Welcome back to church ~ A Message to the Diocese from the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

Starting on St Peter’s Day, Monday 29th June, church buildings in the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross will begin to reopen as soon as all the necessary local arrangements and public health precautions have been put in place.

To mark this reopening, the Bishop, Dr Paul Colton, has sent  this video message to everyone in the Diocese.

To view the Video on the Diocesan YouTube Channel


Posted in Bishop, Church Services, Churches in Cork, Corona Virus, COVID-19

Election of Micheál Martin. T.D. as Taoiseach ~ Statement from the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork

Statement by Bishop Paul Colton

on the occasion of the election of 

Micheál Martin, T.D. as Taoiseach

The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, has made the following statement on the occasion of the election by Dáil Éireann of Micheál Martin, T.D. as Taoiseach:  

‘Twice each day of the year, both morning and evening, members of  the Church of Ireland pray for the Government using these words:  “O Lord, guide and defend our rulers and grant our government wisdom.”  This prayer is offered regardless of a person’s own political outlook or affiliations, for the government of  the day. Those prayers will continue tomorrow and are being said today, as a new  government  is being appointed, and a new Taoiseach has been elected,

As Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, however, I wish to send my warmest personal congratulations to Micheál Martin, T.D. on his election to the office of Taoiseach. In a particular way we in Cork enjoy the achievements of our own.  I also extend my good wishes to his family and friends who, I know, are delighted and share in the joy of his personal achievement.

I have known Micheál Martin for many decades.  We are the same age and attended UCC at the same time. Since 1999 when I was elected bishop we have worked together in the public forum and in relation to matters of common interest.  Like his fellow Teachtaí Dála and Senators in Cork he has been supportive of the work of the Church of Ireland community in key areas such as education, social work, sport, youth work and healthcare; notably Saint Luke’s Home, Cork. I wish him well.

This new Government, constituted  in this particular way, is historic.  On the one hand it is coming into office in one of the centenary years of our War of Independence and as the centenary of the Civil War approaches. On the other hand, it takes up leadership at a time of contemporary emergencies; our very existence is menaced by climate breakdown and the biodiversity crisis, and we are still in the midst of the CoronaVirus Pandemic. Many issues which our country faces have been accentuated by the current crisis and other enduring challenges have drifted from the headlines;  but they haven’t gone away and must be addressed. Now is a time for courage and hope, as well as solidarity and common purpose on the part of us all.  

I wish the new Taoiseach and  Government well and will  continue  to pray for them daily, as I and members  of the Church of Ireland have done for Taoisigh and Governments before them.’

Micheál Martin, T.D. with Bishop Paul Colton at the West Cork History Festival in 2017.


Posted in Bishop, Cork, Ireland, Statement by the Bishop

New Livestream Online from St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork

As soon as the ‘lockdown’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic came into effect on 18th March St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, like so many cathedrals and churches across Ireland, moved very quickly to provide worship and concerts online.  At first this was done using technology immediately to hand – mobile phones, a tripod, existing streaming platforms and learning new recording and editing skills.

Thanks to a grant to each diocese from the Church of Ireland Priorities Fund and the Representative Church Body, the Cathedral was able to ‘up its game’ by installing professional and permanent equipment installed by Co Wicklow based company Churchservices TV.

The Dean of Cork, the Very Rev’d Nigel Dunne, commenting on the recent installation said:

Our move to online provision of worship, weekly concerts and recitals, online choir practices for the choristers and the provision of music classes for primary schools (under the Diocesan Church Music Scheme) have all meant a steep learning curve for those of us involved.  The live streaming element has been particularly difficult and we are delighted to have been able to solve that through this generous funding from ‘central church’.  We now have a seamless stream to churchservices.tv via our website and on their own site. We will continue to stream from the new setup to our YouTube channel for another few weeks until people have had time to move to the new system.

The new livestream currently provides for four different camera settings ranging from a shot of almost all of the cathedral right down to a close up of the High Altar.  Two more shots will soon be added to provide for either a concert setup at the crossing or a close up of the crossing should someone be giving a speech or lecture.

The livestream can be viewed on the Cathedral’s website www.corkcathedral.webs.com or on Churchservices TV https://www.churchservices.tv/corkstfinbarre

Posted in Cathedral, Church Online, Contemporary Issues, Cork, Corona Virus, COVID-19, Five Marks of Mission, Liturgy, Technology, Webcam, Worship

Bishop Paul Colton’s Monthly Letter for July to the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

Each month, Bishop Paul Colton writes a short one page letter as a foreword to the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Diocesan Magazine.

As the letter for the July edition of the Magazine relates to the reopening of church buildings for worship as and from 29th June, the Bishop is publishing that letter online in advance.

Here is his letter in the July edition of the magazine:

I broke a tooth yesterday. I was really glad it didn’t happen during the strict ‘lockdown’ period.  So I phoned my dentist.  His dental nurse chatted me through it and then it came to making an appointment.  Some things had changed.  We made the appointment for Monday coming (I’m writing on Saturday, 13th June don’t forget).  Then  she went through a long checklist with me: a health check, signs and symptoms of CoronaVirus.  All was well.  Then I got my instructions – ‘Do not come in.  Wait in the car outside until I phone you.  That’ll be a while after the last person has left.  And wear a mask.  See you Monday!’

We are all adjusting, and, for the foreseeable future, this CoronaVirus will affect the way we live and go about our business. Church too! The HSE has produced lots of resources for this time. They are all available online.  Google ‘HSE Covid-19 resources’.   The headline on ‘Stay Safe Protect’ – the first of the posters – is twofold.  First, it says ‘Stay Safe’ (this has become the common parting greeting for many people).  The second part of that is ‘Protect Each Other’  I wonder if this part of the message has really taken root with everyone?

‘Protect each other’ – this should come as first nature to us as Christians for whom ‘Love God – Love your neighbour’ is our core principle.  Jesus told us that everything we are and do hangs on these.  This was his answer to the question ‘which is the greatest commandment in the law?’ (Matthew 22.36-40)  Many of the things we are being asked or required to do now are for the sake of other people.

We are looking forward to the reopening over time of our church buildings.  As we do so there are regulations and protocols that we must keep.  But we should want to keep them, not only because they are about staying safe, but because, perhaps even more than ourselves, other people in our community may need our protection. Your clergy and select vestries are busy getting ready. Because some people are at risk, we may not have the same team of lay volunteers or clergy to keep things going.  We need to understand this and  to be patient.  We need to understand that church-going will not be the way it always was, for a time.

Most of all, may I make one strong plea?  Please do not come to church (not something you usually hear a bishop saying)  – if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone who has in the previous 14 days.

Stay Safe.  Protect Each Other.

✞ Paul Cork:

Posted in Bishop, Bishop's Monthly Letter

It’s Diocesan ‘Synod’ Day 2020 in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

Saturday, 13th June 2020 is in the diary as the day for this year’s Diocesan Synod of the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.  ‘Synod’ is rooted in the idea of gathering and meeting. But that, of course, cannot happen this year.

So instead?

You are invited to take a 30 minute break and to join us anytime today or in coming days for today’s Cork, Cloyne and Ross Diocesan ‘Synod’ – a gathering and celebration.

You will see many people you know, perhaps even yourself, and catch up with what we are doing here in this part of the Church.

Yes, a ‘synod’ – well, sort  of – in just 30 minutes and you can view it, as has been said, anytime today or in coming days on our YouTube Channel

To view the 2020 Diocesan ‘Synod’ and celebration

Click  Here

The Cathedral Church of Saint Colman, Cloyne and the Round Tower. © Cathal Noonan. Thank you for permission to use this photograph.


Posted in Bishop, Carraig Centre, Cathedral, Cathedral Choir, CDYC, Chaplaincies, Charities in the Diocese, Charting A Future With Confidence, Children's Ministry, Christian Aid, Church in Society, Church of Ireland, Church Online, Churches in Cork, Clergy, Contemporary Issues, Cork, Cork Person of the Year Awards, Cork Three Faiths Forum, Diocesan Secretary, Diocesan Synod, Diocesan Youth Officer, Diocese, Eco Congregation, Ecumenism, Environmental Issues, Five Marks of Mission, Fresh Expressions, Guild of Lay Ministry, ICICYMA, Labyrinth, Mission to Seafarers, People from Cork, People from the Diocese, World Aid and Development, Youth Work