As I sit to write this Newsletter, we have been through a busy time but a very busy schedule over the coming fortnight still awaits! The build up to Easter and Easter Day itself have now come and gone. In that regard, I would like to thank all those who participated and contributed to make it such a special time – especially to our Diocesan Lay Minister, Alan Rhodes, to our team of flower arrangers under the direction of Janet Moore and Brigid FitzSimon and to the choir under the direction of our organist Paul McNulty. The Easter General Vestry 2014 has now also been consigned to history and the results of the elections may be found at the back of the church.
However, as the main celebration Service of our 150th Anniversary year scheduled for Sunday 4th May is still eagerly awaited, last minute arrangements have to be made to ensure its smooth running. On the day we look forward to having Archbishop Michael Jackson as our celebrant and we are also looking forward to welcoming back three former Rectors and their wives: Canon Cecil and Dorothy Hyland, Canon Kenneth and Jennifer Kearon and Canon Cecil and Primrose Bryan. During the course of the Service it is planned that a number of gifts kindly donated in recent years will be dedicated. Following the Service, a canapé reception will be held in the Parish Hall to which all are welcome.
Towards the end of that week, between Thursday 8th and Saturday 10th May inclusive, the General Synod of the Church of Ireland will meet in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. Whilst the agenda for Synod does not appear to have anything which should prove too controversial, it is still a comprehensive order of business which will ensure a busy three days. Besides the usual reports of the Representative Church Body, Standing Committee and the Board of Education, there is time allocated for topics as diverse as Mission and Ministry to Anglican and Ecumenical and Interfaith relations. There is also a short report scheduled from the Select Committee on Human Sexuality in the context of Christian belief which was set up at last year’s Synod.
Moving to more international events, the South Korean ferry disaster dominated our headlines just a couple of short weeks ago. It is sad that despite the existence of international safety regulations and procedures such an catastrophe could happen in today’s world. If there is any silver lining to this black event, it will hopefully lead to stricter controls and better training of key personnel in the future. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those who perished.
The continuing unrest in Eastern Ukraine is currently a cause for international concern. There has been much sabre rattling with claims and counter claims as to who might be the victims and who are the perpetrators. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a sufficient commitment on all sides to draw back from the brink of an all-out civil war. The situation is not helped by Russia, who has amassed a large numbers of troops and equipment on the Ukrainian border. However, the annexation of Eastern Ukraine by Russia cannot be justified in the same way as the Crimea and therefore would likely lead to worldwide repercussions. Let us pray that sanity will prevail and that a peaceful solution may be found to this worrying crisis before it is too late.
Finally, local and European elections are scheduled for later this month. In any democracy, the onus of responsibility falls on the electorate to ensure it gets the representation it deserves. In recent times many have criticised the E.U. of being undemocratic and so these elections take on a particular importance and significance to ensure it is. I would urge everyone to exercise their democratic responsibility on polling day.
With every blessing,
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