The Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Deirdre Forde, recently hosted a reception in the Concert Hall at Cork City Hall ‘to recognise and build on the collective efforts of all Community Response Partners in supporting our most vulnerable people and communities over the past few years.’
Among those recognised for ‘outstanding service to the community’ during the years of the Coronavirus Pandemic to date was the Church of Ireland in Cork Cloyne and Ross. The Bishop, Dr Paul Colton, who is a member of the Community Response Forum in Cork City and Cork County was present to receive the certificate on behalf of everyone in the Diocese who served, volunteered and worked in so many ways to maintain and support community life during the pandemic, and especially those who are most vulnerable.
Introducing an ecumenical and interfaith minute’s silence of remembrance and thanksgiving, Bishop Colton told the gathering that in his nearly 24 years as Bishop of Cork he had never seen such a diverse partnership of individuals and groups in both the City and County who mobilised across many boundaries and differences in order to do what needed to be done in recent years in response to the current needs of society. ‘Quite simply’ the Bishop said, ‘these have been among the most potent partnerships I have ever seen here. People who are very different in outlook and worldview have worked across their differences for the common good.’ This observation struck a chord with those present and was greeted with spontaneous applause.
The Lord Mayor called the evening ‘Glance Back – Look Forward’. It is planned to build on these community partnerships which have also been to the fore in responding to the needs of Ukrainians fleeing the war in Ukraine. More recently the Community Response Forum in Cork City has broadened its brief to harness the collaboration, in support of all of the most vulnerable in the City.