Added on 20/07/2013
Saturday, 20th July 2013
Conference of European Churches Assembly
In the aftermath of World War II the countries of Western Europe determined that never again would they resolve their differences by warfare, and set about establishing what has grown into to–day’s European Union of 28 nation states. Similarly, the Conference of European Churches (CEC) was created, with the intention that the Orthodox, Protestant and Anglican Churches in Europe should support one another in the ministry of reconciliation. Furthermore, CEC has a record of close co–operation with its Roman Catholic equivalent, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE).
Delegates from the member Churches of CEC meet every few years in general assembly and between assemblies the work is carried on by a governing body representative of the families of Churches that comprise the organisation. Since the first CEC assembly in 1959 great changes have taken place in Europe, not least of these being the collapse of the Soviet empire, and as the fall of the Iron Curtain has resulted in the accession of the peoples of central and eastern Europe to the EU, so too have the circumstances in which religious bodies find themselves been transformed, illustrated by the fact that the 18th Assembly, which was held in Budapest earlier this month, had the support of the Hungarian government and was welcomed by Prime Minister Orban. Yet all is far from well in Europe, and a report issued at the end of the Assembly referred to ‘countries in crisis, migration, human rights violations and the global financial crisis’.
Therefore the main purpose of the Assembly, which was moderated by the Archbishop of Dublin and attended by Dr Kenneth Milne who represented the Church of Ireland, was to provide CEC with a new constitution tailored for the 21st century. A drastic change in CEC’s constitution is that the governing board has been much reduced in size, with obvious implications for the scale on which smaller Churches can hope to be represented. However those Irish Churches who are members of CEC argued strenuously and successfully for local councils of Churches (such as the ICC) to continue to be eligible for membership.
Tomorrow (Sunday) morning the Dean of Cashel, Dr Philip Knowles, will preach in St Patrick’s cathedral, Dublin. In the afternoon, at 3.30pm, he will be the organist at the Songs of Praise Service in Castletown church in Co. Carlow, and in the evening he will conduct the annual Pattern Festival in Clonbeg church in the Glen of Agherlow where the special guest will be Fr Liam Lawton.
Tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon at 4pm the Clonmacnoise Annual Outdoor Service will be held at which the address will be given by the Ven. Leslie Stevenson, Rector of Portarlington. The service will be preceded by a choir practice at 3pm conducted by Andrius Kozlovskis, Organist of St Mary’s church, Athlone.
On Wednesday the lunchtime recital in St Peter’s church, Portlaoise, will be given by Vocalese, directed by Nuala Kelly, while on Thursday evening the Westland Piano Trio will perform at the St Barrahane’s Festival of Music in Castletownshend. On Friday Ciaran O’Connell (flute) and Siobhan Kilkelly (organ) will play music by Mendelssohn, Hiller and Bach in Sandford parish church at lunchtime.
The Ardamine Union Bazaar will be held in Riverchapel Community Centre on Wednesday evening at 7pm.
On Thursday evening the celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of Christ Church, Bray, continue with a rose planting ceremony, and Evensong at 8pm followed by stories and memories and the cutting of a celebration cake.
Church of Ireland Notes from ‘The Irish Times’