International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 18th-25th January

The International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity takes place as ever from 18-25 January.

Naturally in these times of a global pandemic we are unable to meet physically with fellow Christians to pray and study together.

The material for this year has been prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland. The theme that was chosen, “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, is based on John 15:1-17 and expresses Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the Church and the human family.

This year we invite you to take time each day to pray for Christian Unity. There are resources available on the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland website. You can also find out more about the Ecumenical movement on the island of Ireland through the website of the Irish Council of Churches & the Irish Inter Church Meeting.

Reflecting on this particular week our Diocesan Ecumenical Officer Dr Daniel Nuzum said “Abide in my love’ (Ag maireachtáil i gCríost) , the theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021 is an apt one in these times when we need connectedness more than ever, not just within our churches but between our Churches in our common solidarity of love, care, hope and justice. While we can not be together physically, our spiritual wellbeing and connectedness is more important than ever. Please join us in prayer, and reach out to those who may not be online so that together we may indeed abide in the love of God”.

The material for this year is available in English, Irish and Welsh and contains daily reflections and a liturgy to share. You are invited to follow updates on social media and to post any images/ reflections you may have on twitter using the hashtag #WPCU2021.

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Change of Leaders in Children’s Ministry Group in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

Canon Elaine Murray, who has devoted six years to the continuing work of the Children’s Ministry Group in Cork, Cloyne and Ross, building on the foundational work of the Reverend Anne Skuse as first convenor of the group, stepped down at the end of 2020 and the baton has been handed over, by the Bishop, Dr Paul Colton, to the Reverend David Bowles.

21/09/2019. Peace Banner Workshop with representatives from Schools and Parishes, at Northridge House, Mahon, Cork. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Speaking about her six years Elaine said:

My 6 years of coordinating the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Children’s Ministry Group was a totally joyful experience. Working with a dedicated team and getting to meet all of the wonderfully committed group of volunteers in the diocese was both inspiring and rewarding.

Bishop Colton, thanking Elaine, said that her six years giving a lead in this important aspect of work in the Diocese were ‘creative, innovative, imaginative and ground-breaking.’ He said:

Elaine and her whole team from the Children’s Ministry Group, have put in place many exciting initiatives. When Elaine accompanied me on a Diocesan visit to the Church of Finland she soaked up ideas from that part of the Church. I want, on behalf of us all, to thank Elaine most sincerely, and also to thank David Bowles for accepting my invitation to take this on.

In the course of the last six years there have been a number of very useful training sessions and activities including: holiday club training, mental health issues relating to children, Godly Play, two banner-making workshops, a Nativity evening, and liturgical resources for Lent, Easter, Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.

Elaine encouraged people to network, to pool resources regionally in the Diocese, and set up the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Children’s Ministry Group page on Facebook. Following the Finland visit, a host of ideas were shared and taken up. A table of Children’s Ministry resources and ideas became a regular feature at Diocesan Synod. Of particular significance to this period of time was a peace banner workshop to design and make banners for use during this time of the Decade of Centenaries in Ireland tying in with the Diocesan Commemoration and Reconciliation Project.

Here are some images from the Children’s Ministry Group in the Diocese:

Posted in Announcements, Appointments, Children's Ministry, Children's Work, Diocese, Five Marks of Mission, Fresh Expressions, People from Cork, People from the Diocese, Voluntary Work | Comments Off on Change of Leaders in Children’s Ministry Group in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

Death of Bishop Robert (Roy) Alexander Warke, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross (1988 to 1998)

The Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, has made the following statement upon receiving the news of the death of his predecessor, the Right Reverend Robert (Roy) Alexander Warke, who was Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross from 1988 to 1998.

I am very sad indeed to hear, and to convey to the clergy and people of Cork, Cloyne and Ross and to the wider community in Cork City and County,  the news of the death, last evening in Dublin, of our former Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Reverend Robert (Roy) Alexander Warke.

Bishop Warke’s daughter telephoned me with the news this morning and, naturally, his death, coming as it does only nineteen days following the funeral of his wife Mrs  Eileen Warke, is a great shock to everyone.  They were an inseparable couple and much loved while they were here.

At a personal level, Bishop Warke was always a constant, prayerful, practical and friendly support to me as his successor, and, following his retirement, took a keen interest in the Diocese and in all that is going on in Cork.  He recently sent his greetings on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the consecration of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral.  

Many people in the United Dioceses still recall and refer to his sermon and involvement in the major Diocesan celebration in 1995 for the Decade of Evangelism held in Millstreet, County Cork when all clergy and people of the Diocese and further afield were invited to be present.

On my own behalf and on behalf of us all in Cork, Cloyne and Ross I extend our sincere sympathy to Bishop and Mrs Warke’s family, especially to his daughters Ruth and Jane and their families,

Bishop Warke was Bishop of this Diocese from 1st February 1988 until his retirement at the end of 1998.  He returned to visit the Diocese as my and our guest on a number of significant occasions including for the 250th anniversary of Kingston College in Mitchelstown when the photograph below of him (on the left) with me and Bishop Samuel Poyntz (his immediate predecessor) was taken:

Episcopal succession: Bishop Roy Warke (left) with (centre) his successor Bishop Paul Colton, and his predecessor, Bishop Samuel Poyntz (right) at Kingston College, Mitchelstown, County Cork in 2011.

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Commemorative Stamp Features Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral Window

An Post have launched a new stamp commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland which came into force on 1st January 1871.  The ‘N’ rate stamp, designed by Vermillion Design in Dublin, is an image of the Sun, Moon and Stars taken from one of the panels in the west rose window of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork. 

The Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, Dean of Cork and the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, with ‘the stamp’ and, in the background, at the west end of the Cathedral, is the creation window, a section of which features in the stamp. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, joined the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton and the Dean of Cork, the Very Revd Nigel Dunne in the Cathedral before Christmas for a ‘photo launch’ which was officially announced by An Post last Thursday, 7th January.

The Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne and the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, discuss the new stamp with the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson during his visit to Cork in December 2020. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

As a memento of this significant occasion, Bishop Colton is making a gift of the first day cover to each member of the clergy, each reader and each licensed or commissioned lay church worker in the Diocese.

First day cover featuring both the stamp and Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork

The Church of Ireland was officially disestablished on 1 January 1871 ending its statutory ties with the Church of England and the State.  Disestablishment was part of British Prime Minister William Gladstone’s attempts to deal with ‘the Irish question’ and ended the status of the Church of Ireland as a ‘state church’.  It was seen by many in the Church of Ireland at the time as a disaster, not least because with disestablishment came disendowment, meaning that the Church had to now fund itself independent of state support.

The 150th Anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral, currently being celebrated, coincided with this major change in the Church of Ireland and is testimony to the sheer determination of the people of Cork to bring the building of the Cathedral to completion.

The Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, Dean of Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The Dean of Cork, the Very Rev. Nigel Dunne said: 

I am delighted that An Post chose one of our windows to put on the new stamp and an image of the Cathedral itself on the collectors pack, not least because this is an ‘all-island’ commemoration and I’m sure there are many other images that could have been chosen. 

It is particularly fitting that this image was chosen since the 150th anniversary of the consecration of the Cathedral coincides with that of Disestablishment and reminds us that even in times of great upheaval and distress, great things can still be achieved by people of faith and hope.

Bishop Paul Colton said

The building of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral , a confident enterprise by the people of Cork, funded by voluntary subscription, is still an icon of the disestablishment period in the Church of Ireland. In Cork, Cloyne and Ross we are honoured that An Post chose this part of the creation window in the Cathedral, which is also celebrating its sesquicentenary this year, to represent the 150th anniversary of disestablishment.

In thanking all who had involvement in this initiative, I wish to pay a particular tribute to the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, Dean of Cork, who followed this up and worked with this project over an extended period of time to bring it to fruition.

Acknowledgment: The NewsBlog is grateful to Daragh McSweeney of Provision for permission to use the photographs in this report.

Posted in Anniversaries, Cathedral, Church History, Church in Society, Church of Ireland, Churches in Cork, Dean of Cork, Diocese, Disestablishment, Sesquicentenary | Comments Off on Commemorative Stamp Features Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral Window

Cork Churches Keep Christmas Lights On as a Sign of ‘the Light of Christ in this Hurting World.’

A number of parishes in the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross that have outdoor decorations on their church buildings for Christmas have taken the decision this year to keep the lights on until Candlemas, 2nd February, the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.

Templebreedy Parish Church, Crosshaven, County Cork

Last week, the decision was made in the coastal village of Crosshaven to keep the lights on and the local Church of Ireland Church, Templebreedy has joined in the initiative.

The brightly shining Stars gracing the bell towers of St Mary’s Church in Carrigaline and St John’s Church in Monkstown are normally only in situ for a period of four weeks each year. These large Stars, much beloved by local people,  are erected on the bell towers on Advent Sunday each year and remain in place, lit 24 hours a day,  until the Feast of the Epiphany (6th January).

This year a decision was made by the Rector and Select Vestry of the Carrigaline Union of Parishes to keep the Stars in place and shining brightly until after the feast of Candlemas (2nd February) as a reminder of the light of Christ in this hurting world. 

On hearing of the initiative in Carrigaline and Monkstown, St. Mary’s Church in Dunmanway have also extended the time when their stars are illuminated in the windows of the ringing room of the Sam Maguire Community Bells as a symbol of hope in these troubled times until the end of the Epiphany season (2nd February).

Posted in Christmas, church buildings, Church in Society, Church of Ireland, Churches in Cork, Community Involvement, Contemporary Issues, Cork, Corona Virus, COVID-19, Faith and Belief, Five Marks of Mission, Fresh Expressions, Light, Parish News | Comments Off on Cork Churches Keep Christmas Lights On as a Sign of ‘the Light of Christ in this Hurting World.’