As part of the existing link between the Diocese of Lichfield and the United Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Bishop Paul Colton was invited by the Bishop of Lichfield and the Dean of Lichfield to preach at Lichfield Cathedral last Sunday, 27th February 2022, to mark the 1350th anniversary of the death of St Chad, the Patron Saint of Lichfield Cathedral.
As part of this major diocesan gathering in Lichfield, a party of ten from Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork, including the Lay Vicars Choral, the Director of Music, Mr Peter Stobart, and the Assistant Director of Music, Mr Robbie Carroll had been invited to join forces with Lichfield Cathedral Choir to sing at the Eucharist and Evensong that Sunday. Robbie had also been invited to play the closing voluntary after the Eucharist.
On the evening of the party’s arrival before the Festival Service, everyone was invited by the Bishop and Mrs Ipgrave to a reception at Bishop’s House to mark the visit.
The link between the Dioceses was first established back in 2018. Bishop Paul Colton writes:
Since 2018-19, at the invitation of the Right Reverend Dr Michael Ipgrave Bishop of Lichfield in the Church of England, we in Cork, Cloyne and Ross have been exploring connections with that Diocese. Some of their clergy came on an exploratory visit. In 2019 the Bishop and his wife came to stay with Susan and me in Cork. We arranged for them to meet a number of you.
The link has ancient resonances in the Celtic Church but also, we feel that, in the wake of BREXIT, it is very important that we maintain strong links with our sister Church of England. Indeed, this communion is enjoined on us in the Preamble and Declaration to the Constitution of the Church of Ireland.