in Society, Church of Ireland, Churches in Cork, Dean of Cork, Diocese, Disestablishment, Sesquicentenary | Comments Off on Commemorative Stamp Features Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral Window

Cork Churches Keep Christmas Lights On as a Sign of ‘the Light of Christ in this Hurting World.’

A number of parishes in the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross that have outdoor decorations on their church buildings for Christmas have taken the decision this year to keep the lights on until Candlemas, 2nd February, the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.

Templebreedy Parish Church, Crosshaven, County Cork

Last week, the decision was made in the coastal village of Crosshaven to keep the lights on and the local Church of Ireland Church, Templebreedy has joined in the initiative.

The brightly shining Stars gracing the bell towers of St Mary’s Church in Carrigaline and St John’s Church in Monkstown are normally only in situ for a period of four weeks each year. These large Stars, much beloved by local people,  are erected on the bell towers on Advent Sunday each year and remain in place, lit 24 hours a day,  until the Feast of the Epiphany (6th January).

This year a decision was made by the Rector and Select Vestry of the Carrigaline Union of Parishes to keep the Stars in place and shining brightly until after the feast of Candlemas (2nd February) as a reminder of the light of Christ in this hurting world. 

On hearing of the initiative in Carrigaline and Monkstown, St. Mary’s Church in Dunmanway have also extended the time when their stars are illuminated in the windows of the ringing room of the Sam Maguire Community Bells as a symbol of hope in these troubled times until the end of the Epiphany season (2nd February).

Posted in Christmas, church buildings, Church in Society, Church of Ireland, Churches in Cork, Community Involvement, Contemporary Issues, Cork, Corona Virus, COVID-19, Faith and Belief, Five Marks of Mission, Fresh Expressions, Light, Parish News | Comments Off on Cork Churches Keep Christmas Lights On as a Sign of ‘the Light of Christ in this Hurting World.’

Institution of the New Rector of Mallow, County Cork

On the Feast of the Epiphany, 6th January, during the online Service broadcast using webcam, the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, instituted the Reverend Meurig Williams to the incumbency of Mallow Union of Parishes.

Pictured is the Reverend Meurig Williams, Incumbent of the Parish of Mallow Union, in the Cathedral Church of Saint Fin Barre, Cork, on the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Accompanied only by the Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, and the Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, with no congregation present, Bishop Colton said that one of the aspects of the pandemic we have had to get used to is things not going to plan.

Bishop Colton said:

This Epiphany Eucharist tonight is not as we might have wished.  I should be in Saint James’ Church in Mallow. We should be there in great numbers, joined by clergy and lay people from all over the Diocese and local community,  to welcome your new Rector, the  Reverend Meurig Williams. Since his arrival on 18th December he might ordinarily have expected to be able to go out and about in the community but instead he has been confined to his home: isolated and in quarantine.  In the weeks ahead you should be meeting him on Sundays at church and in your homes as he makes his way around the parish.  But you, and he, will have to be patient and understanding, because the pandemic allows for none of this.  ‘Things do not go to plan.’

And we see things not going to plan either in tonight’s Gospel – on this Feast of the Epiphany: “And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.” (Matthew 2.12)

Meurig Williams was born in Bangor, North Wales, where his father was a Baptist minister and grew up in a Welsh-speaking home. After studying modern languages at the University of Aberystwyth, including a year in Bordeaux, he was a teacher in a secondary school near Cardiff for four years.

He returned to the University of Wales to study theology and trained for ordination at Westcott House, Cambridge. He was ordained in Bangor Cathedral in 1992 and served a curacy in the port town of Holyhead.

He subsequently served as Incumbent of Pwllheli, a market town in rural North-West Wales; and then became an Incumbent in Cardiff. He returned to Bangor as Archdeacon in 2005. In 2011 he moved to become Commissary to the Bishop in Europe – a role which he combined with being Archdeacon of North-West Europe (serving Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) before his current appointment as Archdeacon of France in 2016. There he had oversight of 83 congregations across France, many of which serve scattered, rural populations.

Meurig has been involved in fostering strong ecumenical relationships throughout his ministry, and is currently involved in discussions between the Church of England and the French Protestant churches. He also has good working relationships with the Roman Catholic Church in France and, as a fluent French-speaking Anglican, has contributed to various ecumenical conferences, including at the Catholic Institute in Paris.

Socially distanced and with face-coverings momentarily removed for the photograph are (l-r) the Reverend Meurig Williams, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, Dean of Cork, and the Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, after the Epiphany Eucharist and the Institution of the Reverend Meurig Williams as Incumbent of the Parish of Mallow Union, in the Cathedral Church of Saint Fin Barre, Cork, on the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Posted in Bishop, Cathedral, Clergy, Corona Virus, COVID-19, Diocese, Epiphany, Institutions and Commissionings, Parish News | Comments Off on Institution of the New Rector of Mallow, County Cork

New Year’s Day 1871 – the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland

Following the passing of the Irish Church Act 1869, and after 18 months of intense preparation, debate, sometimes controversy, and legislating by the General Convention of the Church of Ireland in 1870, the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland occurred on 1st January 1871: 150 years ago.

In February 2020, long before people had to stop gathering because of the Coronavirus Pandemic, students from Ashton School, Cork, Bandon Grammar School, and Midleton College were enlisted by the their school chaplains – Drew Ruttle, the Reverend Anne Skuse, and Canon Andrew Orr – to re-enact the fifth day of the General Convention held on 19th February 1870 when the Preamble and Declaration were read for the first time.

Dr Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, came up with the idea of the re-enactment as a Cork event (even though, of course, it happened in Dublin) to mark the 150th Anniversary of Disestablishment, because it was his predecessor, Bishop John Gregg, who proposed the motion and read aloud the proposed Preamble and Declaration for the first time.

Here is a video clip of the re-enactment:

Videographer:  John Berry
Photographer:  Jim Coughlan
Video editing and captions:  Drew Ruttle, Chaplain of Ashton School.

A full report from earlier in the year of the re-enactment and photographs are HERE and HERE

The full text of the Preamble and Declaration may be read here:

PREAMBLE AND DECLARATION

Posted in Ashton School, Bandon Grammar School, Bishop, Bishops of Cork, Chaplaincies, Church History, Commemoration, Diocese, Disestablishment, Drama, Media and Communications, Midleton College, People from Cork, People from the Diocese, Sesquicentenary, Special Events, Students, Youth Work | Comments Off on New Year’s Day 1871 – the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland