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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Spring issue of SEARCH

The spring issue of the Church of Ireland journal, SEARCH, edited by Canon Ginnie Kennerley, has appeared.

The archbishops lead this issue. The Archbishop of Dublin has been encouraging the Church to engage with preparation for The World Meeting of Families, to be attended by Pope Francis in August. He hopes that many parishes will join in reflection on family issues with their Catholic neighbours as the year unfolds. Meanwhile the Archbishop of Armagh, now co–chair of the Anglican Orthodox International Commission for Theological Dialogue, discusses its three recent ground–breaking agreements. He also provides an account of Anglican–Orthodox dialogue down the years. In response, Dr Andrew Pierce, of the Irish School of Ecumenics, considers ‘The Buffalo Statement’, the Commission’s most recent work on theological anthropology.

Climate change and Brexit are currently matters of great concern in view of the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and anxieties as to the next phase of Brexit negotiations. Dr Margaret Daly–Denton has compiled responses from American Anglicans who declare ‘we’re still in’, while Dr Kenneth Milne, a member of the Church of Ireland Working Group on Europe, offers an update on the Brexit issues.

The next General Synod will continue to discuss human sexuality and so a perspective from elsewhere may be instructive. The Very Revd Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary’s cathedral, Glasgow, considers the ‘conscience’ issues relating to same–sex marriage in church. Another current topic, to be reconsidered at this year’s Synod is the renewed call for a retreat centre. The Revd Máirt Hanley links this with the idea of pilgrimage, making suggestions of his own.

A new innovation is a series of short articles, titled ‘Liturgica’, edited by Margaret Daly–Denton. The first piece has been contributed by the distinguished American liturgist, the Revd Professor Paul Bradshaw.

More familiar is the return of the ‘In Retrospect’ article in which Dean Robert MacCarthy considers the life and ministry of F.R. (Deric) Bolton, appointed Dean of Leighlin in 1963, and best remembered for his seminal book, The Caroline tradition of the Church of Ireland.

On Monday evening at 7pm in Christ Church cathedral, Dublin, ‘Crossing Borders: exploring Brexit through the Lens of Ruth’ will be a reflection around the issue of Brexit, borders and identity. The session, led by representatives of the Corrymeela Community, is free and open to all.

Next Wednesday at 3pm the fourth in the Featherstonhaugh Seminar series on ‘Ministry in a Contemporary Context’ will be given in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute. The Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, who has written widely on evangelism, spirituality and discipleship will speak on ‘Intentional discipleship in the local parish’. The seminar is free and open to the public.

Later, at 6pm in CITI, Generous Love in Multi–faith Ireland. Towards Mature Citizenship and a Positive Pedagogy for the Church of Ireland in Local Christian–Muslim Mission and Engagement, by the Revd Suzanne Cousins, Bishop’s Curate in Moville, Co. Donegal, will be launched by the Archbishop of Dublin. This is the eighth in the Braemor Studies series of booklets, published by Church of Ireland Publishing, which issues the best final year dissertation by an ordinand in CITI.

On Friday an Irish Language Service of Holy Communion will take place in St Mary’s church, Carrigaline, at 7.30pm. Sr Kathleen McGarvey, Leader of the Irish Province of the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles, will give the address. Translation of the service is available and a warm invitation is extended to all.