Alpha Course – in person & Online starting soon

The new roadmap for COVID-19 recovery in Ireland has been released, and while it does give us some sense of where we are going with the autumn upon us, for many challenges remain.

Schools are back with all the hopes and worries that entails for so many. How are you coping with all the stresses and strains of the uncertain times? Maybe now is a good time as the evenings draw in to see if you can make sense of things with us in a safe place using the Alpha Course?

We offer a place of trust and respect for differing views, a place of conversation about the big questions of life, a place to explore the role of faith and find hope through it all. The Alpha course ( has been run millions of times throughout the world, including here in Ireland, and millions have found it a great starting point to find some answers to those big questions. How much more is it needed now! While Alpha suggests a framework based on the Christian perspective, any and all opinions are welcome!

Here in the Carraig Centre we’ll be hosting the next 10 week course in our newly refurbished, spacious, well ventilated building, fully COVID compliant with your help. We will also be hosting an on-line version using Zoom for those who prefer to stay isolated due to the prevailing COVID challenges.

A typical evening starts with a welcome to all, followed by a 25-30 minute video exploring in dynamic, globally orientated fashion the basics of Christian faith, and then we break into small groups for refreshment and discussion of any issues that arise from the video or anything else that is relevant to you in these times we live in.

The course is free, starts Thursday October 8th at 730PM and is open to adults of all faiths and none. Further info and book a place from Theresa at 087 221 2551 or or The Carraig Centre 021 487 7260. Alternatively you can add your name in the form below (if you are reading this in a printed version this page is at If you wish to join the on-line session please indicate in the form and a link will be sent to you.

Lighthouse Messy Church May

Lighthouse Messy Church May

Welcome to our very first online video based messy church – we’re using this as an experiment – do send some photos of crafts etc to us via – also you can comment on our facebook page – www.facebook.come/messyinblarney

Activities for Lighthouse at Home Sunday 17th May

Theme: God’s peace and presence with us always.

Resources needed for today’s activities

Paper, pencils, scissors, glue stick or other form of glue, markers and/or crayons

Your photo album or photos on phone/laptop/tablet

Activity 1: God is always with me

Draw around you hand on a piece of paper and cut it out. Starting with the thumb write one word on each finger:                    God     is    always       with     me

This is to remind us, that no matter where we are, or what is happening all around us, God is with us. He never leaves us. And even when we cannot feel his presence with us, he is still there, always and forever.

Activity 2: Peace dove

Draw an outline of a dove on a piece of paper, then have everyone make another handprint like in activity 1 (but don’t write on it) Then stick the handprints onto the dove to give it feathers. Just use a little glue on the wrist part of the handprint so the fingers don’t stick down and the feathers are free.

The disciples were very scared. They were meeting together in a locked room when Jesus came and stood among them and said ‘Peace be with you.’ (see John 20:19). Jesus wants us all to know his peace at this very strange and often stressful time that we are in at the moment.

Activity 3: Peaceful places

Think of places or activities that make you feel peaceful. Draw a picture of them and then spend some time listening to each other tell about your peaceful places/activities.

Sometimes we need to make time and space for ourselves so that we can get away from the stress and anxiety we may feel and allow time to sit, walk, or be, so that we can feel the peace that God wants to give to each one of us.

Activity 4: Photos

Spend some time looking at photos of you and your family and friends and remember happy times together.

The disciples were filled with joy as Jesus stood among them and talked to them. (see John 20:20) I am sure that you are all missing your family and friends at this time and looking at photos can bring us joy as we remember all that we were doing and who we were with as the photo was taken.

Statement re: Covid-19 & Parish Activities

Statement re: Covid-19 & Parish Activities

Statement from Staff Team 

Re: Covid-19 & Parish Activities 

Dear Parishioners

As parish staff team we have been working hard to ensure that our response to the Corona Virus is both sensible and pastoral. 

Services this Sunday 

9.30 am – Holy Communion  in St. Peters Church Carrigrohane 

11am  – St. Senan’s Church – Reflective Service 

Our Associate Minister Robert & Michael Kenning will be experimenting with a live stream from the Carraig Centre in Ballincollig which will begin at 11am during which we will have a contemporary service of the Word. Do check out for more details.  This will be online only!

Other things going ahead  this week 

11am Tuesday 17th March St. Patricks Day – Holy Communion in Blarney Church. 

Wednesday 18th March – Gatherings in all our churches for prayer & fasting


Please read on for more information

Bishop Paul yesterday circulated  a pastoral letter based upon the current  advice from HSE and to which we have points to implement locally.  As a parish we have been carefully considering all points in this letter together with our own risk assessments. What follows are our decisions based upon both 

Church of Ireland Bishops General Advice – available here 

Bishop Paul’s Pastoral Advice – available here

In light of the news that all indoor gatherings above 100 people are to be suspended, that schools etc are to be closed we as a parish leadership team are being cautious about what we are providing during this period of time. 

While most of our services attract a much lower number of participants than this 100  limit – we have identified a potential risk when it comes to suitable ‘social distancing’ in some of our activities prompting some unfortunate but necessary cancellations. 

 Social distancing aims, through a variety of means, to decrease or interrupt the spread of COVID-19. It does this by minimising contact between potentially infected individuals and healthy individuals. Social distancing is keeping a 2m (6ft) space between you and other people. You should not shake hands or make close contact where possible.

We are treading a line between ministry being provided and also the risk to participants being minimised. 

Therefore we are still planning on  gathering in some of our churches this sunday – all of which will have sufficient hand hygiene solutions whether this be hand sanitizer and/or washing facilities. We would also want to ensure that parishioners are enabled to make sensible decisions especially if you fall into one of the vulnerable groups. If this applies to you please consider the risk and make your own decisions about attendance. 

We would also encourage you If you are displaying the symptoms please do not come to church – it is important that we care for one another during this difficult time. 

This information will be reviewed on a weekly basis – please do watch our website for details. 

Services this Sunday 

9.30 am – Holy Communion  in St. Peters Church Carrigrohane 

11am  – St. Senan’s Church – Reflective Service 

Our Associate Minister Robert will be experimenting with a live stream from the Carraig Centre in Ballincollig which will begin at 11am during which we will have a contemporary service of the Word. Do check out for more details. this will be on online only

Other things going ahead  this week 

11am Tuesday 17th March St. Patricks Day – Holy Communion in Blarney Church. 

Wednesday 18th March – Gatherings in all our churches for prayer & fasting – Please see attachment 

Cancellations this week and until further notice 

  • Sunday –  Sunday AM – usually held in the  parish centre, Lighthouse Messy Church, Sunday PM
  • Monday – St. Patrick’s eve Concert in Blarney church
  • Friday – Sparks Toddler group  and April Gunn’s meal in Blarney. 
  • Glow, Glow MAX 
  • Bandon Youth Trip – Cheques and cash will be returned in due course 
  • YMCA have cancelled their activities in Blarney Church. 

Online Meetings 

We do have the facilities available for on-line meetings to happen if this is required by any of our groups 


Leaders of Each of the groups in the parish will need make their own decisions about the risks involved – but the advice from the clergy team is not to meet due to the risks of social distancing or to use online meetings

What’s still going ahead & what’s changing & why

What’s been cancelledWhat’s Still happeningWhy cancel ?Why go ahead?
Friday 13th March Toddlers
Risk assessment with  Team Leaders
Sunday 15th March Sunday AM Lighthouse Messy Church
Sunday PM 
9.30 Holy Communion (St. Peter’s) 
11am – Reflective Service in Inniscarra
11am – Experiment of an Online Service of the Word live from the Carraig Centre (online only)
Uncertain numbers and risk assessment of social distancing – Sunday AM  in parish centre
Hands on nature of Lighthouse and kids risk groups 
St. Peters & Inniscarra
Good Hygiene, low risk of hand contact & social distancing for both St. Peter’s and St. Senan’s 
Low numbers normal 
Monday 16th March Community Choir Concert
Numbers >100 
Tuesday 17th March 
11am Blarney Church St. Patricks day Service 
Good Hygiene potential, social distancing potential 
Wednesday 18th March YMCA groups Prayer & Fasting in the parish Schools are off Good Hygiene potential, social distancing potential 
Friday 20th March April Gunn’s Fundraising Meal 

Potential of vulnerable groups being present and also social distance potential.

We will make a statement for the following week next Friday Morning. 

Until then please do keep an eye on our website and social media  for updates and also possible online meetings

In all of this please be sensible and be calm 

This morning we received this and has helped clarify why we are cancelling Sunday AM, Lighthouse and Toddler groups. 

Message from consultant respiratory paediatrician at Cork University Hospital. 

I hope you all stay safe during this difficult time . The children will get through this no problem . Paediatric hospitals are empty in Italy at present after 3 weeks of school closure as the usual viruses stopped circulating . Remember with corona, children are vectors not victims . In most epidemics young children are the transmitters . Therefore for school closure to be effective it’s *really important* that the kids aren’t mixing with other kids while out of school. They will give it to each other and silently pass it on to our loved ones. What we do know now will contribute to how this develops in Cork. Avoid situations that the children will interact . If the community respond to this it will shut it down more than anything we do in hospital . From my experiences in the hospital this last week I would say that corona virus is closer to all of us than we realise and the degrees of separation for all of us is getting narrower . I’m not that good at social media but if this could be shared as widely as possible with parents in Cork it will help. This message needs to go viral to stop the virus .

If we as clergy can provide pastoral support please do let us know. 

Ian, Robert,  Matt & Katie.