Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022

Canon Daniel Nuzum, Ecumenical Officer in the Diocese of Cork Cloyne and Ross introduces this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity:

‘We saw his star in the East..’
‘Chonaiceamar a réalta ag éirí…’

This year is the 55th international Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU). The octave of prayer runs from 18th to 25th January each year as a focussed time of prayer, reflection, study and witness to pray for the visible unity of Christians. It is a response to Christ’s call to us that we would be one.

This year the text for the WPCU was prepared by Christians in the Middle East – the cradle of Christianity. A cradle that is so vividly recalled for us in the crib we build each Christmas. It is poignant at this time when the Christian Community in the Holy Land is fragile, that we offer our prayerful support for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and like the first Epiphany when the Magi or Wise Men followed the star in the East to find the Christ child, that we too look once again to this fragile place to find and give hope for unity and solidarity as people of faith. Like the first Epiphany, the Star shone above an uncertain place to bring light to the world in Jesus Christ.

In our Cork area our Ecumenical Standing Committee from the Church of Ireland, the Catholic Church, the Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church has a strong and committed relationship of prayer and friendship. As ever, we encourage local Christians to seek every opportunity to work together in the
service of Christ and to find ways of praying and witnessing together throughout the year.

Material for each day of the week can be downloaded from https://ctbi.org.uk/resources-for-week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-2022/.

I encourage everyone to take time individually this year to pray for unity. Things are so different for us all during this time of pandemic, however, what a powerful witness it would be for our brothers and sisters in the Middle East in the midst of such uncertainty to know that we are taking time to pray with and for them over these days. I encourage you to light a candle, or place a star of hope in your home and share a photo on social media as we too look towards the light that is Christ this Week of Prayer.

Please use the hashtag #WPCU2022 on social media.

Canon Daniel Nuzum
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Christingle Celebration in Mallow Union

Mallow Union of Parishes held their Christingle celebration on the 2nd January 2022. The Rev. Meurig Williams reflects on the past Christmas and Christingle celebrations and writes: 

As in many other parishes, this year, there was a measure of apprehension throughout Advent in Mallow Union, as we witnessed rising infection levels, wondering whether further restrictions might apply to places of worship. In order to mitigate against crowded churches, it was felt inappropriate to publicise Christmas worship, particularly our candle-lit carol services, in the local media. Instead, posters outside our three churches and information on social media ‘did the talking.’  

Despite this low-key approach, people came in very encouraging numbers, even though we managed to keep to the ‘safety capacity’ at all services, including the celebrations of the Eucharist on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day. As well as drawing regular worshippers, it was good to welcome visitors and people worshipping with us for the first time.  

We celebrated the feast of the Epiphany on Sunday 2nd January and, in addition to the usual pattern of morning worship in Castletownroche and Doneraile, there was a Christingle Celebration at the largest of our three churches, St James’s, Mallow. It drew over 50 people, comprising mainly of young children with their families. This was encouraging, given that there was no additional publicity in the wider community and some of our regular families were away for the holiday period. Again, we were glad to see new faces. A team of people had spent several hours the day before preparing the Christingles. We had originally planned to have a big party afterwards, but the public health guidance made that inappropriate.  

The Christingle Celebration itself lasted just over half an hour, combining joyful festivity with a sense of wonder and mystery. This was especially evident as a group of youngsters and their parents brought their lit Christingles to the crib to sing ‘silent night, holy night.’ 

As we reflected on the scriptures for the feast of the Epiphany, we reminded ourselves of how the magi were strangers from a part of the world that was barely known and understood at the time of Jesus, and how this encourages us to see the world as much bigger than ourselves, as people from different cultures, languages and backgrounds bring gifts to enrich our lives as Christian people for the future.

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Rector of Cobh and Glanmire Union installed as Canon for St Patrick’s Cathedral

On Sunday, 9th January 2022, the Incumbent of Cobh and Glanmire Union of Parishes, Canon Paul Arbuthnot, was installed as Prebendary of Castleknock in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin.

Canon Paul Arbuthnot

Canon Arbuthnot commented:

I am delighted to have been elected a Canon of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. It is very much a homecoming for me, as I was a member of the choir there in my student days. I look forward to contributing to the rich and varied life of the collegiate body and to take my place as a member of chapter as Prebendary of Castleknock.

Bishop Paul Colton said:

Having been rector of Castleknock in the 1990s, I myself know well the extensive area that, in previous centuries, provided the prebend for the Prebendary of Castleknock in the National Cathedral of Saint Patrick, Dublin.  Productive agricultural land at one time, it is now, of course, a vast suburban part of Dublin.  I have pleasure, therefore, on behalf of us in Cork, Cloyne and Ross, in warmly congratulating Canon Paul Arbuthnot, Rector of Cobh and Glanmire, on the occasion of his installation as Prebendary of Castleknock in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, having been elected by the Cathedral Chapter late last year.

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Mothers’ Union members and Diocesan President raised €8k

Throughout the autumn and winter months of 202 1Hilary Dring, Mothers’ Union Diocesan President in Cork, Cloyne and Ross, has walked over 100km with MU members from across the diocese in aid of local projects.

Hilary writes:

Over the autumn months Mothers’ Union members took to the highways and byways of Cork, both city and county, to raise funds for the Mums in May fund – what a great time we had, walking and talking, getting soaked, enjoying the sunshine, drinking tea together, sharing stories and praying together. The views were at times magnificent, at times we were in the fog; it was always enjoyable!

’21 in 21’ was the tagline – do 21 of something and raise some money to help fund projects all across Ireland. So I thought what could I do? I could walk 21 x 5km and raise a few bob. Little did I realise how wonderful a plan it would be. For a year and a half we had not been able to have any meetings or services, members had been ‘cocooning’ and were isolated and often lonely.

As I contacted the different branches, and the walks were organised one by one, I experienced the sheer joy of seeing people meet up again after not seeing each other for so long. It was simply amazing to bring people together in different places, to have the support of the clergy, who led us in prayer as we set out and often walked with us. It seemed such a simple thing to do but it turned out to be also a profound thing to do. Members and others were encouraged and strengthened as we gathered. The friendship and fellowship which is such a big part of Mothers’ Union was able to take place again in person.

Travelling around the county was a wonderful experience and I learned so much about the different areas thanks to the local knowledge that ‘walked’ with me. I visited places I had never been before and learned of the history of Cork in a new light.

Thank you to all who walked with me, to those who organised the walks, the teas, the prayers, the raising of funds. My 21 walks have raised just short of €3,000 and, along with the great efforts of many other members in Cork, we have raised a total of €7878 so far which is incredible. Across Ireland we estimate that the amount will be well above €50,000, which will go towards local projects and towards changing people’s lives over the next three years.

Hilary Dring, Maria Swanton and the Rev. Steve McCann
Mothers’ Union members is Rosscarbery
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Announcement of Appointment to Kilmoe Union of Parishes in Cork, Cloyne and Ross, and to the New Post of Diocesan Further Education and Training Officer

The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, is pleased to announce the appointment of the Venerable Terence Mitchell to a new position in the Diocese, that of part-time Diocesan Further Education and Training Officer based in Kilmoe Union of Parishes where he will also be priest-in-charge.

Archdeacon Terry Mitchell

Terry Mitchell grew up in South Africa and after graduating in 1988 worked and ministered in a number of different schools and churches, as well as teaching part-time in an Anglican seminary, the College of the Transfiguration.  In 2016  he moved to Ireland where he was appointed as the Rector of the Cloughjordan and Borrisokane Group of Parishes in the Diocese of Killaloe. He was appointed Archdeacon of Killaloe in 2019.

Speaking about his appointment, Terry said:

Teaching and pastoral work are two areas of my ministry that I particularly enjoy and I would hope to share in these ministries in Kilmoe Union and the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

I have frequently visited West Cork, as well as the city of Cork and surrounds, and am struck by both the beauty and vibrancy of the area. My wife and I are looking forward to living in such a beautiful part of the country and in time to meeting you all.

Kilmoe Union is the most southerly parish in the Church of Ireland, occupying most of the Mizen Peninsula in County Cork. The town of Schull, which is the main centre in the parish, helps to service the farming population and the constant stream of visitors.

An entirely new aspect of this appointment in Cork, Cloyne and Ross is the role of Diocesan Further Education and Training Officer.  Terry Mitchell will work with the Bishop and Diocese in the organisation and supervision of activities related to the provision of further education and training services within and throughout the Diocese.  The role will be, on the one hand one of oversight, administration and innovation, and, on the other hand, teaching and delivery of parts of or some of the courses.

As the first appointee to this post, Terry will have the exciting and innovative role of developing a strategy for lifelong learning and further education in the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross in ways that both enrich and empower the discipleship of individual members of the Church, and also build up and energise the worship, ministry and mission of the Diocese within the Church of Ireland.

Announcing this appointment, Bishop Paul Colton said:

I am thrilled for the people of the Diocese and the Mizen Peninsula in general, as well as for the people of Kilmoe Union of Parishes in particular, that I am announcing this appointment of Archdeacon Terry Mitchell at the start of this new year.  He comes well-skilled for these combined roles and it will be exciting to see, especially, this new role of Diocesan Further Education and Training Officer taking shape in the years ahead and bearing fruit in the discipleship and ministry of the people of the Diocese. We all look forward to welcoming him and his wife to Cork, Cloyne and Ross later in 2022.

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