New Hockey Pitch and Bowling Green for Garryduff Sports Centre

Earlier today, 27th May 2023, the new hockey pitch and bowling green at ICICYMA Garryduff Sports Centre was blessed by Bishop Paul Colton and officially opened by the President of the Club, Carol Jermyn, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Deirdre Forde, Michael McGrath TD, and Simon Coveney TD.

After the official opening, the special guests played a game of bowls on the new green and later joined members of the club in the Clubhouse.

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Diocesan Schools’ Service to mark the end of the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Centenaries Commemoration and Reconciliation Programme

The Cork, Cloyne and Ross Centenaries Commemoration and Reconciliation Programme concluded with a Diocesan Service in St Peter’s Church, Bandon on Thursday, 25th May 2023. The Service marked the end of the Irish Civil War and was combined with the annual Diocesan Schools’ Service which all Diocesan Primary Schools attend. The students had spent the last few weeks practising hymns and getting their Peace Banners ready for this imaginative event in the life of our Diocese, and to mark a significant event in the Decade of Centenaries for our country.

The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton led the service and the preacher was Canon Elaine Murray, Incumbent of Carrigaline Union. Clergy, members of the Board of Education, and members of the Diocesan Council also attended the service.

The theme for the service was Peace and all schools were asked to bring the Peace Banners which they made at a workshop in September 2019, but did not use due to the pandemic. Everyone at the service also brought a small torchlight with them, to share the light and peace of Christ with each other and with the community during the singing of a hymn.

The choir of St Michael’s NS, Blackrock sang a piece under the direction of Peter Stobart and with Matthew Breen on the organ. The service ended with the traditional ringing of all the school bells which the students brought with them.

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Annual IDAHOBIT Service at St Anne’s Church, Shandon

On Sunday, 21 May 2023 St Anne’s, Shandon was delighted to host the annual service for Cork City LGBT Inter Agency Group as part of Cork LGBTI+ Awareness Week. Former Lord Mayor and current Chair of the Gay Project, Mr John Buttimer, was the guest speaker. The Rev. Meghan opened the service by sharing that International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is a time to celebrate the milestones that have been made for LGBTI+ equality while also raising awareness of and speaking out against the discrimination that still exists.

The Rev. Meghan Farr and Mr John Buttimer at St Anne’s Church, Shandon

Mr Buttimer spoke about the many achievements and changes in Irish society but also the need to continue to be allies and to speak out especially for those on the margins. 

The Rev. Meghan commented:

We are honoured to once again host this service and for St. Anne’s to continue to be a place of welcome and inclusion for our community and visitors alike. 

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Bishop Paul Colton appoints a new Domestic Chaplain

The Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, has announced that he has appointed the Reverend Meghan Farr, Priest-in-Charge of Saint Anne’s Church, Shandon to serve also in the honorary role of one of his domestic chaplains. Meghan will serve alongside the Bishop’s other domestic chaplain who is the Reverend Anne Skuse.

Domestic chaplains assist the bishop liturgically and in practical ways on major public occasions and during Church Services in the Diocese.

The Reverend Meghan Farr

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Appointment of New Diocesan Secretary for the Church of Ireland in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

On behalf of the Diocesan Employment Committee and Diocesan Council of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Bishop, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, is delighted to announce the appointment of John de Montfort as new Diocesan Secretary, as successor to Billy Skuse, who will retire on 31st August. John will commence his work in the Diocese on 1st August in order to facilitate induction and transition of roles.

John de Montfort was born in Sri Lanka, where his father, Henry, was in the tea trade. His family lived there until 1977, when his father moved to Kenya to set up a Tea Broking company. He went to Canford School in Dorset, UK and then on to Reading University, where he graduated in History. After graduation, John spent two years in the antiques trade, particularly in porcelain, before starting training as a Chartered Management Accountant while working for Abbey National Bank. While in London he participated in amateur dramatics, appearing in ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and Goldoni’s ‘Servant of Two Masters’. 

After qualifying, John served as Financial Controller for Rupert Cavendish Antiques, which specialised in Swedish furniture and Design. A chance meeting some years earlier led to John joining the international mine clearance charity, the HALO Trust, in 1998 and he lived in Dumfriesshire, Scotland to serve as Finance Officer for the organisation. His duties involved control visits to the various countries that HALO operated in, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mozambique and Angola.

John is married to Emily, from Celbridge, County Kildare. They met in London and moved to Ireland in 2000 where John worked as Financial Controller of Bubble Brothers, a wine retailer in Cork City. He later worked for Hobart Enterprises in Mallow, County Cork which deals in Chemicals and Agricultural products throughout the world. He has most recently worked in Financial Reporting at the Cork Office of the Bank of New York Mellon.

John lives with Emily in Buttevant, County Cork. They have one son, Frederick, who is training to be a teacher. John participates in productions run by the Doneraile Drama Society and is a keen gardener, amongst other interests. His father was brought up in Castletownroche, County Cork where his grandfather, Archibald, was Rector.

Announcing John’s appointment, Bishop Colton said:

I am delighted to make this announcement and about the fruitful outcome of our recruitment process to find a successor to Mr Billy Skuse who has served us so creatively and faithfully since 2015.

John de Montfort will clearly bring a wide range of gifts, professional qualifications, as well as a broad worldview and rich tapestry of life experiences to this demanding and diverse portfolio of roles in our Diocese, and to the significant number of charities which we partner and support. I am greatly looking forward to working with him.

John de Montfort

The Diocesan Secretary is the lead officer within the diocesan administrative and financial structures of the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, working closely with the Bishop in advancing the ministry and mission of the Diocese, and serving the people of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.  

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