Cork Bishops take part in reopening of Saint Patrick’s Bridge in Cork

On Saturday 16th March last, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn, put the last piece of masonry in place to mark the completion of the restoration of Saint Patrick’s Bridge in Cork City.  The two Bishops of Cork, Dr John Buckley and Dr Paul Colton, said prayers and gave a blessing, after which the Lord Mayor officially re-opened the bridge and unveiled a plaque.

Cllr. Mick Finn, Lord Mayor of Cork, laying the final piece of stonework on St Patrick’s Bridge with the silver trowel that was given to the Lord Mayor of Cork, John Arnott, to mark the laying of the foundations of the bridge in 1859.
Included are Bishop John Buckley and Bishop Paul Colton who performed a blessing at the ceremony to mark the historic occasion.
Pic: Brian Lougheed

Cllr. Mick Finn, Lord Mayor of Cork, who performed the laying the final piece of stonework on St Patrick’s Bridge with a silver trowel that was given to the Lord Mayor of Cork, John Arnott, to mark the laying of the foundations of the bridge in 1859.
Also included are, from left: Michael Nolan, CEO of Transport Infrastructure Ireland; Bishops John Buckley and Paul Colton; Juia Gebel, Master Stonemason and Gerry O’Beirne, Director of Services of the Roads and Transportation Directorate, Cork City Council.
Pic: Brian Lougheed

Today’s bridge is not the first bridge built at that point over the River Lee.   When the ancient city of Cork, centred on North Main and South Main Streets, expanded in the 18th century, including the development of St Patrick’s Street, the first St Patrick’s Bridge was built.  A foundation stone was laid on 25th July 1788, but six months later on 17th January 1789 a flood washed away the partially completed bridge. It was rebuilt, and was opened on 29th September 1789. That bridge was destroyed, again by a severe weather event in 1853 and was replaced by a temporary timber bridge.

Bishop John Buckley and Bishop Paul Colton perform the blessing ceremony at the reopening of St. Patrick’s Bridge. Included is Cllr. Mick Finn, Lord Mayor of Cork .
Pic: Brian Lougheed

It, in turn,  was replaced by today’s bridge.  The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the Earl of Carlisle, laid the foundation stone for the new bridge on 10 November 1859 using a level provided by the Freemasons of Cork.  The Mayor of Cork, Sir John Arnott, opened the new Saint Patrick’s Bridge on 12 December 1861. The bridge, 18.5 metres wide, spans a waterway of 51 metres.  Both the level and trowel used in 1859 were brought to the re-opening on 16th March 2019.

The bridge’s elegant design remains one of the best-known landmarks in Cork. 

Bishop Paul Colton and Bishop John Buckley with the trowel which was used in laying the foundation stone of the bridge in 1859. Pic. Brian Lougheed

Posted in Bishops of Cork, Church in Society, Community Involvement, Dedication, Special Events

Statement of Dr Paul Colton, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork – New Bishop of Cork and Ross

Church of Ireland

Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

Statement

Statement of Welcome and Good Wishes by

The Right Rev Dr Paul Colton,

Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

in response to the announcement of the appointment

of the Reverend Fintan Gavin as Bishop of Cork and Ross

The Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork has made the following statement in response to the news of the appointment of the Reverend  Fintan Gavin as the next Bishop of Cork and Ross.

Statement:

‘I am truly delighted to hear the news this morning that the Reverend Fintan Gavin is to be the next Bishop of Cork and Ross. The Bishop-elect was ordained to the diaconate in Dublin shortly after I arrived to serve in a Church of Ireland parish in Dublin early in 1990, and, already in the 1990s, our paths crossed.  Then and since we have worked together in a number of pastoral contexts. We share a background in Canon Law. In recent times we have travelled to meetings, home and abroad, of the Colloquium of Anglican and Roman Catholic Canon Lawyers. As it happens, in the official photograph of the 2017 meeting in Rome we can be seen standing next to one another on the right of the picture.’

Participants at the meeting of the Colloquium of Anglican and Roman Catholic Canon Lawyers in Rome in 2017 – on the right, Bishop Paul Colton and the Bishop-elect of Cork and Ross, the Reverend Fintan Gavin.

‘The announcement of the appointment by His Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland brought, therefore, a broad smile of genuine warmth and joy to my face.  I look forward to working with the new Bishop in the years ahead and to supporting him in his induction to “all things Cork”’.

‘With the greatest of delight I send Fintan my own warmest personal good wishes, together with those of the members of the Church of Ireland in Cork, on the occasion of his appointment as Bishop of Cork and Ross.  On behalf of us all in the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross I congratulate him and assure him of our ecumenical partnership and discipleship, as well as of our prayers as he prepares for his episcopal ordination and consecration.  He will receive a very warm welcome from all of us to Cork.’

‘I wish also to take this opportunity to wish my good friend Bishop John Buckley every joy, contentment and blessing now that he is Bishop Emeritus.   I have seen at first hand, in our work alongside one another over the past 20 years, his untiring work as Bishop, as well as the empathy and warmth of his pastoral work in our community.  I have found it deeply enriching to work and pray with him, and to have his friendship. I know that the Church of Ireland people of Cork will join me in these good wishes to him also.’

– Ends –

Further information from:

Sam Wynn Church of Ireland Diocesan Communications Officer

Telephone:   +353 (0)86 813 7659

E mail media@corkchurchofireland.com

Posted in Announcements, Appointments, Bishop, Bishops of Cork, Community Involvement, Cork, Cork and Ross, Ecumenism, Statement by the Bishop

Warm Welcome for New Rector of Fermoy, County Cork

On Sunday afternoon, 7th April 2019, a very warm welcome was given to the new rector of the Fermoy Union of Parishes, the Reverend Gary Paulsen. The landmark church, Christ Church Fermoy, not far from the banks of the River Blackwater, was full.

A full Christ Church, Fermoy for the Institution of the Reverend Gary Paulsen. (Photo: Sam Wynn)

Parishioners from Fermoy Union were joined by guests from Gary’s former parish in Killaloe, as well as clergy and readers from Limerick and Killaloe, Cork, Cloyne and Ross,  and William Montgomery representing the local Presbyterian Church. Representing the Roman Catholic Church were Canon Michael Leamy (Rathcormack), Fr Emaon Kelleher (Kildorrery), Canon Donal Leahy (Kilworth), Canon Michael Fitzgerald (Mitchelstown), and Father Donal Cotter (Glenville and Watergrasshill).

Among the guests were Kevin O’Keeffe, T.D., Councillor Kay Dawson, Councillor Deirdre O’Brien,  Councillor Frank O’Flynn, Inspector Tony O’Sullivan (An Garda Síochána), four representatives from the Irish UN Veteran Association, Mrs Hilary Dring (new Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union), and Mr Billy Skuse (Diocesan Secretary).

Clergy gathered with the Bishop after the Service for some informal words of welcome to the Reverend Gary Paulsen. (Photo: Sam Wynn)

The Sermon was preached by the Very Reverend Niall Sloane, Dean of Limerick.  The organist for the occasion was Mr Colin Nicholls.  Many parishioners, young and old, took part in the Service during which the Bishop, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, formally instituted Gary to the Incumbency, and commissioned him for his ministry.  Afterwards everyone adjourned to the Adair Hall next door for a reception.

The Very Reverend Niall Sloane, Dean of Limerick (right) who preached the sermon, with the Reverend Gary Paulsen and the Bishop. (Photo: Sam Wynn)

Gary Paulsen was born in Cape Town South Africa and lived in the Western Cape most of his life until coming to Ireland in 2011.  Gary said:

I come to Fermoy with the experience of life and of church in different contexts and I hope to have a positive impact on people’s lives and their experience of God within the church and wider community.

Following the Institution of the Reverend Gary Paulsen as Rector were the following from Cork, Cloyne and Ross (l-r) the Very Reverend Susan Green (Dean of Cloyne), the Reverend Paul Arbuthnot (Rector of Cobh and Glanmire, who served as Deacon at the Service), the Reverend Gary Paulsen, the Reverend Sarah Marry (Bishop’s Chaplain), the Bishop, the Reverend Elaine Murray (Bishop’s Chaplain), Mr John Jermyn (Diocesan Registrar), and the Venerable Adrian Wilkinson (Archdeacon). (Photo: Sam Wynn)

Posted in Church Services, Clergy, Cork, Institutions and Commissionings, Special Events

Lord Mayor of Cork Congratulates Bishop Paul Colton on his 20th Anniversary as Bishop

At the start of the meeting of Cork City Council on Monday, 25th March, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Mick Finn, extended his warm congratulations to the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary, that day, of his ordination and consecration as Bishop.   Bishop Colton was consecrated in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin on the Feast of the Annunciation, 25th March, 1999 and has served since in Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

Bishop Paul and Mrs Susan Colton after the Service.

Earlier in the day, the Lord Mayor attended the regular Monday Eucharist at noon in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.  To mark the occasion, the Bishop was celebrant.

What Bishop Colton did not expect was to see the clergy of the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross gathered among the usual congregation, together with his colleagues from the Diocesan Office, and a number of close friends.  The Director of Music at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Mr Peter Stobart, was present to play some carefully chosen hymns for the occasion, and an organ voluntary afterwards.

After the Service were (l-r) Dean Nigel Dunne, Mrs Susan Colton, the Bishop, and Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson.

Another surprise, at the end of the Service and before the dismissal, was when the Archdeacon, the Venerable Adrian Wilkinson, spoke on behalf of the clergy of the Diocese, and then, on their behalf, the Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne, presented Bishop Colton with a gift the clergy had commissioned: a pectoral cross.  Made in Cork Silver by a silversmith adjacent to St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, the pectoral cross was designed by Cathedral parishioner, Ruth Mahony, who was art teacher at Ashton School, Cork when the Bishop was a student there in the 1970s.  The cross is one that features in the mosaics of the Cathedral floor, surmounted by a descending dove (representing the Holy Spirit) which is seen in a number of places in the Cathedral, including in the Pentecost window.  The same cross and dove feature on the principal ciborium in the Cathedral used in the administration of Holy Communion.

The new pectoral cross

Bishop Colton said:

I am so overwhelmed by all this and so grateful.  The pectoral cross is such a thoughtful gift and brings together so richly so many aspects of this special place in Cork, and of what Christian ministry is.  Thank you so much to everyone, and to all the countless people who have sent messages and also sent kind greetings on social media, a phenomenon that didn’t exist when I was consecrated bishop in 1999. How rapidly times have changed and are changing:  very exciting!

I am especially grateful to the Archdeacon and to the Dean of Cork for springing the surprises – it’s not often they catch me out, and to the wonderful clergy of this remarkable Diocese for their beautiful gift.

After the Service a light lunch was served in the ambulatory and even some tourists visiting the Cathedral came to join in the celebrations.

The Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Mick Finn congratulating Bishop Paul Colton after the Service, with the Dean of Cork, the Very Reverend Nigel Dunne (left) and Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson (right).

Posted in Anniversaries, Bishop, Bishops of Cork, Clergy, Cork, Diocese, Special Events

Confirmation Retreat Weekend in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

This is the third year that the Cork Diocesan Youth Council (CDYC) have run a Confirmation Retreat Weekend in the Carhue Centre in Bandon, County Cork. Even though in previous years, the weekend was held over the May Bank Holiday, this year it was decided to run it in conjunction with the Bishop’s Confirmation Morning in Canon Packham Hall in Douglas which was held on the 2nd of March.

Young people who attended the Confirmation Retreat

Some of the candidates from around the Diocese arrived in Carhue on the Friday evening for some games, food and a ‘Worship’ session led by the Rev. Cliff Jeffers and Marg Everett.

On Saturday morning, they were bussed to the Bishop’s Confirmation morning in Douglas.After a very enjoyable morning, the group were then taken to Leisure Plex in Cork for a game of Bowling and Quasar.  Once back at the Carhue centre, later that afternoon, the group had dinner and a session on the ‘Bible’ led by Mrs. Judy Peters before more games and fun.

Group at the Confirmation Retreat in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

The weekend finished on Sunday morning, with the Leaders in Training group organizing the last session on ‘Prayer’. With very detailed and well organized Prayer Stations set up around the conference room, the candidates worked their way through them very attentively and keen to spend time at each station.

Leaders in training at the Confirmation retreat.

This weekend is a great introduction into youth activities around the Diocese. It also encourages and enables the young people to make new connections and friendships making it easier for them to integrate into bigger diocesan youth events and being part of the Church of Ireland community on a wider scale.

Busy at the Confirmation Retreat in Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

Posted in CDYC, Confirmation, Diocese, Retreat, Youth Work

Saint Patrick’s Day Reception for Civic Guests in Cork

Each year, the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton and Mrs Susan Colton host a reception for invited guests in their home following the Festival and Civic Eucharist in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.  Nearly 200 guests were received this year, led by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn, the CEO of Cork City Council, Ms Ann Doherty, the Deputy Mayor of Cork County, Cllr Derry Canty, City Councillors, TDs and Senators, representatives of the Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána, NGOs, charities and youth organisations in the Diocese.

Niall Barry of Barrys Photographic Services was on hand to take photos:

Posted in Bishop, Church Services, Civic Service, Cork, People from Cork, Photo Montage

‘Society and the world need bridge-builders’ – Bishop Paul Colton at St Patrick’s Day Civic Service in Cork

Preaching at the annual Civic Service in St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork to mark St Patrick’s Day, the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, said that ‘more than ever our society and world needs bridge-builders.’  Speaking in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mick Finn, and the Deputy Mayor of Cork County, Cllr Derry Canty, Councillors, Micheál Martin, T,D,. Leader of the Opposition, members of the Oireachtas, representatives of the Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána, NGOs, community groups, as well as of the civic and business life of Cork, the Bishop set his remarks against the backdrop of the atrocity committed against Muslims at prayer in mosques in New Zealand, as well as in the context of the continuing disharmony arising from BREXIT, and the recollection of some of the wounds of our history in this period of centenary commemorations.  He said:

More than ever our society and world needs bridge-builders.  The ghastly and horrendous atrocity at the Mosques in New Zealand – and it is important, I believe,  not to talk simply about the horror in New Zealand, but to remember specifically that our Muslim brothers and sisters of faith, were targeted – all of this exemplifies how challenging the tasks of education, nurturing understanding, dialogue, demythologising are, if we are to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems – often ideological, and often infused with misplaced and hijacked religious outlook and zeal: extremism.

The wake of BREXIT, whatever that will be, (for now we truly know that the phrase ‘Brexit means Brexit’ is one of the most vacuous of the 21st Century … ), whatever the fallout will be, our bridge-building skills in politics, economics, commerce and at many other levels will be called upon.   The Centenary commemorations of the present period in Ireland also highlight, for many, old wounds. One hundred years is not that long ago. …

As much as ever before, perhaps more than ever, we are called to be bridge-builders, bridging the gaps in the human diversity and differences that, rather than dividing us, should enrich us, nourish us, and make us a better humanity.  Bridge-building is a civic obligation. It is also the calling of all Christians:

The full text of Bishop Colton’s Sermon is as follows:

Sermon preached by the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton,

Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

in the Cathedral Church of Saint Fin Barre, Cork

on Saint Patrick’s Day, 2019

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; … so we are ambassadors for Christ’

(2 Corinthians 5.18 and 20b)

As a young child growing up in Douglas, going into St Luke’s Church, we walked passed then, as parishioners still do today, the grave of Sir John Arnott. It was he who, as Mayor of Cork, opened St Patrick’s Bridge on 12th December 1861.  The foundation stone had been laid two years earlier on 10 November 1859.

Yesterday, we returned to that beautifully restored bridge, one of the key symbols of life in our City,  with you Lord Mayor, to watch you put the final piece of stonework in place. And very deftly you did it too!  It was a joy to be part of history, and to join with Bishop Buckley in saying prayers to mark the occasion.

Today’s bridge is, as we know, not the first bridge built at that point over our River Lee.   When the ancient city of Cork, centred on North Main and South Main Streets, expanded in the 18th century, including the development of St Patrick’s Street, the first St Patrick’s Bridge was built.  A foundation stone was laid on 25th July 1788, but six months later on 17th January 1789 a flood washed away the partially completed bridge. It was rebuilt, and was opened on 29th September 1789. That bridge was destroyed, again by a severe weather event in 1853 and was replaced by a temporary timber bridge. It, in turn,  was replaced by what we have and value today.

As an enduring lesson and reminder for us all in life, it’s worth remembering that the building of that first bridge had its objectors and the plans were met by opposition.  Good ideas are often opposed; one of life’s simple lessons.

Our city could not function without bridges.  Thank God for those who built them and who still maintain them.   Yesterday we marked the restoration of an actual bridge, but what about those figurative bridges that need to be built in our community, nation and world, and perhaps even in our own organisations, or within ourselves, in our own lives?

Last September, An Tánaiste Simon Coveney, T.D., addressing the United Nations General Assembly (and this, I emphasise, is not political endorsement from the pulpit, rather it is latching on to a valuable insight), said:

We Irish are by nature bridge-builders and talkers. But we listen too – to all sides – and work to build collective solutions to our global challenges. We are committed to hearing the voices of all of you, to forge consensus and common purpose.

The world does indeed need bridge-builders.  All of those whose names were considered for the new pedestrian bridge – we saw the work under way nearby yesterday –  would have been worthy choices. Mary Elmes, whose name you, as our City Councillors, chose, was a Cork born, aid worker and humanitarian, who in her life’s work was a bridge-builder of the kind the world still needs.  

I know that the parishioners of St Michael’s Church of Ireland Church in Blackrock where she was baptised, are thrilled, as are the staff and students of Ashton School, successor of Rochelle School, where she was educated. That, of course, is parochialism.  It is more important to remember that she saw suffering and reached out to respond in a life of self-sacrifice and self-giving. It is important to remember how closely she worked with the Quakers in her life’s work;  Quakers who exemplify, in so many ways that challenge the rest of us, the bridge-building that our world needs.

Bridge-building is at the heart of the Christian message and the obligation of the Christian – the things of faith we celebrate in our country on this St Patrick’s Day.    Talking about what God has done for us and the work of Jesus Christ, Saint Paul said: ‘All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; … so we are ambassadors for Christ.’

Would you believe that I – some still call me ‘the new Protestant bishop’ – that I will, in 8 days time, mark the 20th anniversary of my ordination and consecration as Bishop and my return to Cork as Bishop.  As the years have trundled along, I have become ever more convinced of the importance of bridge-building. Making connections, and networking, in the modern business sense do not go far enough. What really matters is making connections and entering into conversations and exploratory relationships with people who do not hold the same views as us; who are different from us; who challenge us; who disturb us; who confront us; and, yes, even those who hurt us.  Is not this the way of Christ? It’s one thing to love your neighbour as yourself, but he also said: ‘But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,…’  (Matthew 5.44)

I see all manners of bridge-building in the work that so many of you do, and that we celebrate and pray for in this Civic Service today:  Civic authorities, Oireachtas members, State bodies, professions, those of you who work with people in need, youth organisations, including Scouting, and Guiding.  I see the young people from SHARE – you are bridge-builders. You build bridges year after year between the people of Cork, and the very real needs of older people in our city.  

More than ever our society and world needs bridge-builders.  The ghastly and horrendous atrocity at the Mosques in New Zealand – and it is important, I believe,  not to talk simply about the horror in New Zealand, but to remember specifically that our Muslim brothers and sisters of faith, were targeted – all of this exemplifies how challenging the tasks of education, nurturing understanding, dialogue, demythologizing are, if we are to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems – often ideological, and often infused with misplaced and hijacked religious outlook and zeal: extremism.

Here in UCC, Dr Amanullah de Sondy, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Islam, has been an exemplary bridge-builder from the moment he arrived in Cork.  Writing this weekend in the wake of Friday’s attacks, he said:

Hatred is often not logical or rational … We need honest and critical discussions on Islamophobia at governmental and grassroots levels as we strengthen our resolve against all forms of hate.  … There is no quick solution to stamping out hatred but we heal and strengthen each other when we are aware of each other’s problems in sympathy and empathy.

Dr de Sondy is a man worth listening to.  He is a bridge-builder.

The New Zealand mosques are an all-too immediate example.  The wake of BREXIT, whatever that will be, (for now we truly know that the phrase ‘Brexit means Brexit’ is one of the most vacuous of the 21st Century – no you can’t escape it even today), whatever the fallout will be, our bridge-building skills in politics, economics, commerce and at many other levels will be called upon.   The Centenary commemorations of the present period also highlight, for many, old wounds. One hundred years is not that long ago.

This my friends, is my twentieth anniversary thought for you on this St Patrick’s Day, the day after we reopened St Patrick’s Bridge.  As much as ever before, perhaps more than ever, we are called to be bridge-builders, bridging the gaps in the human diversity and differences that, rather than dividing us, should enrich us, nourish us, and make us a better humanity.  Bridge-building is a civic obligation. It is also the calling of all Christians:

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; … so we are ambassadors for Christ’

(2 Corinthians 5.18 and 20b)

Bishop Paul Colton

Posted in Bishop, Civic Service, Contemporary Issues, Cork, Diocese, Sermons