07 November 2013

Welcoming the international trustees
of Us to Dublin and our cathedrals

Candlelight in the choir stalls in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, after Choral Evensong with staff, board members and trustees of Us, formerly USPG (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

Patrick Comerford

The Trustees of Us – the Anglican mission agency formerly known as USPG (the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) – has been holding residential meeting in Dublin over the past two days [Wednesday and Thursday, 6 and 7 November 2013].

This is the first time the trustees have met in Ireland, and the members of the boards of Us Ireland and Us Northern Ireland were invited to attend the meeting on Wednesday [6 November], when Linda Chambers made a presentation on the work of Us Ireland and the special links being developed with the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Swaziland.

This international meeting included trustees from Ghana and Barbados, as well as the Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, the Right Revd Michael Burrows, is a trustee and also chairs the Irish boards.

There was an opportunity too to meet the London-based directors and staff of Us.

We all experienced the hospitality of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, when we were invited to Choral Evensong on Wednesday evening, and then to a reception in the Deanery hosted by the Dean of Saint Patrick’s, the Very Revd Victor Stacey, beneath a life-size portrait of Dean Jonathan Swift.

Later, Bishop Michael brought some of the trustees on an hour-long walking tour of inner city Dublin, visiting the former Parliament buildings in College Green, Trinity College Dublin, and the Dail (Parliament) buildings in Kildare Street.

At the same time, I brought some of the trustees and board members on a guided tour of Christ Church Cathedral.

The two groups then joined each other for a dinner hosted by Us Ireland in the Chapter Room in Christ Church Cathedral, followed by an entertaining after-dinner speech by Bishop Michael, in which he looked at the history of relationships between the Church of Ireland and the Church of England.

US in Ireland was delighted to welcome the trustees to Ireland at this time of rebranding and refocusing, and as we prepare to celebrate 300 years since the establishment of the Irish SPG Auxiliary in 1714.

Bishop Michael Burrows speaking after last night’s dinner in the Chapter Room of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)