10th Anniversary of Ecumenical Links with Indian Orthodox Community marked by Cork Church of Ireland Parish

For the past ten years, members of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, have been celebrating mass on two Saturdays each month in St Michael’s Church of Ireland Church in Blackrock, Cork, and also on their major festivals.  A special celebration was held recently to mark the 10th anniversary.

At a special service in St Michael’s Church on Saturday 12 January, their priest Fr Zachariah George, and the Church of Ireland rector, Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson, lit wicks from a large oil lamp to symbolise their shared faith and ecumenical fellowship.

Celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the use by the Indian Orthodox Church in Cork of St Michael’s Church of Ireland Church, Blackrock, Cork.

Later Archdeacon Wilkinson was presented with an engraved glass plaque as a gift to the parish. The inscription reads, ‘Thank you for your generosity and support throughout our journey, with deepest gratitude and appreciation from all our members to St Michael’s Church, Blackrock, Cork 2019’.

A presentation to Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson.

The large congregation at the service included many young families and children. Afterwards everyone enjoyed a celebratory meal in the Old Schoolhouse beside the church and there both clergy cut a special cake in honour of the occasion. The parishioners in Blackrock would like to thank the Indian Orthodox congregation for this very generous gesture and they look forward to continuing the journey with them for many more years to come.

Cutting the cake.

The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, more commonly known as the Indian Orthodox Church, traces its roots back to the evangelical activity of St Thomas the Apostle in the 1st Century. These Christians are predominantly from Kerala State on the southwestern Malabar Coast of India. Quite a number now live in Cork and work in a variety of professions and in business.

The 10th anniversary celebrations of the members of the Indian Orthodox Church in St Michael’s Church, Blackrock, Cork.

Posted in Anniversaries, Ecumenism, International Church Relations, Special Events

Joint Christmas Message from the Bishops of Cork: Bishop John Buckley and Bishop Paul Colton

Catholic Diocese of Cork and Ross

Church of Ireland – Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

Joint Press Release


Joint Christmas Message from the Bishops of Cork:

The Most Reverend Dr John Buckley and the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton

Christmas 2018

As Bishops of Cork, many things are on our minds as we approach Christmas 2018. We recently commemorated the centenary of the end of the ‘war to end all wars’ and yet, one hundred years on, there is war and conflict in many places around world. Everyone feels the global reach of these wars where they are locally. Next year we will begin to mark the events, not without their own violence and conflict, that led to the independent foundation of our State. At a more personal level many live with human conflict and deep upset in their own lives for all sorts of reasons, depending on our circumstances: homelessness, hunger, poverty, striving to keep going in a fast-changing society, keeping up at work, matching the pace of change. These, and so many more, challenge us in ways that affect our well-being: physical, mental and emotional.

It is against this background that we hear again in 2018 the Christmas message of the baby whose birth was announced as bringing ‘peace on earth and goodwill’.   He was called the ‘Word made flesh’ – God among us; and ‘Emmanuel’ – God with us. Peace is so much more than the absence of war, conflict and violence. We often hear that ‘the peace of God passes all understanding’, and so it does, and for many it seems hard to find and to feel. The Christmas message assures us that God is with us no matter what we are going through.

As we join, therefore, once again this year as Bishops of Cork, in wishing you all a Happy Christmas, we pray that you will know the joy, hope and peace that the birth of Jesus, the baby born in Bethlehem brings; and indeed that all, wherever they are around the world, who work for justice, peace and the well-being of humanity, will be blessed and encouraged to persevere.

In offering these hopes and prayers, we are conscious that God energises people’s imaginations and gives them the will, in God’s name, to make the world a better place here and now. As ever, here in Cork, we pay tribute to, and encourage our parishes and the people of Cork to support (through our voluntary work or gifts and engagement), those who work day in and day out throughout the year among us to change things for the better for people who are poor, homeless, living on our streets, looking for affordable housing, newcomers to our shores, people living in fear of violence, coping with mental health issues, living with pain and illness, caring for older people and people living with dementia, those seeking cures for disease, those who feel like strangers among us, and many who are working to put before us the big issues that face us all, such as climate change.

There is so much good being done and worked towards. We wish each and every one of you a peaceful and blessed Christmas.

+Paul Colton,                                                                          +John Buckley,      

Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross                                                Bishop of Cork and Ross.



Further information from:

Sam Wynn        Church of Ireland Diocesan Communications Officer

Telephone:      +353 (0)86 813 7659

Email               media@corkchurchofireland.com

Posted in Bishops of Cork, Christmas, Church in Society, Ecumenism, Five Marks of Mission

Anglican Chant Focus and Rehearsal at Cork Church

One Sunday this Autumn,  the Rev. Elaine Murray led the usual service of Morning Prayer at St Mary’s Church, Carrigaline, County Cork.  However, there was a difference.  Under the auspices of the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Diocesan Church Music Scheme, she had invited Peter Stobart from St Fin Barre’s Cathedral to take the congregation through some of the canticles and psalms, and to explore Anglican Chant.

Some members of the choir from Monkstown, County Cork led by Roger Ellis had also come along to the Service and the sound was an impressive one. Peter had chosen three different styles of chant as a way of demonstrating to the congregation what was possible with very little extra effort.

Firstly the canticle Venite was sung to a very simple plainchant. After just a couple of practice verses the congregation was able to break out into antiphony, with one side of the church singing the odd verses and the other side the even verses. This monastic style is one of the oldest forms of liturgical chanting.

Anglican chant proper was used for the psalm of the day. Although the chant itself was longer than the plainchant had been, the tune was seemingly more memorable and so caused very few problems. After a few practice verses everyone stood up so as to be back in Service mode and sang the whole psalm through.

The third musical setting was for the canticle Benedictus. Peter chose a responsorial format and so it was the most modern concept of the three. The principles of chanting were still the same, however, and the congregation by this stage in the morning were picking things up very swiftly. A short refrain using the first line of the text, written by Peter himself,  was sung between the verses.

The Rev. Elaine Murray said afterwards that she thought the congregation had never sounded so good and that the service was exactly what she had imagined it to be. As a lover of Anglican chant she said that she was worried that without initiatives such as this it would quickly disappear completely from our liturgies.

Anglican Chant being taught by Peter Stobart at St Mary’s Church, Carrigaline.

Posted in Anglicanism, Church Music, Diocesan Church Music Scheme, Worship

Young People of Rosscarbery Host Supper for Simon Community

On Saturday 24th November, the Youth Group in Ross Union of Parishes, Rosscarbery, County Cork, held a supper in aid of the Simon Community. The young people prepared and served a two course meal, sold raffle tickets and cleared up afterwards. A total of €708 was raised for Cork Simon. Kerry McMahon from Cork Simon came and spoke of how the projects run in Cork city rely heavily on such fundraising events.

Congratulations to all the young people!

Young people and leaders from the youth group in Ross Union of Parishes.

Posted in Church in Society, Community Involvement, Five Marks of Mission, Voluntary Work, Youth Work

Cork Youth Workers Awarded Certificates in Youth Work

On 17th November Hilda Connolly, Diocesan Youth Officer in the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross,  and Viridiana Kingston Castro, a youth worker from Coolkelure in Dunmanway, County Cork graduated at Cliff College, Derbyshire.  They were awarded  their Aurora Certificates in Youth Work.

They stared the course in September 2017.   The Aurora Youth Ministry Course is an 8-month ecumenical course designed for those already doing youth work in their local church, and accredited by Cliff College.   Steve Grasham, the Youth Ministry Development Officer (Southern Region) of the Church of Ireland, ran the course sessions in Ireland.

Hilda says:

It was an absolute honour and privilege to be able to be there on the day with Viridiana Kinston Castro, Ruth Matthews and Lucy Bateman to receive our Certs, along with our families and Steve to cheer us on.

Speaking about the course she said

For anyone considering this course, I would highly recommend it. It certainly is challenging but very do-able and very interesting! I thoroughly enjoyed it and it definitely refreshed plus educated me further for my role. Thank you to all who helped me through it and to the Bishop, Dr Paul  Colton and Judy Peters for enabling me and encouraging me to take it on.

Hilda Connolly and Viridiano Kingston Castro with Steve Grasham following the award of their Certificates in Youth Work.

Posted in Continuing Ministerial Education, Education, Lay Ministry, Youth Work

Hundreds fill St Mary’s Church, Youghal for dedication of new War Memorial

Nearly 500 people from throughout East Cork and West Waterford attended the dedication of a new war memorial in the Collegiate Church of St Mary the Virgin, Youghal, County Cork on Sunday afternoon 2nd December.  The new memorial comprises eight panels which list the names of local people who fought and died in both the First and Second World War. They were installed in a side chapel which was refurbished and newly dedicated as a Chapel of Remembrance.

The Collegiate Church of St Mary the Virgin, Youghal, County Cork was full for the dedication of a new war memorial.

Speaking at the start of the Service, the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, spoke about the ‘importance of remembering.’  He said:

Three weeks ago, with great media coverage, we remembered the end of the First World War.  Now, however, many talk about “moving on”.  This raises deep human and philosophical questions – probably not for today – about if or when we should stop remembering.

The Bishop spoke about the project in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral over the past four years of gathering photographs of Cork people who died in the First World War.  ‘Of the 154 on this new memorial here in Youghal, I was only able to find four’,  he said.

Some of the panels of the war memorial.

Bishop Colton renewed his call for a public memorial in Cork City or County to all Cork people who died in the First World War:

Most of the names of the 154 are not commemorated anywhere publicly here in Cork, until now.  You have done a beautiful thing.  This act of remembering has brought these communities together.  We are here today in what is a community, ecumenical and interfaith gathering from many backgrounds.’

Watched by the Reverend Andrew Orr, Priest-in-Charge of Youghal, the Bishop, Dr Paul Colton, dedicated the memorial panels prior to their installation.

Following the dedication of the eight memorial panels,  the names of nearly 200 local-born people who died were read, before an Act of Remembrance. There were readings in English, Irish, French, German, Finnish and, by a member of the Jewish Community, in Hebrew.  Music was provided by the Youghal Choral Society.  The youngest recorded name of those who died is 16 year old Private David Cropley from Ballycotton, and the oldest 65 year old Lieutenant Walter Croker- Poole from Ardmore whose pilot boat hit a mine at the mouth of the River Mersey. Another tragic mine disaster saw five Royal Navy Reserves from Youghal die when HMS Laurentic hit German mines in Lough Swilly on 25th January 1917.

St Mary’s Collegiate Church, Youghal, County Cork.

The Reverend Andrew Orr, who organised the Service paid tribute to everyone involved in the project.    The memorial follows years of research by local men Norman MacDonald and Billy Healy, who have worked very hard to uncover the names of approximately 900 people from Youghal and surrounding districts who signed up for World War I.

The Service began with a procession led by a piper, who led in the clergy, the colour party, and a procession of light.  Relatives of those who died carried candles representing the combined total of the world war years.  Other clergy in attendance included the Reverend Edwin Hunter, who was priest-in-charge of Youghal when the project began, Canon David Herlihy, and Father Tom Brown.

Leading the civic dignitaries was Cllr Michael Hegarty, representing the Mayor of County Cork, along with Councillors Michael Ahern and Noel Collins.  Minister David Stanton, TD was in attendance along with fellow Cork East, T.D. Kevin O’Keeffe.   Deirdre Clune MEP laid a wreath on behalf of the nation. Attending the service also were representatives from An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces and Naval Service, the Royal National Lifeboats Institution, community groups, the Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen, the Royal British Legion, associations (the Connacht Rangers, The Munster Fusiliers, the Cork Western Front Association), community groups, The Boys’ Brigade, and Youghal Masonic Lodge, some of whose members also died in the First World War.

One of the transepts of the Collegiate Church has been refurbished and was dedicated also yesterday as a Chapel of Remembrance.

Some of the many wreaths laid in the newly dedicated Chapel of Remembrance.

Posted in Bishop, Centenaries in Ireland, Centenary, Church Services, Decade of Centenaries, Dedication, Ecumenism, Memorial Service, Remembrance

Two new Readers licensed to serve in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

On Sunday, 25th November, during Evensong in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork, the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, licensed two new Readers to serve in the Diocese.  Maia Paulus and Andrew Coleman were licensed, having completed one of the courses approved by the House of Bishops, namely the Certificate in Christian Studies validated by the Pontifical University at Maynooth.

There are three others from the Diocese currently working towards completion of the course and licensing as Readers.  The Certificate in Christian Studies is now also being delivered in Cork with 22 participants.  Details of the Certificate may be found HERE.

Also at the Service yesterday, the Bishop commissioned the Reverend Paul Arbuthnot to serve as Chaplain to the Guild of Lay Ministers in the Diocese.  The Guild includes all the Readers, as well as Local Lay Ministers of which there are 5 liturgical assistants and 7 pastoral assistants.

Pictured following the licensing of two new Readers were (l-R) the Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel DUnne, Maia Paulus, the Bishop, Andrew Coleman, and the Reverend Paul Arbuthnot (Chaplain to the Guild of Lay Ministers).

Posted in Bishop, Cathedral, Commissionings, Diocesan Readers, Lay Ministry, LIcensing