Irish news – 28th August

New deacon follows in the family footsteps; Some Places Still Available for Dublin’s Second Diocesan Growth Forum; Bishop slams band over march past church; ‘Widespread uncertainty’ over protection of neglected Irish children; Recession leads to surge in mental health issues in Irish children;  Church warned against campaigning on abortion; Fine Gael TDs willing to listen to church on abortion   

New deacon follows in the family footsteps
Revd Colin Darling followed firmly in the family footsteps when he was ordained deacon at Saintfield Parish on Sunday 26 August 2012.

Both Colin’s maternal and paternal grandfathers were Church of Ireland clergymen and his father is Edward Darling, formerly Bishop of Limerick. Bishop Darling was ordained deacon 56 years ago in July in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. It was particularly special for him to join Bishop Harold in the laying on of hands for Colin during the service of ordination.

Parishioners from both Colin’s home parish of Hillsborough and from Saintfield also participated and Revd Canon John Dinnen, former rector of Hillsborough, preached the sermon.

Colin will serve for a year as deacon intern in Saintfield parish alongside the rector, Revd Chris Pollock.

Some Places Still Available for Dublin’s Second Diocesan Growth Forum
There are still some places available for the forthcoming Diocesan Growth Forum which takes place on Saturday October 6 in the High School, Rathgar. Up to 300 clergy and laity from across the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough will come together to address the challenges faced by the church. The second Diocesan Growth Forum will continue the process begun at the inaugural event which took place in April examining the opportunities for fresh expressions of church which exist in the diocese.

The first event was an instant sell out with demand outstripping supply. The October forum has moved to a bigger venue. All Dublin and Glendalough clergy have been invited to attend and this time each incumbent in the dioceses has the opportunity to invite four lay people who can help in creatively expanding the Christian witness of their parishes.

The Diocesan Growth Committee is organising the event in response to the enormous social, cultural, economic and political changes which have taken place in the dioceses.

These changes have created both challenges and opportunities for the Church of Ireland and, along with a shifting religious landscape, have resulted in a new unchurched generation emerging.

Discussions will aim to address questions on the nature of the church’s mission and on how clergy and laity can effectively engage with members of the community outside the confines of their existing congregations. The forum will also create a space for people to engage with such questions as well as to reflect on how others are tackling the challenges and creating opportunities.

Director of Church Army’s research unit, George Lings, will once again lead the discussion. From within the dioceses, Revd Canon Neil McEndoo and Revd Rob Jones from Rathmines and Revd Roly Heaney, rector of Redcross will highlight their experiences of change within their parishes. Revd Adrian McCartney, director of Boring Wells in Belfast and Revd Jackie Belfield, a Methodist minister from Warrington will also address the forum.

Archbishop Michael Jackson says October’s event is the next step for the dioceses. “The aim of this is to create an event that will facilitate the participation of all clergy and to provide an opportunity for engagement with the issues of a large cross section of the laity and to maintain the momentum that was a widely expressed desire at the April event,” he stated.

The October Diocesan Growth Forum will be held on Saturday October 6 in The High School from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm. The venue will hold 300 people and some 200 spaces have already been booked. Those who have not yet registered and wish to attend should email archdublinoffice@gmail.com. Lay people wishing to attend should approach their rector in the first instance.

Bishop slams band over march past church
Belfast Telegraph – Catholic Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor last night heavily criticised the actions of a loyalist band that defied a ruling not to march past a Catholic church, accusing them of provocative sectarianism and insulting behaviour.

The Young Conway Volunteers band had been banned from parading past St Patrick’s Church on Donegall Street in the city after being filmed playing an allegedly sectarian song at the spot during July 12 demonstrations.

Violence broke out in the area on Saturday as the Shankill Road band marched past the church.

“Their behaviour is not worthy of our city, nor of the Christian ideals espoused by the Royal Black Preceptory and other organisations involved,” Bishop Treanor said.
The senior cleric also criticised senior unionist politicians who had signed a letter calling for the replacement of the Parades Commission.

‘Widespread uncertainty’ over protection of neglected Irish children
Irish Times – An unpublished independent audit of child protection cases has revealed “widespread uncertainty” among social services and the judiciary over the consequences of neglect on children at risk.

The report, A Review of Practice and Audit of Management of Cases of Neglect, was commissioned by the Health Service Executive (HSE) after the Roscommon child abuse inquiry.

The audit involved a detailed analysis of 30 cases of neglect in the county. It found that social services responded quickly to many of these cases and provided a range of supports which resulted in improvements in parenting and better outcomes for children.

Recession leads to surge in mental health issues in Irish children
The number of children seeking treatment for mental health issues has risen by 30 per cent in the past two years.

Church warned against campaigning on abortion
Irish Times – Any direct involvement by the Catholic Church in political campaigning on abortion would be a backward step for Ireland, a senior Labour Party minister in the Government said today. Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat …


Fine Gael TDs willing to listen to church on abortion