War in Ukraine – Prayer & Practical help

War in Ukraine – Prayer & Practical help

Over the course of the past few days, a number of parishioners have been asking what can we do?

On this page we will highlight things that we are aware of locally. And will be updated as we become aware of other things we might be able to do

We also want to help in practical ways – standing alongside locals who have links to Eastern Europe and methods to get help to where help is most needed as quickly as possible. We are also mindful of those coming into our parish & diocese and want to be able to extend a very practical welcome to those arriving on these shores.

Prayers for Ukraine

We have just set up our Prayer Space in the Carraig Centre – as we pray for Ukraine – if you are looking a quiet space to pray – why not come around to the Carraig centre and pray

Practical Help

Together Razem is a group that is currently using the Carraig Centre for Polish Classes every week they are actively involved across cork city & county in the refugee response – They have recently released an appeal for some basic packs for those arriving.  We as a parish are hoping to support their appeal.

The women from Ukraine arrive in Ireland with barely anything – often with just a small purse and documents, one suitcase with the bare essentials, a warm sweater and underwear. But there are no hygiene products or cosmetics because these are just too big and too heavy.

Let’s help the refugee women.

Support them and help purchase hygiene products for them and their children.

In order to support our action we ask you to donate the following products as one individual package, one bag for one woman.

What should a package consist of:

2 x pack of night / long sanitary pads with wings

1 x pack of regular sanitary pads with wings

1 x pack regular panty liners

1 x toothpaste

1 x shower gel (for women, girls or boys)

1 x shampoo

1 x toothbrush (for an adult / child)

1 x antiperspirant

1 x pack of cosmetic pads

1 x face and hand cream

1 x packet of disposable razors

1 x hair comb / brush

Where do I bring it?

You can also bring packs to Church on Sunday Morning or the Carraig Centre during the week

Together-Razem Center, Unit 2A, Kilnap Business Park, Old Mallow Rd, Cork, T23 V9K3 Every Tuesday from 10.00 to 15.00

Who will the products go to?

To every woman who comes to Cork (Cork area) from Ukraine.

One bag for each woman.

Additional information:

We do not collect clothing or used items.

Take your time – please make complete sets, even if it takes a couple of days to gather all of the products.

Financial Help

We are teaming up with Bishops’ Appeal during lent who are working with Habitat for Humanity & Christian Aid partners.

Donations to this can be left in the buckets in the Carraig Centre or in envelopes on the offertory plates on a Sunday.

The Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal for World Aid and Development has committed €10,000 (£8,300) from its emergency funds to assist with the humanitarian response to the current crisis in Ukraine.  Bishops’ Appeal is partnering with Habitat for Humanity Ireland and Christian Aid, and encouraging parishes across the island to contribute to our response to help people seeking refuge.

Jenny Williams, Chief Executive of Habitat for Humanity Ireland, remarked: “UNHCR reports that over 500,000 people fled Ukraine into neighbouring and nearby countries from 24th February to 1st March.  We have strong programmes in Poland, Hungary and Romania and our European office is in Slovakia so we are on the ground responding.

Habitat is meeting UNHCR daily and co-ordinates with governments to add value and ensure there isn’t duplication of effort.  Colleagues from Hungary and Romania spent the weekend at their borders. In Romania, the need was to provide additional heat for a camp – even more important given that there was more snow at the weekend and people were cold.  More broadly our focus is on supporting the shelter needs of refugees, ensuring that more people can feel safe.  We will support them for the long term.”

Christian Aid’s funds will go to sister agencies in the ACT Alliance.  This network of Christian aid and development agencies includes the Lutheran World Federation and Hungarian Church Aid which are both working in neighbouring countries.

 As the situation within Ukraine is changing by the day and there is a high level of violence within the country, Bishops’ Appeal will not be funding work within Ukraine at this stage although this will be kept under consideration.

There are many Charities that are helping in this area at this time here are just a few.

Irish Red Cross


Team Hope

Update on Covid Restrictions – 23/01/22

Dear Parishioners & Friends of the Parish… 

As you will be well aware at 6pm last night An Taoiseach addressed the nation and highlighted the latest ease of COVID Restrictions. Whilst it was unexpected as to the scale of what has been lifted – It will be great to enjoy many of the freedoms this announcement now brings.

I too,  understand the mix of emotions we are now living with in light of this announcement.

I write this email after many hours of phone calls and discussion with Staff Members, Church Wardens, and Musicians who will be playing tomorrow as well as receiving advice, wise counsel & encouragement from Bishop Paul Colton.

Nearly 2 years ago we were plunged into a set of restrictions within the parish that none of us could have predicted.

Things Like:
·       No Singing
·       Socially Distanced
·       Removal of the things which we had valued so much as a Church Community in terms of hospitality
·       Having to register for church services
·       Contact tracing
·       Etc etc

As of 6 am this morning things have changed dramatically

Having said this, we also know that the pandemic hasn’t gone away so whilst we will on Sunday see a lot of changes to our worshipping life some things will not change and we will tread carefully through these next few months together –

Can I please ask that we do, as we have done throughout this pandemic – ie. being kind to one another, being careful with our words and our actions realizing that not everyone is where we are.

There are still many of our members who are very concerned about their own and loved one’s health and underlying conditions. Therefore some may not be OK with the relaxation of the distancing and other changes we’re making – As Rector, I am very aware of this and want to ensure that all know that it’s  still not business as usual. If any parishioner would like to chat with me about this please do not hesitate to contact me.

There was a helpful article in the examiner recently entitled  Anxious about life going ‘back to normal’? Expert advice for tackling the transitionhttps://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/healthandwellbeing/arid-40790415.html

Having said all of the above … With the news that things have changed in society – we are making the following changes from tomorrow morning in our services. These are in line with the guidance on gov.ie website.

So What will Change this week?

  • Congregational singing will return
  • Social Distancing markers will be removed
  • There is no longer need for Contact tracing sheets / Booking into The Carraig Centre
  • Directions for the entrance & Exit will be removed
  • We are updating guidance for those who are speaking at the front – Prayer-ers, readers, preachers etc. In line with HSPC advice for places of worship & to help those who are struggling with voice projection  & other issues masks may be removed when they are at the front and far enough away from others (>2m).  Singers will continue to follow the advice that applies to congregational singing.
  • How communion is administered will be discussed at in each of our worship spaces.
  • We can also do away with the yellow laminated cards with the restrictions on them
  • The Mandated 1 hr time limit from the entrance – to exit will be removed.
  • Woodwind instruments will again be allowed whilst sufficient distance is kept between the musician and others (>4 m)
  • (Carraig Centre Hospitality) Teas and coffees will be served in the Foyer of the Carraig Centre before the service. As masks need to be worn in the main hall – we ask people to consume drinks/snacks in foyer/outside before taking their seats

What will remain?
·       In An Taoiseach’s address there was a line “Based on the advice of NPHET, the wearing of masks where they are currently required will continue.” as well as the headline – wearing of masks in appropriate settings 
·       As Churches are gathering places for a good number of people it makes sense to say that we will continue to wear masks for the time being.
·       The House of Bishop’s advice on the Common Cup remains and as such we will continue to use the individual cups for the time being
·       Hand sanitisation stations at entrances

–   We will maintain retiring collection rather than passing plates/baskets around 
·       Ventilation in our buildings
·       The protocols around pods in childcare remain and Adventurers will continue to meet with the protocols which they are currently using.
What we will be working on?
There are many other issues that will crop up in practical ways and could I ask that we take time for guidance to catch up and also for the House of Bishops to provide us with clarification.
– I will be meeting with the Church Wardens in each church to see how we can sensibly bring teas and coffees back to St. Peter’s, Blarney & Inniscarra in line with the guidance – This will take a couple of weeks to sort out.
– The Peace during communion will be worked on in the course of the weeks
– Cleaning protocols required in our churches and buildings will need to be discussed
And so …
I have wanted to ensure that as parishioners you know what you are coming to tomorrow.  Throughout this, I have a policy of ‘no surprises’ when it comes to these things.  

I can assure you of a warm welcome, a place where we are implementing the best practice as we have done throughout the pandemic and I must say I am looking forward to congregational singing.

In terms of space – Our buildings, on the whole, are spacious so I do encourage you to use the whole space. If you do wish for more space around you please do feel free to move to ensure you are comfortable. 

If there is anything else I need to be aware of as Rector please do contact me I will be in St. Peters and Inniscarra tomorrow and Matt and Bill are in the Carraig Centre. 

In Christ