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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Christ Church Matters

Last week in Christ Church cathedral, Dublin, Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Heritage in the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, launched the cathedral’s Conservation Plan. Compiled by the cathedral’s Surveyor of the Fabric, Frank Keohane, who is a Building Conservation Accredited Surveyor, the Plan has drawn on the expertise of clergy, musicians, administrators, historians and heritage professionals to provide a comprehensive picture of the current state of the cathedral and to suggest policies and actions which will target perceived weaknesses and improve evident strengths.

And so, in the Plan, there is much to learned about the history, archaeology and fabric of the building and much about it contents – furniture, monuments, stained glass, tiles, paintings, archives, silver, instruments, bells. As such the Plan is a repository of much knowledge and so is a valuable resource, but perhaps more important will be the uses to which this information is put.

Christ Church is beginning the process of preparing to celebrate its millennium in 2028 and the production of the Plan is in some ways, a foundational document for this process pointing the way forward to a better and more sustainable cathedral and cathedral community. There is an understandable tendency to take places like Christ Church for granted because they have always been there; as the Plan notes: ‘The cathedral is the oldest building in the city still fulfilling the function for which it was built.’ A phased implementation of the Plan should ensure that this continues to be the case.

A new Christ Church publication, Treasures of Christ Church Cathedral Dublin, is an admirably accessible guide to some of the cathedral’s contents. Splendid illustrations and short, crisp text provide introductions to well–known items such as Strongbow’s tomb, the Williamite plate and the cat and the rat all of which are on display in the crypt. But more intriguing, perhaps, are the entries for the usually unseen  pieces – a 2,000 year old widow’s mite, a Sitric penny, elaborately carved stone pieces from the medieval cathedral. The treasures book has been compiled by Dr Ruth Kenny, the cathedral’s Head of Learning & Research, with valuable inputs from Canon Roy Byrne and the cathedral’s Research Advisor, Dr Stuart Kinsella. It has been published by Scala Arts and Heritage Publishers and is available in the cathedral shop at €12.50.

To accompany the treasures book Dr Kenny has mounted a temporary exhibition in the crypt which include may of the treasures that are not on regular display.

On Tuesday at 1.15pm the lunchtime recital in St Mary’s cathedral. Limerick, will be given by Elisabeth Goell (soprano) and Irina Dernova (piano).

Summer Music at Sandford continues in Sandford parish church, Ranelagh, on Friday, at 1.10pm, when pianist, Ischico Velzel, will play 20th–century music influenced by folk music and improvisation.

Eco–Congregation Ireland has recently published its early summer newsletter, which features the Climate Justice Candle’s visit to All Saints, Ballycarney, in the Ferns union of parishes, a presentation by the Lighten Our Darkness group to the Corrymeela Community, and the expanded pollinator garden in Carrigaline union, Co. Cork. The Carrigaline garden is part of the All–Ireland Pollinator Plan’s network of green spaces around the island.  Select vestries can find out more and sign up at https://pollinators.biodiversityireland.ie

Eco–Congregation Ireland is an initiative of the Irish Inter Church Meeting, and includes members from the Roman Catholic Church, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian Church, Methodist Church and Religious Society of Friends.



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