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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

The Gazette on–line

In the run–up to the celebrations to mark 150 years since Disestablishment, in 2019, the RCB Library is making available more editions of the Church’s weekly newspaper, the Church of Ireland Gazette, as a freely–searchable resource online.

The Library holds the only complete hard–copy run of this newspaper published weekly since 1856, and through incremental digitization has begun to share its rich content with a wider audience. Now all editions for the 70–year period between March 1856, when the paper first appeared, up to and including the end of the Revolutionary period in December 1923 are shared for all.

Furthermore, beginning this month, the historian Dr Miriam Moffitt will present a new series of online exhibits entitled: ‘The News Behind the News’, to appear periodically during 2018 showcasing particular stories of interest. ‘The News Behind the News’ will demonstrate the remarkable detail to be uncovered in the pages of the Gazette, and its value for historical research. The series will go behind the regular editorials, feature articles, advertisements, and other regular columns, and take readers on a journey of discovery to some of the hidden human–interest stories. These stories will then be further fleshed out and illustrated by Dr Moffitt with other source material available in the Library.

The first story reveals the content of a series of articles published 100 years ago in early 1918 editions of the Gazette where members of both laity and clergy provided insights into what they thought of each other. The series began with two columns entitled ‘If I were a clergyman’, published on 18 and 25 January 1918, with a third following on 8 February 1918. Most laypeople were united on one opinion: they expected their clergyman (and he was, of course, a man at this time) to have a good grasp of scripture and doctrine and promised that, if they were in his place, they would equip themselves with the necessary training and knowledge. However, this is probably the only lay opinion of clerical life on which there was consensus and differing suggestions were made regarding the Church’s association with wealth, home visiting, the income of the clergy, and the Church’s connection with the laity. Some lay correspondents claimed they understood the difficulties associated with clerical life: one writer went so far as to exclaim that it must be ‘so difficult to combine the spirit of the dove and the spirit of the serpent at one time’.

The free–to–view finding aid to all editions of the Gazette between 1856 and 1923 is available here: https://esearch.informa.ie/rcb

The current Church of Ireland Gazette and all editions from 2005 may be viewed via an online subscription on the Gazette website, see: https://gazette.ireland.anglican.org 

This evening (Saturday) the Feast of the Epiphany will be celebrated with a Festal Eucharist in Christ Church cathedral, Dublin, where the cathedral choir, directed by Ian Keatley, will sing De Victoria’s Missa O Magnum Mysterium. At 7.30pm Dean Philip Knowles will conduct ‘Carols in Candlelight’ in the Church of the Holy Saviour, Narraghmore, for the Feast of the Epiphany with organist Karen Plewman. Tomorrow (Sunday) there will be a Epiphany Procession by Candlelight in St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin, at 3.15pm.

Tomorrow (Sunday) the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne & Ross, Dr Paul Colton, will preach at the dedication festival of the Church of St Mary, Harrow–on–the Hill, London.

On Wednesday the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, will be in Birmingham for an Interfaith meeting.