Church Review Notes May 2017

The Parish of Saint Catherine & Saint James with Saint Audoen
Canon Mark Gardner (Editor) Tel: 01 454 2274 Mobile 087 266 0228
Review Distribution: Margery Bell Tel: 01 4542067
Organist: Derek Moylan

Service times every Sunday
10.00 Eucharist, St Audoen, Cornmarket. (Parking in Francis Street is free on Sundays)
11.30 Eucharist (and Sunday School, in term time) St Catherine & St James, Donore Avenue. (Family Service and Church Coffee, usually Second Sundays)

Church decorations
Have you ever noticed how often in Scripture a garden is mentioned? At Easter the Church is transformed. ‘In the place where they laid him there was a garden.’ Many thanks to those volunteers whose unseen hands have effected this transformation.

Grateful thanks to Ashleigh Ekins of St Audoen’s for updating the parish website which is now compatible with mobile ‘phones. An extra menu item has been added, so Church Review Notes are accessible using a mobile, functional for desktop and mobile viewing.

Sunday School
It was a great joy to see so many families and children at Family Service on Palm Sunday. We had the traditional celebration of the modern rite at St Audoen’s followed by a Family Service based on the donkey with a cross on its back and the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem, with the waving of Pam Crosses and an Easter Egg hunt in the Rectory garden. Grateful thanks to the volunteers who provided tea and coffee with nice things to eat for everyone afterwards, in the Transept. The grounds were cleaned by a kind neighbour of Indian extraction, who is more tolerant of cats and their habits than I am. The grass was cut by one of the men living in the Rectory as Walkinstown Community Centre garden team were having trouble with their van!

St James’ Hospital
I get a weekly list from the admissions office, but someone from Rathfarnham wasn’t on it. The Rector alerted me to her presence. I found that on the system she was listed as unknown, because she had come in through accident and emergency, after a fall. So I asked in the office for her entry on the system to be amended, and I asked at the ward for her chart to have Church of Ireland added to it, if they were willing. They consulted the person herself, very sensibly. She and I had a wee chat and exchanged mobile numbers. The Revd Abigail Sines administered Holy Communion in Holy Week. I learnt on Good Friday that a man from Castle Street is in hospital but not on the Church of Ireland list, presumably for the same reason, and yet he has often been in hospital before.

St Catherine’s National School
At the recent Diocesan Schools Choir Competition, Roisín Judge 9 (neé Dexter) directed the choir of St Catherine’s Donore Avenue. Congratulations to them on achieving such a fine result. We have been delighted to hear that Sharon Healy has given birth to a little boy 8 lb 5 oz, mother and baby both well. At the same time our hearts go out to another little boy whose soldier father has succumbed to cancer, Stephen McColgan, at a young age, brother of staff member Gemma Maher. The collection at the School Service at the end of term was donated to the Galway Hospice in his memory.

Church Fabric
The contractors are about to get weaving on the reconstruction of the damaged porch. We have spent a lot of money on the roof of St Audoen’s and the Eastern gable end. Now we have to spend a similar amount of the Western gable and the stone tracery of the window, where movement in the masonry has been detected. Like Christ Church Cathedral nearby, the building has a tendency to tilt down the North-facing slope towards the river. We both have a leaning wall to show to our visitors. The Office of Public Works keeps the Visitor Centre and the Church open to the public. The number of visitors passing by on their way to the Brewery never ceases to increase! But not many make their way into Sunday Service.

Mark Gardner

News from the North
Up here in Derry & Raphoe we are working away busily, and I’m continuing to learn as I go along. I’m working with and amongst good people, who seem appreciative to have a priest – at least for these three years of my curacy – after several years of vacancy and temporary cover. I have got my first year’s General Vestries happily ‘out of the way’. They were actually all positive occasions, and I think we have fairly united teams in place in the new Select Vestries. And I’m enjoying serving through services and the ongoing pastoral care, in a most beautiful part of Ireland. The greatest challenge is perhaps the whole matter of ‘clergy self-care’ and not over-doing things – difficult when the Group of Parishes is made up of four parishes, with five churches. On the whole, though, things are good, and by the grace of God I am managing and enjoying the work.

Alan and I are thankful that our children and their partners seem happy and well. Our mothers both had difficult winters, with falls, surgery and hospitalisation, but both are home and in good spirits now that spring is here.

Our daughter Rachel got married in the USA in January, to a lovely young man from LA. They are settled there for now, but have in view returning to North Africa or the Middle-east to work in the future. James is working with the Norwegian Refugee Council in Kabul, and Debbie and Seoras are still living and working in Edinburgh. Seoras should be ordained in the Church of Scotland early next year, dv.

Alan and I have booked to go on the pilgrimage to the Holy Land in November with the group from Dublin and Glendalough. I am excited about that, having never been there before.

Suzanne Cousins