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Archbishop Michael Jackson reflects on the Census

Census results are always interesting and useful in giving us a dispassionate snapshot in time of the society in which we live and to which we belong and seek to contribute.

They chart changes and trends but don’t tell the whole story of the life of the Church and its people, nor can they.

We know that those who have identified themselves as Church of Ireland for the purpose of the census are multi–dimensional individuals.

Being part of the Church of Ireland is one of the many and varied facets of their lives.

Being seen as a minority can be disheartening in some ways. In the past number of years we in the Church of Ireland have nonetheless taken heart from words that defined the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1869: Free to Shape Our Own Future. In the Church of Ireland we are accustomed to such minority status throughout our history.  

Many of the people who identify in the Census as members of the Church of Ireland serve their parishes and communities in a wide variety of ways and I want to encourage them to keep doing this and to thank them for doing this, lay people and clergy alike.

Our churches and their associated communities are continuing to work their way back to fuller capacity after Covid–19.

Those with whom I speak regularly in parochial and church settings throughout the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough are in good heart. Setting ourselves alongside other people of faith in a comparative way is always an important learning for us and something that we value.   

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