In recent months, following a Diocesan Service in the Cathedral Church of Saint Fachtna, Rosscarbery, County Cork, the Bishop, Dr Paul Colton, presented the Dean, the Very Reverend Cliff Jeffers, with an old and well-used set of bible commentaries, written by the Church of Scotland Minister and theologian, William Barclay.
The collection of books had been in Bishop Colton’s possession since 1983, the year before he was made Deacon. The nearly complete set of New Testament Commentaries, and other books by William Barclay, had been a gift to Paul Colton as an ordinand from Mrs Edith Gordon, widow of the Very Reverend Arthur Gordon, who was Dean of Ross until the previous year, 1982.
Bishop Colton said:
As an ordinand in Cork, Cloyne and Ross in the early 1980s I could not have asked for greater support and goodwill from own parish and from the wider household of the whole Diocese. A number of clergy widows came forward to offer books and one even gifted a silver set for private Holy Communion. Mrs Gordon and her daughter Elaine were among those who were very supportive. It was a treasure and privilege to receive Dean Gordon’s well-worn and diligently used bible commentaries.
Having gathered many thousands more books in the course of nearly 40 years of ministry, Bishop Colton decided that the library at Saint Fachtna’s Cathedral, Rosscarbery would be a fitting place for Dean Gordon’s books to be deposited for wider use.
Dean Arthur Gordon was born on 11th May 1910. He was made a deacon in 1941 and ordained to the priesthood in 1942. His first curacy was in Kinsale (1941-43) after which he was curate-in-charge of Kilmeen (1943-47). He was incumbent of Carrigaline Union from 1947 to 1962. He held a number of dignities before becoming Dean of Ross: prebendaries of Island (Ross) and Dromdaleague (Cork) from 1962-68, and Liscleary (Cork) from 1967 to 1968; Precentor of Ross (1964-67), and Archdeacon of Cloyne from 1967 to 1968. In 1968 he became Incumbent of Ross Union of Parishes and was appointed Dean of Ross by the Bishop. From 1968 to 1978 he also held the prebend of Holy Trinity (Cork) and for two years was Chancellor of Cork (1976-78). Dean Gordon died in 1982 and the following year his bible commentaries were passed on to Paul Colton. Now they are at home again in the library at Saint Fachtna’s Cathedral, Rosscarbery.