After nearly 45 years of service in the Church of Ireland, the Rev. Ted Ardis took his last Sunday service yesterday, 26th February, at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, following the recent announcement of his forthcoming retirement.
His final week as Dean’s Vicar included the Ash Wednesday Eucharist, Choral Evensong on Friday and Choral Eucharist as well as Choral Evensong on the First Sunday of Lent. As an enthusiastic singer himself, the Rev. Ted sung the entire Litany by Henry Loosemore at the beginning of yesterday’s Choral Eucharist. At the end of the service, Canon Daniel Nuzum, who took Ted’s last service together with him, said a special prayer for Ted and wished him well for his forthcoming retirement.
During his nearly 10 years at the Cathedral, the Rev. Ted became known among the choir as the most reliable, animated, and musical Cantor for Choral Evensong. To thank him for his enthusiastic musicality, his open ear, and of course his great sense of humour, the adults of the choir invited Ted and his wife Hilary to lunch at the River Lee Hotel At Evensong Ted was presented with a gift from the choir.
During the Sunday Eucharist the previous week, 19th February, the Dean, Select Vestry and parishioners took the opportunity to thank Ted for his nine years’ service.
Speaking on behalf of all at the Cathedral, the Dean of Cork, the Very Revd Nigel Dunne mentioned Revd Ardis’ pastoral gifts, his engagement with newcomers and visitors to the Cathedral and his particular gift for hospital chaplaincy.
The Dean went on to highlight Revd Ardis’ special relationship with Lapps Court and his particular passion for welcoming those who have fled violence and injustice, showing remarkable care to an extended Syrian family and for some who had been wrongly threatened with deportation from other countries in recent years. Revd Ardis’ love of liturgy and more especially of liturgical music and his devotion to the Third Order of St Francis were also highlighted, as was the support of his wife Hilary over so many years.
Concluding his address, the Dean said:
On 28th February the Cathedral loses a faithful pastor, dedicated priest and a good friend and support to many. I lose a trusted, loyal and wise colleague. We wish you improved health, the time and space to do the things you and Hilary can now do unfettered by the demands of full time ministry and most especially God’s continued blessing and peace as you head into retirement.
The Dean’s Cathedral Warden, Dr Alicia St Leger presented Revd Ardis with gifts from the parishioners and Select Vestry of the Cathedral and Mrs Margaret Newenham presented Hilary Ardis with a bouquet of flowers. Refreshments were served in the Cathedral Ambulatory after the service when Revd Ardis, Hilary Ardis and one of his sons, Revd John Ardis (also a former Dean’s Vicar and now Rector of Abbestrewery Union) were invited to cut a specially designed cake to mark the occasion.
Ted began his ordained ministry as curate-assistant of Drumcondra and North Strand and a second curacy in St Bartholomew’s with Lesson Park, both in the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough. He then moved to his first incumbency as Rector of Ardamine in the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory. From there he moved to the west of Ireland to be Dean of Killala and later returned to Donnybrook and Irishtown & Chaplain to the St Vincent’s hospitals in south Dublin. During that time Revd Ardis was a Canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin where he was often cantor at Choral Evensong alongside his duties as a Chapter Canon.
Revd Ardis moved to Cork in 2013 and took up the post of Dean’s Vicar on All Saints’ Day that year.