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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Summer School in Armagh

This year the Charles Wood Festival and Summer School, with a unique mix of live and digital events, will take place in Armagh from Sunday 22 to Sunday 29 August. The week will be packed with top–quality music, worship and performance. The opening days of the Festival can be enjoyed via digital platforms, from song recitals to workshops and special features. Contributors include patron John Rutter, vocal impresario Paul Farrington, and top Northern Irish performers Ruth McGinley and Carolyn Dobbin.

On Wednesday 25th the doors will open once again to live audiences with a Bach at Twilight organ recital in St Malachy’s church with Matthew Owens, from St Anne’s cathedral, Belfast, the console. Stars of the future appear in the Lunchtime Concert in the First Presbyterian Church on Saturday 28th, including violinist Julie Piggott, winner of the Northern Ireland Young Musician of the Year 2021. That same evening St Patrick’s cathedral will host a large–scale programme entitled ‘Sing Unto the Lord’.

Across this busy backdrop, the Charles Wood Singers will broadcast Choral Evensong from St Patrick’s cathedral, for BBC Radio 3, will sing at the Sung Mass in St Patrick’s Roman Catholic cathedral, and will make their first–ever professional album.

For those who are still more comfortable with an outdoor event, the Festival will be presenting a free Musical Trail on the Mall on Thursday 26th. This will be an opportunity to enjoy the Charles Wood Singers in one of the city’s prime locations, with costume, speech and music.

Also being marked is the 250th anniversary of the Armagh Robinson Library with an  with an illustrated lecture on Charles Wood by Dr David O’Shea and leading Irish soprano Aisling Kenny.

With a mix of indoor, outdoor, in–person or digital, there’s something for everyone in Armagh this August. For full details and to download a brochure go to www.charleswoodsummerschool.org

An excellent introduction to the city, Bishops & Buildings. A Pictorial Celebration of Armagh’s Architecture, is a guide not only to the city’s fine buildings but also to the rich heritage of its museums, libraries and archives. The book is available from the Armagh Robinson Library at admin@armaghrobinsonlibrary.co.uk

On Tuesday evening Christ Church cathedral, Dublin, will host a Labyrinth Experience from 7.30 until 8.30pm. A labyrinth is a tool for prayer and meditation. The slow walk through the twists and turns of the labyrinth helps to still the mind, as body and breathing become part of prayer. Suggested points for prayer, as well as quiet, reflective music will be available inside the cathedral for those who wish to have some guidance in their prayers, or individuals will be welcome to simply walk the labyrinth in the cathedral grounds in their own time and at their own pace. For those who cannot be there in person, the prayers and reflection may be viewed on the cathedral’s webcam.

The series of lunchtime organ recitals continues in St Fin Barre’s cathedral, Cork, on Friday at 1.10pm under the strict health guidelines which churches are following. The capacity is limited to 50 people, seating is by social distancing, and masks are requireThis week the recitalist will be David Adams, one of Ireland leading organ tutors and Professor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. This will be his first visit to play the organ in Cork, which is one of the largest in Ireland after its extensive rebuild in 2013 by Trevor Crowe, one of Ireland’s leading organ builders.

Church of Ireland Notes

Published in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times

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