Added on 19/02/2014
The Church of Ireland Theological Institute marked 50 years at Braemor Park in Churchtown, Dublin on Monday 17th February. The Divinity Hostel was officially opened on 17 February 1964 having moved from its previous home at 25 Mountjoy Square to its new surroundings in south Dublin.
The celebrations got underway with a service in the chapel which was attended by the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, and the Rt Revd Harold Miller, Bishop of Down & Dromore.
The large congregation was welcomed by CITI’s director, the Revd Dr Maurice Elliott who said he, the staff and the students were delighted that so many people had joined them for the notable occasion.
The preacher was the Revd Canon Dr David Hewlett, principal of the Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham and former lecturer at CITI. He described the five years he spent lecturing at CITI as a formative experience – it having been his first teaching post and his first time in Ireland.
He took the text of the reading from Romans 12: 1–8 ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,’ for his sermon, which he said was a key part of theological education. Dr Hewlett said that conforming to the world was to diminish a person but transformation represented an opening out, freeing and enlarging of the self and the spirit.
He suggested that the renewal of minds could be brought about by encounters with difference, reading theology and through standing with those whose wounds are felt deeply. He also spoke about the vocation of a theological college, the most important of which was to help the students grow in their Christian character.
Speaking after dinner, Dr Elliott said the new Divinity Hostel at Braemor Park was trying to represent the best of the old and the best of the new of a confident Church of Ireland. It was considered at the time to be very much the lap of luxury, although he conceded that this may have been something to do with comparisons to Mountjoy Square.
Five members of the original class of ‘64 were present at the celebrations, Desmond Sinnamon, Mervyn Dickson, John Pickering, John Dinnen and Desmond Hanna.
John Dinnen, former Dean of Down, spoke with great humour of the move to Braemor Park. In his trip down memory lane he described 25 Mountjoy Square as a ‘rambling, draughty bags of a place. It was spooky and would be worthy of a Harry Potter film’.
He said he appreciated the staff of the college most after he had left, adding that they had received immense encouragement from the teaching staff. He spoke of the value of student life and said he and his wife continued to pray for the staff and students at the college. The former dean remembered those who had passed on and those who could not join the celebrations.
The Bishop of Down and Dromore, the Rt Revd Harold Miller, closed the evening in prayer.
Photo captions (photos by Lynn Glanville):
Top: The director of the institute, the Revd Dr Maurice Elliott; the Bishop of Down and Dromore, the Rt Revd Harold Miller; the Revd Canon Dr David Hewlett, principal of the Queen’s Foundation, Birmingham (preacher); the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke; and the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson.
Bottom: The class of ‘64 – Desmond Sinnamon, Mervyn Dickson, John Pickering, John Dinnen and Desmond Hanna returned to the Church of Ireland Theological Institute for the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Divinity Hostel at Braemor Park.
|For further information please contact: |
|Church of Ireland Press Office |
Church of Ireland House
61–67 Donegall Street
Belfast BT1 2QH
Tel: (028) 9082 8880 (from NI)
Tel: (048) 9082 8880 (from RoI)
Fax (028) 9032 3554
E–mail: Press Office
|Paul Harron: (duty phone) +44 (0)7787 881582 |
Janet Maxwell: (duty phone) +353 (0) 87 948 4412
| || |