The Rector Writes – January blues to buds and Bishop Ken

The month of January can often appear endless. The rush and hype of Christmas is but a faint memory and the weather can often be dark, cold and miserable. Any overindulgence, both monetary and gastronomic, comes home to roost and has to receive attention. However, as we move into February there is a noticeable stretch in the evenings and the mornings are brighter too. The weather may still prove to be inclement but the appearance of early spring flowers and shrubs give us a foretaste of more positive things to come and can thus boost our spirits.

In our Church calendar, the season of Christmas/Epiphany lasts for forty days, from 25th December, and draws to a close at the feast of the presentation of Christ in the Temple (or Candlemas Day) on 2nd February. This will leave us in ‘Ordinary Time’ for just over two weeks until the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday 18th February. And that in turn marks the start of the great countdown to Easter. There is no doubt the ancient saying is true, ‘Time and tide wait for no man’!

On Saturday 24th January, the Right Reverend Kenneth Kearon (former Rector of this parish) was ordained and consecrated the bishop of Limerick and Killaloe. This took place in a crowded Christ Church Cathedral (of which he was a member of the Chapter for many years) and with great ceremony involving the laying on of hands by members of the Irish house of bishops and bishops from other parts of the Anglican Communion. In recognition of Church of Ireland and Methodist Covenant, a past and the current President of the Methodist Church in Ireland also participated in the laying on of hands. Bishop Kearnon will be installed in both Limerick and Killaloe cathedrals at a future date yet to be announced.

In the course of his Sermon, Archbishop Barry Morgan of the Church in Wales likened the role of a bishop to that of a zip line operator. Using the example of the longest and fastest zip line in the Northern Hemisphere (which is located in Bethesda in North Wales), those using it need a push when starting out and often need help to haul them to the finishing point. At other times a bishop needs to be the person using the zip line in order to lead by example. And this requires great faith and courage. However, I would go further and suggest that this image is true of all Christian in their life of witness and ministry. We need to be always ready to give a helping hand – to push or to haul in – and sometimes we need to step out with faith and courage. I wish Bishop Kenneth, his wife Jennifer and family every blessing for the future.

 With every blessing,

John

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