COI Gazette – 3rd January

Archbishop of Dublin takes over Anglican lead in Porvoo Communion

3rd jan14

The Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Michael Jackson, pictured, has taken over as the Anglican Co-Chair of the Porvoo Communion, a fellowship of Anglican and Lutheran Churches based mostly in northern Europe.

The Anglican Co-Chair is chosen and appointed by the Primates of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. There is no fixed term, but a period of five to eight years is usual.




The beginning of any new year is a time for taking stock – looking back and looking forward. To pause in this way is only natural as a new diary is opened with all its blank pages. There is opportunity here, but there must also be faith and hope that, by God’s grace, we can indeed achieve new things in the time that lies ahead.

For us in the Church of Ireland, the year that is past was not without its difficulties and tensions; the same is of course true, to varying degrees, of every year. What will there be to take us unawares in 2014? Only time will tell. However, we do know that the year will proceed in the Church with its familiar rhythm, the liturgical cycle that enables us to reflect systematically on the unfolding message of the whole Gospel. There will be the traditional ways of doing things and there will also be innovations which will show that the Church is not somehow enslaved to its heritage but is ever alive to the Spirit prompting and leading in new ways.

The passing of time, of which one is especially conscious as another year becomes history, is a reminder that, no matter how long a person lives, it is, in the overall sweep of time, a short span. It may not always seem so to those who are younger, but it is a lesson life seems invariably to teach. We have limited time and we therefore must take care that we use it wisely and well.

The year 2014 will, of course, bring the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, an experience that brought so much cruel death and inflicted so much suffering. It also had its impact on theological thinking; Alasdair Heron has written that “it hurled a black question mark against the confidence in the onward and upward progress of Christian civilisation which had so strongly characterised Liberal Theology, and forced the bitter question whether the advanced theological thought of the nineteenth century as a whole had not been far too unaware of the darker side of human nature” (A Century of Protestant Theology, p. 69).

Certainly, this new year sees conflict, and the threat of conflict, remaining across the world. Yet the Church, despite the persistence of war, still calls us to look to God in trust and faith, to the one who “makes wars cease to the end of the earth” (Psalm 46: 9). There, in God, lies the real hope of every person.

Home News

  • Archdeacon of Connor celebrates National Churches Trust anniversary in Westminster Abbey
  • Diocese of Dromore parish rededicates organ in 150th anniversary year
  • Service of prayer for renewal of faith
  • Meath Diocesan Archive starts new year of Archive of the Month


World News Feature

Nigeria: Christians called to focus on ‘whole-life’ discipleship


Features and Columns

  • Down At St. David’s
  • A Year in View
  • Rethinking Church – Stephen Neil – The only resolution that matters
  • Life Lines – Ron Elsdon – What is truth?

Book Review – CREATIVE IDEAS FOR FRONTLINE EVANGELISM WITH YOUNG PEOPLE Author: Simon Rundell Publisher: Canterbury Press; pp.128


News Extra

First C. of I. woman bishop proud to wear ‘beautiful cross’ bequeathed in will