Social media offers a wide range of opportunities for people to connect creatively and positively with others and share stories about Church life and the Christian faith as a whole.
At the same time, the nature of social media means that it is important to think about how we can communicate in this way and to manage the risks which can arise.
The Church of Ireland Press Office has prepared a selection of graphics to help members of the Church to use social media well, whether in organising an online service or ministry, or in everyday life. More information on the Church of Ireland Social Media policy can be found here: https://www.ireland.
The Church of Ireland Council for Mission will host a webinar on Zoom on Thursday, 3rd June 2021, between 2.00pm and 3.30pm on ‘Online Church – Practical Lessons from the Frontline’.
Over the last year many churches have offered worship online. Now that we are back in our churches, how could this continue to be a feature of how we connect with people in the future?
Dr Nick Shepherd, who is a member of the Church of England Digital Labs Conference, will be our keynote speaker. Nick writes: “The last year has seen many churches ‘pivot’ to provide online worship and keep connected as a community through digital means. Many commentators see this use continuing as ‘hybrid’ models of physical and digital meeting become ‘normal’. This session explores some of missiological and pastoral benefits this might provide and reflects on the theological basis for approaching worship and Christian community in this context.”
Three Church of Ireland rectors from across the island of Ireland will tell their stories of remaining online as the Covid–19 restrictions ease and they share how they believe that live streaming church online can be a missional opportunity. Each of the rectors will lead a webinar about their online journey, the technologies they have used as well as reflecting on why they do it. They might also confess some of their many mistakes and bloopers!
The Revd Nicola Halford is rector of Enniscorthy and Monart Union of Parishes in Ferns Diocese, Co. Wexford. She has a web camera in her church and uses Facebook Live from her smartphone to live–stream her services.
The Revd Andrew Quill is rector of Holy Trinity Dromore, in Clogher Diocese. Andrew also uses Facebook Live, and has integrated graphics and recorded many hymns and worship songs in the form of videos that can be used in their online services.
The Revd Cliff Jeffers is rector of Fanlobbus Union of Parishes in Cork Diocese and has been using Zoom to stream services online to Facebook and control the video feeds, including PowerPoint and videos of hymns, interviews and parishioners participating live from their homes.
The webinar will be presented on Zoom by the Church of Ireland Council for Mission. It will be recorded so that those who cannot attend will be able to view it at a later.
The timetable for the webinar will be as follows:
2.00pm Welcome – Dean Tim Wright (Kildare) – Council for Mission
2.05pm Keynote address by Dr Nick Shepherd
2.30pm Webinar 1 – Revd Nicola Halford – ‘Keeping it simple’
2.40pm Webinar 2 – Revd Andrew Quill – ‘Integrating graphics and Videos’
2.50pm Webinar 3 – Revd Cliff Jeffers – ‘Online participation’
3.00pm Breakout Groups (participants can choose which one they attend).
3.20pm Plenary session – bringing back together – Revd Adam Pullen
To book a place at the Online Church – Practical Lessons from the frontline Seminar, please send an email to the Revd Colin McConaghie, the Secretary of the Church of Ireland Council Mission, by Monday, 31st May 2021: councilformission@
The Irish Council of Churches is hosting an online ‘Voices of the Climate Crisis’ event on Tuesday, 25 May 2021, from 10.30am to 12.00noon in collaboration with Christian Aid.
The aim of this event is to equip people in church leadership (lay and ordained) to develop their church response to climate change by connecting them with people directly impacted by climate change and introducing them to resources developed by Christian Aid that will support their churches’ engagement.
You will hear Bob Kikuyu, Global Theology Advisor at Christian Aid, and Julius Mbatia and Rebekah Wilson, young climate activists from Kenya and Ireland, about the impact of climate change on peoples’ lives, and find out about resources from Christian Aid that can equip their churches to respond to the climate crisis.
You can find out more here on the Irish Council of Churches website and register at irishchurches.org/voices
On Sunday, 16th May, as churches across the country returned to worship, the doors of St Paul’s Church, Ballymchugh opened to welcome the Revd. Mark Smith as the new Minister-in-Charge of the Kildrumferton Group of Parishes. The service, which was led by the Rt. Revd. Dr. Ferran Glenfield, the Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh, was livestreamed with many parishioners, friends and family joining in online.
Revd. Mark, his wife Ruth and their daughter Martha have come to Co. Cavan from Holy Trinity Church, Frogmore just outside London. During the service words of welcome were said by Sharon Higgins, on behalf of Ballymchugh, Neil Hawthorne, on behalf of Ballyjamesduff and Ian Stokes on behalf of Kildrumferton Parish church. Revd. Nick Jones (Drung Group of Parishes), who has also served as a curate in Holy Trinity Church, Frogmore, welcomed Revd. Mark and his family to the Diocese. Revd. Nick Weir, vicar of Holy Trinity Frogmore sent greetings via audio recording.
Mark’s mother, Linnet, unable to travel to Ireland in person, was able to participate in the service by a recording of the Old Testament reading from Jeremiah 25 vs 1-5. Preaching from this passage, Bishop Ferran challenged the congregation to pay attention to the Living God and to be his distinctive people in this place. After the sermon Revd. Mark led the congregation in an affirmation of faith.
We are thankful to God for Revd. Mark’s arrival just as our churches reopen. We pray for all God’s blessings on him and his family as they love and serve God in the Kildrumferton Group of Parishes.
By Bishop Pat Storey
On World Mental Health Day last October, the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev John McDowell, launched MindMattersCoI, the Church’s new mental health promotion initiative. Wellness in body, mind and spirit is something that our Church wishes to promote and our faith deeply desires.
We have been working hard, gathering a lot of information, developing a website and establishing an advisory group of experts to guide the project. I am pleased to let you know that we’re now starting to collect information on awareness and attitudes towards mental health within the Church, and we need your help. Gathering your thoughts on mental health awareness and understanding is a key phase of the project as the results will inform and shape everything else we do.
Therefore, I would really appreciate if you would visit our website – https://mindmatters.ireland.anglican.org – and complete a short survey. It will only take about 15 minutes to complete, and the information you share will be anonymous and confidential. We will also be running a number of online focus groups, and if you would like to join one of these, please let us know by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don’t have internet access but would still like to participate, please call + 353 (0) 1 4125 660 and leave your name and address. We will post you out a copy of the survey with a stamped addressed envelope, to return directly to the project manager, and will also provide details of the focus groups should you wish to participate in them.
The success of this initiative depends on your participation, so I would really like to encourage you to contribute and also tell your friends, relatives and fellow parishioners about this opportunity to take part and help us to respond best to the mental health needs in the Church and wider community. Updates on the project will be available on our website so do visit it regularly. Thank you in advance.
Bishop Pat Storey chairs the Project Team and Advisory Group for MindMattersCoI. This article was first published in the May 2021 edition of the Church of Ireland Gazette, an all–island magazine serving the Church.
Applications for the Aurora Certificate in Youth Ministry are now open. This ecumenical training course is designed to meet the needs of volunteer youth leaders who have busy lives and no formal youth work qualifications. More details can be found in the attached leaflet or at www. https://www.
Who is it for?
Church of Ireland young people aged from 15-25 years who can demonstrate a current involvement in the Church of Ireland.
What is it for?
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.
- Be of significant use to the ministry of the Church of Ireland in the 12 months following the completion of the opportunity.
For more information, click HERE.
Closing date is Monday 31st May 2021.
Everyone can pray for five people from Ascension to Pentecost
The Church of Ireland’s Archbishops and its Council for Mission have endorsed the Thy Kingdom Come global prayer initiative which takes place each year from Ascension Thursday to Pentecost Sunday, and will this year run from 13th May to 23rd May.
The Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, the Most Revd John McDowell, remarked: “From fairly modest origins back in 2016, Thy Kingdom Come has grown from year to year, and has caught the imagination of many people, perhaps because of its simplicity and directness – praying that our own faith may be deepened, and that others who we love may come to share in the same faith. The wind of the Spirit would appear to be in its sails and I trust it will commend itself to many.”
The Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, said: “Thy Kingdom Come captures the dynamism and energy that flows between Ascension and Pentecost. Disciples now as then are not left comfortless but are inspired to move from the departure of the Jesus they knew to the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. We in our day are called to witness and to serve and Thy Kingdom Come invites us to do so.”
The Revd Adam Pullen, Chairperson of the Council for Mission and Rector of Stranorlar, in the Diocese of Raphoe, added: “We in our parish will be taking part in Thy Kingdom Come this year yet what, you may ask, is it?
“It is taking time to pray over 11 days from Ascension to Pentecost, praying that God’s Kingdom will come on Earth. It is as simple as praying for five people, family and friends, that they will come to know Jesus, and have faith in Him. It is for all ages and all situations. Among the resources, there is Cheeky Pandas for the children, Escape Room for the youth and, for the rest of us, an app from Lectio 365 for phones and tablets, and even a paper journal we can follow each day.
“Whatever our age, our circumstance, or our level of confidence, we can all pray. I encourage you to take part and be encouraged that you are making a difference. It is amazing for me that the creator God asks us to join Him in His work: Thy Kingdom Come.”
Thy Kingdom Come is an international and inter-denominational prayer movement which started in the Church of England in 2016. Those who take part are encouraged to deepen their own relationship with Jesus Christ, pray for five friends or family members to come to faith in Jesus, and pray for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit so that the Church would be effective in its witness.
The Thy Kingdom Come website – www.thykingdomcome.global – features a prayer map where participants can pledge their support from where they live around the world, and includes a range of ideas, guides and resources to encourage prayer by children, young people, adults, families, schools, churches and small groups. Resources for churches include suggestions for prayer stations and 24-7 prayer, and prayer journals for parishioners.
Mrs Sarah Taylor
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T: + 353 49 5559954
F: + 353 49 5559957