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The Church of Ireland

The Church of Ireland
News Briefing

For Saturday 25th August 2001

From: The RCB Library
Email: RCB Library

Retirement of College Principal

On Friday 31st August Professor John Bartlett will retire from his post as Principal of the Church of Ireland Theological College and from the chair of pastoral theology in Trinity College which is attached to the principalship.

John Bartlett succeeded the late Jim Hartin as principal in 1989 and brought his own distinctive gifts to Braemor Park. As Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, he was well versed in the intricacies of collegiate life while his experiences of assisting the late Canon Walter Burrows in Taney had introduced him to the idiosyncrasies of the Irish parish. A scholar of international repute, he brought to the College the intellectual rigour and the inquiring mind of the academic as well as a meticulousness in all aspects of administration.

As Principal he established a new centralised training module for the auxiliary ministry, created the new post of Director of Pastoral Studies and encouraged the development of theological courses for laity. Under his leadership, and with the support of his late wife, Jan, the physical appearance of the College was greatly improved. The College Chapel was re-ordered, new accommodation was provided for staff and guests, teaching facilities were expanded, interior decoration and furnishing was improved and the planting and maintenance of the grounds received close attention. In short the College became more efficient, comfortable and agreeable, as it continued to cast off the remnants of the stark life of the seminary.

Since 1986 Professor Bartlett has been a member of the chapter, and subsequently the board, of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, from which he will also retire. A thoughtful preacher, a dignified celebrant and a conscientious administrator, he has, particularly during the illnesses of the dean, been a vital part of the cathedral's life.

In retirement in Co. Dublin, he hopes to have more time for his academic and research commitments, especially the editorship of the prestigious Palestine Exploration Quarterly and the Society for Old Testament Studies of which he will be president for the year 2002.

Today (Saturday) and tomorrow (Sunday) the services in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, will be sung by the Renaissance Singers from Belfast while, on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, Evensong in St Patrick's will be sung by the choir of Chester Cathedral. In St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast, tomorrow (Sunday) a new series of autumn music begins with the visit of the La Purisma Choira from California.

On Wednesday evening in All Saints Church, Carnew, the Bishop of Cashel and Ossory, the Rt Revd John Neill, will institute the Revd Dermot Dunne to the incumbency of Crosspatrick and Carnew group of parishes. Mr Dunne, who was ordained in 1983, has been Dean's Vicar in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, since 1999.

The Archbishop of Armagh will be in Dublin on Thursday to attend a dinner to welcome the members of ARCIC II, the second Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, to Ireland. ARCIC II continues the important ecumenical dialogue which was begun in 1966 by the Anglican-Roman Catholic Joint Preparatory Commission, established by Archbishop Michael Ramsey and Pope Paul VI. The Joint Preparatory Committee reported in 1968 and was followed by the establishment of ARCIC I under the chairmanship of Bishop Alan Clark and the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Henry McAdoo. The final report of ARCIC I, which identified significant areas of agreement, appeared in 1982. However, the report's conclusion that "There are high expectations that significant initiatives will be boldly undertaken to deepen our reconciliation and lead us forward in the quest for full communion.." are still to be realised.

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

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