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Church of Ireland notes from ‘The Irish Times’

European Cathedrals’ Conference in Dublin

Christ Church cathedral and St Patrick’s cathedral will co–host the Northern European Cathedrals’ Conference in Dublin next week. Up to 120 delegates will gather from across Northern Europe from Tuesday until Friday to discuss issues relating to the life and ministry of European cathedrals.

The main theme of the conference is ‘Cathedral Music: A Gateway to God’. There will be a wide range of speakers including the Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, the Rt Revd Michael Burrows; Dr Kerry Houston, Head of Academic Affairs at the DIT Conservatory; organist and composer, David Bremner, from Christ Church cathedral; broadcaster and former Director of the Irish Traditional Music Archive, Nicholas Carolan; theologian and liturgist, Dr Margaret Daly Denton; and the Dean of Goodenough College, London, the Revd Dr Alan McCormack, who will be the convener.

The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, will preach at the opening service in Christ Church cathedral on Tuesday evening at 6pm. This will be followed by the official opening of the conference. The main lectures will take place in Dublin City Council’s Wood Quay Venue.

On Thursday evening at 6pm Choral Evensong in St Patrick’s cathedral will be sung by the combined choirs of St Patrick’s and Christ Church. This will include excerpts from Handel’s Messiah.

Lunch for two days will be provided by Ellie Kisyombe and her team from Our Table, an initiative which highlights the situations of people who live in Ireland’s Direct Provision system.

Delegates at the conference will be drawn from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Finland as well as from around Ireland.

Today (Saturday) the Bishop of Cork will preside at a Diocesan Children’s Ministry Group Workshop on ‘Children and Mental Health’.

Tomorrow (Sunday) the Very Revd John Bond, formerly Dean of Connor, will dedicate new facilities and gifts at a special service in St Stephen’s church, Belfast. St Stephen’s, Millfield, is united with St Luke’s on the Lower Falls and the priest–in–charge is Canon Jim Carson who is also in charge of St Michael’s on Craven Street. In the afternoon the Archbishop of Dublin will attend the episcopal ordination of Monsignor Laurence Duffy in St Macartan’s cathedral, Monaghan.

In St Ann’s church, Dublin, tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 11am the Black Santa Service will be held when the speaker will be Geoff Scargill from Protestant Aid. The Christmas sit out by Canon David Gillespie and his colleagues has raised in excess of €32,000 which will be distributed to a number of charities including the Salvation Army, TRUST, the Samaritans and the Diocesan Refugee Project. The Belfast Cathedral Christmas sit–out, which is the original of the species, begun in 1976, distributed its cheques at a Good Samaritan Service last Sunday. The sit–out by Dean Stephen Forde and the canons of the Cathedral, raised £168,000 which will be used to support 220 local charities including those supporting children, people with disabilities, the elderly, and families who are socially disadvantaged. A portion goes to Christian Aid to help people in need overseas. This year’s grants focused on organisations which support the homeless and also charities helping people with mental health issues. All grants range from £550 to £1,000.

On Tuesday the Dublin and Glendalough retired clergy, spouses and widows will meet for lunch in the Royal Irish Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire, at 12.30pm. Currently the officers of the Fellowship are Canon John Clarke, the Ven Gordon Linney, Dean Philip Knowles and the Revd Robert Kingston.