Annual IDAHOBIT Service at St Anne’s Church, Shandon

On Sunday, 21 May 2023 St Anne’s, Shandon was delighted to host the annual service for Cork City LGBT Inter Agency Group as part of Cork LGBTI+ Awareness Week. Former Lord Mayor and current Chair of the Gay Project, Mr John Buttimer, was the guest speaker. The Rev. Meghan opened the service by sharing that International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is a time to celebrate the milestones that have been made for LGBTI+ equality while also raising awareness of and speaking out against the discrimination that still exists.

The Rev. Meghan Farr and Mr John Buttimer at St Anne’s Church, Shandon

Mr Buttimer spoke about the many achievements and changes in Irish society but also the need to continue to be allies and to speak out especially for those on the margins. 

The Rev. Meghan commented:

We are honoured to once again host this service and for St. Anne’s to continue to be a place of welcome and inclusion for our community and visitors alike. 

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Bishop Paul Colton appoints a new Domestic Chaplain

The Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, has announced that he has appointed the Reverend Meghan Farr, Priest-in-Charge of Saint Anne’s Church, Shandon to serve also in the honorary role of one of his domestic chaplains. Meghan will serve alongside the Bishop’s other domestic chaplain who is the Reverend Anne Skuse.

Domestic chaplains assist the bishop liturgically and in practical ways on major public occasions and during Church Services in the Diocese.

The Reverend Meghan Farr

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Appointment of New Diocesan Secretary for the Church of Ireland in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

On behalf of the Diocesan Employment Committee and Diocesan Council of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Bishop, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, is delighted to announce the appointment of John de Montfort as new Diocesan Secretary, as successor to Billy Skuse, who will retire on 31st August. John will commence his work in the Diocese on 1st August in order to facilitate induction and transition of roles.

John de Montfort was born in Sri Lanka, where his father, Henry, was in the tea trade. His family lived there until 1977, when his father moved to Kenya to set up a Tea Broking company. He went to Canford School in Dorset, UK and then on to Reading University, where he graduated in History. After graduation, John spent two years in the antiques trade, particularly in porcelain, before starting training as a Chartered Management Accountant while working for Abbey National Bank. While in London he participated in amateur dramatics, appearing in ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and Goldoni’s ‘Servant of Two Masters’. 

After qualifying, John served as Financial Controller for Rupert Cavendish Antiques, which specialised in Swedish furniture and Design. A chance meeting some years earlier led to John joining the international mine clearance charity, the HALO Trust, in 1998 and he lived in Dumfriesshire, Scotland to serve as Finance Officer for the organisation. His duties involved control visits to the various countries that HALO operated in, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mozambique and Angola.

John is married to Emily, from Celbridge, County Kildare. They met in London and moved to Ireland in 2000 where John worked as Financial Controller of Bubble Brothers, a wine retailer in Cork City. He later worked for Hobart Enterprises in Mallow, County Cork which deals in Chemicals and Agricultural products throughout the world. He has most recently worked in Financial Reporting at the Cork Office of the Bank of New York Mellon.

John lives with Emily in Buttevant, County Cork. They have one son, Frederick, who is training to be a teacher. John participates in productions run by the Doneraile Drama Society and is a keen gardener, amongst other interests. His father was brought up in Castletownroche, County Cork where his grandfather, Archibald, was Rector.

Announcing John’s appointment, Bishop Colton said:

I am delighted to make this announcement and about the fruitful outcome of our recruitment process to find a successor to Mr Billy Skuse who has served us so creatively and faithfully since 2015.

John de Montfort will clearly bring a wide range of gifts, professional qualifications, as well as a broad worldview and rich tapestry of life experiences to this demanding and diverse portfolio of roles in our Diocese, and to the significant number of charities which we partner and support. I am greatly looking forward to working with him.

John de Montfort

The Diocesan Secretary is the lead officer within the diocesan administrative and financial structures of the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, working closely with the Bishop in advancing the ministry and mission of the Diocese, and serving the people of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.  

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Young People and Mental Health – Cork, Cloyne and Ross MindMatters CoI

The third seminar for the Cork, Cloyne and Ross MindMatters CoI project will take place on 10th June 2023 and will focus on Young People and Mental Health.

The speaker will be Steve Grasham, Youth Ministry Development Officer (Southern Region) from the Church of Ireland Youth Department. The seminar will take place on the 10th June 2023 at the Carraig Centre, Ballincollig from 10:00am to 1:00pm. There will be morning coffee followed by the presentation and some time for discussion.

Prior booking is essential. Please register your interest via our event on

This initiative is supported by MindMatters CoI and the Victoria Trust, Cork.

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Cork, Cloyne and Ross at the General Synod of the Church of Ireland 2023 – Day 2

The meeting of General Synod has concluded in Wexford after two days of business on Saturday 13th May. The meeting will conclude with an online session on Tuesday evening (May 16) and Thursday if necessary. Archbishop John McDowell thanked all who had made Synod possible and looked forward to seeing members online. 

The Standing Committee, Council for Mission, Covenant Council, Church of Ireland Youth Department and the Liturgical Advisory Committee presented their reports. Hilda Connolly, CCR Youth Officer seconded the Youth Department’s report, and the Very Rev. Nigel Dunne seconded the LAC report. 

Several motions presented at General Synod were passed. An overview over all motions can be found here

General Synod at the Clayton White’s Hotel in Wexford.

During lunch time, members of General Synod were inspired by a dramatic and musical presentation on improving our care for Creation, performed by the Lighten Our Darkness by Numbers youth group from Mullingar Union of Parishes.

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