The Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Joe Kavanagh, together with the Lady Mayoress, Mrs Stephanie Kavanagh, made the Lord Mayor of Cork’s customary courtesy call to the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton and Mrs Susan Colton on Wednesday 9th June. Councillor Joe Kavanagh is the twenty-third Lord Mayor of Cork to visit Bishop Colton and Mrs Colton, a visit which comes just days before his tenure as Lord Mayor ends.
Ordinarily, the Lord Mayor’s courtesy call happens early in the term in office, but everything this year has been greatly changed by the coronavirus pandemic. Accompanying the Lord Mayor also was the CEO of Cork City Council, Ann Doherty. Among the matters discussed was the effective work throughout the pandemic of the Cork City Covid-19 Community Response Forum, chaired by Ann Doherty, and on which Bishop Colton serves.
On Tuesday, 8th June, the eve of the feast of Saint Columba, the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, licensed two new readers – Alan Clohessy and Dr Kieran Hogan – to the Office of Reader.
The Service of Evening Prayer was held, in compliance with current Government regulations, in Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork.
Last year Alan and Kieran both completed the Certificate in Christian Studies in the Diocese (validated by the Pontifical University at Maynooth) and subsequently undertook an additional practical module in the Diocese. They will now embark on an additional year of supervised practical training in their parishes. Alan will be in Cloyne Union and Youghal Union with the Very Reverend Susan Green and Canon Andrew Orr. Kieran will be in Douglas Union with Frankfield, with Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson.
A new charity – The Bishop of Cork Pastoral Care Fund – was established in late 2020 by Bishop Paul Colton, with the support of the Diocesan Council, in the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross. A Founders’ Appeal launched by the Bishop has raised nearly €162,000, for investment, to set the charity on its way. Of that amount, nearly €124,000 was raised in just 14 weeks, in the period from the second week of Lent until Trinity Sunday, last Sunday.
The charity, recognised by and registered with the Charities’ Regulator, has been set up in a very broad way to help, within the resources available to it, any necessitous person in Cork City or Cork County under the following headings permitted by charity legislation:
Relief of poverty or economic hardship
The advancement of education
Advancement of community welfare including the relief of those in need by reason of youth, age, ill-health, or disability
The advancement of religion with a special focus on the promotion of religious or racial harmony and harmonious community relations
The United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross and its bishops have been associated with many charities for many centuries but this is the first charity to be set up directly by a bishop and the Diocese with such a broad and all-encompassing range of charitable objects.
‘Apart from the fact that a new Charity was needed because a number of smaller charities had to be wound up and consolidated in a viable unit for the purposes of implementing the Charities Governance Code’ explained Bishop Colton ‘other donors were coming forward to support the work of the Church of Ireland through the Bishop of the Diocese, and a proper charity setup was essential to make that possible. Given that a new charity was necessary it was decided to make it as strong and as potent as possible for the benefit of those in need, now and in the future. It is also vital that the discretionary charity work done by a bishop on behalf of a diocese is transparent and regulated within the charities’ governance structures.’
Thanking all of the donors to the Founders’ Appeal, Bishop Colton said:
I feel strongly that we shouldn’t just ride on the bus set in motion by our generous ancestors in the past. We all have an opportunity in our own time to do something positive and to make a difference now, in a way that the people of future generations will be thankful for.
Yes, it seemed counterintuitive to set up a new charity in the midst of the crisis of a pandemic but, paradoxically, it has proven to be the right time; people here have recognised the need, shared the vision, and supported it very generously.
I thank each and every person who has supported the Founders’ Appeal to date: people and parishes from this Diocese, friends of the Diocese from all over Ireland, and people from the Cork diaspora as far away as New Zealand.
The Founders’ Appeal itself was inspired by two celebrations and commemorations of recent times. The 150th anniversary of the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland was a reminder of the significant voluntary donations of members of the Church in those difficult days to the future work of the Church. Between April and October 1870, £30,000 ( a huge sum at the time) was raised in Cork, Cloyne and Ross alone. And, in the same period of history in Cork, Cloyne and Ross the people had been raising money to build the new Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral. I recently came across the list of subscribers to that in a photograph album which was kept by Bishop John Gregg.
Each parish in the Diocese has appointed liaison persons to work with the Bishop and trustees fo the new Charity.
It is still possible to support The Founders’ Appeal for the Bishop of Cork Pastoral Care Fund.
24th May: One aspect of this fundraising campaign has been the envelopes which have dropped through my letterbox with cheques, cash and supporting messages. These became quite a motivational feature as the month progressed. You may imagine my surprise when I opened a letter on Monday morning to find a picture of my number plate taken the previous week after I left Kinsale and was passing through Belgool . It appears that I did not register the 50KM speed limit resulting in a polite request for €80 and the application of 3 penalty points!!
25th May: Tuesday in St Lappan’s ,Little Island was another rainy day. While I had full raingear Rev. Paul Arbuthnot attracted some sympathy from a member of the nearby Golf Club who lent him an umbrella.
26th May : It was a pleasure on Wednesday to meet the Rev. Ivan Ruiters, new rector of Kinneigh Union of Parishes, for the first time and to meet an enthusiastic group of parishioners . While I had driven though Enniskeane on many occasions, while travelling to Fanlobbus Union, I had never deviated from the main road. Ivan had planned a heritage route which was most interesting, passing a beautiful park, meeting Ms. Shireen Rountree and her charges in Ballymoney National School, discovering St Paul’s and the graveyard of the last man who died as a result of a pistol duel. A most enjoyable walk in beautiful weather concluded in the Rectory where we enjoyed Raylene Ruiter’s great hospitality.
27th May; Were one asked what is worse than a walk in rainy weather, the answer is two walks in such weather.
Despite the conditions the walk in Rostellan on Thursday morning offered the opportunity to meet and renew acquaintances with so many friends from Cloyne Union of Parishes. Many thanks, not only to Dean Susan Green and the big group who walked with us, but also to the parishioners of Corkbeg who welcomed us in the church at the end of the walk with much needed hospitality.
Our final walk the same afternoon was from Red Barn Beach to St Mary’s Collegiate Church in Youghal. Truthfully, in light of the inclement conditions in the morning and the afternoon, my mind was focused mainly on concluding the walk, getting home and drying out. Fortunately Canon Andrew Orr had better ideas as he had arranged not only a reception in the church but a formal meeting with the Mayor of Cork County, Councillor Mary Linehan Foley, to mark the conclusion of our series of walks across the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.
The Mayor was most generous with her time and having had family connections in East Africa was both interested and knowledgeable on issues on that Continent.
Our walk concluded with a lovely reception provided by some old friends from St Mary’s where I had trained as an Ordinand ten years ago.
Contributions: In recent weeks I have mentioned that our ideal target from the beginning of this campaign was €10,000. At the start in light of Covid19 and lockdown it was difficult to envisage what the response would be. The interim target was set at €5,000. However, as the weeks progressed it was clear that momentum was growing and that there was a clear response to the request to ensure that, amidst our own problems, we did not forget our common humanity.
By last week we had passed the €8,000 mark. The gratifying news is that we have now passed our optimistic target of €10,000 which is both gratifying and humbling.
In conclusion, the Reverend Tony Murphy expressed his thanks:
Can I therefore sign off by thanking all those who helped in this campaign , Bishop Paul who launched our walk and has supported us throughout, each and every rector in every parish for their individual support and that of their parishioners; and finally Andrew Coleman who not only supported me throughout, but more importantly had the imagination to conceive the project in the first instance.
18th May: One interesting aspect of these walks is that they also offer parishioners an opportunity to meet (at a distance) as a result of the opening up after the lockdown. Such was the situation on Monday morning when parishioners from Templemartin, Kilmurry and Kilbonane came together for a walk around the old Kilbonane Church.
Aherla lies in a valley so inevitably we ended up on another hill, albeit not as steep as the one we walked down on the return journey. It was a very enjoyable occasion and an opportunity to renew friendships with old friends. Many thanks to the Reverend David Bowles for organising this and for his post walk hospitality.
19th May : Tuesday morning brought Andrew and I to Kinsale where the Reverend Peter Rutherford had organised a group of parishioners and a walk around the town. Despite ONE hill which allowed me to comprehend what gradient really was, weather was good. There was a lovely view over the harbour and great company. My little walk around the diocese was put into context when I met a parishioner who had cycled around the Wild Atlantic Way. Peter had kindly organised a parish collection which was much appreciated , as was the post walk hospitality.
20th May : Some Pharisees had queried if a walk from St Annes to St Fin Barre’s Cathedral could qualify as 5Km walk. Despite explaining that we intended to take a Western Route up the Mardyke, Andrew and I put any scepticism to rest by walking from St Fin Barre’s to St Annes before turning back to do the return journey. Many thanks to the Reverend Paul Robinson (St Anne’s) and the Reverend Ted Ardis (St Fin Barre’s) for welcoming us at both ends.
21st May: The weather forecast on Wednesday Night – yellow warning for wind and heavy rain – left us in no doubt that Thursday was going to be a challenging day. This was confirmed by the wind on the motorway travelling to Fermoy. Two faithful souls met the Reverend Gary Paulson and myself in the Adair Hall, Fermoy. A shortened walk ensued on a memorable occasion. Thanks to those who contacted us when the elements prevented them joining our walk.
22nd May : Good weather returned on Saturday morning as, accompanied by Canon Elaine Murray, we headed out on the walkway from Carrigaline to Crosshaven along the old railway track. At the half way point at Drake’s Pool we were greeted by the Reverend Isobel Jackson and friends who accompanied us to the Crosshaven car park. Just when I thought we were finished one of our intrepid group (H) checked her pedometer to declare that we had only walked 4.6km and we needed to walk to the centre of the village to complete 5km, which we dutifully did.
23rd May: Isobel had indicated that the parish had made a collection from a walk earlier in the month during Christian Aid week. I had suggested that it might be appropriate for me to attend the Pentecost Service, receive the cheque and thank the parishioners in the Church. Despite having fundraised for over 3 weeks, nothing had prepared me for the amazing contribution of €1,247 to our campaign.
Contributions: As I mentioned last week our initial discussion on a target for this campaign had been in the order of €10,000 – this against a total yearly commitment from all sources of €20,000.
At the end of Week 3 and with 4 walks remaining we have collected €8,338 which is a huge credit to a small diocese in Ireland reaching out to our sisters and brothers in Burundi.
You too can donate online to this 100 km walk for the