On Sunday afternoon, 19th January 2020, the Reverend Paul Robinson was welcomed to his new ministry in the Diocese of Cork: as priest-in-charge of the Parish of Saint Anne, Shandon, and as Chaplain to Saint Luke’s Home, Cork.
The Bishop of Cork, the Right Reverend Paul Colton, presided and, having welcomed the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Dr John Sheehan, asked the congregation, as of first importance, to observe a minute’s silence to remember Cameron Blair and his bereaved family. Cameron Blair, a young 20 year old student from the Diocese, was killed on the previous Thursday night in the City.
Saint Anne’s Church, Shandon was full for the occasion with parishioners, clergy and readers from the Diocese, visiting clergy and readers from England and Wales, representatives of partner organisations of the parish, and a contingent of 60 parishioners from Paul’s former parish in the Diocese of Liverpool.
The preacher was the Very Reverend Gerwyn Capon, Dean of Llandaff, in the Church in Wales. Among the clergy of the Diocese present were the Deans of Cork, of Cloyne and of Ross. The Rev. Paul Robinson was presented to the Bishop by the Archdeacon, the Venerable Adrian Wilkinson. All of the arrangements were overseen by the Rural Dean of Cork City, Canon Dr Daniel Nuzum.
The choir of Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork crossed the river to sing the Service. The organists were Adam Nuzum (parish organist in Shandon), Robbie Carroll (Assistant Director of Music at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral) and Peter Stobart (Director of Music at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral).
Saint Luke’s Home was represented by the CEO, Tony O’Brien, Mrs Joan Jeffery, and by social worker, Eugene Browne, as well as by some of the members of the Board of Directors: Alan Campbell, Derek Dunne and Ann Hevers.
Remarking that this is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Bishop welcomed especially ecumenical visitors: Fr. John O’Donovan together with a group of his parishioners from the Cathedral of Saint Mary and Saint Anne nearby, Sister Antonia Murphy (Presentation Sisters) Sister Placida and Sisters at the North Presentation Convent, Fr. Maurice Colgan, Dominican Pope’s Quay, the Rev Mike O Sullivan, Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church, Dr. Bejoy Philip from Mar Thoma Community, Cork, as well as representatives from Trinity Presbyterian Church, and the Religious Society of Friends.
Other local organisations in the city that work in partnership with the parish represented included: the Firkin Crane Centre, the Shandon Area Renewal Association, Eco-Congregation and Climate Justice. Pádraig Rice, Coordinator of the Cork Gay Project was present, as were representatives of LINC, and Choral ConFusion. Cllr Dan Boyle (Cork City Council) was also present.
Following the licensing and and speeches of welcome by the Bishop, Stephen Spillane (on behalf of the Parish), Tony O’Brien (on behalf of Saint Luke’s Home), Paul Robinson himself spoke about his strong sense of God’s calling to this new place and ministry, and he thanked everyone for their welcome. Afterwards everyone enjoyed the hospitality of the Parish in the Maldron Hotel next door.