8th August 2014 – COI Gazette

Biography of former Archbishop of Dublin receives high praise at cathedral launch

Aonghus Dwane (left) presents Dr Donald Caird and his wife, Nancy, with a copy of his biography of Dr Caird at the launch in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. (Photo: Lynn Glanville)

Aonghus Dwane (left) presents Dr Donald Caird and his wife, Nancy, with a copy of his biography of Dr Caird at the launch in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. (Photo: Lynn Glanville)

A biography of a former Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Donald Caird, was recently launched in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, in the context of celebrations marking the centenary of Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise, the Irish Guild of the Church.

The biography, entitled Donald Caird: Church of Ireland Bishop: Gaelic Churchman: a Life, was written by Aonghus Dwane – Irish Language Officer in Trinity College Dublin – and published by Columba Press.

Welcoming Dr Caird and his wife, Nancy, to a packed Cathedral – which included the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd Richard Clarke, and another former Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Walton Empey – the Dean of Christ Church, the Very Revd Dermot Dunne, described Dr Caird as someone who had given huge commitment to the Church of Ireland, the dioceses and the Gospel.




Richard Hooker was born in Devon – there is a statue of him on the green of Exeter Cathedral – and educated at Oxford under the patronage of John Jewel, Bishop of Salisbury.

Hooker became a Fellow of Corpus Christi College and came to the attention of Queen Elizabeth I who appointed him Master of the Temple Church, one of the most important in London, attended by lawyers, judges and many Members of Parliament.

It was there that he worked out his ideas which were to find expression in his great masterpiece, The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, in eight books, three of which were published posthumously. His thoughts were sharpened by having as his assistant a lay preacher, Walter Travers, who preached Puritan doctrine in the afternoon differing from his own developing Anglicanism in the morning. It may be said that the two men, who were related by marriage, had a good relationship. By ‘polity’, Hooker meant governance (of the Church) which he worked out at such a deep level that his writings were to have a significant influence on the great political philosopher, John Locke.

Hooker’s aim was to justify the Elizabethan settlement of religion, including both the Prayer Book and the ordering of the Church under Crown and Parliament, with the threefold order of bishops, priests and deacons, all of which was much criticized by the Puritans who wanted something more on the lines of the teaching of John Calvin. Hooker’s approach has been described as strategic rather than tactical, outflanking his opponents on the basis of fundamental principles which included respect for natural law and a doctrine of authority in the Church which drew on reason and tradition, as well as Holy Scripture (for which he had the highest respect).

His thought is inevitably in some respects dated: for example, he thought of Church and State as necessarily coterminous and his ‘receptionist’ view of the Holy Communion is hardly supported by the early Church Fathers whom he so revered, but his standing is still immense and he may be regarded as a co-founder of the Anglican tradition, along with Cranmer (the architect of the Prayer Book). Not only was Hooker’s work read with appreciation by King James I but, after Hooker’s death, it also received praise from an unlikely source. Pope Clement VIII (d. 1605) said of it: “It has in it such seeds of eternity that it will abide until the last fire shall consume all learning.”

This editorial is one in a series of occasional reflections on figures in Church history, following a chronological sequence as they appear.


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Letters to the Editor

Pastoral Visiting

As I opened up my Gazette of 24th July, I was attracted towards Dean Victor Griffin’s letter.

His sentiments reminded me of my late father, Canon Freddie Knowles, rector of the Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, and Chaplain to the Forces.

I remember him telling me, as an ordinand, that a housegoing parson is a churchgoing people. I also recall his notebook with details of house visiting.

In those days, many parishioners could not be contacted by telephone. It seemed necessary to call and have a social and spiritual time with parishioners. Certainly, in those days, pre-1976 family pews contained families. There seemed to be a sense of the parish family.

I retired in 2013 after serving 19 happy years as Dean of Cashel. Throughout my ministry, I noticed changes in styles of worship and in expectations of clergy. I loved the style of ministry in my father’s time. In some ways, I tried to imitate it, but modern demands on both clergy and laity made it difficult.

Often, two parents were at work and a variety of commitments could keep them busy at night, but normal visiting would continue to the housebound, patients in hospitals and residents in nursing homes. I didn’t cease to house-visit, but it wasn’t as routine as I would have wished.

The Church of Ireland remains close to my heart and in retirement I am undertaking vacancy and holiday duty.

Our bishops work very hard. The clergy in some cases are covering huge areas, often also in neighbouring vacant parishes, so their work is difficult.

My hope and prayer is that clergy will be allowed time for the Bible, the Prayer Book and pastoral visiting. Such discipline will help each of us as we help each other serve the Kingdom.

Philip J. Knowles (The Very Revd) 99 Kingsgrove Athy Co. Kildare

Bishop’s Appeal – Gaza and Iraq

Bishops’ Appeal is acting as a conduit for funds being raised for the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem. The Diocese runs the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza which has been damaged, whilst simultaneously being inundated with casualties and people seeking refuge in the hospital grounds.

Donations will go towards medical supplies, fuel for generators and basic supplies of food parcels and blankets. Archbishop Michael Jackson has encouraged support from members of the Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough and Bishops’ Appeal welcomes contributions from individuals and parishes throughout Ireland.

Bishops’ Appeal is also acting as a conduit for any funds raised for those who have been displaced due to violence in Iraq.

The number of people displaced now exceeds 1.2 million. Archbishop Richard Clarke recently issued a statement of prayer for those who were being persecuted.

Funds will be directed towards the Anglican Church in Baghdad which is providing refuge, medical assistance and food relief to many who have fled their homes.

Donations can be sent to Bishops’ Appeal at the address below. Lodgement details are on the website: www.bishopsappeal.ireland. anglican.org/donate

Lydia Monds Bishops’ Appeal Education Advisor Church of Ireland House Church Avenue Rathmines Dublin 6

Irish links of the Revd Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy – ‘Woodbine Willie’

I was delighted to read Brian Walker’s timely article on World War One chaplains from the Church of Ireland (Gazette, 1st August).

A minor point, and yet important in this parish (Malahide, Portmarnock and St Doulagh’s), is that Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy’s Irish links were far stronger than Prof. Walker states. He was indeed born in England, but his Irish links were not simply attending TCD.

His parents were Irish and his father served for a number of years as Perpetual Curate of St Doulagh’s, Balgriffin, Co. Dublin, where he was in large measure responsible for rebuilding the church into its present form as an architectural gem, harmoniously blending Celtic and Victorian Gothic styles, the Victorian additions enriching the 12th century stone-roofed building at the core of St Doulagh’s.

This work was undertaken in 1862-4 and will be celebrated at a special Service of Thanksgiving at 7.00pm on the evening of 16th November (the Vigil of St Doulagh’s Day), at which the special preacher will be the Revd Andrew Studdert Kennedy, Woodbine Willie’s grandson and now rector of Marlborough.

Norman E. Gamble (The Revd Dr) The Rectory Church Road Malahide Co. Dublin


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Hilda of Whitby: A spirituality for now Author: Ray Simpson Publisher: BRF Price: £7.99


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