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The Church of Ireland

The Church of Ireland
News Briefing


CHURCH OF IRELAND NOTES
For Saturday 28th July 2001

From: The RCB Library
Email: RCB Library

New Principal for Theological College

The news that Canon Adrian Empey is to be the next Principal of the Church of Ireland Theological College promises to usher in a new era for theological education: certainly in the past each Principal has left the mark of his own personality, interests and abilities on the the College and, before it, the Divinity Hostel.

Michael Ferrar, Raymond Jenkins, John Brown, Jim Hartin and John Bartlett had superficially much in common: they were all men, they were all in holy orders and they all evinced a clear and unambiguous dedication to their responsibilities to the ordinands in their care. Inevitably, however, they expressed their dedication in differing ways but in total they brought to the Church of Ireland an admirable range of virtues: scholarship, spirituality, discipline, pastoral care and astuteness among others.

Dr Empey will bring to Braemor Park his particular qualities. He is a scholar, an eminent medieval historian and a member of the Royal Irish Academy, but one whose scholarly life has been tempered by considerable pastoral experience. Incumbencies in parishes in the dioceses Ossory, Kildare, and Dublin, membership of the chapter of St Patrick's Cathedral, chaplaincies to the Missions to Seamen and the Rotunda Hospital have introduced him to all sorts and conditions of men and women. A lively personality, good sense of humour and an abiding intellectual curiosity have helped him cope with and, as far as it is possible, make sense of that panorama of church life.

This experience of the Church of Ireland in all its diversity will serve the new Principal well for the College, as the only theological college of the Church of Ireland, is inevitably a diverse body of men and women just as the bishops, to whom the Principal is responsible, are a diverse body of men.

Today (Saturday) an informal study weekend begins in Mohill, Co. Leitrim, on the eminent beekeeper, the Revd J.R.G. Digges who, as private chaplain to the Clements family from 1885, had ample time to indulge this interest. He was the author of The Practical Bee Guide which was published in 1904 and ran to sixteen editions and 76,000 copies. In Farnaght Church, Mohill, where Digges served for nearly fifty years, there will be a service at 9.30 am tomorrow (Sunday). The church is notable for a memorial stained glass window by Ethel Rhind depicting St McDomoc bringing the bees to Ireland. Today, Saturday, in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Evensong will be sung by the choir of Grace Church on the Hill, Toronto, who will sing the services tomorrow (Sunday).

Tomorrow (Sunday) the services in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, will be sung by the Close Chorale. In the Church of St John the Evangelist, Belfast, the preacher will be the former Bishop of Connor, Dr Samuel Poyntz while in Dalkey, Co. Dublin, the Revd Dr Norman Gamble will preach on behalf of SPCK. At 4.00 pm the Annual Open Air Service will begin at Clonmacnoise. The preacher will be the Bishop of Meath and Kildare, Dr Richard Clarke, and the music will be provided by the St James Brass and Reed Band from Dublin and the Athlone Parish Music Group.

On Thursday the fourth recital in the Festival of Classical Music in St Barrahane's Church, Castletownshend, Co. Cork, will be given by Carmen Lasok (soprano), Robert Aldwinckle (piano), Bridget Knowles (mezzo soprano) and Ciara Moroney (piano). In St Ann's Church, Dublin, there will be a lunchtime recital by the organist of St Ann's, Dr Stanley Monkhouse and admission is free

Church of Ireland Notes appear in the Irish Times whose web site may be found at
http://www.ireland.com/

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