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Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’

Help for the Refugees

In Christ Church cathedral, Dublin, last Sunday morning Canon Sonia Gyles spoke powerfully about the need for a Christian response to the international refugee crisis. Preaching on the theme of the Good Samaritan she quoted one of the great prophetic voices of the twentieth century, Dr Martin Luther King. The day before he was assassinated he reflected on why the priest and the Levite did not stop to help the traveller who had been beaten, robbed and left by the side of the road. He suggested that the first question they must have asked was, ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ but the Good Samaritan reversed the question, asking.  ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’

So what can the Church in Ireland do to help the strangers who have come to our shores? Ireland has taken in 2,500 people under various programmes in recent years, with more to arrive this year. The United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough is supporting a programme called ‘A Place to Call Home’ which provides ‘next step’ accommodation and assistance for people emerging from Direct Provision. The  Diocese has committed to raising €300,000 to support the Refugee Accommodation Programme being devised by the Irish Refugee Council. 

Through fundraising efforts by many parishes and parish schools, and Christ Church cathedral, both awareness and funds amounting to €185,000 thus far have been raised.  These monies go towards the essential renovations of properties which have been secured by the Irish Refugee Council.  To date 60 people have been housed under this project, families have been reunited and children have a place to call home.  As well as providing housing, this project assists people in accessing education, employment, financial advice, health services and language support.  Thus has given the opportunity for individuals and families to integrate with society and bring much to the communities of which they are now a part.

More information on the ‘A Place to Call Home’ project and suggestions on how people may help can be found on the Dublin & Glendalough website.

Tomorrow (Sunday) morning in Christ Church cathedral, Dublin, the Choir of St James’s church, Los Angeles, will sing at the 11am Sung Eucharist while in St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin,  the 11.15am Choral Eucharist and the 3.15pm Evensong will be sung by the Cathedral Singers of Ontario.

On Thursday evening, at 8pm, in Calary parish church, Co. Wicklow, (Eircode A98 H766)  Lynda O’Connor (violin) and Ailbhe McDonagh (cello) will perform works by Jean Baptiste Breval, Zoltan Kodaly, Maurice Ravel,  Halvorsen and the world premiere of a composition by Ailbhe McDonagh. Tickets from John at (01) 281 8146 or email derekneilson@eircom.net

‘Summer Music in Sandford’ continues next Friday at 1.10pm in Sandford parish church, Ranelagh, where there will be a piano recital by Roy Holmes.

A two–minute video from the Church of Ireland Council for Mission shows how two parishes  are living out the first Mark of Mission by proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God. As part of the Council’s Radiant Faith initiative, this is the first in a series of videos to be produced over the next few years on the Anglican Communion’s Five Marks of Mission – Tell, Teach,  Tend, Transform  and Treasure. The video features interviews with the Revd Trevor Johnston (Rector of All Saints’, University Street, Belfast), and the Ven Isaac Hanna, Malcolm Young and Alan Williamson (who serve at St Columba’s church, Drumcliffe, Co. Sligo). 

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Church of Ireland Notes

Published weekly in the Saturday edition of The Irish Times