Cork’s First Christmas Tree Festival Addresses Many Contemporary Themes

Cork’s first Christmas Tree Festival was held from 2nd to 4th December in the Church of Ireland Parish of Carrigrohane Union, based at the three parish churches:  St Peter’s, Carrigrohane, St Senan’s, Inniscarra and The Church of the Resurrection, Blarney.  It was a wonderful and very happy venture.

Each church had a Prayer Tree (Redeemer, Treasure and Immanuel trees) – with shapes for people to write their own prayer and decorate the trees. Extra shapes had to be made each day as so many people took this opportunity to pray! Each church also had a Giving Tree (Poverty, Myrrh and Fruit trees) – with an opportunity for people to bring gifts of non-perishable foodstuffs for St Vincent de Paul. There was also a ‘homeless’ tree outside each church – which stopped many of people in their tracks on the way in – and a Refugee tree outside St Senan’s which included a deflated dinghy.

'Sleeping rough' - one of the Christmas Trees at Cork's First Christmas Tree Festival In Carrigrohane Union of Parishes.

‘Sleeping rough’ – one of the Christmas Trees at Cork’s First Christmas Tree Festival In Carrigrohane Union of Parishes.

Approximately a thousand people attended the weekend, including the very special occasion of the opening on 1 December in St Senan’s to which all participants, sponsors and parishioners were invited.

Groups and individuals from the parish, from local schools, businesses and community groups decorated or created the 60 trees that filled the 3 buildings – basing their decoration around a Bible verse that each had been allocated. So the trees themselves told the story of Christmas! It was such an inspiration, blessing and a help to have so many people, from across the parish and right across the community, involved.

Many people visited all 3 churches, some arriving to their first venue intending that to be the only one they visited, but decided they had to find time to get to the others before closing time! Every church was gorgeous – and each one had its own feel and atmosphere.

Music (some recorded and lots of ‘live’ musicians giving so generously of their time and talents) was enjoyed in the background and a cuppa was available to enjoy along the way. Each church also had a ‘sheep hunt’ – with 10 sheep (many knitted!) hiding. Children had a sheet to complete with the names of the hidden sheep – and a couple of golden chocolate coins as a reward at the end of each hunt.

Some of the trees made people smile, some brought forth gasps of admiration and amazement, some were reflective and still others were moving and poignant. The Festival was like harnessing the glitz and bringing everyone right to the heart of the real Good News of Christmas.

Here is the gallery of photographs of the Christmas Tree Festival:

 

Posted in Christmas, Church in Society, Community Involvement, Contemporary Issues, Diocese, Good ideas, Parish News

Live Crib -‘The Road to Bethlehem’ – at Carrigaline Church of Ireland in Aid of Local Charities

The parishioners of Saint Mary’s Church,  Carrigaline,  in the Church of Ireland Diocese of Cork, are mounting a live crib next weekend  – on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December (2 p.m. to 6 p.m. each day).  The event, called ‘The Road to Bethlehem’, is open to all and the admission charge of €5 for adults (children free) will go to local charities including Cork Penny Dinners, Cork St Vincent de Paul and Cork Simon Community. As well as the Nativity Pageant with live animals there will be carol singing, music, teas, coffees, mulled wine and lots more.

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Posted in Announcements, Charity Work, Christmas, Diocese, Festivals, Parish News

Cork’s First Christmas Tree Festival

The Church of Ireland Carrigrohane Union of Parishes, which include the three parish churches of St Peter’s, Carrigrohane, The Church of the Resurrection, Blarney and St Senan’s, Inniscarra is hosting what it believes to be the first Christmas Tree Festival in Cork.  It will run from Friday next 2nd December until Sunday, 4th December at the Church of Ireland churches in Carrigrohane, Blarney and Inniscarra.

Each venue will host part of a trail of imaginatively decorated Christmas trees that, together, tell the Christmas story in a new and wonderful way.  The trees have started to arrive today and there is lots of interest, including from TV.

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Fifty-five school and community groups are involved in decorating the trees.  The groups come from across Carrigrohane/Ballincollig, Blarney and Inniscarra areas.  Participating groups will be provided with a verse from the Christmas story on which to base the decoration of their tree – so there will be all kinds of styles and interpretations!  Full details are available on the Christmas Tree Website.

A free souvenir programme will be produced that explains all the trees – and will include advertisements for all the local business that have sponsored the Festival. 

 The Festival will be open to the public and there will be no entrance fee.  There will be voluntary donation boxes available to support the churches’ on-going work, including local community activities, and the festival partnership with St Vincent de Paul food bank.

Posted in Christmas, Community Involvement, Cork, Diocese, Festivals, People from Cork

History of Ashton School, Cork To Be Launched

On Friday next, 2nd December, A History of Ashton School, Cork written by Dr Alicia StLeger, will be launched.  The book launch is open to the public and will take place at 7.30 p.m. at Ashton School.  Anyone associated with the school is especially invited to attend.

The history of the school was commissioned a number of years ago, on foot of an idea put forward by the then chairperson of the Board of Management and school co-patron, Dr Paul Colton.  With this in mind, school principal, Adrian Landen, together with Dr StLeger called to Bishop Colton on Friday, 25th November to present him with the very first copy of the new history of the school. Dr Colton said:  ‘It really is a quality book: beautifully written, handsomely printed, a fascinating read, and full of photographs.’

Dr ALicia St Leger, author of 'A History of Ashton School' and school principal, Adrian Landen, at the Bishop's Palace, Cork, presenting the first copy of the book to school co-patron and former chairperson of the Board, Dr Paul Colton.

Dr Alicia St Leger, author of ‘A History of Ashton School’ and school principal, Adrian Landen, at the Bishop’s Palace, Cork, presenting the first copy of the book to school co-patron and former chairperson of the Board, Dr Paul Colton.

Posted in Ashton School, Bishop, Book Launch, Books and Publications, Cork, Education, Schools in the Diocese

Cork, Cloyne and Ross Mothers’ Union: Prayer Vigil to End Violence Against Women

The Mothers’ Union in Cork, Cloyne and Ross will hold a vigil at St. Mary’s Church, Carrigaline, County Cork on Saturday 26th November from 7.30 – 9.30pm.

The purpose is to spread the very important message that violence against women and children IS NOT OKAY!! Action needs to be taken and attitudes need to be changed.  Mothers’ Union is one of over 130 local groups across Ireland that are taking part in the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence campaign organised by United Nations Women.

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Lakshmi Puri (Acting Head of UN Women) said:

It is one of the most pervasive violations of human rights in the world, one of the least prosecuted crimes, and one of the greatest threats to lasting peace and development……I am talking about violence against women and children.

It is time for action when up to 70 per cent of women in some countries face physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. When one in three girls in developing countries is likely to be married as a child bride; when some 140 million girls and women have suffered female genital mutilation; when millions of women and girls are trafficked in modern-day slavery; and when women’s bodies are a battleground and rape is used as a tactic of war – it is time for action

Anyone who wishes to join the Mothers’ Union in Saint Mary’s Church, Carrigaline on Saturday, 26th November even for a short while to show solidarity with these women and children, will be very welcome. For further information contact Hilary on 086 368 0513.

 

 

 

Posted in Church in Society, Community Involvement, Contemporary Issues, Diocese, Mothers' Union, People in Need, Prayers

Church Law Workshops Held in Cork

Two training seminars and workshops were conducted in Cork recently by Bishop Paul Colton, in association with the Centre for Law and Religion at the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University.  Dr Colton is an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Law and Politics.

Two courses were on offer and were held at the Northridge House Education Centre, Castle Road, Mahon, Cork. Both courses were limited to 12 participants to allow for maximum engagement and dialogue.

The first course, entitled ‘Introduction to the Law of the Church of Ireland’, provided a very basic introduction to the law of the Church of Ireland: the place of Church Law within the law of the land; where people can find the law and go to get it; what the role and purpose of law is in the context of the ecclesiology; and, in order to generate practical engagement with the law of the Church of Ireland, the afternoon session was a workshop based on issues ‘thrown up’ by messages left on ‘The Curate’s Voicemail.’

The group - lay and ordained - who attended  an 'Introduction to the Law of the Church of Ireland' recently

The group – lay and ordained – who attended an ‘Introduction to the Law of the Church of Ireland’ recently

The second course, called ‘So Now You Are In Charge’ was geared for those who have just taken on new responsibilities in ministry, in a  new setting, or as incumbents or priests-in-charge. The topics covered were: where law fits in; where to find it; who to ask; the legal status of a church, its committees and officers; the governance of a parish (including select vestries and parochial officers); law particular to incumbents and priests in charge; an overview of relevant parts of the Constitution of the Church of Ireland; and, the afternoon session was a practical workshop in the area of liturgy and liturgical flexibility.

The group who attended  the law seminar - 'So Now You Are in Charge' recently

The group who attended the law seminar – ‘So Now You Are in Charge’ recently

Dr Colton has also developed a series of training modules in other areas which will be offered, again in association with the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University, in the coming months and years. The topics covered so far include:

  • The law of persons in the Church of Ireland (day course)
  • Law and worship (day course)
  • The development of the Constitution of the Church of Ireland (three hour course)
  • The Canons Ecclesiastical (day course)
  • Marriage Law (two hour course)
  • The law of Confirmation (two hour course)
  • The law of the Church of Ireland in an Anglican context (day course)
  • The disciplinary scheme of the Church of Ireland (three hour course)
  • The governance structures of the Church of Ireland (day course)
  • Religion law in Ireland (Republic of Ireland) (two hour course)
  • Schools and education law (Republic of Ireland)
  • Who is in and who is out? Membership of the Church of Ireland (three hour course)
  • Church Finance and the Law (two hour course)
  • The place of civil law in the life of the Church (two hour course)
  • Cathedrals and the law

These courses can also be offered anywhere in Ireland.

 

 

Posted in Diocese

Olympian and Bishop Join Forces in Cork to Open and Bless Soft Surface Play Area at Their Old Primary School

St. Luke’s National School, Douglas, Cork recently developed a specialised soft surface play area for the children of the school.

Two past pupils of the school – John Jermyn, member of the Irish Olympic Hockey team, and our school Patron, Bishop Paul Colton – were present.  John Jermyn performed the official opening, and Bishop Colton blessed our new play area.

The development of this area was made possible through extensive fundraising by the Parents’ Association and the support of parents and local businesses.The area was named ‘Inis Beag’ or ‘Little Island’; this is a special place for the pupils and greatly enhances the school facilities.

Pupils of Saint Luke's National School, Douglas, Cork at the official opening of their new soft play area with Irish Hockey Olympian, John Jermyn, Bishop Paul Colton, members of the fund-raising group, school principal Olwen Anderson, the rector, Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson, chairperson of the school board, Roger Flack and Mr Liam Ryan of Ryan's SuperValue, Grange, Cork.

Pupils of Saint Luke’s National School, Douglas, Cork at the official opening of their new soft play area with Irish Hockey Olympian, John Jermyn, Bishop Paul Colton, members of the fund-raising group, school principal Olwen Anderson, the rector, Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson, chairperson of the school board, Roger Flack and Mr Liam Ryan of Ryan’s SuperValu, Grange, Cork.

Posted in Bishop, Community Involvement, Diocese, Education, Olympic Games, People from Cork, People from the Diocese, Schools in the Diocese