Institution of Revd. Richard Waller

Last Friday evening, 11th September, Revd. Capt. Richard Waller was instituted as Rector of the Kildallon Group of Parishes (Corrawallen, Kildallon and Newtongore. To accommodate social distancing a small congregation gathered in Kildallon church while other family, friends and parishioners were able to participate via a livestream of the service. The service was led by Bishop Ferran Glenfield assisted by Archdeacon Craig McCauley.

The address at the institution was given by the Right Reverend David McClay, Bishop of Down and Dromore. Speaking from 1 Corinthians 9:16-27, Bishop David emphasised that the task of the church is to make disciples of Jesus, preaching Christ and coming alongside people. He spoke of the wonderful privilege of this work and encouraged the congregation to be active in the ministry and witness of the church.

The Act of Institution was then carried out by Bishop Ferran Glenfield. During Revd. Richard’s commissioning, symbolic gifts of the Bible, Water, the Book of Common Prayer and Bread and Wine were presented by Ewen Garland, Gwenda Richardson, Florence Bayliss and Bishop David. After this, words of welcome were given by Revd. Ruth West on behalf of the Diocese who congratulated Revd. Richard on this recognition of his ministry so far. Further words of welcome were given by Father John McMahon from Carrigallen Parish who spoke of Revd. Richard as an inspirational man of prayer. Roy Woods spoke on behalf of the Kildallon Group of Parishes.

The current health restrictions meant that we missed out on the traditional tea after the service, but the warm, end of summer’s evening gave a quick opportunity to wish Revd. Richard and his wife Janette well as they begin this next phase of their ministry.

 

Face Coverings in Churches

The following statement has been issued by the Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland Primates of All Ireland, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and the President of the Methodist Church in Ireland:

At this time, both in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland, the governments have not formally made mandatory the wearing of face coverings at services of worship. This is, in part, due to the fact that as churches we are committed to maintaining 2 metre physical distancing between household groups and strict adherence to all government guidance on hand hygiene, cleaning, ventilation etc.

It, however, remains our responsibility to ensure that our services of worship are safe places for all who join with us. It has become increasingly clear that the wearing of face coverings, in conjunction with hand washing etc., is likely to reduce the spread of coronavirus, thus helping to protect others. Their use is therefore one way in which we can evidence protection for the most vulnerable, support for our health workers, and practical love for our neighbours.

Following further recent consultations with public health authorities, we join with Christian church leaders all over this island in formally recommending and encouraging the use of face coverings at all services of worship, along with the ongoing maintenance of 2 metre physical distancing, from Sunday 30th August 2020, and earlier if practicable.

We understand that some people are exempted from the wearing of face coverings, as outlined in the two jurisdictions.

We also recognise that whilst it may not be appropriate for those who are leading from the front during worship, including preaching, to wear face coverings, they should at all times continue to maintain at least 2 metre physical distancing from one another, and 4 metre physical distancing from the front row of the congregation.

The Most Revd Eamon Martin
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland

The Most Revd John McDowell
Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland

The Rt Revd Dr David Bruce
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland

The Revd Dr Tom McKnight
President of the Methodist Church in Ireland

Advice on exemptions from the wearing of face coverings is available as follows:

Northern Ireland
http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-face-coverings

Republic of Ireland
http://www.gov.ie/en/publication/aac74c-guidance-on-safe-use-of-face-coverings

Bishops’ Appeal response to Beirut explosion

Last Tuesday (4th August), a massive explosion ripped through Beirut, killing 157 people, injuring 5,000, damaging 50% of the buildings and leaving 300,000 people homeless.

This disaster comes when the whole country was already on its knees due to its worst financial crisis in decades and its struggles to contain a rapidly increasing coronavirus outbreak (see report from the Washington Post at this link).

Added to this, Lebanon has taken in 1.5 million refugees since war erupted in neighbouring Syria in 2011. Syrian refugees make up 30% of the country’s population, the highest per capita concentration of refugees in the world.

Bishops’ Appeal has long supported Christian Aid and Tearfund partners in Beirut, in their work with vulnerable communities, not least people living with disabilities, people who are refugees, people who have or are exposed to gender-based violence, and people in need of basic humanitarian assistance such as food and shelter.

Already in April of this year, Christian Aid partner Basmeh & Zeitooneh (Smile & Olive) reported that they had spoken to families who at that early stage (of lockdown) were already reporting having no food, not even bread in their homes. Basmeh & Zeitooneh now reports: “Now, the food crisis will deepen further. The grain stores in the port are completely destroyed. The port is the entry way for Lebanon’s grain imports; they import 90% of their grain for the staple Lebanese bread.”

Bishops’ Appeal has already funded the provision of emergency supplies and increased food and hygiene parcels for people who were destitute because they lost their casual labour jobs during lockdown.

Now, as Christian Aid and Tearfund partners assess the damage and the needs, Bishops’ Appeal extends the opportunity to all parishes and individuals who wish to contribute to these vital efforts to do so via Bishops’ Appeal. Donations can be made online or sent to Bishops’ Appeal, Beirut Response, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin, D6.

Tearfund church partners in the Beirut ask for our continuous prayers, saying: “Eyes on the Lord, hand to the plough, with faith that He will guide us to safe shores.”

Thank you for your support,

Bishops’ Appeal

Calry Parish Fundraiser for Kindu

This week Rev. Patrick Bamber and Carla Marin from Calry Parish Church will be walking all 80km of the Sligo Way to raise money to support the Diocese of Kindu in the DR Congo. While we were in lockdown here they experienced severe flooding on top of all their other problems.

You can find an interview with Archbishop Masimango here in which he talks about preparations to re-open churches and schools in the aftermath of the flooding.

 

You can find out more about how to support this event at: www.idonate.ie/sligowayforkindu

St Columba’s Church in Ennis on RTÉ News Now Sunday 19th

Revd Kevin O’Brien, the Rector of Ennis with Spanish Point and Kilnasoolagh, has been asked by RTÉ to produce a Service to be broadcast on RTÉ News Now of Sunday 19th July at 2pm.

Revd O’Brien has been producing Services every Sunday on YouTube during the lockdown and will continue to do so even though churches are beginning to reopen.  These can be seen on www.clareanglicans.ie

Revd O’Brien said, “Our online services have been watched by a large number of viewers both in West Clare and much further afield and we feel it is important to continue them even though our churches are reopening, especially to help those people who do not feel ready yet to attend in person. Also, we see online participation as a new and growing way of many people ‘going to church’ into the future – we want to be there for them”

“We are grateful to RTÉ for giving us the opportunity to widen our number of worshipers still further by broadcasting it on RTÉ News Now.”

The Service will be broadcast on RTÉ News Now on Sunday 19th July at 2pm and will be a Service of Morning Prayer for the 6th Sunday after Trinity.  It will be led by Revd Kevin who will also preach.  Members of the three churches will be involved in providing readings and prayers.  The service will be introduced by the church organist Nigel Bridge playing a piece of music of his own composition.  The programme ends with a traditional piper playing Easter Snow.

 

Returning to Church

Dear Friends,

As the lockdown eases, I have met people who have expressed to me their desire to be together in church on Sundays. The good news is that we will be allowed to return to worship together in July in both the South and North of Ireland with an attendance ceiling of 50 and 30 respectively. Plans are underway for that to happen in order to make our church buildings safe places to gather for worship. Like shops and public buildings we will be observing: Social Distancing, Hand Hygiene and Coughing and Sneezing Hygiene.

So what will it look like when we return to church? You should expect:

• Hand sanitisers at the entrance which we urge you to use.
• To be guided to an available pew.
• Face masks and gloves to be worn by people if they wish.
• To bring your own Prayer and Hymn Books.
• Service sheets to be available.
• In the absence of Sunday Clubs, due to social distancing advice, to bring something to occupy children who will be welcome to worship.
• Bread only to be distributed at Holy Communion for the time being.
• To place contributions to the ministry of the church in available baskets.
• The names of those attending church to be taken incase people need to contacted about Covid-19.

We would ask you NOT to attend church services if:

• You feel generally unwell or are undergoing a course of medical treatment.
• You are displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
• You have been diagnosed with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection in the previous fortnight.
• You are aware that you have been in close contact with a person who has a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection in the previous fortnight.
• You have been advised by a doctor to self-isolate.

In anticipation, I want to thank those who have made it possible to open our local church buildings. Due to social distancing guidelines, however, it may not be possible to reopen all our churches in July. I ask for your patience in this and for you to attend those churches that are open. With a further easing of restrictions, hopefully it will not be long before all our churches will reopen.
I close with the words of the Psalmist:
I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’

+ Ferran