Advice for the parish about the novel coronavirus (Covid-19)

Advice for the parish about the novel coronavirus (Covid-19)

The following advisory guidelines have been issued for the Church of Ireland’s response regarding the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) reflect previous advice provided by the Church as a response to pandemic flu.

These guidelines will be followed in all of our churches in the parish from this Sunday.

1. Follow all public health guidance provided by state authorities – Health Protection Surveillance Centre in the Republic of Ireland (

2. Physical interaction during services, including the Sign of Peace, will be suspended. Shaking hands on greeting and departure at religious services/gatherings will be suspended. Observe good hand and general hygiene – thorough hand-washing with soap or sanitisers and disposal of tissues.

3. Stay at home if you feel ill and display influenza-like symptoms. The symptoms to be aware of in the case of the coronavirus include cough, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, and fever. Do not come to church services until you feel well.

4. The Church’s duty of care extends to members of the clergy. If you have influenza-type symptoms, do not call the clergy for pastoral visitation. Pastoral support for parishioners who are unable to attend church services should be provided by telephone or online (e.g. Skype).

5. Everyone administering Holy Communion should wash their hands or use alcohol-based hand gel before beginning.

Holy Communion should be administered only in one kind (bread) and placed into the hands only and not onto the tongue.

Only the celebrant should drink from the chalice. Holy Communion is normally received in both kinds separately – bread and wine – but may be received in either kind, and those who are incapable of receiving the sacrament are to be assured that they are by faith partakers of the body and blood of Christ and of the benefits He conveys to us by them (Book of Common Prayer, p.440). Intinction should be avoided.

Guidance for religious services has been provided by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

Any further guidance for either jurisdiction will be circulated as and when available. Please feel free to share this post widely with anyone for whom it may be helpful.

Ash Wednesday Service – St. Peter’s Church 8pm 26th February

Ash Wednesday Service – St. Peter’s Church 8pm 26th February

Ash Wednesday emphasizes a dual encounter: we confront our own mortality and confess our sin before God within the community of faith. The form and content of the service focus on the dual themes of sin and death in the light of God’s redeeming love in Jesus Christ.

The use of ashes as a sign of mortality and repentance has a long history in Jewish and Christian worship, and the Imposition of Ashes can be a powerful nonverbal and experiential way of participating in the call to repentance and reconciliation. This practice is the historic focus of Ash Wednesday observance and gave the day its name. It is traditional to save the palm branches from the previous Passion/Palm Sunday service and burn them ahead of time to produce the ashes for this service. 

All are very welcome to this service – 8pm, St. Peter’s Church Hill, Carrigrohane

Bishop Paul Colton makes site visit to the Carraig Centre, Ballincollig

Bishop Paul Colton makes site visit to the Carraig Centre, Ballincollig

On Wednesday 5th February, the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton visited the Carraig Centre in Ballincollig, Cork which is currently under development by Clancy Construction.   The Bishop was shown around by project team lead Bill Lane, youth worker Matt Gould and associate minister, the Reverend Robert Ferris.

Bishop Colton with Bill Lane and the Reverend Robert Ferris outside the main entrance of the new Carraig Centre.

The building, empty for many years, will have a new lease of life as a community and parish centre in Ballincollig. The Carraig Centre aims to offer people of all ages, different faiths and none, many diverse opportunities to experience belonging and hope in Ballincollig.  In 2016, Ballincollig was the largest town in County Cork but, recently, with the alteration of the City boundaries it is now a populous suburban area in Cork City.

Bishop Colton said:

Since my arrival as Bishop in 1999 I have been conscious of the faithful ministry and outreach for many years of the Parish of Carrigrohane Union in the town of  Ballincollig, but I’ve also been concerned that the town grew and grew where the Church of Ireland had no structural presence or base.  This is a thrilling and visionary initiative by this Parish which I, as Bishop, and the Diocese, are delighted to support.  It’s also a sign that small parishes and small dioceses can do big things for God. Huge credit is due to everyone who has held onto this vision and worked towards it.

The Carraig Centre will house community and parish activities. Meeting and event spaces will be available to rent by community groups.

The group showed the Bishop the various spaces – a 200 seat auditorium, play area, outside spaces including playground, garden and ball playing area, prayer room, kitchen, staff offices, meeting areas and a recording studio.

The Carraig Centre under development.

The Carraig Centre will also host an informal Christian worship service on Sunday mornings. Matt Gould, youth worker at Carrigrohane Union of Parishes, said:

Our SundayAM gatherings let us hear and respond to the Christian gospel, develop our faith, and invite friends to consider the good news of Jesus.

Cian Jenkinson, a recent graduate of Gaelcholáiste Choilm, remarked that ‘the SundayAM meetings demonstrate that church can be fun.’ A strong focus on young people will be an important element of The Carraig Centre’s operation, building on over 10 years of successful youth work in the union’s existing premises.

Canon Ian Jonas, the rector of Carrigrohane Union of Parishes, part of the Church of Ireland, explained the name for the new centre:

‘Carraig’ nods to the parish’s roots in Carrigrohane, but more importantly it emphasises that Christians build their hope, faith, and lives on Christ, who is our solid rock.

The Carraig Centre under development.

It is expected that construction will be complete by the end of February and and the opening in late spring, early summer.

The members of Carrigrohane Union of Parishes look forward to welcoming their friends and neighbours to The Carraig Centre.

Bishop Paul, will return later this year to officially open the building: The Carraig Centre.

Youth worker, Matt Gould, chats with the Bishop in the main auditorium of The Carraig Centre.

Article first appeared on Diocesan Newsblog