Irish news – 14th March

News from around the dioceses of the C of I

Sea Sunday in Cork
Yesterday (Sunday) morning the Bishop of Cork presided at the Sea Sunday Service in St Multose’s Church, Kinsale. Begun 21 years ago by the rector, Canon David Williams, Sea Sunday has developed into a major annual event in the life of the town. In the evening the Archbishop of Dublin preached at the GFS service in Athy while in St Mary’s Church, Inistigue there was a Hymn Festival with the Dean of Cashel at the organ.

IDAHO services
Changing Attitude Ireland held services yesterday (Sunday) to mark IDAHO, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. In Cork, Clive Davis spoke in St Anne’s, Shandon at 11am while in Dublin the Revd Sandra Pragnell was the speaker in Christ Church Cathedra. There was a service for the first time in St. Columb’s Cathedral, Derry, with speaker Paul Rowlandson while Waterford also hosted an IDAHO service for the first time in Christ Church Cathedral where the speaker was the Bishop of Cashel and Ossory. The Limerick service was in St. Mary’s Cathedral. The speaker was the Revd. Jane Galbraith. On IDAHO Day, which is next Thursday, there will be the launch, in St George’s Church, Belfast, at 4pm, of a parish ‘welcome leaflet’ designed for use with LGBT persons.

This evening in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, Bro. David Jardine, Director of the International Divine Healing Ministries, will lead a special service for those suffering from dementia.

Cashel concert
In Cashel Cathedral on Tuesday there will be lunchtime concert by the Lulea Youth Orchestra with a tour of the Bolton Library and a retiring collection in aid of the Library.

Visit to archbishop
The Spanish Ambassador will pay a courtesy visit to the Archbishop of Dublin on Tuesday and on Wednesday Dr Jackson will participate in the 1916 Commemoration Ceremony at Arbour Hill.

MU Festival service
The Clogher Mothers’ Union Festival Service will be held on Friday evening in Donacavey parish church where the preacher will be the Bishop of Clogher.

Blooming time in Tandragee church
Portadown Times – Ballymore Parish Church in Tandragee is holding a special programme of events this year to celebrate its bicentenary.

The events began on Friday last with a flower festival with the theme, ‘Days to Remember: Celebrating 200 Years’ until this Sunday. Co-ordinated by Mrs Linda Lyons, with the assistance of members from the Northern Ireland Group of Flower Arrangement Societies.
The weekend’s events closed with a ‘Songs of Praise’ service at 7pm on Sunday.

Ballymore Rector, the Rev Shane Forster, said prior to the weekend, “We are delighted to be able to open up our beautiful church building to the wider public over the festival weekend. As well as enjoying the flowers, we hope that people will take time to marvel at the craftsmanship and skill of those who so lovingly constructed the building 200 years ago. It is a place where generations of Tandragee folk have come to worship and pray, giving thanks to Almighty God for all his blessings.
“The current Ballymore Parish Church may be 200 years old but it is not a museum dedicated to the past, instead it is the centre of a living, worshipping Christian family ready to the face the challenges of the 21st century.”

The bicentenary marks the consecration of the current church building. However, historical research indicates that there has probably been a church on the site since the 14th century. The current building, which is dedicated to St Mark, first opened its doors as a place of worship and house of prayer in 1812, replacing a smaller building, and since then it has played an important part in the life of Tandragee. The name of the parish, Ballymore, means ‘Big Townland’.

The building is cruciform and originally had old fashioned boxed seats and a gallery at the west end, these were removed in the 1960s. There were also two large enclosed pews, one in each transept; the Rectory pew in the north and the Duke of Manchester’s pew in the south.

The Duke and Duchess of Manchester were the owners of Tandragee Castle in years past and when in residence they, along with their household staff, made their way across, from next door, for Sunday morning worship.

The oak panelling in the Sanctuary of the Church, along with the cherubs in the baptistery and the carvings of musical instruments on the front of the organ loft, was originally located in the chapel of the castle.