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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Looking Beyond Ourselves

To some, the Church of Ireland is seen as a small, inward looking society pre–occupied with the minutiae of its own internal affairs. There is, of course, some truth in this perception but there is a wider picture which should command more attention. Through its membership of the Anglican Communion and international ecumenical bodies, and through its longstanding commitment to overseas missions there is a significant involvement with the world wide Church of which the following are some recent examples.

Taney Curate, the Revd Christopher West, took part last week part in an online intergenerational conversation to mark the 50th anniversary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation Programme. Christopher was among five young people—the winners of a recent WCC essay competition on ‘The Future of Interreligious Dialogue’—spoke the with Revd Dr Wesley Ariarajah, former deputy general secretary of the WCC and director of the Dialogue programme, and Dr Clare Amos, former WCC programme coordinator of Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation. The essay contest winners were Lea Schlenker from Germany, Kritsno Saptenno from Indonesia, Ioannis Christodoulakis originally from Greece, Nicole Kallsen from the USA and Christopher West from Ireland. They had an opportunity to briefly share salient points of their prizewinning essays as a starting point for the conversation. The essays in their fuller form will subsequently be published in Current Dialogue, the WCC’s journal for interreligious encounter.

A three week fundraising appeal in Dublin & Glendalough has raised almost €18,000 for Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza city. Nine people walked (or in one case rollerbladed) 100km – the distance from Gaza city to Jerusalem – to raise funds and awareness. Their target for donations was €10,000. Those who took to the highways and byways included the Revd Abigail Sines, the Dean’s Vicar in Christ Church cathedral, who coordinated the appeal; Diocesan Lay Reader from Christ Church, Bray, David Reynolds; Lydia Monds from the  Bishops’ Appeal; Canon Peter Campion, Chaplain, King’s Hospital School (on rollerblades); the Revd Martin O’Connor, an NSM serving in Clondalkin and Rathcoole parishes; the Rector of Zion parish in Rathgar, the Revd Stephen Farrell; the Revd Nigel Pierpoint, Senior Curate of Taney parish; the Rector of Rathmichael, the Revd Sean Hanily; and Canon Adrienne Galligan, Rector of Rathfarnham parish. The donations will be transferred directly to the dioceses’ partners in the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem which runs the hospital. Al Ahli continues to be at the forefront in treating those affected by the conflict providing services ranging from medical treatment to food.

Christian Aid Ireland has thanked the people of the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne & Ross for their support for the fundraising efforts of a Carrigaline clergyman who recently completed a sponsored walk around the county, raising around €12,000 for the agency’s work in Burundi, a country affected by poverty, hunger and conflict. The Revd Tony Murphy’s month–long pilgrimage began in Bantry and concluded in Youghal.  His challenge saw him visit each of the 22 parishes in the Church of Ireland diocese of Cork, Cloyne & Ross, walking for at least 5 kms at each location while collecting sponsorship for Christian Aid’s projects in the East African country. Tony was joined by local rectors and parishioners and supported on many of the walks by Andrew Coleman, Christian Aid Ireland’s Bandon–based Church and Community Officer. On the final day of his walk, he was joined by the Mayor of County Cork, Councillor Mary Linehan Foley, who came along to congratulate him for his fundraising efforts. 

Church of Ireland Notes

Published in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times


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