Bishop of Cork to lead Diocesan Group to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland

On All Saints’ Day, 1st November, a group from the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, led by their Bishop, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, will fly out of Dublin to Helsinki to make a visit to the Diocese of Borgå, the Swedish speaking Diocese in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland.  The group has been invited by the Bishop of Borgå, the Right Reverend Dr Björn Vikström, who visited Cork with his Diocesan staff in June 2016.

The Cork group will visit Helsinki, Porvoo, Tampere and Turku.  Porvoo is the Finnish name of the city and diocese that gave its name in October 1992 to the Porvoo Common Statement resulting in the Porvoo Communion of Churches, and, as a result, creating the largest ecclesial grouping of Christians in northern Europe:  four Anglican churches from these islands, as well as the Nordic and Baltic Lutheran Churches (except Latvia which has observer status).  Bishop Colton was involved in the process, on behalf of the Church of Ireland, that led to that international agreement.

Bishop Paul Colton preached in Porvoo Cathedral in October 2002 on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Porvoo Common Statement.

The group from Cork, Cloyne and Ross have a busy week ahead.  They will meet with the Church Council and Swedish Speaking staff of the Diocese of Borgå.  When they meet the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland they will be joined by the Irish Ambassador in Finland, Maeve Collins and some of her colleagues at the Irish Embassy in Helsinki.  There will be a meeting in Helsinki about Church music in the Swedish speaking parish as part of the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Diocesan Church Music Scheme and creating connections between church musicians. There will be visits in Helsinki to the Cathedral and to the Church of the Rock.

A full day will be spent in Porvoo where, as well as visiting the famous cathedral, there will be a visit to the Chapter to meet the co-workers in the Diocese, and a briefing from the Rev. Tuomas Mäkipää, from the Anglican Chaplaincy of St. Nicholas, Helsinki.  There will be an evening reception as guests of Bishop and Mrs Vikström in Bishop’s House.  Bishop and Mrs Susan Colton will reciprocate hospitality later in the visit whiel staying in the city of Turku.

Bishop Paul Colton and Bishop Björn Visktröm
Picture: Jim Coughlan.

One of the other highlights will be a visit on Saturday 4th November to Toijala where there is a church day for teenagers “Höstdagar” , approximately 500 16-18 year old.  (It’s an annual camp  for teenagers, for those participating in confirmation education and for their leaders).  Afterwards a courtesy visit will be made to the Bishop of Tampere, the Right Reverend Dr Matti Repo, before the group continue to the city of Turku (Åbo). 

On Sunday morning, 5th November, Finnish National Television will broadcast the national Finnish Reformation 500 Service from Turku Cathedral at which the Cork group will be present.  Afterwards they will receive a briefing from a representative of the Åbo Akademi, ThD Mikael Lindfelt, at the faculty of Theology.

The busy schedule will conclude on Monday, 6th November with a visit to the meeting of the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, which Bishop Colton has been invited to address.

Visitors from the Diocese of Borgå (Porvoo) during their visit to Cork, Cloyne and Ross in 2016.
Picture: Jim Coughlan.



Posted in Bishop, Church in Society, Diocese, International Church Relations, Porvoo Communion, Youth Work

New Chaplain for Bandon Grammar School in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

On Tuesday, 31st October, 2017, Reformation Day, also this year the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation in Germany, the Reverend Anne Skuse was licensed by the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, to serve in a new post in the Diocese: whole-time chaplain at Bandon Grammar School.  Bandon Grammar School is a substantial and multifaceted community within the Diocese, with about 670 students (from approximately 400 families), 56 teachers and another 40 employees (non–teaching and coaching).

The photograph shows the Reverend Anne Skuse at the licensing by Dr Colton watched by Mr Billy Skuse, Diocesan Secretary and Anne’s husband.  Also ‘watching’ on Reformation Day from his portrait was Bishop William Lyon, first Reformation Bishop of the Diocese (Ross in 1582, and Cork and Cloyne in 1584).  William Lyon died 400 years ago this month and was buried in a tomb he had built for himself in the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace.  His bones were found by accident in 1846 and were moved to the crypt of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral when it was being built in 1865.

(l-r) Dr Paul Colton, Mr Billy Skuse, the Reverend Anne Skuse (and in the portrait, Bishop William Lyon)

A Service of welcome and commissioning of the Reverend Anne Skuse as Chaplain will take place at a special school assembly at Bandon Grammar School on Tuesday, 14th November at 10 a.m.  All are welcome, however, please notify the school office in advance of your intention to attend

Posted in Bandon Grammar School, Chaplaincies, Education, LIcensing, Schools in the Diocese

Dean Alan Marley to move to University College Cork as Church of Ireland Chaplain

It is announced today that the Dean of Cloyne, the Very Reverend Alan Marley, is to be the new Church of Ireland Chaplain at University College Cork.  Alan will leave Cloyne Union of Parishes after Christmas to take up his new position.

Alan Marley started in full time ministry with the Church Army; commissioned to be Chaplain to the Oxford House in Bethnal Green, East London in 1982. He then moved to France and lived and worked for two years as a volunteer at the Taizé Community. Returning in 1987, he trained for ordination at the Queen’s College, Birmingham, completing his degree in Theology at the University of Birmingham. Ordained in 1989, he served his curacy in the parish of Blandford Forum, Dorset, in the west of England. He then moved into sector ministry becoming the Chaplain at Aylesbury Prison, a long-term institution for Young Offenders.

In 1997 he moved to Cork, Cloyne and Ross and became Rector of the Fermoy Union. In 2003 he was appointed as the Rector of Cloyne Union and Dean of Cloyne. Within the Diocese Alan has served as Bishop’s Chaplain, Rural Dean and is currently the Director of Ordinands. He is married to Anne and they have 5 children.

The Very Reverend Alan Marley

Alan said:

We are sad to leave the Cloyne Union, where we have enjoyed such a happy and important time in our lives; and at the same time I am excited by the opportunity, and challenge, to serve as Chaplain amongst the students and staff at University College Cork. As Archbishop Richard Clarke noted in a recent article, the role of a chaplain is … “to be an active and visible presence of the Church as a whole in that place, among those who may or may not have any interest or engagement in faith of any kind”. I look forward to exploring all that this entails in this next step of ministry.

Commenting on the news of Alan Marley’s appointment, the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, said:

Alan Marley is an ideal person for this work of the Church in University College Cork.  He brings to this important post in the Diocese diversity of experience, insight, pastoral compassion and the ability to communicate warmly and in a challenging way with people of all ages.

University College Cork, founded in 1845, has more than 20,000 students (including 14,000 undergraduates) and 2,800 members of staff (of which nearly 800 are faculty).  In 2017 it was named as the Sunday Times Irish University of the Year.  It is situated on the south bank of the River Lee close to Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, in that part of the area where it is said that St Fin Barre founded his monastery, around which the town and city of Cork grew.



Posted in Announcements, Appointments, Chaplaincies, Education, University College Cork

Ashton School, Cork welcomes ‘The Young Offenders’ Past-Pupil Director

Peter Foott, past-pupil of Ashton School, Cork, award-winning director, producer and screenwriter, including of ‘The Young Offenders’ fame, was the guest of honour and speaker at his old school at prize day on Friday last, 13th October.  Ashton School is a Church of Ireland comprehensive school under the co-patronage of the Bishop of Cork, and the Cork Education and Training Board.

Co-Patrons of Ashton School, Cork Education and Training Board (represented by Mr Pat Kelvey), and the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, with Peter Foott. Photo: Hilary Herbert

Mr John Deane, Chairperson of the Board of Management welcomed everyone before Mr. Adrian Landen, Principal, outlined the year’s activities and achievements in all areas of the school curriculum, including extra-curricular, complementing the commitment and dedication of staff and students.

Assisted by the Deputy Principal Ms. Anne Marie Hewison, Guest Speaker Peter Foott, Film Director and Producer of ‘The Young Offenders’ congratulated students and presented award winners with their prizes.  Mr. Foott outlined to students the importance of the ability to acknowledge  change in career direction positively, and being prepared for challenge in the world of film, and work in general.  He acknowledged the changes that have taken place in Ashton since he was been a student, with a completely new school building, and congratulated everyone involved in their endeavours.  In his interview with Ms. Burke English Teacher, he regaled the audience with the stories of ‘fun’ along with very long hours and hard work involved in all aspects of film-making, inspiring student listeners, and keeping everyone rapt with attention.

The Ashton School Hall of Fame Award was presented by Mr. John Deane to Peter Foott for his contribution to film production.

The evening concluded with Head Girl Emma Wilkinson and Head Boy Zach Lumley thanking everyone for their time and presence at this very special occasion in the school calendar.

(l-r) Head Boy, Zac Lumley, with Peter Foott, Dr Colton, and Head Girl, Emma WIlkinson.  Photo:  Hilary Herbert

The Des Deasy Memorial Trophy for Engineering was awarded to Ben Provan-Bessell.  The Hipwell Trophy for Business subjects was presented to Conor O’Malley.

The Pfizer Perpetual Trophy for Leaving Certificate Examination results were awarded to Diarmuid O’Donoghue.   The Rochelle Trophy for Junior Certificate Examination results was presented to Catherine Kelly.  First Year Merit Card prizes:  Fiona Corcoran, Daniel McCarthy, Maeve O’Halloran, Harry McDaid, Adam Delurey.  Corn Mhic Uistin awarded to Kyle Meiklejohn, and Caoimhe Gannon won the Corn an Amhairginigh.  The Cox Perpetual Trophy for European Languages was awarded to Caoimhe Gannon, and the Burke Trophy for Technical subjects was presented to Jay Anglin.

Ashton School Players Award for Contribution to Performing Arts won by Mark Sampson.

The Shereen Gokul Memorial Trophy for Girl’s Hockey was presented to Roisin O’Dea,  and the Andrew Chambers Memorial Trophy for Boy’s Hockey was awarded to Darragh Bateman.

The Victor Bond Memorial Trophy for Ashton School Junior Citizenship Award was presented to Kyle Meiklejohn.  The Ashton School Trophy for Senior Citizenship Student of the year presented to Rachel Warren-Perry.

Some members of the Board of Management of Ashton School, Cork with Peter Foott (l-r) John  O’Sullivan, Alison Flack, John Deane (Chairperson), Peter Foott, Adrian Landen (Principal), Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson, Amanda Welch, and Dean Nigel Dunne.
Photo: Hilary Herbert


Posted in Ashton School, Education, Schools in the Diocese

Reformation500 and Porvoo25 Feature at Clergy Conference 2017 in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

The 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation in Germany, together with the 25th Anniversary of the Porvoo Common Statement were brought together in the 2017 annual Clergy Conference at Ballylickey in Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

The guest speaker, the Reverend Dr Jan Eckerdal, Diocesan Chaplain with responsibility for Theological Education in the Diocese of Strängnäs in the Church of Sweden, spoke on the theme of The Lutheran Thread of the Church Catholic.  In the first of his four talks – Anglicanism and Swedish Lutheranism: Two Kindred Spirits? – Dr Eckerdal engaged with and teased out the shared heritage of both Sweden and Ireland at key moments: the Christianisation of the countries, the Reformation experience, and, more recently, the Porvoo Agreement.  These themes were referred to again and again throughout the clergy days together.

The Reverend Dr Jan Eckerdal speaking at the Conference.

This year marks the 500th Anniversary of the start of the Reformation in Germany, a movement which spread and, very soon transformed Europe as a first step.  That anniversary is on 31st October.  As it happened, the last day of the Clergy Conference this year was on Wednesday 11th October, which was the 25th anniversary of the visit to Porvoo Cathedral in Finland for a Sunday morning celebration of the Eucharist by the representatives of the Anglican Churches in Britain and Ireland (including the Reverend Paul Colton, as he was then, representing the Church of Ireland, now Bishop of Cork), and the representatives of the Nordic and Baltic Lutheran Churches.  The representatives had agreed the Porvoo Common Statement which, when signed by the participant churches in ensuing years established the Porvoo Communion of Churches.

The Reverend Dr Jan Eckerdal

The Cork, Cloyne and Ross Clergy Conference concluded in the Church of St Brendan the Navigator, Bantry on Wednesday 11th October with a celebration of the Eucharist.  On the way into the church Dr Eckerdal asked Bishop Colton who Saint Brendan the Navigator is.  ‘He discovered America’, said the Bishop.  ‘Oh,’ said Dr Eckerdal, ‘we have a Viking who did that, but I’m sure we can agree that it wasn’t Christopher Columbus!’

The Bishop and clergy of Cork, Cloyne and Ross in the Church of St Brendan the Navigator, Bantry with the Reverend Dr Jan Eckerdal, celebrating the Eucharist together on Porvoo Day 2017.

Posted in Anglicanism, Bishop, Clergy Conference, Porvoo Communion | Tagged ,

Photos of the Visit of the Archbishop of Burundi to Cork, Cloyne and Ross

On Sunday, 8th October the Archbishop of Burundi, the Most Reverend Martin Nyaboho visited Cork.

Full reports are available HERE and HERE.

Here is a gallery of photographs of the occasion:

Posted in Anglicanism, Bishop, Burundi, Church in Society, Diocese, Festivals, Harvest Thanksgiving, Partnership, People from the Diocese, World Aid and Development

Archbishop of Burundi ~ Partnership Visit to Cork, Cloyne and Ross

The current overseas partnership and development project of parishes throughout Cork, Cloyne and Ross is with the Anglican Church in Burundi.   On Sunday, 8th October, the Archbishop of Burundi, the Most Reverend Martin Blaise Nyaboho visited Cork, Cloyne and Ross.  He received hospitality at the Bishops’ Palace where he was welcomed by the Bishop, Dr Paul Colton, and Mrs Susan Colton.  Afterwards the Archbishop preached at the Harvest Festival Eucharist in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, before joining members of the congregation for lunch in the St Fin Barre’s Cathedral Centre.

Archbishop of Burundi, The Most Reverend Martin Blaise Nyaboho, with the Bishop of Cork, the Right Reverend Dr. Paul Colton, also included are Rosamond Bennett, CEO Christian Aid Ireland, Susan Colton and Andrew Coleman, Christian Aid Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The partnership project, being run in partnership also with Christian Aid Ireland and the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal has been supporting partner organisation, The Anglican Church of Burundi (EAB) in the Dioceses of Matana and Makamba as they work with farmers to increase their income; in the short term by supporting them to sustainably increase their production of maize, and in the long term by building the capacity of farmers to adapt to sustainable practices that will endure the changing climate.


Posted in Bishop, Burundi, Christian Aid, Church in Society, World Aid and Development