A new charity – The Bishop of Cork Pastoral Care Fund – was established in late 2020 by Bishop Paul Colton, with the support of the Diocesan Council, in the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross. A Founders’ Appeal launched by the Bishop has raised nearly €162,000, for investment, to set the charity on its way. Of that amount, nearly €124,000 was raised in just 14 weeks, in the period from the second week of Lent until Trinity Sunday, last Sunday.
The charity, recognised by and registered with the Charities’ Regulator, has been set up in a very broad way to help, within the resources available to it, any necessitous person in Cork City or Cork County under the following headings permitted by charity legislation:
Relief of poverty or economic hardship
The advancement of education
Advancement of community welfare including the relief of those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health, or disability
The advancement of religion with a special focus on the promotion of religious or racial harmony and harmonious community relations
The United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross and its bishops have been associated with many charities for many centuries but this is the first charity to be set up directly by a bishop and the Diocese with such a broad and all-encompassing range of charitable objects.
‘Apart from the fact that a new Charity was needed because a number of smaller charities had to be wound up and consolidated in a viable unit for the purposes of implementing the Charities Governance Code’ explained Bishop Colton ‘other donors were coming forward to support the work of the Church of Ireland through the Bishop of the Diocese, and a proper charity setup was essential to make that possible. Given that a new charity was necessary it was decided to make it as strong and as potent as possible for the benefit of those in need, now and in the future. It is also vital that the discretionary charity work done by a bishop on behalf of a diocese is transparent and regulated within the charities’ governance structures.’
Bishop Colton held up the vision to the Diocese of this charity as one way to implement the third of The Five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion, namely
To respond to human need with loving service.
Thanking all of the donors to the Founders’ Appeal, Bishop Colton said:
I feel strongly that we shouldn’t just ride on the bus set in motion by our generous ancestors in the past. We all have an opportunity in our own time to do something positive and to make a difference now, in a way that the people of future generations will be thankful for.
Yes, it seemed counterintuitive to set up a new charity in the midst of the crisis of a pandemic but, paradoxically, it has proven to be the right time; people here have recognised the need, shared the vision, and supported it very generously.
I thank each and every person who has supported the Founders’ Appeal to date: people and parishes from this Diocese, friends of the Diocese from all over Ireland, and people from the Cork diaspora as far away as New Zealand.
The Founders’ Appeal itself was inspired by two celebrations and commemorations of recent times. The 150th anniversary of the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland was a reminder of the significant voluntary donations of members of the Church in those difficult days to the future work of the Church. Between April and October 1870, £30,000 ( a huge sum at the time) was raised in Cork, Cloyne and Ross alone. And, in the same period of history in Cork, Cloyne and Ross the people had been raising money to build the new Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral. I recently came across the list of subscribers to that in a photograph album which was kept by Bishop John Gregg.
Each parish in the Diocese has appointed liaison persons to work with the Bishop and trustees fo the new Charity.
It is still possible to support The Founders’ Appeal for the Bishop of Cork Pastoral Care Fund.