The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Rowan Williams, who is now Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, travelled to Cork on Sunday, 28th February, to preach at Choral Evensong in Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork, and to give thanks for 70 years of the work of Christian Aid. Bishop Williams chairs the Board of Christian Aid.
It was also an opportunity to thank the people of Cork, Cloyne and Ross for their support for Christian Aid, and also the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal, not least, recently through a three year project of building houses in Haiti following the earthquake there.
People from all over the Diocese, as well as many Christian Aid supporters from further afield, attended the special Service in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral. In his Sermon Bishop Williams spoke about ‘the joy of giving’. Afterwards, before returning to Cork Airport to depart for home, he remained outside for a long time meeting the members of the large congregation and chatting to them all.
Beforehand, the Bishop of Cork, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, and Mrs Susan Colton hosted a lunch at the Bishop’s Palace in honour of Bishop Rowan Williams and Christian Aid. The Lord Mayor of Cork and the Lady Mayoress, Cllr Chris O’Leary and Mrs Angela O’Leary, and the Deputy Mayor of Cork County, Cllr Kevin Conway were present.
Ecumenical guests included, Bishop John Buckley (Bishop of Cork and Ross), the Rev. Bill Mullally (Methodist Church in Ireland). and the Rev. John Faris (Presbyterian Church in Ireland), and Denise Gabuzda (Society of Friends).
Present from Christian Aid were the former Bishop of Limerick, the Right Reverend Trevor Williams (Chairman), Ms Rosamond Bennett, Ms Deborah Doherty, Mrs Sandra Dukelow (Christian Aid Ireland) and Mr Andrew Coleman (Christian Aid Cork). The Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal was represented by the Bishop of Tuam, the Right Reverend Patrick Rooke, and Ms Lydia Monds (Bishops’ Appeal Education Adviser).
Also present on this special day were Captain Mick Malone, representing the Irish Naval Service, Lt Col Michael O’Connor (Defence Forces) and Inspector Fergal Foley (An Garda Síochána). The Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Venerable Adrian Wilkinson and Mrs Jacqui Wilkinson, the Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne and Mrs Isobel Dunne, Mr Billy Skuse (Diocesan Secretary), Mr John Jermyn (Diocesan Registrar) together with Mrs Mary Jermyn, and Ms Carol Jermyn (Diocesan Solicitor) together with Mr Robert Baker were among those representing the Diocese.