Two new Canons Installed in Kilmore Cathedral

Congratulations to Canon Ian Horner and Canon Ruth West who were installed as Prebendaries of St Fethlimidh’s Cathedral last Sunday night (23rd January 2022). Canon Ruth (from the Florencecourt Group of Parishes ) will serve as Prebendary of Drumlease and Canon Ian (from the Bailieborough Group of Parishes) will serve as Prebendary of Annnagh. The service was presided over by Bishop Ferran Glenfield and led by Dean Nigel Crossey. The Very Reverend Arfon Williams, Dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Mary and St. John, Sligo acted as Registrar.

The address at the service was given by the Archdeacon of Kilmore, the Ven. Craig McCauley who preached from 1st Corinthians chapter 12 and Luke chapter 4. In his sermon, he drew the congregation’s attention to the obvious fact that we are community of different people with different gifts, different talents and different backgrounds but are all part of a greater and more important whole. Whether, like Jesus, we are rejected or not we each have a vital part to play in proclaiming the good news of the risen Lord Jesus. He concluded his sermon with this prayer from an old hymn:

Day by day, dear Lord, of these three things I pray; to see thee more clearly, to love thee more dearly, to follow thee more nearly, day by day. Amen

We thank God for the newly installed Canons and pray that they may know God’s presence as they begin this new phase of their ministry.

Pictured above are the Chapter of Kilmore Cathedral: Canon Ian Horner, Canon Mark Lidwell, Archdeacon Craig McCauley, Bishop Ferran Glenfield, Dean Nigel Crossey, Canon Ruth West.

New Survey: Ethnic Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Justice in the Church of Ireland

A new survey seeks to gather the views of members of the Church of Ireland on ethnic diversity, inclusion and racial justice. The initiative of the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, the Most Revd John McDowell, follows discussions with members and clergy and those serving in lay ministry from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds on the progress made within the Church on drawing on our rich diversity.

At the Church of Ireland’s most recent General Synod in September 2021, the Archbishop said: “It was a little troubling to hear about how we had not drawn anything like deeply enough on the rich diversity of backgrounds in our Church. The meeting had also helped me to understand how difficult it can be to be a person of colour on this island and even, at times, in our Church.”

The research now being carried out has been designed in collaboration with the group of ethnically diverse clergy and lay readers who have now met on a further occasion, and will, along with other strands, examine and make recommendations on how the Church of Ireland can become truly a place of welcome for those from every ethnic background, both lay and clergy. The research is led by Dr Lucy Michael of the Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough.

The Archbishop said: “Already in their discussions the group have also highlighted the positive experience of giving and receiving, but there is much we will need to do if we are to be the place which not only includes, but also celebrates, the God-given difference of the Catholic Church which we stand on our hind legs and proclaim ourselves to be in the words of the ancient Creeds, Sunday by Sunday.”

The Archbishop will publish and share the findings of the research and recommendations ahead of General Synod 2022.

All lay and clerical members of the Church are invited to give their views in this survey, which can be accessed at www.ireland.anglican.org/diversity-survey

Young Leaders in Ministry Fund – closing date 31st January 2022

As our teenagers and young adults look forward to a new year of youth ministry, the Church of Ireland Youth Department’s Young Leaders in Ministry Fund is once again open for applications.  The fund is open to young people aged between 15 and 25 years who can demonstrate a current involvement in the Church of Ireland.  It seeks to support training and development courses, mission teams, leadership opportunities and placements that can be shown to:

  • significantly develop the faith of the young adult applicant;
  • grow the skills of the applicant especially, but not confined to, leadership skills; and
  • be of significant use to the ministry of the Church of Ireland in the 12 months following the completion of the opportunity.

The next closing date is Monday, 31st January 2022, and application forms (in PDF format) can be downloaded at this link (https://www.ireland.anglican.org/cmsfiles/pdf/news/Press/2022/Young-Leaders-Application-Form-2022.pdf).

Please send all completed applications by post to: Young Leaders in Ministry Fund, CIYD, Church of Ireland House, 61–67 Donegall Street, Belfast, BT1 2QH, or by email to admin@ciyd.org

For any further information or questions please email simon@ciyd.org

Two new Archdeacons and three new Canons Installed in Elphin and Ardagh

This Sunday, the 9th of January, the Venerable Patrick Bamber and the Venerable Hazel Hicks were installed as Archdeacons of Elphin and Ardagh respectively at a service held in the Cathedral Church of St. Mary the Virgin and John the Baptist. Canon Linda Frost, Canon Andrew Ison and Canon Christiaan Snell were also installed as Prebendaries of the Cathedral at the same service.

The modern dioceses of the Church of Ireland, including Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh, were formed at the Synods of Rathbreasail in 1111 and Kells-Mellifont in 1152 and united in 1841.The two Diocese of Elphin and Ardagh were joined together in 1929 but, last year, the Diocesan Synod and the Standing Committee of the General Synod backed a proposal to separate the Dioceses once more. This created two separate Archdeacons for Elphin and Ardagh. It is, therefore, the first time in almost a century that Elphin and Ardagh will each have their own Archdeacons. A historic moment in the story of our Diocese!

Over the last decade the number of clergy, laypastors, parish groups and mission centres in the Diocese of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh has grown. Clergy, lay pastors, evangelists and parishes need good administration and resources to work effectively and so the installation of Hazel Hicks and Patrick Bamber in their new roles alongside the Archdeacon of Kilmore, the Ven. Craig McCauley is to be welcomed. Speaking of their appointment, Bishop Ferran Glenfield remarked that he believes that these three archdeaconries will become vital recovery vehicles for parishes and the diocese in the post-Covid landscape.

The address at the service was given by Archdeacon Craig McCauley who preached from Isaiah 43 and Acts Chapter 8. In his sermon, he spoke of a God who has changed history and has changed our history through Jesus Christ. He challenged the congregation saying that ‘we, in response to God’s grace, must ask how he can use our story, our circumstances, our words, our deeds, our actions, our skills, our passions, our jobs, our places of leisure, our prayers to potentially change stories around us by pointing others to Jesus’. He noted that although the new Canons and Archdeacons would be taking on new functional roles within the diocese they were to keep doing what they were already doing so well – pointing people and drawing people to Jesus.

The service also served as an opportunity to mark the achievements of our Ordained Local Ministers as they received their Certificates in Theology validated by Queens’ University Belfast. The Diocese congratulated Rev. Albert Dawson, Rev. Stephen Frost, Rev. Adam Norris, and Rev. Edmund Smyth, on the completion of their Ordained Local Ministry studies and is enormously grateful for all they bring to the Diocese.


The Cathedral Chapter of Elphin and Ardagh:
Back row (l-r): Canon Linda Frost and the Venerable Hazel Hicks (Archdeacon of Ardagh).
Centre (l-r) Canon Christiaan Snell, the Right Reverend Ferran Glenfield (The Bishop), Canon Edward Yendall, the Venerable Patrick Bamber (Archdeacon of Elphin)
Front (l-r): Canon Andrew Ison, Very Revd. Arfon Williams (Dean of the Cathedral Church)

 

2) OLM Graduates
(l-r) Revd. Adam Norris, Revd. Albert Dawson, Bishop Ferran Glenfield, Revd. Steve Frost, Revd. Edmud Smyth.

Bishop’s Letter January 2022

January looks both ways, backwards to the old year and forward to the new year.

Another year opens, covered with the Covid cloud which is proving hard to lift.

We are weary of Covid and want it consigned to the pages of history. It is difficult to plan anything with any degree of certainty. All we can do is watch and wait. The words watch and wait are often used by the psalmist in the Bible. They are there at the centre of Psalm 130,

“ I wait for the Lord,
my soul waits and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord,
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning”.

Verses 5 and 6

The words watch and wait in this Psalm add up to hope. And hope is connected in the Psalm with the image of watchmen, waiting through the night for the dawn. They know the dawn comes, there is no doubt about that. The psalmist’s and the Christian’s watching and waiting is based on the conviction that God is at work behind the scenes. Covid will pass, God will do it in his way and in his time. In the meantime, we watch, wait and pray for the post-Covid dawn to come.

In earlier announcements online, you will have read details of appointments to our two cathedrals: Kilmore and Sligo. Last year, the Diocesan Council, the Diocesan Synod and the Standing Committee of the General Synod backed a proposal to create two separate archdeacons for Elphin and Ardagh which had been joined together in 1929. The thinking behind the proposal was threefold: First, Geographical. It has always been difficult for one archdeacon to cover the ground that makes up Elphin and Ardagh: Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Longford and part of Westmeath. Second, Historical. Our diocese is made up of three historic dioceses which have been in existence since the 12th Century and joined together in 1841. Third, Administration. In the past decade the number of clergy, lay pastors and parish groups and mission centres in the diocese has increased and administration has increased accordingly. Clergy, lay pastors, evangelists and parishes need good administration and resources to work effectively. Hence the need for two archdeacons in Elphin and Ardagh, alongside one in Kilmore.

 

Canon Patrick Bamber will become the Archdeacon of Elphin. He will oversee an archdeaconry consisting of Sligo Cathedral, Drumcliffe, Cloonclare, Calry, The Sligo Centre of Mission, Ballisodare, Riverstown and Boyle. Canon Hazel Hicks will be the Archdeacon of Ardagh. She will administer the archdeaconry made up of Ardagh, Longford, Roscommon, South Leitrim, Arva and Edgewothstown and Longford Methodist. Archdeacon Craig will continue to serve the archdeaconry of Kilmore consisting of Kilmore, Cavan, Virginia, Bailieborough, Drumgoon, Drung, Annagh, KIldrumferton, Kildallon, Killeshandra, Swanlinbar, Kinawley and Killesher. Do pray for Archdeacon Patrick and Archdeacon Hazel as they take up their new positions, joining Archdeacon Craig in these key roles in the diocese.  I do believe that these three archdeaconaries will become recovery vehicles for parishes and diocese in the post Covid landscape. And we have much to recover.

Towards the end of last year, we lost two people and a parish community.

Kathleen Richey, widow of Canon Robin Richey who was Diocesan Secretary from 1972 to 1998, was described as a ”force of nature.” She was deeply involved in her community of Blacklion and her parish Killinagh and was laid to rest in her native Fermanagh. Donald Walker from Lissadell , who was rooted in North Sligo, also died. A quiet and humble soul, Donald was one of the longest serving Diocesan Lay Readers until his retirement a few years ago. The few remaining parishioners of Aughavas, near Mohill, decided that their church should close. So there was a very fitting final service in the church which was deconsecrated.

People pass and we mourn their loss, church buildings, too, have their day and become places of memory. People and places matter to us and to God. In this New Year, I commend you to his love and care.

+ Ferran

Christmas Message from Bishop Ferran Glenfield 2021

Christmas comes in packages. Courier companies deliver packages to our doors. Some people book a hotel package for Christmas Day. Christmas parcels are wrapped in seasonal paper to be opened on the big day. Christmas comes in packages.

St. Luke packages the first Christmas story for us in his Gospel. He wants us to see, first, the coming of God to the world he created. Christ came at the time when Caesar Augustus ruled much of the known world. But for Luke the Roman Empire was only the backcloth to Christ’s coming. Jesus, not Caesar was the main man.

Secondly, Luke points to how God came to earth. He came in humility. Born to peasant parents in a rural backwater in Palestine. Born and nursed in a feeding trough in a bare stable. No pomp and circumstance in Luke’s story of the coming of Christ into the world.

Next, Luke highlights the announcement of Christ’s arrival. An angel is the herald. The news is good, the promised one is to be born in Bethlehem. He will deliver, for he comes as Saviour, what the world needs. He is for all, people then and people now, people like you and me.

Lastly, Luke sets before us the reaction to the coming of Jesus. Shepherds keeping watch over their flocks at night were the first to hear the news. Their response was immediate, they hurried down to Bethlehem, their clue was the feeding trough, just as the angel had said. Mary’s response was more reflective; she pondered all these things in her heart. The wonder of it all.

Luke’s package of the first Christmas story has been described as the most beautiful
gift ever given. Do take time to unwrap the gift of God and to receive Jesus with great
joy and wonder this Christmas.

I do hope and pray that we will be able to celebrate Christmas in our homes and in our churches with family, friends and strangers. May you have happy and blessed Christmas.

+ Ferran

Cathedral Appointments in KEA

The modern dioceses of the Church of Ireland, including Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh, were formed at the Synods of Rathbreasail in 1111 and Kells-Mellifont in 1152. The Diocese of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh has two cathedrals at Kilmore and Sligo. The present cathedral in Kilmore was opened in 1860 and replaced an earlier building which now serves as the parish hall. St. John’s Church in Sligo became the cathedral for Elphin and Ardagh in 1961. It replaced Elphin Cathedral which was severely damaged in a storm in February 1957 and subsequently demolished in 1964. The medieval cathedral in Ardagh ceased to be used in 1630. Thereafter, the cathedral in Elphin served both dioceses of Elphin and Ardagh until the transfer to Sligo sixty years ago.

Each cathedral is administered by a Dean on behalf of the Bishop. The administration team in a cathedral, known as a chapter, consists of Archdeacons and Prebendaries, more commonly known as Canons, an honorary title for a clergyperson. This month two new Archdeacons: Rev. Patrick Bamber for Elphin and Rev. Hazel Hicks for Ardagh will be installed at a service on 9th January in Sligo Cathedral at 4:30pm. At the same service three new Canons: Rev. Linda Frost, Rev. Andrew Ison and Rev. Christiaan Snell will also be installed. During the installation service Certificates in Theology validated by Queen’s University Belfast, will be awarded to: Rev. Albert Dawson, Rev. Stephen Frost, Rev. Adam Norris, and Rev. Edmund Smyth, on the completion of their Ordained Local Ministry studies.

Likewise, two new Canons: Rev. Ian Horner and Rev. Ruth West will be installed at a service
on 23rd January in Kilmore Cathedral at 4:30pm. Finally, a service of welcome will be held in
St. John’s Longford on 30th January at 4:30pm for the new Ardagh Archdeacon and Canons.

Virginia Group of Parishes Avenue of Light 2021

Once again the Virginia Group of Parishes have put up Christmas trees all through the church grounds of Lurgan Church, Virginia to create an Avenue of Light this Christmas 2021.

This wonderful community event is raising funds for four charities:

  1. Virginia Cancer Care
  2. Virginia St. Vincent de Paul
  3. UNICEF – Christmas Vaccine Appeal
  4. Lurgan Parish Church of Ireland

You can support this initiative on their gofundme page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/avenue-of-light-2021

 

Bishops’ Appeal Advent Newsletter

This newsletter highlights just some of the vital work Bishops’ Appeal has funded over the past year and the potential for even more good work to be achieved, with your help, in 2022. It focuses on less than a third of all projects funded throughout the year and so is but a snapshot of what has been achieved through Church of Ireland support. It is heartening to know that Church of Ireland generosity has brought so much relief and long term sustainable development amidst its own challenges and struggles of living through a Pandemic.

 

Mothers’ Union 16 Days of Activism against Gender based Violence

This Saturday the 27th November, the Mothers’ Union gathered in the Cathedral Church of St. Mary the Virgin and St. John the Baptist for a prayer vigil to mark a Global day in response to the call for 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence. 

The service in Sligo was an opportunity to join with Mothers’ Union groups across the world to champion the cause of justice and to offer up our prayers for all who are affected by abuse and violence.  During the service, three minutes of silence was held at 1:03. It is estimated that, globally, almost one in three women have been subject to intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence or both at least once in their life. The Mothers’ Union as a leading women’s organisation believe this disturbing figure to be unacceptable.

A prayer diary for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and Abuse can be found HERE

Another service will be held on Saturday 4th December in Virginia Parish Church at 3pm.

Back Row left to right
Rev Richard Waller, KEA MU Diocesan Chaplain
Mayor of Sligo, Cllr Arthur Gibbons
Cllr Marie Casserly
Hazel Speares, KEA MU Diocesan President

Middle Row
Bishop Kevin Doran, Roman Catholic Bishop of Elphin
Marlet Hunter, KEA MU Social Policy Rep
Deputy Frank Feighan, TD

Front Row
Mary Geelan, KEA MU Faith and Policy Unit Co-Ordinator
Rev Jeremy Nicholl, Methodist Minister, Sligo
Canon Patrick Bamber, Calry Church of Ireland