Clergy and Members of the Church fo Ireland are Invited to complete a Mental Health Survey

MindMattersCoI is the Church of Ireland’s Mental Health Promotion Project.

This three–year project, generously supported by Allchurches Trust, started in Autumn 2020.  The aim of the project is to raise awareness of, and respond to, the mental health needs of communities across the island of Ireland.  It also hopes to transform how we understand attitudes towards, and responses to mental health within the Church of Ireland and the wider community, through gathering evidence and looking at how we can promote good mental health over the longer term.  Bishop Pat Storey, who chairs the project team, has expressed her enthusiasm for the project, emphasising that MindMattersCoI will give the Church the opportunity to find out “what our clergy and members know and understand about mental health, and they will then be offered a range of training and awareness programmes to support improved knowledge around this important topic.”

The appointed research team, Dr Katrina Collins and Kate Wilkinson, have now completed an extensive review of the existing literature on mental health awareness and understanding in faith–based communities.  Building on this, they are now moving on to find out about mental health awareness and understanding within the Church of Ireland community.

This is where the involvement of the wider Church, both clerical and lay, is critical.  Three surveys have been prepared: one for the clergy; one for adult members; and one for our younger members. 

Bishop Pat Storey

The Bishop of Meath, Bishop Pat Storey, who chairs the Project Team and Advisory Group of MindMattersCoI says:

We have been working hard, gathering a lot of information, developing a website and establishing an advisory group of experts to guide the project.  I am pleased to let you know that we’re now starting to collect information on awareness and attitudes towards mental health within the Church, and we need your help.  Gathering your thoughts on mental health awareness and understanding is a key phase of the project as the results will inform and shape everything else we do. 

Therefore, I would really appreciate if you would visit our website – – and complete a short survey. It will only take about 15 minutes to complete, and the information you share will be anonymous and confidential.  We will also be running a number of online focus groups, and if you would like to join one of these, please let us know by emailing:

If you don’t have internet access but would still like to participate, please call + 353 (0) 1 4125 660 and leave your name and address. We will post you out a copy of the survey with a stamped addressed envelope, to return directly to the project manager, and will also provide details of the focus groups should you wish to participate in them. 

To take the survey click this link:

To support the surveys, a number of interviews and focus groups will be held with all three groups. The survey is completely confidential and anonymous and will take about 15 minutes to complete. The responses from the survey will be stored electronically in a password–protected file that only the two researchers will have access to. This information is not shared with anyone else and is only used for the purposes of the MindMattersCoI project.

The interviews and focus groups will last about an hour and will give an opportunity to explore understanding and attitudes about mental health and mental health problems in more depth. This information will be treated in the same way as the survey responses. If you are interested in joining a focus group, please leave your contact details at the end of the survey, contact the project at or call + 353 (0) 1 4125 660 and leave your name and contact details.

The findings from the research and the surveys will support the development of a Church of Ireland Mental Health Promotion Strategy, which will include a mental health awareness and training plan that will be rolled out across the Church of Ireland.  The strategy will also include a significant programme of seed funding for Diocesan–led mental health promotion initiatives.

The MindMattersCoI Project gives the Church of Ireland the opportunity to take proactive and positive steps to support mental health awareness and understanding for all of our members and clergy and we do hope you will get involved.

Posted in Church of Ireland, Contemporary Issues, Mental Health | Comments Off on Clergy and Members of the Church fo Ireland are Invited to complete a Mental Health Survey

Saving the Unique Mosaics covering the walls of the Church of the Ascension, Timoleague, County Cork

Thursday, 13th May is Ascension Day, and there will be an open day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the unique Church of the Ascension, Timoleague, County Cork (with all covid-19 precautions and oversight in place). Unique? Yes, it must be the only church building in Ireland where the interior walls are not only covered in colourful mosaics, but where also the story of those mosaics has local connections, as well as links to India.

Church of the Ascension, Timoleague, County Cork

It may look like a non-assuming country church on the outside, but inside it holds the secret of being completely overlaid with intricately designed mosaics, from floor to ceiling – a West-Cork marvel to behold.

There are many stories of historical interest linked to the mosaics.  Perhaps the most unusual concerns the mosaic memorial on the south wall.  This was mainly paid for by the His Highness, the Maharajah of Gwalior, India, in gratitude for a locally born doctor, Aylmer Martin Crofts.  Originally from the townland of Concamore, Crofts had become the Maharajah’s personal physician for twenty years, and on one occasion, he helped to save his son’s life.  

Architect Jeremy Williams who wrote A Companion Guide to Architecture in Ireland 1937-1921 said that this church

… transcended the sectarian divide between Irish Catholic and Protestant, the Indian Muslim and Hindu, personal friendship breaking up hereditary distinctions of caste and colour.

Recently, the rector, the Reverend Kingsley Sutton, has produced a video to tell the story of this Church on the Argideen Estuary, County Cork. It is well worth watching.

To view the video

‘Touching Heritage at the Argideen Estuary’


Sadly the mosaics have become threatened with deterioration, mainly because of water ingress, but a Conservation project is working as quickly as possible to save them. To celebrate what has been achieved so far with the Church of the Ascension Conservation Project, the church will be open to the public on Ascension Day, 13th May, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Adhering to COVID19 restrictions, this is an invitation for people to come and see inside and experience first-hand this remarkable building.  

A considerable sum of money has yet to be raised to preserve the building.  Contributions, no matter how big or small, are all greatly appreciated.  

Donations can be made through the GoFundMe page at

Posted in Announcements, Church Art, church buildings, Church History, church repairs, Churches in Cork, Fund-Raising, Local History, Open Day, Voluntary Work, West Cork, Worth a Visit! | Comments Off on Saving the Unique Mosaics covering the walls of the Church of the Ascension, Timoleague, County Cork

Welcome Back to Church – End of Lockdown Video Message from Bishop Paul Colton

To mark the progressive end, starting on 10th May, of the most recent lockdown in the Republic of Ireland associated with the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, has created a new video message of welcome and guidance to people in the Diocese.

To view the message

Click here

Posted in Announcements, Bishop, Church Services, Churches in Cork, Contemporary Issues, Corona Virus, COVID-19, Diocese, Video Message | Comments Off on Welcome Back to Church – End of Lockdown Video Message from Bishop Paul Colton

Bandon Grammar School Initiative Rallies Young and Old to Knit though the recent ‘Lockdown’ for Good Causes

It may be true to say that this pandemic has had the most impact on the lives of the young and older people who live in care homes. As a way of connecting the young with some of those older people, Bandon Grammar School launched a wellbeing initiative at the start of the last lockdown in January, requesting  students and staff, their parents or grandparents, relatives and friends to knit or crochet a 6inch square and return them  to the chaplain at the school.

The purpose of the squares was to make up knee blankets for older people who live in care homes in the hope that the blankets would provide warmth and comfort to an older person and help them to know that there is a community beyond their own who thinks and cares about them.

The response to this appeal  was overwhelming and over fifteen hundred squares were returned to the school  in an array of colours and stitches from every corner of the county and beyond.

At a short outdoor socially distanced  gathering  the students presented the blankets to Ms. Clare O’Donovan from Bandon Community Hospital, Ms. Mary Nolan from  Clonakilty Community Hospital and  Ms. Lisa Howard St Luke’s Home in Cork.

The school would like to thank most sincerely all those who took part in this project. 

Posted in Bandon Grammar School, Care of the Older Person, Charities in the Diocese, Charity Work, Church in Society, Contemporary Issues, Corona Virus, COVID-19, Five Marks of Mission, People from Cork, People from the Diocese, Schools in the Diocese, Students, Voluntary Work | Comments Off on Bandon Grammar School Initiative Rallies Young and Old to Knit though the recent ‘Lockdown’ for Good Causes

Photographs from a Drone show off Christ Church, Rushbrooke (Cobh) and Cork Harbour

Thanks to Kieran Walsh, a Cobh resident and owner of local company kc3dtours, the parishioners of Cobh and Glanmire Union of Parishes were treated to a unique view of Christ Church, Rushbrooke (Cobh) on Great Island, the largest of the islands in Cork Harbour, at the mouth of the River Lee. Kieran’s drone photography of the church shows the building in its beautiful location overlooking Cork Harbour.

Christ Church (lower centre) at Rushbrooke, near Cobh on Great Island, with the mouth fo Cork Harbour (top) and Roche’s Point (east side of harbour mouth) and Fort Camden (west), Spike Island (first a monastic settlement, then a military fort, then a prison, and now a tourist attraction) and Haulbowline, headquarters of the Irish Naval Service.

The church was built in 1866/7 and designed in the Gothic style by a local architect, William Hill. It is built of cut limestone and the spire of the church is 150ft (46m) high. 

Christ Church, Rushbrooke, near Cobh

The organ of the church was built by T.C. Lewis of Brixton, London and now holds the memorial tablets and font from St Mary’s, Cobh. The stained glass at the east end of the church depicts Faith, Hope, and Charity, and the windows on the south side of the sanctuary were erected in 1894 by Captain W.H. Rushbrooke in memory of James Deane, who was agent of the Rushbrooke Estate. The cross on the altar is in memory of Arthur Hugh Smith Barry (Lord Barrymore) 1843 – 1925 who owned Fota Estate.

The church will re-open after lockdown on Ascension Day (Thursday 13th May) with a celebration of the Eucharist at 10.30am. Services on Sunday are held at 10am, and all are most welcome to attend.

Posted in Church History, Churches in Cork, Cork, East Cork, Photo Montage, Photographs from a Drone | Comments Off on Photographs from a Drone show off Christ Church, Rushbrooke (Cobh) and Cork Harbour