Five archbishops in these islands, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, the Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York and the Archbishop of Wales have sent their greetings to mark the 150th anniversary of the consecration of Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral Cork.
Next Monday – Saint Andrew’s Day – 30th November, will mark the 150th anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral by the then Bishop of Cork, Bishop John Gregg, on that day in 1870. The preacher that morning was the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Reverend Dr Marcus Gervais Beresford. At Evensong, the preacher was the Bishop of Peterborough, Bishop William Connor Magee, who was Dean of Cork from 1864 to 1868, much of the period of the building of the new cathedral. In 1891 became Archbishop of York for a short period of time. The next day, 1st December, the celebrations continued, and the preacher in the morning was the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Reverend Dr Richard Chevenix Trench. In the afternoon the Bishop of Derry, the Right Reverend William Alexander (later to become Archbishop of Armagh) was the preacher.
Bishop Paul Colton says:
The participation of so many Archbishops and bishops on the occasion of the consecration of the new St Fin Barre’s Cathedral in 1870 was a mark of both the regional, as well as the national and international , significance of the new cathedral building at that time, just a month before the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland on 1st January 1871.
Undoubtedly it was a remarkable and splendid occasion in the life of this Diocese and a confident statement of both faith and intent.
One hundred and fifty years on it is a joy and encouragement to receive the greetings, not only from the successors of those who were present at that time, but also to receive greetings more widely from the Anglican Communion on almost every continent, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, as well as from our sister churches and political leaders.
The present day cathedral, designed by William Burges, is the most recent building on the site where Christian worship and witness have been offered in Cork since the Seventh Century.