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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Celebrations in Armagh

St Patrick’s cathedral, Armagh, will celebrate the 750th anniversary of the present building with a Festival Service of Choral Evensong tomorrow (Sunday) at 3.15pm. The guest preacher will be the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford. All are welcome to attend the Service.

The foundation of the first church on the site is attributed to St Patrick, in 445AD, and the present cathedral dates from the work of Archbishop Máel Pátraic Ó Scanaill in 1268. Of this building, all that remains for certainty is the crypt. The structure was extended by Archbishop Milo Sweetman in the 14th Century. After several centuries of destruction and disrepair, the building owes much to the major restoration in the 1830s under Archbishop Lord John George Beresford, and to further alterations of the east end between 1890 and 1913.

St Patrick’s cathedral is the diocesan cathedral for the Diocese of Armagh and also witnesses significant moments in the life of the whole Church of Ireland, including meetings of episcopal electoral colleges, the consecration of bishops and the enthronement of archbishops.

The cathedral is at the centre of a cluster of ecclesiastical buildings, many the work of the 18th century Archbishop of Armagh, Richard Robinson, afterwards Baron Rokeby, among which are the impressive palace (now used by the local authority), Vicars’ Hill with its clerical residences, Music Room and Exhibition Centre, and of course Robinson’s Library, recently renamed the Armagh Robinson Library.

Today (Saturday) the Tuam, Kilalla and Achonry Diocesan Synod will be held in St Mary’s cathedral, Tuam, and on Thursday the Clogher Diocesan Synod will meet in the Cathedral Hall in Enniskillen.

Tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 11am there will be a Back To Church Sunday and Bell Ringers Service in St. Macartin’s cathedral, Enniskillen, with the dedication of new stained glass window. In Christ Church cathedral at 3.30pm the Archbishop of Dublin will ordain Graham Jones to the diaconate to serve in Kilternan parish where the rector is the Revd Rob Clements.

Next Wednesday evening the Armagh Robinson Library will be the venue for an important book launch. The latest volume in the Cambridge edition of the works of Jonathan Swift, Irish Political Writings after 1725: A Modest Proposal and Other Works, has been edited by Professor David Hayton, Emeritus Professor in the School of History in Queen’s University, Belfast, and Professor Adrian Rounce, from the University of Nottingham, and will be launched by Professor Andrew Carpenter.

Tomorrow (Sunday) at Evensong the Revd Jennifer McWhirter, Priest–in–Charge of the Killala group of parishes, will be installed as Prebendary of Kilmactalway in St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin, in succession to the Revd Gary Hastings who is now Rector of Holy Trinity, Killiney, in the Diocese of Dublin. The Dean of St Patrick’s, Dr William Morton, will be in Limerick where he will be the preacher at the Friends Festival Service in St Mary’s cathedral.

On Thursday evening at 7.30pm Whitechurch parish in Co. Dublin will host an All Age Concert featuring the Garda Band in aid of the recent revamping of the church sound system: tickets from the Parish Office at 01–4934972.

On Saturday 29 September Church Music Dublin, will host ‘Living Worship – Hymn playing Seminar’ with Peter Barley in Monkstown parish church, Co. Dublin, from 10am to 12.45pm. Peter will discuss the elements essential for leading hymns and there here will be an opportunity for attendees to play a hymn, if wished. The cost will be €10, including refreshments. More details may be had at www.churchmusicdublin.org/living–worship