Dr Rowan Williams, Former Archbishop of Canterbury to Visit Cork

Dr Rowan Williams, who was Archbishop of Canterbury from 2002 to 2012, and who is currently Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, will visit the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross on Sunday, 28th February, 2016.

He will be at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork in his capacity as Chairperson of the Board of Christian Aid to preach at a special Service of Thanksgiving at 3.30 p.m. marking 70 years of that organisation. Combating poverty and standing up against injustice, regardless of race or religion, Christian Aid helps people in  more than 50 countries to tackle the problems they face and to build the lives they deserve.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Chris O’Leary, together with the Lady Mayoress, will be present to acknowledge the significance of the occasion, as will the Deputy Mayor of Cork County Cllr. Kevin Conway.  Bishops, clergy, lay ministers, and people from the all over the Diocese, representatives of other churches, guests, visitors, staff and supporters from Christian Aid, and members of the public who  will be present at the Service.

The Bishop of Cork, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton will preside at the Service of Evensong and give the blessing. The Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, will give the Bidding at the start of the Service.  The Right Reverend Trevor Williams will represent Christian Aid Ireland, and the Right Reverend Patrick Rooke, Bishop of Tuam, will attend as Chairperson of the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal (the Church of Ireland’s World Aid and Development Programme).  The Service is open to members of the public who are, as at every Church Service, most welcome to attend, with the only limit being – the availability of seating within the Cathedral.

Bishop Paul Colton said:

Loving our neighbour, not only the person we know and like, but also the stranger in our midst and far away out of our sight, is a fundamental tenet of Christianity, given to us by Jesus Christ himself.  Christian Aid, and indeed our own Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal with which it works in partnership, helps us all to do this ecumenically, regardless of race and religion.  Seventy years of this work through Christian Aid is indeed something to celebrate and be thankful for.  The fact that Archbishop Rowan Williams will be with us in Cork is a major joy.  It is a truly historic and significant occasion for the Church of Ireland in Cork, and by extension for the city and region as a whole, that a former Archbishop of Canterbury is honouring this occasion with his presence in this way.  I look forward to hearing his preaching; it is always profound, challenging and thoughtful.

As well as marking 70 years of Christian Aid, the Service is an opportunity for Christian Aid to give thanks for the generosity of The Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross for their prayerful support of Christian Aid’s rebuilding work in Haiti over the past three years. With support from Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal, this small Diocese has raised more than €44,000 for ‘Houses for Haiti’. The funds have helped build new homes for families that lost everything when a major earthquake hit Haiti in January 2010.

Andrew Coleman of Christian Aid (Cork) said:

We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the churches, schools and communities in Cork for their ongoing support for the work of Christian Aid over the years. We have had overwhelming support for Christian Aid fundraising events including Christian Aid Week, the annual Sheep’s Head Hike and other local community fundraising efforts. This has made a huge difference in changing the lives of people living in extreme poverty around the world.

Dr Williams, who was born into a Welsh speaking family in south Wales, (and whose full title since his elevation to a peerage in the United Kingdom in 2013 is the Right Reverend and Right Honorable the Lord Williams of Oystermouth) is known also as theologian, writer, poet, and linguist (he speaks three and reads nine).  His academic work is in the area of the Church Fathers and as an historian of Christian spirituality.

The Right Reverend and Right Honourable the Lord Williams of Oystermouth, Archbishop of Canterbury (2002-2012) and Chairperson of the Board of Christian Aid

The Right Reverend and Right Honourable the Lord Williams of Oystermouth, Archbishop of Canterbury (2002-2012) and Chairperson of the Board of Christian Aid

Practical information: There will be no parking for members of the public in the Cathedral grounds or in the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace, and, once again, it is important to note that while this Service, like every Church Service, is open to attendance by members of the public who will be made most welcome, seating is limited to the number of seats in St Fin Barre’s!

This year’s Sheep’s Head Hike in support of Christian Aid will be held on Saturday, 3rd September.  Watch out for more details!

– Ends –

Further information from:

Sam Wynn Church of Ireland Diocesan Communications Officer

Telephone:   +353 (0)86 813 7659

E mail:  media@corkchurchofireland.com

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