COI Gazette – 20th June

Church of Ireland episcopal participation in new Methodist President’s installation

The Installation of the Revd Peter Murray as President of the Methodist Church in Ireland at Christ Church, Leeson Park, Dublin, last week (Photo: William Newell)

The Installation of the Revd Peter Murray as President of the Methodist Church in Ireland at Christ Church, Leeson Park, Dublin, last week (Photo: William Newell)

Last week, the Revd Peter Murray was installed as the President of the Methodist Church at a ceremony in Christ Church, Leeson Park, Dublin.

For the first time, Church of Ireland bishops took part formally in the installation of a Methodist President, with the laying on of hands: Archbishop of Armagh Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson and Bishop of Down and Dromore Harold Miller.

Last month, the General Synod of the Church of Ireland passed historic legislation to provide for interchangeability in ministries between the Church of Ireland and the Methodist Church in Ireland, the two Churches being in a Covenant relationship.

The Special Bill passed its final reading at the General Synod by the required two-thirds majority of each order present.




Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s announcement last week that his government will establish a Commission of Inquiry into mother-and-baby homes was the only possible response to the discovery that 796 children, who had died in a home run in Tuam by the Bon Secours Sisters between 1925 and 1961, were understood to have been buried without any grave markings in the grounds of the home. Welcoming the Taoiseach’s announcement, the Bishop of Tuam said that “serious issues have emerged and clarity is required”.

The Tuam discovery inevitably resonated with more recent experience over the Protestant, although not Church-run, former Bethany Home in Dublin. Before the announcement of the Commission of Inquiry, the Archbishop of Dublin wrote to the Taoiseach asking that the Bethany Home be included in any inquiry. Dr Jackson had previously also made representations on the matter to the Minister for Education, the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Children.

The Archbishop’s representations bore fruit and the Taoiseach did confirm that the Bethany Home will be included.

A statement from the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough further indicated: “In his letter of Thursday 5th June, Dr Jackson also urged the Taoiseach to consider the possibility of marking such grave sites, similar to the memorial provided by the Department of Justice for the Bethany Home in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin.” The Archbishop, it was stated, had felt that that initiative had “helped address some of the pastoral needs of relatives of those who died, as well as the ongoing needs of others concerned with the home”.

It is to be hoped that this suggestion of Dr Jackson will also bear fruit.

In an article last week in The Irish Independent (10th June), Niall Meehan, Head of the Journalism and Media Faculty in Griffith College, Dublin, and a spokesperson for the Bethany Survivors Group, recalled that 221 children, who had died at the Bethany Home during the period 1922-1948, had been buried in an unmarked grave in Dublin’s Mount Jerome cemetery, where a memorial had finally been erected only last April. He pointed out, however, that while those who actually ran such institutions bore their burden of responsibility, the Bethany survivors’ focus had been on the State, “which was supposed to regulate the health and well-being of residents under the 1934 Registration of Maternity Homes Act”. He continued: “These institutions were State services by proxy that were officially regulated.”

The revelations about the Bethany Home and now the Tuam revelations can only cause everyone concerned to be very deeply disturbed and, in particular, to feel for the families of the children. In his article, Mr Meehan pointed out that the Bethany survivors and those from similar homes had been “unfairly excluded” from the State’s redress scheme in 2005 by then Education Minister Mary Hanafin and that subsequent Ministers had turned down requests to reverse the decision.

He asked how much more unearthing of forgotten children it would take to have that decision reversed. It was a tragic rhetorical question, but it remains a real question. Those who so clearly deserve redress should receive it.


Home News

  • Remembering of all centenaries to be ‘realistic and sensitive’ Bishop Colton tells Cork, Cloyne and Ross Diocesan Synod
  • New Dublin and Glendalough Youth Council holds inaugural meeting
  • Cheques presented to charities in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast
  • Call for a ‘Colmcille heritage trail’ linking Scotland and Ireland
  • Installations to Chapter of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin
  • Over £500,000 funding boost for renovations to Enniskillen Cathedral Hall
  • Church Music Dublin releases new video for organists
  • Presbyterian residential home marks 50 years



  • Rethinking Church – Stephen Neil – The Church and the beautiful game
  • Life Lines – Ron Elsdon – Another myth that refuses to die


World News

  • Anglicans vow to eradicate hate crimes, hate speech in Japan
  • Archbishop of Canterbury sends message to global summit to end sexual violence in war
  • Turkey’s “Rockin’ Imam” gets green light from religious authorities
  • WCC General Secretary says work is ‘essential dimension of human dignity’
  • ‘Ordinariate is a great ecumenical gesture’, says Ordinary
  • Day of Prayer vigil to mark UN Day of Support for Victims of Torture


Letters to the Editor

Feed the Minds organisation plans Ireland visit

This year is an exciting one for Feed the Minds, as we celebrate our 50th anniversary. The charity, which was launched by a former Archbishop of York, Donald Coggan, works with local communities through education projects which support some of the world’s most disadvantaged individuals to combat poverty and discrimination.

All Feed the Minds projects have literacy at their heart, but we embed this in practical, life-changing skills based on the needs of the community.

Examples of our impact include Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) abandonment in Kenya through awareness education, reducing maternal and infant mortality rates in Ghana by providing training on pre- and post-natal care to midwives, and Peace building and Trauma healing through storytelling in South Sudan.

Last year alone, Feed the Minds helped over 100,000 people worldwide. The skills learnt on our projects empower individuals to transform their own lives and those of others.

Supporters are fundamental to the survival of this small charity, so to celebrate the 50th anniversary, Feed the Minds is launching a campaign to enable us to help even more communities around the world.

Over the years, there have been a number of donors from Ireland, including considerable support from the Church of Ireland, who have funded many projects through donations given to the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal.

These contributions have been invaluable and we hope to strengthen this existing relationship and attract new donors.

In October, as part of the campaign, four members of our team will visit the Republic and Northern Ireland to talk in a number of churches and schools. This will be an exciting opportunity for us to share the impact of our work with as many people as possible.

The visit will conclude with a launch event in Dublin on Monday 20th October.

If individuals or parishes are interested in finding out more about Feed the Minds’ work, fundraising or attending the launch event, the contact person is Bex on +44 (0)20 7582 3535 (or email rband@

Rebecca Band Feed the Minds Park Place 12 Lawn Lane London SW8 1UD

Charles Stowell Marriott

I have been researching the education in Ireland of the Lancashire-born Charles Stowell Marriott, who played first class cricket for Lancashire, Cambridge University, Kent, the MCC and England. The first school Marriott attended in Ireland was Monkstown Park Preparatory School in the then Kingstown, now Dun Laoghaire, from 1904- 1909.

From the details in the 1911 Census (the nearest to Marriott’s attendance), this school appears largely to have been a Church of Ireland foundation.

I have had limited success in obtaining information on this school and I wonder if any Gazette readers could please assist. Monkstown Park Prep had a reputation for sports, including cricket.

I represented the various UK Sports Councils (and, less formally, Ireland in respect of non-GAA sports) in the Council of Europe Sports Committee project on European traditional games. Thus, my interest in cricket and in Charles Marriott.

Andrew Steven Hill Crest 5 Beechill Avenue Belfast BT8 6NS (Tel. Belfast 9070 2315)


Book Reviews

THE CHURCH OF IRELAND AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY Authors: Dr Claude Costacalde and Prof. Brian Walker (Consultant Editor) Publisher: Booklink; pp.400


Kierkegaard: Exposition and Critique Author: Daphne Hampson Publisher: Oxford University Press; pp.344


News Extra

Evangelical Alliance files complaint over offensive newspaper advertisement

Variety of topical themes in summer issue of SEARCH