Appointment of Dean of Ross and Incumbent of Ross Union of Parishes

The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, has announced that, on foot of a nomination from the Diocesan Board of Patronage, he has appointed the Reverend Cliff Jeffers, currently Incumbent of Fanlobbus Union of Parishes in the Diocese, as Incumbent of Ross Union of Parishes. Ross Union of parishes encompasses  the ancient parishes of Ross (Rosscarbery), Kilmacabea (Leap), Myross (Union Hall), Kilfaughnabeg (Glandore) and Castleventry in West Cork.

The Reverend Cliff Jeffers, new Incumbent of Ross Union of Parishes, who has also been appointed by the Bishop as Dean of Ross.

In addition, the Reverend Cliff Jeffers has been appointed by the Bishop (with whom rests, independently, the right of appointment to the dignity) to the Deanery of Ross. The Dean of Ross is one of the senior clergy of the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.  In accordance with the Statutes of the Cathedrals of the Diocese, the Dean of Ross is also Chancellor of the Cathedral Church of Saint Fin Barre, Cork.  The latter is an honorary position. The Cathedral Church of Saint Fachtna stands on a site where Christian worship has been offered for over 1400 years. Here St. Fachtna developed a monastic settlement in AD 590. Pilgrims and scholars came from near and far and gained for Ross the title ‘‘Ross Ailithir’’- the wooded headland of the pilgrims.The earliest mention of a church building on the site is in the 10th century and reference is made to a Cathedral at the end of the 12th. century.

Announcing the appointment, Bishop Colton said:

The Reverend Cliff Jeffers has had a faithful and creative ministry in West Cork, in the Parish of Fanlobbus Union, for the last eight years . He has been an encourager, pastor and energetic facilitator of the participation of others in the life of the Church. He has undertaken and completed a number of significant parish initiatives ecumenically and in partnership with the whole community, notably the commissioning and installation of the Sam Maguire Bells, as well as developing the partnership the parish has had over the years with the Gaelic Athletic Association. Most recently, he has had an important role in the implementation in Dunmanway of the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Centenaries Commemoration and Reconciliation Project, including supporting the parish, local community and many people further afield in the recent commemoration of the Bandon Valley killings in 1922.

I know that the people of Fanlobbus Union will be devastated to lose him, but will also wish him every joy and blessing in this new calling. The people of Ross Union will, I am sure, welcome him to their parish over the hills to the south as he and Eunice move to their new home on the coast of West Cork.

Responding to his appointment, the Reverend Cliff Jeffers said:

I am honoured to have been nominated as Rector of Ross Union of Parishes and to have been appointed by the Bishop as Dean of Ross. I’m looking forward to getting to know the parishioners and local community.  However, it also comes with a sadness of having to leave the people of Fanlobbus whom I have ministered happily alongside for the last eight years.

Cliff, a native of Bandon, has served as rector of Fanlobbus Union of Parishes (Dunmanway) for the last eight years.  In 1998 he was ordained and started his curacy in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick.   Following his time in Limerick City Parish, he served as rector of the Clonenagh Group of Parishes in the diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory  and afterwards the parish of Athy in the diocese of Dublin & Glendalough.  Before moving back to Cork in 2014, he worked for a year as a chaplain in Dublin Institute of Technology.

The Reverend Cliff Jeffers on a visit to Holy Island, Lough Derg, River Shannon.

Having studied Electronic & Industrial Engineering in Cork Institute of Technology, Cliff worked in the computer industry in Cork for seven years before being accepted for ordination and studying for his Bachelor in Theology at Trinity College Dublin.  In 2019 he completed a Masters in Transformational Leadership, awarded by York St. John University.

Among Cliff’s priorities in ministry are: Christian teaching and faith development, youth and children’s ministry, outreach and development of community connections as well as getting to know people and providing pastoral care.  The recent lockdowns also allowed him to draw on his technical background in developing online church services and bible studies.  His other interests include sailing, bell ringing, DIY, table tennis, croquet and walking his dog.

Harnessing technology in response to the pandemic

Cliff is married to Eunice and they have two adult sons, Andy and Simon, both now living and working in Cork.  Eunice is involved in parish ministry, using her skills as a listener, an organist and her interest in local history and genealogy.

Eunice and Cliff Jeffers

The date of the Institution of the Reverend Cliff Jeffers as Incumbent and of his Installation as Dean will be announced in due course.

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