Surprise Visitor to Youth Zoom Meetings in Cork, Cloyne and Ross

Since the beginning of lock down the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Diocesan Youth Officer, Hilda Connolly, has been keeping in touch with the youth of Cork, Cloyne and Ross through ZOOM.

Every Friday at 7.30pm, the “meet-up” takes place with an evening of games, chat and fun.

But a few weeks ago the meeting was structured a little differently and took into account that the majority of the group are particularly sporty and are missing their sport incredibly.

Unknown to the group, Hilda had invited the Cork Ladies GAA Football Goalkeeper, Martina O’Brien, to pop in to say hello.  Martina has worn the red and white jersey for 8 years now and has been nominated on a few occasions for the All Star Awards.

Martina O’Brien


Martina spoke to them about how she is dealing without her training and matches. She decided to learn something new during lockdown and her chosen activity is Table Tennis and Badminton! So she received lots of feedback on that!

She also encouraged the group to take walks and keep active to keep their minds focused and not to dwell on the current situation.  She also advised them to turn off the news, restrict social media and to get out in the fresh air and go gardening, walking, cycling or take on baking or cooking as a new challenge!

As Martina also runs a Physiotherapy Clinic in Ballinascarthy, the group had lots of questions around her job.

Afterwards, the group had a quick fire round of something good that happened during the week. A lot of the group had thrown their hand at a bit of farming for the first time, Hilda included!! She realised that covering her dad’s silage pit wasn’t as easy as it looks!  Following on from that, and after the group were shown the Sutton family’s new potato patch, Hilda set them all a challenge to plant something before next weeks session!

And, hopefully, over the next few weeks, there will be a few more speakers making an appearance.

The Zoom meetings are open to anybody from first year upwards.

But it is at this time of year that CDYC would encourage anyone in 6th class to come along to their summer events.  As that is not possible this year, a new 6th class Zoom has been introduced on a Thursday evening at 7pm.

This is to help encourage the 6th class group to get familiar with each other before joining the existing Friday night group. It is set up to help reduce the anxiety and fear of joining a group that already know each other.

It has been great to see so many new faces coming along and joining in on Thursday nights. And some are now joining in on both nights, which is amazing!

If you would like any details on either Zoom, please contact Hilda on



Posted in CDYC, Corona Virus, GAA, People from Cork, Social Events, Youth Work, ZOOM

Bishop Paul Colton’s Pastoral Letter to Cork, Cloyne and Ross about Church Buildings

A Pastoral Letter from the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton,

Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

to the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

When I sent you my pastoral guidance on 16th March requesting that, in response to the CoronaVirus crisis, we, like other dioceses of the Church of Ireland, close our church buildings, my prime concern was the safety and well-being of everyone.  This was your concern also, I know.

Much has happened since then; there have been many changes, challenges and, for too many people, tragedies.  In my monthly letter in the Diocesan Magazine published yesterday, I extended sympathy, not only to the loved ones of all those who have died of COVID-19, but also to everyone who has been bereaved during this pandemic, while also assuring those who have been ill or whose lives have been upheaved, of our prayers.

May I take this opportunity, once again, as your Bishop, to thank you most sincerely, for the ways in which you have responded to this crisis.  Your faithfulness, commitment, energy, determination, inventiveness, self-sacrifice, generosity and compassion have all been inspiring and humbling to witness.

The time approaches now when, subject to the public health advice and the public health situation generally, we can begin to look forward to the reopening, progressively, of our church buildings at some stage after 20th July.  This is good news and let us anticipate it with joy and hope, rejoicing that, although things will be very different for a time, we can begin to be in community together again as Christians.

Later today, or tomorrow, clergy and select vestries will receive information from the Church of Ireland about what is required in order to reopen church buildings.  The protocol that will be circulated is based on the Government’s two documents – the Roadmap for Reopening Society and  Business and the Return to Work Safely Protocol – both of which have been explained, and the practical implications set out,  in such a way that is specific to our church settings. 

I know that, in this Diocese, the responsibilities required of us all will be addressed and put into place with pragmatism and commitment; that is our tradition here in Cork, Cloyne and  Ross.

In  anticipation  of  the arrival of that protocol, I want first to underline a few key principles:

  • Safety: This is still about keeping everyone safe.  We do not want, either by our actions or omissions, to put one another or those who join us at risk.
  • Personal responsibility:  A message that we must keep highlighting for everyone is that each person must also take personal responsibility, first, not to come to church if  we or  anyone in our household has COVID-19 or has the symptoms of COVID-19; and second, to share in  the responsibility of making and keeping our church buildings safe places during the current times.
  • Three core areas: Church buildings are no different from any other place in the community in that the three core areas will apply to us too, all of which are mentioned in the new protocol:
      • Social or physical distancing in accordance with public health advice. This may mean that some buildings have a maximum capacity which has to be taken account of.  It will mean changes to our usual ways of gathering and seating. 
      • Hand hygiene
      • Respiratory hygiene


  • The new ‘normal’: When we reopen it will not be ‘business as usual’.  We will all need to be accommodating, flexible and  purposeful; determined to get this right for everyone’s sake as well as for the long term good of the people, churches and parishes in our Diocese. 


  • Step by step reopening.  It may also be both necessary and prudent, according to local circumstances and logistics not ‘to bite off more than we can chew’ at first, and to open our buildings progressively, one by one, over a period of time. We have to take into account also the situations of those available to take the large number of Church Services in our Diocese each Sunday.


  • The bare basics: The protocol that you will receive will encompass the basics and essentials needed just to get the building open and in use.  Further advice is in the pipeline and will follow soon about other core concerns such as Holy Communion, Holy Baptism, Funerals, and weekday opening for private prayer and visitors.  There are also some areas where additional advice is needed and is being sought, such as about singing. 


  • The unknown:  There are still many uncertainties and unknowns. We live in a time when there is a lot of conjecture and speculation in the public space as well as mutually exclusive views being articulated by experts. There are political and economic pressures from many directions. It can seem confusing.  We need, therefore, to be on our toes and ready to respond to changes in the public health advice as time goes on.   

So, dear friends, let us, as faithful followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, continue to walk the path of faith, hope and love.  In all of this (as I have tried to do, I hope, so far) I pledge to stand alongside each of our clergy and our parishes, and to give of myself, in whatever practical ways I can, for as long as the good Lord gives me life and strength to do so.  May he grant us all those gifts and all that we need to do what needs to be done in these times in which we live.

I end this letter as I ended that on 16th March.  I pray that the Lord God who has been with our forebears throughout the ages, including at times of great uncertainty and danger, in being with us all now too, will give us fortitude and calm, wisdom and perseverance, and enable us to live in the Christian way of faith, hope and love.  Amen.

With prayerful good wishes,

✞ Paul Cork:


Posted in Bishop, Bishop's Pastoral Letter, Corona Virus, COVID-19

Bishop Paul Colton’s Monthly Letter to the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

Each month, Bishop Paul Colton writes a short one page letter as a foreword to the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Diocesan Magazine.

Here is his letter in the June edition of the magazine:

Dear Friends,

Another month has passed and with it have come more changes, challenges and tragedies.  On behalf of us all I extend sympathy, not only to the loved ones of all those who have died of COVID-19, but also to everyone who has been bereaved during this pandemic.  Not being able to give loved ones the funeral we would really want to give them is one of the most heart-breaking aspects of the current times.

Much in my prayers and yours, have been those who are ill with COVID-19 and all others whose other illnesses have been compounded by the strictures of these times.  In a different way,  Leaving Certificate students and their families have been much in my thoughts and prayers.

In one way or another everyone of us has been affected and, in addition to the immense tragedy of death and the vulnerability of illness, there have been the anxieties, fears and disappointments.  The American pastor, Nadia Bolz-Weber, has referred to the ‘pandemic of disappointment’ in these times: postponed events and weddings, cancelled times of enjoyment and togetherness, and much more.

Alongside all of this, there is also good news: people who have recovered and are recovering from COVID-19; the work achieved by all in society collaborating in ‘flattening the curve’; the fortitude and self-sacrifice of frontline workers; the extraordinary generosity of volunteers; people going the extra mile to support and assist one another; and the so-many ways in which Christians have been discovering what it means to be the Church.

Since I last wrote the Government has published a ‘Roadmap’ and a ‘Protocol’ for reopening society and business.  These are for us too in the Diocese.   The Roadmap signals that places of worship can re-open from 20th July, subject to the public health situation between now and then.  Re-opening isn’t as straightforward as it sounds because ‘the new normal’ will be different.  It will include social distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene – in Church too!

I have already started engaging with the clergy of the Diocese and with the Diocesan Council as we figure out what will be possible in accordance with the public health realities that we face for now.

Of one thing I am sure – whatever we have to do, we will do together, under God.

You are all in my prayers.

✞ Paul Cork:

The full Diocesan Magazine for June is here:  Diocesan Magazine ~ June 2020

Posted in Bishop, Bishop's Monthly Letter

Cork, Cloyne and Ross Diocesan Magazine ~ June Edition Now Online

The June edition of the Cork, Cloyne and Ross Diocesan Magazine is now available.  Click below:

Diocesan Magazine ~ June 2020


Posted in Diocesan Magazine

Cork, Cloyne and Ross Thanks Volunteers ~ Last Video – Day 6 of Cork Volunteer Week 2020

Cork Volunteer Week 2o2o organised by the Cork Volunteer Centre runs from 18th May to 24th May 2020.

Each day this week a short video, put together by Bishop Paul Colton, is being published to highlight the work of our volunteers.  ‘It is an opportunity, especially during these challenging times’ says Bishop Colton, ‘to pause and to thank all our volunteers both within the Church and in the community.

Today Bishop Colton added:

Being the last of these video tributes, today I renew my thanks at the end of this video of Day 6 of Cork Volunteer Week.

To view the video for this, the last of the tributes to volunteers, day six – Saturday,  23rd May

Click Here

Annual Sheep’s Head Hike in aid of Christian Aid


Posted in Bishop, Cork Volunteer Week, Corona Virus, COVID-19, Faith and Service, Five Marks of Mission, People from Cork, People from the Diocese, Voluntary Work