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Church of Ireland Notes from The Irish Times

Irish Times Notes

Added on 19/11/2005

Saturday 19 November 2005

Clerical Reminiscence

In recent times there has been something of a renaissance in the writing of clerical reminiscences. Books by, among others, Patrick Semple, Kevin Dalton and Brain Mayne, although at times carefully nuanced, have given readers, both within and without the Church of Ireland, valuable insights into the clerical life and the institutional church in the second half of the twentieth century.

The latest in this genre of publication is The Rambling Rector by Norman Ruddock which has been published by Columba Press. The memoir follows a familiar pattern with memories of early life, training for the ministry, early clerical experiences, and reflections on some of the more significant features of later ministry. Norman Ruddock served as a curate in Belfast and Dublin in the late 1950s and early 1960s and, after a brief period in the USA, became Rector of Killane in Co. Wexford in 1973 and Rector of Castlepollard in Co. Westmeath in 1984. He returned to the Diocese of Ferns in 1993 as Rector of Wexford where he remained until his retirement in 2004.

His reflections on, among other issues, the infamous Fethard-on-Sea boycott, the clerical abuse scandal which rocked the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ferns, the sale of the bishop’s palace in Kilkenny and his treatment for cancer make interesting reading both for those who know something of these matters and, for the great majority, who ought to know.

A somewhat different publication is David Butler’s South Tipperary, 1570-1841. Religion Land and Rivalry which is published by Four Courts Press. This is a local study of inter-church relations from post-Reformation times to the culmination of emancipation.

Today (Saturday) in Dublin the annual Monkstown Missionary Union Sale will begin in the Knox Hall at 10.30 am while in Christ Church Cathedral the lunchtime recital at 1.15 pm will be given by the organ scholar, David Baskeyfield.

Tomorrow (Sunday) morning the preacher in the Chapel of Trinity College, Dublin, will be the Revd Dr Duncan Dormer, Dean of St John’s College, Cambridge, a sister college to Trinity . At Evensong in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, the Revd Sonia Gyles, Rector of Sandford, will preach at the commemoration of those who lost their lives on Irish ships, 1939-45, and at Evensong in Drumcondra parish church the Revd Kevin Brew, Rector of Howth, will preach at the Fingal Choral Union Service.

In St Iberius’ Church, Wexford, at 3.30 pm the Wexford Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Service will hold a special Healing Service to mark the tenth anniversary of its foundation. The theme of the service, which will be led by the Revd Maris Jansson, will be ‘I Shall be Released’ and among those taking part will be the singer Eleanor McEvoy.

On Monday the Bishop of Clogher, Dr Michael Jackson, will begin a visit to Pakistan where he will accompany the Archbishop of Canterbury on an official visit. Dr Jackson is Chairperson of the Network of Inter Faith Concerns in the Anglican Communion.

Tuesday is the Feast of St Cecilia, the patron of music, in whose honour there will be a concert in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, at 8 pm, by the Cathedral Chamber Choir. At 1.15 pm, one of the cathedral’s canons, Dr John Crawford, will give the lunchtime history lecture in Christ Church Cathedral where he will speak on ‘The Alternative Parish. Dublin’s Proprietary Chapels’. The Diocese of Meath and Kildare is launching a programme of lay training in pursuit of which there will be Ministry Matters Road Shows in Castlepollard on Tuesday and Trim on Thursday.