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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Donation of Dean Paterson’s Papers

The RCB Library, which is the principal repository for Church of Ireland records, is currently in the process of accounting for all acquisitions it received during 2021 and these will be listed, printed in its annual report to General Synod and published in the Journal of the General Synod. Despite the curtailment of access since the Covid–19 pandemic began, accessions have continued apace.

One of the more significant of the 2021 donations is am audio–visual collection, with associated papers and printed materials, of the late Very Rev John Paterson (1938–2005) a former dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, and one of the leading ecumenists and experts on liturgy in the Church of Ireland.

The collection, which supplements an existing collection, was donated by his widow, Mrs Patricia Paterson, who arranged for all of the audio–visual records to be digitized and thus easily accessible. These capture many of the liturgical and cultural activities, including radio and television broadcasts, in which he was involved, particularly as Dean of Christ Church, Dublin, between 1989–2004, and prior to that as Dean and Rector of Kildare Cathedral, and chaplain to the Curragh Command of the Irish Army, from 1978 to 1989, but also throughout his long and varied clerical career that began in the diocese of Armagh as curate of Drumglass (Dungannon) in 1963. The material also captures his contribution as an accomplished musician and qualified organist and even as a gifted miniature model craftsman. There is much about church unity and ecumenism for which his outreach on behalf of the Church of Ireland was widely respected not just in Ireland but internationally too, as well as the many liturgical reforms he inspired, especially the style of worship in Christ Church.  His writings and commentaries on the long journey to peace and reconciliation in Ireland are gathered together, as are a wide range of press–cuttings and correspondence. The collection adds to an existing set of Dean Paterson’s sermons and writings which were donated after his death in 2005, and are all accessible as RCB Library MS 823.

Last Sunday 6th February, the Bishop of Cork presided in the Church of St Anne, Shandon, at an announcement of the  start of the Tercentenary Programme with the initiative ‘The Shandon Mystery’, an appeal to the public at large and to historians for assistance in the quest to establish the date of the consecration of St Anne’s church. Tomorrow (Sunday) Dr Colton will be in Rosscarbery where he will preside and preach in St Fachtna’s cathedral.

On Wednesday evening the two most recent additions to the Braemor Studies Series, which is published by Church of Ireland Publishing, will be launched at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute. The Rev Karen Salmon’s book, St Patricks’ Pilgrimages – Journey to Place, Journey to God, will be launched by the Very Rev Henry Hull, Dean of Down, and the Rev Christopher Woods’ book, Eucharist and Embodiment, An Invitation to Constructive Theological Thinking, will be launched by the Very Rev Kenny Hall, Dean of Clogher. Both books have been prepared for publication by the Church’s Publications Officer, Bryan Whelan, who is the Assistant Librarian in the RCB Library.

Also on Wednesday the Revd Dr Will Adam, Director of Unity, Faith and Order and Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, will be preaching in the College Chapel. Dr Adam has overall responsibility for the ecumenical dialogues in which the Global Anglican Communion is engaged. He will also be participating in a seminar on Anglicanism with students in training.

Church of Ireland Notes

Published in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times

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