At Choral Evensong on Sunday, 4th March 2023 the Venerable Andrew Orr was licensed as Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross and installed in his seat in the Chapter of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, Cork. A large congregation gathered from all over the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, and were joined by members of the Chapter of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral as well as other clergy, Diocesan Lay Readers and the new Archdeacon’s family.
The 2023 ‘Confirmation Morning with the Bishop’ was held in the Canon Packham Hall and at Saint Luke’s National School, Douglas in Cork on Saturday morning 4th March.
At last, after a gap of three years, this annual ‘Confirmation Morning with the Bishop’ is back on the annual agenda in Cork, Cloyne and Ross. Every year, Bishop Paul Colton invites all the young people who hope to be confirmed in the year ahead to meet him near the start of the year. This happens at a morning of fun, games, activities, singing and refreshments. The last occasion this was held was in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic loomed and shortly afterwards all the planned Confirmation Services for that year were postponed. ‘It is good to be back’ said Bishop Colton. He said:
The idea of the morning is simple. Those being confirmed in a year get to meet me in person and I get to meet them. I give each of them a gift. And with the energetic support of a big team of leaders – clergy and youth leaders – they have a fun morning when, whether they are from a large parish or a small one, they see that they are part of a bigger picture in the Church.
This year’s programme was particularly busy. Following the ice breaker and a game organised by Niall Sweetnam, one of the young leaders in the Cork Diocesan Youth Council (CDYC), the confirmands took part in five different groups and activities. A group of six CDYC leaders were involved this year together with Diocesan Youth Office, Hilda Connolly.
Peter Stobart, Director of Music at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, who heads up the Diocesan Church Music Scheme, teaches everyone the hymn the Bishop has chosen to be sung at each of the Confirmation Services in the Diocese in a given year.
Discovering the Scriptures was the focus of a session hosted by the Reverend Abigail Sines. Using ‘Out of the Box’ storytelling resources, each group shared in reflection and exploration around Jesus’ statement ‘I am the true vine’, and a story called ’Something so precious’, which is based on the parable of pearl of great price. Space for silence and for sharing was created around the sense of connection to their faith and to consider what are the valuable or precious things in their lives.
Intentional Discipleship is very much on the Anglican agenda since the meeting of the ACC in Lusaka in 2016. In Cork, Cloyne and Ross this is being integrated in the Diocesan programme Charting a Future with Confidence. At the Confirmation morning, the Very Reverend Cliff Jeffers, Dean of Ross, with the help of two ladders, explored with the young people what it means to be a disciple.
The new Archdeacon of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Venerable Andrew Orr, who is chairperson of Eco-Congregation Ireland introduced the young people to another idea which was launched in the Anglican Communion of churches last Summer: The Communion Forest ‘The Communion Forest is not only about planting trees’ explained the Archdeacon, ‘it’s about energising local initiatives, not only in tree-planting, but also undertaking activities to restore eco-sytems of many kinds in order to safeguard creation.’ Each young person was given a gift of a BeeBomb to plant at home or in their parish. The Diocese has also entered into partnershiup with Reforest Nation to plant a forest of 300 trees in Ireland between 2023 and 2024 on behalf of this year’s group of people being confirmed.
For many years, Bishop Colton, has spoken to each group of confirmands about prayer. Through his work in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden he discovered, several decades ago, the ‘Wreath of Christ’. Each year he has given a gift of one of these to each young person in the Diocese who has been confirmed to provide one way to help them with their praying.
It was an action-packed, varied, thought-provoking and non-stop morning that ended with the whole group singing this year’s hymn, followed by healthy refreshments before heading home to enjoy the rest of Saturday.
After nearly 45 years of service in the Church of Ireland, the Rev. Ted Ardis took his last Sunday service yesterday, 26th February, at St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, following the recent announcement of his forthcoming retirement.
His final week as Dean’s Vicar included the Ash Wednesday Eucharist, Choral Evensong on Friday and Choral Eucharist as well as Choral Evensong on the First Sunday of Lent. As an enthusiastic singer himself, the Rev. Ted sung the entire Litany by Henry Loosemore at the beginning of yesterday’s Choral Eucharist. At the end of the service, Canon Daniel Nuzum, who took Ted’s last service together with him, said a special prayer for Ted and wished him well for his forthcoming retirement.
During his nearly 10 years at the Cathedral, the Rev. Ted became known among the choir as the most reliable, animated, and musical Cantor for Choral Evensong. To thank him for his enthusiastic musicality, his open ear, and of course his great sense of humour, the adults of the choir invited Ted and his wife Hilary to lunch at the River Lee Hotel At Evensong Ted was presented with a gift from the choir.
During the Sunday Eucharist the previous week, 19th February, the Dean, Select Vestry and parishioners took the opportunity to thank Ted for his nine years’ service.
Speaking on behalf of all at the Cathedral, the Dean of Cork, the Very Revd Nigel Dunne mentioned Revd Ardis’ pastoral gifts, his engagement with newcomers and visitors to the Cathedral and his particular gift for hospital chaplaincy.
The Dean went on to highlight Revd Ardis’ special relationship with Lapps Court and his particular passion for welcoming those who have fled violence and injustice, showing remarkable care to an extended Syrian family and for some who had been wrongly threatened with deportation from other countries in recent years. Revd Ardis’ love of liturgy and more especially of liturgical music and his devotion to the Third Order of St Francis were also highlighted, as was the support of his wife Hilary over so many years.
Concluding his address, the Dean said:
On 28th February the Cathedral loses a faithful pastor, dedicated priest and a good friend and support to many. I lose a trusted, loyal and wise colleague. We wish you improved health, the time and space to do the things you and Hilary can now do unfettered by the demands of full time ministry and most especially God’s continued blessing and peace as you head into retirement.
The Dean’s Cathedral Warden, Dr Alicia St Leger presented Revd Ardis with gifts from the parishioners and Select Vestry of the Cathedral and Mrs Margaret Newenham presented Hilary Ardis with a bouquet of flowers. Refreshments were served in the Cathedral Ambulatory after the service when Revd Ardis, Hilary Ardis and one of his sons, Revd John Ardis (also a former Dean’s Vicar and now Rector of Abbestrewery Union) were invited to cut a specially designed cake to mark the occasion.
Ted began his ordained ministry as curate-assistant of Drumcondra and North Strand and a second curacy in St Bartholomew’s with Lesson Park, both in the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough. He then moved to his first incumbency as Rector of Ardamine in the Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory. From there he moved to the west of Ireland to be Dean of Killala and later returned to Donnybrook and Irishtown & Chaplain to the St Vincent’s hospitals in south Dublin. During that time Revd Ardis was a Canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin where he was often cantor at Choral Evensong alongside his duties as a Chapter Canon.
Revd Ardis moved to Cork in 2013 and took up the post of Dean’s Vicar on All Saints’ Day that year.
The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, is delighted to announce that he has appointed the incumbent of Abbeystrewry Union of Parishes, the Reverend John Ardis, to be the new Diocesan Director of Ordinands. John Ardis will take over from the Reverend Peter Rutherford, who has fulfilled this role, but who will retire from stipendiary ministry in April.
Bishop Colton said:
I am immensely grateful to lay people and clergy who take on additional roles voluntarily in the Diocese. One such crucially important role is that of Diocesan Director of Ordinands, nurturing vocations, accompanying people on their journey of testing a vocation to ordained ministry and their training.
I am delighted that the Reverend John Ardis has agreed to take on this task. During my years as chairperson of the Bishops’ Selection Conference John has accompanied me as chaplain to some of those conferences. I also warmly thank the Reverend Peter Rutherford for all he has done during his term as Diocesan Director of Ordinands.
Three refugees from Ukraine have thanked Andrew and Caroline Coleman, parishioners of Bandon Union, who welcomed them into their home, making their remarks days ahead of the first anniversary of the start of the conflict.
Lisa Fagan from Christian Aid writes:
Andrew and Caroline Coleman hosted Victoria and her son Vlad in their Bandon home from May until November last year. When the mother and son moved into a nearby apartment to get some additional living space, Tetianna moved in and is staying with the couple to the present.
Victoria, who comes from the central city of Kropyvnytskyi, paid tribute to Andrew and Caroline:
“I like Andrew’s family and their traditions. They know how to welcome guests by making parties and picnics. At first, my parents didn’t support me coming but after telling them about the peaceful situation here, they are praying for the kind Irish people who offered me a home.”
Tetianna, who comes from Kyiv, thanked the Colemans and added:
“I don’t feel alone and I am happy here. Irish people are very merry, always smiling and laughing. They are very hospitable, welcoming, helpful and open-hearted.”
Andrew, who works as Church and Community Officer at Christian Aid Ireland, spoke of his hopes for the future:
“Tetianna and Victoria are part of our family now. We are looking forward to visiting them in Ukraine when the war is over.”
Victoria, Vlad and Tetianna are among more than 6,000 Ukrainian refugees living in County Cork and among nearly 8 million people who have crossed Ukraine’s borders to reach safety. Another 5.5 million remain displaced within the country. Many initially abandoned their homes with only a few days’ worth of clothing and possessions. Across Ukraine, people have had to cope with the bombing of residential areas, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and a winter without reliable heat or electricity.
Working through local partner organisations, Christian Aid has reached around 800,000 people within Ukraine as well as Ukrainian refugees in Hungary and Romania. As well as providing frontline medical support and support to shelters housing displaced people, the charity has also distributed cash so that people have the money to pay for essentials and handed out grants to community groups to give them the freedom to decide for themselves what needs to be prioritised in their local area.