A group of pilgrims from The Episcopal Church, USA (Anglican) led by the Right Rev. Dr Mary Glasspool, Suffragan Bishop of New York, visited St Fin Barre’s Cathedral last week. They were welcomed by the Bishop of Cork, the Right Rev. Dr. Paul Colton and the Dean of Cork, the Very Rev. Nigel Dunne.
The group came from both the Diocese of New York and the Diocese of Los Angeles and were touring places of worship and other sites in Ireland. Welcoming the group to the 12 noon daily Eucharist, the Dean of Cork noted that they had not had sufficient time to kiss the Blarney stone on their visit there earlier in the day and suggested that they would still be able to join in the many words of the liturgy and in singing the offertory hymn!
Speaking after the service, the Dean noted just how familiar the words of the Book of Common Prayer rite were to the visitors and how the common liturgical tradition of Anglicans across the world signified the great sense of unity shared across national and provincial boundaries. Bishop Colton also spoke of the importance of Anglicans encountering each other with that sense of unity, at a time when the public perception of the Anglican Communion was often one of disharmony and disagreement.
Bishop Glasspool and her fellow pilgrims were delighted with the worship, hospitality and guided tour received at the Cathedral. Bishop Glasspool commented afterwards that this was the warmest welcome they had received on their tour so far. The group continued to Cashel and Dublin before returning to the United States.