New Chaplain to the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton is delighted to announce that he has appointed the Reverend Anne Skuse to be one of his domestic chaplains.

The Reverend Anne Skuse is Chaplain at Bandon Grammar School, a role which she will continue to fulfil while also, from time to time, assisting the Bishop as his chaplain.  The role of domestic chaplain is non-stipendiary (unpaid).

The Reverend Anne Skuse

Posted in Announcements, Appointments, Bishop, Chaplaincies, Clergy

Tributes to School Chairperson – Mrs Jean Buttimer – from Ballineen, County Cork

In the November issue of the Cork, Cloyne and Ross, being distributed today, the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, thanks and pays tribute to the chairpersons of the boards of management of primary schools under his patronage, among them, Mrs Jean Buttimer.

Sadly, Jean Buttimer, who served on the board of management of Ballymoney National School for 44 years and as chairperson for the last ten years, died on Thursday, 31st October, an exact month before her term of service ended.  Even in her last days in hospital she was concerning herself with the business of constituting a new board of management for the school.

When boards of management were first introduced in 1975, Jean was elected as a parents’ nominee. Her son Stephen was in junior infants. She became the secretary to the board and continued in that role for the next thirty-two years. The school was a one-teacher school at the time.  In those days the school had no telephone and the story is told how if Mrs. Bennett, the then principal,  ever had a problem, she told the postman who in turn passed on the message to Jean when he got to Jean’s house; and Jean would come down to help. The pupil numbers dropped down to just six pupils at one stage but Jean kept her children there and supported the school.  The school began to grow again and, in time, became a two-teacher school.  Bishop Colton appointed Jean as chairperson of the board in 2009.

Ms Shireen Rountree, who has been principal of the school since 2008, tells of how important Jean Buttimer has been in the life of the school:

We had very clear roles. Jean dealt with all the maintenance issues. She often volunteered her husband Richard and son Stephen to come in and fix things. It was Jean who pushed and encouraged me to apply for a grant for the first extension. We decided to change the entrance while there was building work going on but we were €10,000 short.

It was an ambitious project for a school with just fourteen families but they were very committed families.

When we were short of money at the end and all were exhausted from fundraising, Jean held a cake sale and coffee morning in her house and wrote two quiz sheets to raise the shortfall. We had no money left to finish off the job. Jean and Richard painted the bathrooms to save money. We needed a kitchenette so she donated her old kitchen units and I had two bits of worktop that we put together to create a temporary kitchen. She was excited by the progress and continued to encourage me to apply for grants and so the resource room and the new toilet block were built.

Since she took over as chairperson, every room in the school has been transformed and the school has invested in many new resources.

Jean was very caring and looked after the staff so well. Four of her grandchildren have been pupils in the school. She used to remind us that our families were the most important in our lives and to remember to put them first, before our jobs. She adored her six grandchildren. She collected them every day as infants so she was a regular visitor to the school office.

She wrote cards to the pupils and dropped in treats after the Carol Service each year to encourage them. She addressed the whole school community at the End of Year Pot Luck Supper each year and encouraged the PTA and staff in particular. Her health deteriorated in recent months but she still made her End of Year speech this year with the aid of her oxygen tank. We held our last BoM meeting in her house in August to approve our most recent appointment.

September 2018 marked a highpoint in Jean’s work in leadership, commitment and partnership with others at the school.  All the projects and improvements were completed and paid for, and Bishop Colton visited  to perform the official opening and dedication.

Mrs Jean Buttimer (left) at the official opening of extensions to Ballymoney National School in September 2018 with Bishop Paul Colton, Ms Shireen Rountree, Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony T.D., and the Reverend Stella Jones (rector at the time).

Rightly on that occasion, tributes were paid to Jean and presentations were made.

The school was not the only area of Jean’s voluntary work and leadership, all done with the enthusiastic support of her husband Richard and their family.   Jean was involved in many other community groups.  She was one of six parents who set up a group called BASC (Bandon Area Special Children). They set up the first special class in a mainstream school in Bandon in 1985. This was the first special class in Europe. The Ambassador of the United States of America presented Jean at the time with an award for her involvement with the project.

She was on the executive committee of Co-Action and fundraised for years to build the Clonakilty Co-Action Centre. She was also a founding member of West Cork Carers Support Group.

Active in her parish of Kinneigh Union, Jean served on the Select Vestry for a very long time, also for a time as secretary and as sustentation fund treasurer.  She was one of the people who led the project to restore St. Paul’s Parish Hall in Ballineen.  Jean was a member of the Diocesan Synod of the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

Paying tribute to Jean, Bishop Paul Colton said;

Jean was indeed inspirational and a pleasure to work with.  She was straightforward and practical; the sort of person I love to work with.

Most people in the wider Church of Ireland will not have heard of Jean until perhaps now.  Stories of remarkable and faithful people like Jean sadly, in my view, do not get told or heard often enough in the Church.

She was strong in her leadership and commitment and I was genuinely sad to receive the news of her death. I was not surprised that even in her last days she was concerned about a vacancy among the school trustees, and directed that clarification be sought from me.  She was even making suggestions about who would be good people to take on the role of community nominees on the new Board of Management due to start its work in a month’s time.  We are the better people and place here in Cork, Cloyne and Ross because of Jean and her work.  I extend my deepest sympathy to everyone whose lives she influenced and most especially to those who knew her best and loved her most, her husband Richard, her children Stephen, Rosemary, Elizabeth and Andrew, their families and the wider family circle and friends.  May Jean rest in peace and rise in glory.

Mrs Jean Buttimer with the Bishop following the official openings at Ballymoney National School in September 2018.

Posted in Bishop, Children's Ministry, Community Involvement, Diocesan Synod, Diocese, Education, Five Marks of Mission, Funeral in the Diocese, Lay Ministry, People from Cork, People from the Diocese, Schools in the Diocese, Tributes

Cork Choristers on Sponsored Walk

The choristers of the Choir of Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork and their families embarked on an 8km walk around Mahon Point and Blackrock Village in Cork on Saturday 19th October. The rain threatened at one point, but for the most part the sun was out. Almost 40 people met at Mahon Point Shopping Centre and headed towards Blackrock Castle on the riverside walkway, a route that proved popular last year. After passing the Castle the next stop was The Natural Foods Bakery in Blackrock Village where a hot chocolate and a slice of delicious cake was picked up. It was well deserved! The break was limited though as the final destination was still someway down the old railway line back to Mahon Point. There were several tired faces in the choir stalls on the following Sunday morning after an invigorating afternoon of exercise.

A happy bunch from the Choir of Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork

Posted in Cathedral, Cathedral Choir, Cork, Fund-Raising

St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork Hosts Royal School of Church Music Ireland

On Saturday, 5th October St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork hosted the 2019 festival of the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) Ireland.  A day of rehearsals under the direction of Adrian Lucas (Head of Choral Studies and Chief Examiner, RSCM) concluded at 4.30 p.m. with a Festival Service with the theme ‘Where shall Wisdom be found?’  attended by the Bishop of Cork, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton.

Choristers at Where shall Wisdom be Found? A festival service in search of God’s wisdom. The presentation of the Voice for Life awards, by the Right Reverend Dr. Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross with RCSM Ireland at St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.


Where shall Wisdom be Found? A festival service in search of God’s wisdom. The presentation of the Voice for Life awards, by the Right Reverend Dr. Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross with the RCSM Ireland Committee at St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

During the Service Bishop Colton presented RSCM Voice for Life awards to choristers: bronze, silver and gold awards.

Here are the photos from the day:

Some of those who were presented with their awards at
Where shall Wisdom be Found? A festival service in search of God’s wisdom. The presentation of the Voice for Life awards, by the Right Reverend Dr. Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross with RCSM Ireland at St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Posted in Award, Bishop, Cathedral, Cathedral Choir, Children's Work, Church Music, Diocese, Education, Presentation, Royal School of Church Music

Two County Cork Churches Celebrate Bicentenaries

During the month of September, two churches in the Church of Ireland United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, celebrated their bicentenaries: 200 years of the present church buildings in communities where Christian faith, worship and service stretches back many more centuries.

Saint Matthew, Baltimore

On Sunday 22nd September the parishioners of Abbeystrewry Union (Skibbereen, Baltimore, Castletownshend and Caheragh in County Cork) celebrated the 200th anniversary of the consecration of St. Matthew’s Church, Baltimore.  St. Matthew’s Church was consecrated on the 25th September 1819 by Thomas St. Lawrence, Bishop of Cork and Ross.  This year’s Dedication Eucharist was celebrated with a church full with  parishioners of St. Matthew’s and representatives from Tidy Towns Baltimore, RNLI and many other well wishers.

At the Baltimore 200 celebrations were (l-r) Mrs Carole Pound (Reader), Canon Trevor Lester, the Reverend John Ardis (Rector), Mr Nicholas MacGillycuddy (Reader) and Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson (Bishop’s Commissary).

The Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Ven. Adrian Wilkinson preached and assisted the rector Rev. John Ardis in the celebrations.  The Archdeacon acted as the Bishop’s Commissary, as the Bishop was unable to be present as he was in hospital. Canon Trevor Lester represented former rectors at the celebrations.  After the Service, the parish continued the celebrations at the Glebe Gardens in Baltimore with a light lunch and a special commemorative cake.

The Bishop’s Commissary, Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson and the Reverend John Ardis cut the Baltimore Bicentenary Cake.

The service was one of the high points of the parishes celebrations for the year.  Earlier in the year, on the 15th of June  a garden party was held, also at the Glebe Gardens, Baltimore where our commemorative booklet edited by Mr. Nicholas MacGillycuddy was launched.  At that garden party launch   St. Fachtna’s Silver Band entertained everyone with their music  There was also a weekend Flower Festival held in St. Matthew’s Church from Friday 28th to Sunday 20th June.

The launch of the Baltimore commemorative book earlier in the year – Mr Nicholas MacGillycuddy and the Reverend Joh nArdis.

For the remainder of the celebrations this year there will be a Community Harvest Thanksgiving in association with the RNLI who are also celebrating 100 years of having a lifeboat in Baltimore.  And on Friday 13th December the end of the bicentennial year of festivities will be marked with a Community Concert in St. Matthew’s Church. The Community Christmas Crib will be installed at 7.30 pm, and the concert will start at 8 pm.

The rector, the Rev. John Ardis writes:

This year has been a wonderful celebration of this beautiful church.  I am so grateful to all in the parish and beyond who have helped make this such a remarkable year., particularly our hard working committee.  The history of this church is so linked with the history of the village, and I am delighted that the celebrations have been shared by all, and I am so grateful for the well wishes of the wider community.  As a parish we were delighted to have the Archdeacon present with us for our Dedication Eucharist, and we continue to pray for the Bishop’s recovery.

Saint Senan, Inniscarra

On Sunday 1st September St. Senan’s Church, Inniscarra celebrated a very special evensong with the choir of St. Fin Barre’s cathedral participating and the Bishop – the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton – preaching to mark the bicentenary of the Church.

Bicentenary at Saint Senan’s, Inniscarra, County Cork.

The Service was followed by the planting of a tree by the Bishop in the churchyard.

‘Where’s the shovel? You can’t plant a tree with a crozier.’

Bishop Colton planted a tree

A cake and refreshments which were enjoyed by all.

Saint Senan’s bicentenary cake.


Choir of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork preparing for Evensong at Saint Senan’s, Inniscarra

Posted in Anniversaries, Archdeacon, Bicentenary, Bishop, Cathedral Choir, Churches in Cork, Diocese

Western Front Association Recognises Work of Bishop of Cork and Dean of Cork for Centenary of First World War

On Wednesday, 2nd October, the Chairman of the Western Front Association, Colin Wagstaff visited Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork to thank the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, and the Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, for the work they and the United Dioceses had undertaken between 2014 and 2018 in the commemoration of the centenaries of the First World War in general, and of the centenary of the Armistice in particular.

Mr Wagstaff was accompanied by Gerry White (Chairman, Cork Branch of the Western Front Association), Gerard O’Meara (Secretary, Cork Branch of the Western Front Association), and Denis Kirby (Cork Branch of the Western Front Association, who is also chairman of the Irish Branch of the Leinster Regiment Association).

Throughout the centenary period a montage created by Bishop Colton and Dean Dunne featuring the faces of people with Cork connections (then and now) who died or were veterans of the First World War was on display in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral in a place set aside for remembrance and prayer.  Many thousands came to visit it during the four-year period.

In addition, in schools of the Diocese, Bishop Colton organised special teaching materials and, to mark the centenary of the Armistice, special assemblies and classes were held when the Bishop’s gift of an olive tree to each school was received.  At the heart of the Armistice 100 Service of Remembrance in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral were facsimiles of First World War telegrams onto which students of Ashton School, Bandon Grammar School, and Midleton College had transcribed the names of Cork people (between 4000 and 5000) who died in the First World War.  It was the first time, liturgically, that all the names of all the Cork people of all backgrounds who died in the War were included physically in one place.

At the presentation to Bishop Paul Colton and Dean Nigel Dunne at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork were (l-r) Denis Kirby (Cork branch of the Western Front Association, and Chairman, the Irish Branch of the Leinster Regiment Association). Gerry White (Chairman, Cork Branch of the Western Front Association ), Colin Wagstaff (Chairman, the Western Front Association), , the Bishop, the Dean, and Gerard O’Meara (Secretary, Cork Branch of the Western Front Association).


Posted in Award, Bishop, Cathedral, Centenaries Commemoration and Reconciliation Project, Centenaries in Ireland, Centenary, Community Involvement, Cork, Cork Centenaries Commemoration and Reconciliation Project, Diocese, Five Marks of Mission, Local History, Making Connections, People from Cork

Cork, Cloyne and Ross Annual Diocesan Service for Primary Schools ~ the Photos!

The Annual Diocesan Service for Primary Schools in Cork, Cloyne and Ross was held in Saint Peter’s Church, Bandon on Thursday, 26th September.  A full report is HERE.

Photographer Jim Coughlan was on hand to take the photos and here is the gallery:

Posted in Children's Ministry, Children's Work, Church Music, Churches in Cork, Diocesan Church Music Scheme, Diocese, Education, Schools in the Diocese