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The Church of Ireland

The Church of Ireland
News Briefing

For Saturday 3rd February 2001

From: The RCB Library
Email: RCB Library

Trends in Broadcasting

Broadcasting is in a state of flux. The main tendencies are towards a huge increase in the number of radio and television channels and an increasingly competitive commercial climate. These factors are likely to drive down quality and variety, especially as regulation of broadcasting standards is seen as less and less acceptable by "the market". Governments are addressing these issues and this must be of concern to the churches who have a particular interest in public service broadcasting to which they have been accustomed. A broadcasting bill is going through the houses of the Oireachtas while in Britain the government has just issued a white paper.

The Church of England's Archbishop's Council convened a meeting last month to address the changing broadcasting environment and invited representatives from the Church of Ireland's Broadcasting Committee - the chairman, Dr Kenneth Milne, and the honorary secretary, the Revd Dr Alan McCormack. The proceedings of that meeting are of considerable relevance to all who have the interests of public service broadcasting, north and south, at heart. Arising out of this meeting the Broadcasting Committee, which represents the interests of the Church of Ireland in both Northern Ireland and the Republic, is making a submission to the authorities in London.

This evening (Saturday) the dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross will hold a youth initiative event called Ybother in St Fin Barre's Cathedral. Some 240 young people, aged between 10 and 15, all of whom have been confirmed by Bishop Paul Colton, will gather with guests, including Brian Crowley MEP, a Christian rock group from England and the conjurer and ventriloquist, Bertie Pearce.

Tomorrow (Sunday) the preacher at the Sung Eucharist in the Chapel of Trinity College, Dublin, will be the writer and commentator, Mr Eoghan Harris, who will speak "On Courage". In St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, the collections at both Eucharists will be donated to the Irish Red Cross to aid the victims of the earthquake in India. In the evening, at 6.00 pm in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, there will be a concert by Christ Church Baroque and the Cathedral Choir. The programme will consist of Cantatas for Christmas by J.S. Bach and the soloists will include the internationally renowned baroque oboe player, Anthony Robinson, and the flautist, Rachel Beckett.

On Tuesday evening there will be a Service of Thanksgiving for the restoration of St Christopher's parish church, Belfast, at which the preacher will be the Bishop of Down and Dromore, the Rt Revd Harold Miller. The church was flooded twice during the summer with over a foot of water in the chancel.

The annual conference for the clergy of the dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross begins on Wednesday and continues until Friday, while on Thursday the "Would You Believe" programme on RTE 1 will feature the Rector of Carrigaline, the Revd David Armstrong, who was formerly a Presbyterian minister in Limavady.

At its January meeting the Bishops' Appeal approved six grants. An emergency grant of 15,000 was made to Christian Aid to help with earthquake relief in El Salvador, and a similar grant was made to Christian Aid towards the provision of prefabricated accommodation for homeless families in Bosnia.

Support was also provided for the work of the Church Missionary Society Ireland in the Republic of the Congo, where they are involved in community projects in the Dioceses of North Kivu and Bukavu, and in Kenya where they have an on-going involvement with a Masai Rural Training Centre in the Diocese of Kajiado.

A grant was also given to the Crosslinks missionary society to support the work of the Emmanuel Health Association in India.

Church of Ireland Notes appear in the Irish Times whose web site may be found at

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