Added on 08/02/2016
The Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, has made the following statement in response to the news of the closure of the Synagogue in Cork:
‘It is with immense sadness and a heavy heart that I read the news, on this Sabbath Day, that the last religious Service is to be held in the Synagogue on the South Terrace in Cork this weekend.
‘On behalf of all of us in the local Church of Ireland community, I extend prayerful greetings of solidarity, and friendship in faith, to Mr Fred Rosehill, Chairman of the Trustees, and also to the members of the Cork Hebrew Congregation as they gather with their guests from further afield for this emotional occasion.
‘The people of the Church of Ireland in County Cork, having closed a number of churches over the years, know well the emotions and responses that are associated with the closure of a place of worship; especially a place in a locale that has figured prominently in the pilgrimage of faith, as well as in the big occasions on life’s journey. This is all the more the case when it is the last such place of gathering of a religious congregation in a community like Cork.
‘Thousands of Corkonians drive or walk past the Cork Synagogue every day. To our shame, perhaps, many have engaged with or known little about this minority community of faith in our midst, yet we do recognise too the immense contribution of members of the Hebrew congregation to our life in Cork, at least since the 18th Century, particularly since the 1880s, and subsequent Consecration of the Synagogue in 1905.
Cork Synagogue, South Terrace, Cork.
‘Growing up in Cork, I remember well Jewish neighbours and school friends in Cork Grammar School, and how living and learning alongside them taught and enriched me and my contemporaries. The change in circumstances – demographics and practical realities – which bring about the closure of the Synagogue are sad not least because the closure represents a diminution of the religious pluralism in Cork at a very time when, in Ireland as a whole, greater religious diversity than ever before is a mark of our nation.
‘I wish all the members of the Hebrew Congregation Shalom aleikhem (peace upon you all) for the journey of faith that lies ahead.’
Cork, Cloyne & Ross Diocesan news website: www.churchofirelandcork.com