The parishioners and friends of Mallow Union came together on Saturday 7th August to welcome the wider community to their annual Summer Fête. Despite the wind and rain, people came in large numbers and several gazebos ensured both shelter and safe distancing for everyone. As well as bric-à-brac, home baking and other home produce, there was an excellent barbecue lunch. The church was open throughout and their organist, Eamon Winter played appropriate music to ensure there was a prayerful, reflective atmosphere inside the church throughout the afternoon.
The Summer Fête was the first major event in the parish since the arrival of the new Rector, the Reverend Meurig Williams. He was delighted to ‘fling wide the gates and open the doors’ to receive many people, some of whom were Mallow residents visiting the church for the first time. ‘It was also a great a team effort and a wonderful reflection of how everyone pulled together’, he added.
The Rector was keen to stress the importance of these events in enabling the Church of Ireland to play a full part in the life of the local community. With this in mind, he has also encouraged the Mallow Farmers’ Market to move to a new permanent home in the grounds of St James’s Church from the end of August.
Inviting the Farmers’ Market to have a central location at the heart of the town is not just a way of signalling the Church’s support for local farmers and producers; I hope it will also be good for other shops and businesses in Mallow as more people have a reason for coming into town. It is just one small example of how mission happens when the Church becomes positively involved in a range of activities that touch different aspects of community life.