CHURCH OF IRELAND NOTES
For Saturday 3rd November 2001
From: The RCB Library
Email: RCB Library
Memories of County Meath
There can be little doubt that there is currently more
curiosity about the Church of Ireland than at any time since
disestablishment. This is most evident in the explosion of interest in the
Church in the localities and is manifested in greater community
participation in church services, local history projects, and in community
schemes to restore former Church of Ireland buildings and graveyards.
Arising out of such endeavours is a heightened awareness of the place of
Church of Ireland families in local communities but also a realization of
how little is known of many such families.
A valuable contribution to filling this lacuna is a new
book by Homan Potterton, formerly Director of the National Gallery of
Ireland. Rathcormick. A Childhood Recalled is a marvellously
accessible guide to the life of a Church of Ireland family in Co. Meath in
the 1950s. Written from the perspective of the youngest child of a large, at
least by protestant standards, family this is a book replete with amused
detachment, evident affection and acute observation. It is at once both an
account of the life of the Potterton family and of the society in which they
lived. This is the world, not of the gentry or the Anglo-Irish, but of
comfortable, middle class Church of Ireland farming stock, whose lives were
informed by the Irish Times, the Church of Ireland Gazette and
Kildalkey church. These are people who epitomised the popular perception of
protestants as hard working, honest and reliable but somewhat detached from
their Roman Catholic neighbours, for this is also the world of the Ne
Temere decree, of protestant socials and protestant boarding schools.
All these matters, and more, are deftly dealt with and
skillfully woven together through the eyes of a small boy growing up on a
Co. Meath farm. This is no protestant apologetic but a deceptively simple
account of how life was fifty years ago. It is a picture which many will
recognise and a book which many will enjoy.
Rathcormick. A Childhood Recalled by Homan
Potterton is published by New Island Books at IR£15.75.
Today (Saturday) Canon Patrick Rooke, Rector of
Agherton, will lead the Church of Ireland Men's Society Annual Quiet Day in
Holy Trinity Church, Ballywillan. In St Deiniol's Library, Wales, the Dean
of Clonmacnoise, the Very Revd Andrew Furlong, will speak on "Pain and
Integrity - Reform from Within" during a weekend programme on "Non
Realism and Spirituality".
Tomorrow (Sunday) morning in Dublin the Rt Revd
Mgr Peter Cookson, from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, will be the
preacher at the annual Citizenship Service in Christ Church Cathedral while
in the Chapel of Trinity College the preacher at the Sung Eucharist will be
the Revd Professor John Webster, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity in
At Evensong in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, the Revd
Robert Reed will be installed as Precentor and the Revd Cecil Mills as
Treasurer while two new canons, Dr Ian Ellis, Rector of Newcastle, and Dr
Jonathan Barry, Rector of Comber, will also be installed. In Belfast
Cathedral the Band of the Royal Irish Regiment will play at an Evening
Service of Remembrance.
On Tuesday the Archbishop of Armagh will institute the
Revd Jim Campbell to the incumbency of St Mark's, Portadown, while on
Wednesday in the Centre for Christian Studies in St Fin Barre's Cathedral,
Cork, Derek Johnston will be the speaker in the "And is it True"
On Thursday the electoral college to select a successor
to the Rt Revd Brian Hannon as Bishop of Clogher will meet in Armagh.
Church of Ireland Notes appear in the Irish
Times whose web site may be found at