New Amenities at St Colman’s Cathedral, Cloyne

At the Confirmation Service in Cloyne Cathedral on June 16th Bishop Colton officially dedicated new facilities and amenities. This work is the culmination of many years of hard work, planning and careful budgeting. Enormous credit is due to Dean Alan Marley and the Re.v Tony Murphy as well as to James Bourke, Architect, and Hearthstone who carried out the work. There will be Community opening event towards the end of the summer.

Dean Green with Paul Forde and Keith Starr of Hearthstone

There has been a Christian presence on this site since the ninth Century and the present Cathedral dates to 1250, but there has never been piped water… until now.  The new facilities consist of a kitchen, with access hatch, an accessible bathroom and new paving and lighting to the entranceway.

The kitchen hatch

The funding for this work has been assisted by the Priorities Fund, but ongoing funding is needed and there have been several events recently. The next will be a Summer Concert on 12 July and it will be followed in November by a Cookery Demonstration with Darina Allen.

The Paved Entrance

The wooden additions are very sensitively designed to complement the Cathedral as well as providing modern facilities.  They are accessed by  doors to either side of the vestibule inside the West door.

Having a kitchen and bathroom will make such a difference in the life of the Cathedral, especially in terms of it being used for concerts. and groups meeting there.

Dean Green said

The new Facilities open up the Cathedral for use by so many more groups, it is a wonderful moment in the life of this worshipping community, and one which has been the result of many years of faithful planning.

Confirmation group at Cloyne Cathedral

On Sunday as well as confirming 17 young people Bishop Colton dedicated the new facilities and had the first official cup of tea, which was presented by John Smyth ChurchWarden. Also taking part in the service were Dean Green, clergy from Cobh and Youghal Unions the Rev Andrew Orr and the Rev Paul Arbuthnot, as well as Edwin Aiken, an Ordinand on placement.

The First Cup of Tea!

Posted in Bishop, Cathedral, Cloyne, Dedication, Five Marks of Mission

Retirement of Four Primary School Principals in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

School term has ended for Primary Schools.  In Cork, Cloyne and Ross, following cumulative service of over 160 years, four primary school principals are retiring:  Sinead Solleveld (South Abbey National School, Youghal),  Harriet Pritchard (Bandonbridge National School), Sharon Hosford (The Model School, Dunmanway), and Heather Smith (Adair National School, Fermoy).

In recent weeks, the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, visited each of those schools and, at gatherings of pupils and teachers, staff and chairpersons, thanked each of the principals for their faithful work and for making each of the schools even better places of learning for the children.

On behalf of everyone in the Diocese and the Diocesan Board of Education, the Bishop thanked each retiring principal and presented each one with a retirement gift of a limited edition print of a representation of the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross which he had commissioned from the renowned artist Annie West.   It shows the Diocese as ‘people and place’ he explained to the children.

With the Reverend Andrew Orr in Youghal Union, the Bishop made a presentation to Sinead Solleveld, South Abbey National School, Youghal.

The Bishop made a presentation to Harriet Pritchard, Bandonbridge National School.

With the Reverend Cliff Jeffers in Fanlobbus Union, the Bishop made a presentation to Sharon Hosford, The Model School, Dunmanway. The children had also made prayer ‘leaves’ (written prayers for people who have asked to pray for them), to bring to the prayer tree at the Chapel of Christ the Healer, Cork University Hospital.

The Bishop made a presentation to Heather Smith, Adair National School, Fermoy.

Information about the limited edition Annie West print is available HERE.


Posted in Bishop, Education, People from the Diocese, Retirements, Schools in the Diocese

Church of Ireland in Cork Welcomes new Roman Catholic Bishop of Cork

At the recent meeting of the Diocesan Synod of the Church of Ireland United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross (the annual meeting of clergy and elected laity of the Diocese with the Bishop) those present unanimously passed a motion of welcome to the new Roman Catholic Bishop, Father Fintan Gavin, in anticipation of his ordination and consecration on Sunday 30th June.

The motion passed was as follows:

On the occasion of his appointment by Pope Francis as new Bishop of Cork and Ross, this Diocesan Synod, on behalf of the Bishop, Clergy and People of the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, welcomes the Most Reverend Fintan Gavin, and assures him of our friendship and ecumenical fellowship in the Gospel.

Bishop Paul Colton added:

As I mentioned when I first heard news of the new Bishop’s appointment, I know Fintan Gavin personally already and have worked with him in a number of contexts.  In Christian fellowship and as a mark of commitment to the ecumenical journey together, our Diocesan Synod was delighted to pass this motion.  I am looking forward, together with representatives of the Church of Ireland and other churches in Cork, to being present at the ordination and consecration on Sunday next in the Cathedral Church of Saint Mary and Saint Anne.

Father Fintan Gavin who, on Sunday 30th June, will be ordained and consecrated as Bishop.

Posted in Bishop, Bishops of Cork, Churches in Cork, Diocesan Synod, Ecumenism

Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral Choristers take part in Royal School of Church Music Event

Twenty five choristers from Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork,  travelled to Kilkenny on Saturday 15th June to attend an afternoon of singing aimed at choristers across Ireland. The event was organised by the Royal School of Church Music, Ireland Area (RSCM) and was held in St Canice’s Cathedral.

St Fin Barre’s Choristers at RSCM event in Kilkenny

The idea behind the day was very much an end of year celebration and as well as the singing there was pizza in the Deanery Garden and a chance to meet choristers from across the country. Around seventy choristers attended in total including those from St Canice’s Cathedral and St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Dublin.

Choristers at the RSCM Event in Kilkenny

To begin the day the St Fin Barre’s choristers took a tour of Kilkenny Castle and enjoyed listening to the history of the building from several entertaining guides. They then had a picnic lunch in the grounds before walking across Kilkenny to the Cathedral.

Visiting Kilkenny Castle





Picnic in the grounds of the Castle

They enjoyed hearing a demonstration of the organ from the acting Director of Music, and seeing various parts of the cathedral including the bishop’s throne, choir stalls and a model of 17th century Kilkenny.

Choristers from St Fin Barre’s Cathedral Cork who took part in the RSCM event in Kilkenny.

Posted in Cathedral, Cathedral Choir, Church Music, Church of Ireland, People from Cork, People from the Diocese, Royal School of Church Music

New President of Mothers’ Union Commissioned in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

On Ascension Day, 30th May, Hilary Dring, only the sixteenth Diocesan President of Mothers’ Union in Cork in almost 125 years, was commissioned by Bishop Paul Colton.

It was a wonderful evening at St. Mary’s Church in Carrigaline when many Mothers’ Union members from around the Diocese gathered, along with Hilary’s family, friends, parishioners and clergy for this special Festival Service to celebrate and give thanks together.

It was very special to have former Diocesan Presidents, Joan Hale, Hazel Rhys-Thomas, Avril Jennings and Patsy Devoy present, as well as Irene Whitley, a former enrolling member of Carrigaline and Monkstown branch.  The music was enhanced greatly by the Monkstown Chamber Choir who were directed by the organist on the night, Roger Ellis.

Bishop Paul preached on the readings of the day which were very fitting – Ephesians 1:15-23 was his focus; he spoke of how many of those present know of Hilary’s ‘faith in the Lord Jesus and (her) love toward all the saints’. He went on to say that this is a gift, not to be taken for granted, and referred to St. Paul’s prayer for ‘a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him…that you may know the hope to which he has called you…’’.

The role of President is for three years, with the option of another three, and carries with it responsibility for Mothers’ Union across the county of Cork, as well as being part of the All Ireland trustees. Hilary is looking forward to both exciting and challenging times ahead and knows that with God’s help the organisation can continue to reach out and contribute to making a difference to families and communities, in Cork, in Ireland and around the world in over 84 countries.

Hilary’s mother, Marjorie Bond, was a long serving Mothers’ Union member and served as Diocesan Secretary for many years.  Bishop Paul remarked that Marjorie would be very proud of Hilary, as would her father, Victor, who was principal of Ashton School for almost 25 years.

This year is also the 90th anniversary of Carrigaline and Monkstown Mothers’ Union, an occasion well worth celebrating. There were birthday balloons and cake-cutting by branch members (including former enrolling members) at the supper in the Canon McCrea Hall afterwards. The friendship and fellowship in Mothers’ Union are wonderful gifts that members offer each other, as well as the opportunity ’to reach out in love and service’.

Hilary, Richard, Simon and Christina Dring with Bishop Paul Colton.

Posted in Bishop, Church Services, Commissionings, Diocese, Mothers' Union

The Death of Valerie French Kilroy ~ Initial Statement by Bishop Paul Colton

Initial Statement by The Right Rev Dr Paul Colton,

Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

in response to the tragic death of

Valerie French Kilroy

The Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork has made the following statement in response to the news of the tragic death in recent days in County Mayo of Valerie French Kilroy, a native of County Cork, and a member of the Church of Ireland.


‘Together with her family, and all the community in County Cork and further afield, I am shocked by the tragic death of Valerie French Kilroy.  Valerie grew up and went to school in this Diocese. Her family are very well known to us all, including to me personally. This is a time of immense trauma for everyone.’

‘The local clergy here, and I myself, are doing our best to stand alongside and support the family at this time, as also have the bishop and clergy in County Mayo.  I have no doubt that what they need most of all for the moment is time to be together and to make arrangements, without intrusion, for Valerie’s funeral. I would appeal to everyone to give them space and time, as well as privacy to do this.’

‘My own thoughts and prayers at this time are with everyone who is caught up in or who has been affected by this terrible tragedy.’

– Ends –

Further information from:

Church of Ireland Press Office

Church of Ireland House

61–67 Donegall Street

Belfast, BT1 2QH

Tel: (028) 9082 8880 (from NI)

Tel: (048) 9082 8880 (from RoI)




Peter Cheney

+44 (0)7774 295369


Janet Maxwell

+353 (0)87 948 4412

Posted in People from Cork, People from the Diocese, Statement by the Bishop

Parishioners Spring Surprise on Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

On Sunday 9th June, the rector of Douglas Union of Parishes, the Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the diaconate.  A surprise United Service had been organised in Saint Luke’s Church, Douglas, Cork to celebrate this occasion, fittingly on Pentecost.  The Archdeacon suspected nothing and was suitably taken aback!

Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson

Following the Service, refreshments were served in the Canon Packham Hall.  A presentation was made on behalf of the parish by Churchwarden Philip Doherty, to reflect the gratitude and affection with which Adrian is held.

Lunch after the Service in the Canon Packham Hall.


Present were many parishioners, Adrian’s family and also previous curates the Rev’d Eileen Cremin and the Rev’d Sarah Marry.  Bishop Paul and Mrs Susan Colton were also present to make this a very memorable occasion.

At the surprise presentation were (l-r) the Bishop, Dr Paul Colton, the Reverend David Bowles, Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson, Mrs Jacqui Wilkinson, the Reverend Hazel Minion, and Philip Doherty, Churchwarden.

Posted in Anniversaries, Archdeacon, Church Services, Churches in Cork, Clergy, Ordination, Pentecost, Presentation