Added on 08/06/2013
Dean Swift at 300
Next Thursday marks the 300th anniversary of the appointment of Jonathan Swift as Dean of St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin. While much has been written about Swift as a writer and a controversialist rather less attention has been paid to his role as dean. In fact he was a good dean. He managed the chapter assiduously and defended their rights and privileges, he cared for the fabric, and ensured that there was good plate, service books and music. Indeed such was the appreciation of his care for the cathedral that the now iconic portrait of him by Francis Bindon, which hangs in the deanery, was commissioned.
Swift’s role as dean will be celebrated next week by several events. An exhibition of Swiftiana is already open in Marsh’s Library. On Friday at 4pm there will be a free guided walk of the cathedral area, led by Pat Liddy, which will visit sites associated with Swift. At 6.30pm, ‘Swift in his own Words’ will be an evening of readings on Swift as dean and Swift in Dublin with guest readers. The readings will be punctuated by music from Swift’s time with an emphasis on the works of Carolan.
The celebrations will conclude on Sunday 16 July when the Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Richard Clarke, will preach at Choral Evensong which will feature music from Swift’s time. More information available on www.stpatrickscathedral.ie/Swift-300.aspx
Today (Saturday), the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, will preside at the Cork, Cloyne & Ross Diocesan Synod in Rochestown Park Hotel. In St Coman’s church, Roscommon, at 8pm the Sperrin Choir will give a concert in aid of the National Council of the Blind and church funds.
Tomorrow (Sunday) Canon Horace McKinley, Rector of Whitechurch, will be the speaker at the Annual Ecumenical Service at St Colmcille’s Well, Ballycullen Road, Dublin 16. The service, with the theme ‘Gathering in Faith’, will begin at 3pm. At 4pm
The Church of Ireland parish of Gartan will celebrate the life of St Columba on St Columba’s Day, with the annual diocesan open air service at the ruined abbey in Gartan, where the saint started his ministry. The Britannia Brass Band from Derry who will lead the hymn singing, the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, the Rt Revd Ken Good, will celebrate Holy Communion and the Revd Paul Hoey, Diocesan Development Officer, will speak about the life of St Columba.
On Monday auditions begin in Dublin for the new Christ Church cathedral Voluntary Choir. It is intended that the choir will sing four services each year directed by the cathedral’s Assistant Organist, David Bremner. Rehearsals will be on Wednesdays from 7 to 9pm and the launch date for the new choir is 19 June. Details may be had from David Bremner at 01–6778099 or firstname.lastname@example.org
While the cathedrals have for long been at the centre of the church’s musical life there is also a marked increase in musical initiatives elsewhere. A new series of lunchtime recitals has begun on Wednesdays in St Peter’s church, Portlaoise, where the rector is the Revd Stanley Monkhouse, a former organist of St Ann’s church, Dublin. This Wednesday the recital will be given by Derek Verso who is Organist and Director of Music in St Paul’s church, Glenageary. On Thursday the lunchtime recital in St Paul’s church, Glenageary, will be given by music students from Rathdown School while on Friday the lunchtime recital in Sandford parish church will be by Sharon Carty (mezzo–soprano), Andrew Robinson (viola da gamba) and David O’Shea (harprsichord and organ).
Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’