Susan Colton – A Legacy of Learning

After 41 years of vocational service to the Irish education system as a Teacher, Principal, and Deputy Principal, Susan Colton retired from her position as Teacher and Deputy Principal of Saint Luke’s NS, Douglas on Friday 28th October 2022, just before the October mid-term break.

To celebrate Susan’s 23 years-long career at Saint Luke’s NS as a teacher for Rang 3, Junior Infants and Support Teaching, a special service was held on Thursday, 27th October at Saint Luke’s Church in Douglas, followed by a lunch gathering in the school afterwards. Current and former students, teachers, Board of Management members, and staff of Saint Luke’s NS all were present to celebrate with Susan and her family and friends.

A full church for Susan Colton’s Retirement Service

Every single class made a small presentation to Susan, where they recited poems, sang songs, and recollected some of their favourite memories of their teacher, most notably from their time in Junior Infants.

Olwen Anderson, Principal of Saint Luke’s NS, said during the service:

There is a well known saying – ‘Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions’. You have without doubt taught future engineers, doctors, sportspeople, marketing gurus, architects, teachers and there must be the odd influencer in there too! […] Susan – we will miss your lovely relationship with our pupils, your thoughtful teaching, your witty sense of humour, your entertaining stories, your calm wisdom, your practical solutions to problems, and that very unique umbrella.

As one of our pupils said in their message to you – “Have fun. You’ve worked really hard. Hope you will always remember that you are part of St. Luke’s”

So, on behalf of everyone in St. Luke’s School, I want to wish you a very healthy and a very happy retirement.

Principal Olwen Anderson and a pupil of St Luke’s NS during the service.

Susan Colton also recollected some memories from her time at Saint Luke’s NS:

One of my duties as deputy Principal was to keep and update the School Records. This involved making sure the roll was taken correctly every day. I also had to keep an eye on all the pupils attendance – how many days pupils were present and how many days pupils were absent in the year.

I had to fill in these two Clar Leabhair, one for boys and one for girls. […] My name is also in a Clar Leabhair not as a teacher, but as a pupil, because I started St Luke’s School in Junior Infants just like you, in 1965 – 6th Class do your sums. I am very proud that my name is in a St Luke’s Clar Leabhair. […] I feel very privileged that since 1965 I have been connected to St Luke’s as a pupil, teacher, parent and deputy principal. […]

School Group Photo at St Luke’s NS with Susan Colton (second row, sitting on chairs, fourth from the right) and her husband Bishop Paul Colton (back row, standing, first from left next to Canon Packham).
School Group Photo at St Luke’s NS with Susan and her sister Jane (second row, third from the left: Jane, fourth from the left: Susan).

I now have the opportunity to thank past and present Patrons, Managers, Chairpersons, clergy, Boards of Management, PTA, Principals, teachers, parents, staff, pupils and everybody associated with St Luke’s who have worked so hard over the years to make St Luke’s the progressive school it is today. […]

Winston Churchill once quoted Confucius and said “If you find a job you love, you will never work again”. I was fortunate enough to find a job that I loved. Thank you to all who made it possible to allow me to do the job that I love. I have had 23 very happy years teaching in St Luke’s and 18 years before that in other happy schools. I hope all of you pupils will find a job in the future that you love.

Susan Colton, her husband Bishop Paul and their two sons Adam and Andrew, all former pupils of St Luke’s NS, having lunch in the school after the celebratory service.

On Friday, 28th October, Susan’s very last day at school, the pupils and teachers of Saint Luke’s NS prepared a special assembly, where they presented Susan with more gifts and sang a song that they wrote for their teacher – “Super-duper, wonderful, fantastic Mrs Colton”.

Susan Colton dressed up for her last day of school.

Susan, Comhghairdeas ar do scor.

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New Representative for Children and Families Ministry in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

The Rev. Isobel Jackson, Rector of Templebreedy Group of Parishes, has been appointed by Bishop Paul Colton as the new Children and Families Ministry Representative for the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

The Rev. Isobel Jackson, Rector of Templebreedy and new Children and Families Ministry Representative in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

The Church of Ireland Board for Ministry with Children and Families (CFM) exists to equip, resource and advocate for the increased welcome, enhanced inclusion, and full participation of children and their families in the whole life of the Church. Their vision is that every Church of Ireland parish, no matter how big or small, is equipped to provide vibrant and engaging ministry with children and families. The CFM representatives from each Diocese work together to promote, support and develop Children and Families ministry across the island of Ireland.

Upon her appointment, the Rev. Isobel Jackson said:

It has been a privilege to have been part of the Children’s Ministry Group in the diocese for the last eight years and I am excited about my appointment to this new responsibility. Working with children in schools and in parish ministry is one of the most rewarding ministries you could be involved in and also the most vital to the future of our parishes.

Our role as the children’s ministry group is to support and equip those in this ministry, linking in with the wider church network supporting children and families, where there is a larger resource.

The past two years have been a challenge. All ministries have experienced strain on many levels, and parishes are ‘beginning again’ in some respects, especially in children’s ministry. As a team, we want to know how best we can support the wonderfully gifted people who have been doing this work and have always been so committed in their time and energy, and we also would like to encourage others to join us.

Throughout the pandemic we saw people get creative and innovative in finding new ways to minister. To have seen this resilience fills me with hope and excitement for the future, and through prayer and practical help we look forward to empowering parishes to take the next steps in their children’s ministry. I am looking forward to seeing what we can do together to grow the Kingdom, through this vital ministry.

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Leap Church opens for Scarecrow Festival and Harvest Thanksgiving

The Dean of Ross, the Very Rev. Cliff Jeffers writes:

Last year when we attended the Leap Scarecrow festival as visitors, we noticed that the Church of Ireland church in the middle of the village was closed and the people visiting the Scarecrow Festival walked past the locked gate. For this year’s festival, Dean Cliff Jeffers joined the organising committee of the Scarecrow Festival, and offered to open the church and grounds so that they could be part of the festival.

There were several scarecrows in the churchyard, and the church has been decorated inside by the parishioners for harvest. The church was open every day from the 30th October to the 6th November from 10am to 5pm, and we were keen to make the connection between scarecrows and giving thanks to God for the Harvest. Therefore, there was also a children’s harvest service in on Sunday 6th November at 2pm.

All of the fruit and vegetables that have been used to decorate the church will be donated to Rosscarbery Meals on Wheels, who distribute dinners to elderly people in the local area.

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Diocesan Visit to Lichfield Cathedral

As part of the ongoing link between the Diocese of Lichfield, UK and the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, a group of people from our Diocese are travelling to Lichfield this week, from Monday 7th November to Wednesday 9th November, to attend two services at Lichfield Cathedral. This is at the invitation of the Right Rev. Michael Ipgrave, Bishop of Lichfield, and the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral of Saint Mary and Saint Chad, Lichfield.

From left to right: Hilda Connolly, the Rev. Elaine Murray, the Ven. Andrew Orr, the Rev. Paul Willoughby, and the Rev. John Ardis.

On Monday afternoon, there will be a Solemn Eucharist with the Consecration of an Shrine Altar for the Shrine of Saint Chad, Patron Saint of Lichfield Cathedral, and on Tuesday there will be Ecumenical Vespers at which a relic of Saint Chad will be translated by the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham into the new Shrine.

To represent the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Rev. John Ardis, the Ven. Andrew Orr, the Rev. Canon Paul Willoughby, the Rev. Canon Elaine Murray and Diocesan Youth Officer Hilda Connolly will attend the two services, and will also further build on the link between the two dioceses.

Last year’s visitor group in front of Lichfield Cathedral.
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Bishop Paul Colton appoints new Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, has announced that, following the consecration of Bishop Adrian Wilkinson, the new Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross is to be the Reverend Canon Andrew Orr. Archdeacons are appointed by the bishop of the diocese, and their role is to assist the bishop in his or her pastoral care of the diocese, as well as the general oversight and administration of the diocese.

The Ven. Andrew Orr

Andrew was born in Belfast.  He attended Sullivan Upper School in Holywood, Co. Down, before studying for a B.Sc. (Hons) in Geology and Physical Geography at the University of Sheffield. He was awarded a Bachelor of Theology from TCD in 1992 and was ordained deacon the same year.

He served a curacy in the parish of Ballymacash in Lisburn, before moving south to become Rector of the Castlecomer Group of Parishes in the Diocese of Ossory. In 2000, he followed Bishop Colton to become Rector of Castleknock and Mulhuddart with Clonsilla in northwest Dublin. In that fast growing and diverse parish, he became deeply involved in interfaith dialogue with the new Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Orthodox communities. He returned in 2009 to the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory to become Rector of the Tullow Group of Parishes on the borders of Carlowand Wicklow. Bishop Michael Burrows appointed him Archdeacon of Ossory and Leighlin in 2014.

In 2018, Andrew and his wife Susan moved to Cork, Cloyne and Ross, as Susan became Dean of Cloyne and Andrew was appointed Priest-in-charge of Youghal Union and Chaplain to Midleton College school. A life long interest in environmental issues led to him becoming Church of Ireland representative and then chair of Eco Congregation Ireland, as well as representing the Church on other bodies such as the Anglican Communion Environmental Network. In 2020, Bishop Colton appointed him an Honorary Canon of St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, with special responsibility for the Environment and Climate Change.

Susan and Andrew have three adult children, and welcomed their first grandchild, Tomás, this summer.

The Ven. Andrew Orr and the Very Rev. Susan Green in front of Saint Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast during the General Synod of the Church of Ireland in 2021.

Bishop Colton said:

I am very pleased to announce that I have appointed Andrew Orr to be Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, in addition to all his existing roles in the United Dioceses. He will bring many gifts and much experience in ministry to this new role, an important one if partnership with the bishop and everyone in the Diocese alike.

The Ven. Andrew Orr said:

I am surprised and delighted to be taking up the position of Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross. I am very conscious that I have big shoes to fill, following on from Bishop Wilkinson, but it is a role I thoroughly enjoyed in Cashel, Ferns and Ossory. I look forward to working closely with Bishop Paul and all the diocesan team in this wonderful part of the Church of Ireland.

The Ven. Andrew Orr during the Celebratory Service for the 800th Anniversary of Saint Mary’s Collegiate Church, Youghal.
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