Appointment of Dean of Ross and Incumbent of Ross Union of Parishes

The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, has announced that, on foot of a nomination from the Diocesan Board of Patronage, he has appointed the Reverend Cliff Jeffers, currently Incumbent of Fanlobbus Union of Parishes in the Diocese, as Incumbent of Ross Union of Parishes. Ross Union of parishes encompasses  the ancient parishes of Ross (Rosscarbery), Kilmacabea (Leap), Myross (Union Hall), Kilfaughnabeg (Glandore) and Castleventry in West Cork.

The Reverend Cliff Jeffers, new Incumbent of Ross Union of Parishes, who has also been appointed by the Bishop as Dean of Ross.

In addition, the Reverend Cliff Jeffers has been appointed by the Bishop (with whom rests, independently, the right of appointment to the dignity) to the Deanery of Ross. The Dean of Ross is one of the senior clergy of the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.  In accordance with the Statutes of the Cathedrals of the Diocese, the Dean of Ross is also Chancellor of the Cathedral Church of Saint Fin Barre, Cork.  The latter is an honorary position. The Cathedral Church of Saint Fachtna stands on a site where Christian worship has been offered for over 1400 years. Here St. Fachtna developed a monastic settlement in AD 590. Pilgrims and scholars came from near and far and gained for Ross the title ‘‘Ross Ailithir’’- the wooded headland of the pilgrims.The earliest mention of a church building on the site is in the 10th century and reference is made to a Cathedral at the end of the 12th. century.

Announcing the appointment, Bishop Colton said:

The Reverend Cliff Jeffers has had a faithful and creative ministry in West Cork, in the Parish of Fanlobbus Union, for the last eight years . He has been an encourager, pastor and energetic facilitator of the participation of others in the life of the Church. He has undertaken and completed a number of significant parish initiatives ecumenically and in partnership with the whole community, notably the commissioning and installation of the Sam Maguire Bells, as well as developing the partnership the parish has had over the years with the Gaelic Athletic Association. Most recently, he has had an important role in the implementation in Dunmanway of the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Centenaries Commemoration and Reconciliation Project, including supporting the parish, local community and many people further afield in the recent commemoration of the Bandon Valley killings in 1922.

I know that the people of Fanlobbus Union will be devastated to lose him, but will also wish him every joy and blessing in this new calling. The people of Ross Union will, I am sure, welcome him to their parish over the hills to the south as he and Eunice move to their new home on the coast of West Cork.

Responding to his appointment, the Reverend Cliff Jeffers said:

I am honoured to have been nominated as Rector of Ross Union of Parishes and to have been appointed by the Bishop as Dean of Ross. I’m looking forward to getting to know the parishioners and local community.  However, it also comes with a sadness of having to leave the people of Fanlobbus whom I have ministered happily alongside for the last eight years.

Cliff, a native of Bandon, has served as rector of Fanlobbus Union of Parishes (Dunmanway) for the last eight years.  In 1998 he was ordained and started his curacy in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick.   Following his time in Limerick City Parish, he served as rector of the Clonenagh Group of Parishes in the diocese of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory  and afterwards the parish of Athy in the diocese of Dublin & Glendalough.  Before moving back to Cork in 2014, he worked for a year as a chaplain in Dublin Institute of Technology.

The Reverend Cliff Jeffers on a visit to Holy Island, Lough Derg, River Shannon.

Having studied Electronic & Industrial Engineering in Cork Institute of Technology, Cliff worked in the computer industry in Cork for seven years before being accepted for ordination and studying for his Bachelor in Theology at Trinity College Dublin.  In 2019 he completed a Masters in Transformational Leadership, awarded by York St. John University.

Among Cliff’s priorities in ministry are: Christian teaching and faith development, youth and children’s ministry, outreach and development of community connections as well as getting to know people and providing pastoral care.  The recent lockdowns also allowed him to draw on his technical background in developing online church services and bible studies.  His other interests include sailing, bell ringing, DIY, table tennis, croquet and walking his dog.

Harnessing technology in response to the pandemic

Cliff is married to Eunice and they have two adult sons, Andy and Simon, both now living and working in Cork.  Eunice is involved in parish ministry, using her skills as a listener, an organist and her interest in local history and genealogy.

Eunice and Cliff Jeffers

The date of the Institution of the Reverend Cliff Jeffers as Incumbent and of his Installation as Dean will be announced in due course.

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Day out for Moviddy Confirmation Class

On the afternoon of Saturday, 7th May the Confirmation Class and youth leaders of Moviddy Union of Parishes went Ziplining in Zippit in Farran Woods, Cork. 

The Rev. David Bowles with the Moviddy Confirmation Class

The Rev. David Bowles commented:

It was a great opportunity to bond together in advance of the confirmation on Sunday, 29th May in St Andrew’s Church, Kilmurry. You definitely get a different view of things from up in the trees, enjoying fellowship and God’s creation. I certainly have aches in places where I didn’t even know that I have places! On of our leaders came down to earth rather unexpectedly but we all survived unscathed!  

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‘Darkness into Light’ in Christ Church, Rushbrooke

In the early hours of Saturday 7th May, the doors of Christ Church, Rushbrooke were opened as a landmark on the route of the annual ‘Darkness into Light’ walk through Cobh. The church was lit during the night as a reminder that those who suffer from mental health problems and bereavement from suicide are not alone.

The church was open for those on the walk who wished to pause, reflect, and to remember before God those who have died as a result of suicide. This event, organised by mental health charity Pieta, is held to raise funds to provide help for those in suicidal crisis or self harming.

The Rector of Cobh and Glanmire Union of Parishes, the Revd Canon Paul Arbuthnot, commented:

We were pleased to participate in this important event which is so well supported in Cobh. Many thanks are due to those parishioners who opened and prepared the church so that others might find space for quiet reflection before God.

We stand in prayerful solidarity with those who are affected by suicide and self harm. Events like this remind us of and reaffirm us in our commitment to live the commission of our Lord to be the light of the world.

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Cork, Cloyne and Ross at the General Synod of the Church of Ireland – Days 2 and 3

Cork, Cloyne and Ross members of the General Synod

On Day 2 of the General Synod meeting in Belfast the Report of the Representative Church Body was presented, as well as the Report of the Council for Mission, the Report of the Board of Education, and the Report of the Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue.

The Report of Standing Committee was seconded by our Diocesan Youth Officer, Hilda Connolly, and the Rev. David Bowles also spoke to the report.

The Working Group on Pioneer Ministry brought forward proposals for pioneer ministry, and a motion on the housing crisis was proposed by the Church and Society Commission.

Another highlight was the announcement of a Clergy Assistance Programme by the Church of Ireland to help to improve mental health among leaders in ordained ministry. The programme was announced by Bishop Pat Storey, who chairs the initiative, as part of the Church’s mental health promotion project, MindMatters COI.

From left to right: The Rev. Paul Arbuthnot, Helen Arnopp, the Rev. David Bowles, Dorothy Verplancke, and the Very Rev. Nigel Dunne after Day 2 of the General Synod

On Day 3 the two bills passed their final stages, and the Report of the Commission on Ministry was presented, highlighting a range of issues. Canon Paul Arbuthnot and former Diocesan Secretary Wilfred Baker both spoke to the report.

Dr Simon Elliott from Cloyne Union of Parishes proposed a motion to consider the development of a Church of Ireland Policy on Welcome and Equality. The proposed motion requested to consider

“…prohibiting discrimination in the church’s treatment of employees, office-holders, volunteers and contractors on the grounds of age, civil status, disability, family status, gender, membership of the Travelling Community, political views, race or sexual orientation…”

From Cork, Cloyne and Ross, speaking in favour of the motion were Bishop Paul Colton, Dean Susan Green, and Stephen Spillane, churchwarden at St Anne’s Church, Shandon. However, due to some opposition, the members of the General Synod voted 204 to 57 in favour of not voting on the main motion.

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Cork, Cloyne and Ross at the General Synod of the Church of Ireland 2022 – Day 1

The General Synod of the Church of Ireland is held in the Assembly Buildings in Belfast, over three days, concluding on Friday 6 May. It is the first in-person General Synod since 2019. 

The beginning of the General Synod was marked with a service at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. 

Following the service, members walked to the Assembly Buildings and the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, the Most Rev John McDowell, delivered his Presidential Address. You can find the full speech here

Two Bills were introduced and passed their first and second stages, and will go to the third and final stage on Friday morning. More information about the bill relating to parochial nominators can be found here. Information about the bill enabling church meetings online can be found here

Other highlights included a report by the National Youth Officer, Simon Henry, and a motion for the Interchangeability of Ministry between Church of Ireland and Moravian Church

Dean Nigel Dunne proposed the Report of the Covenant Council, and Dean Susan Green proposed the Report of the Liturgical Advisory Committee, which was seconded by Dean Nigel. A motion from the committee on the use of liturgies for the Season of Creation was proposed by Dean Susan Green. 

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