31 May 2015

Friends host reception for former
Canon who becomes new Bishop

Outside Christ Church Cathedral after the afternoon’s ordination and consecration of the new Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe

Today is Trinity Sunday [31 May 2015], the patronal festival of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. The preacher at the Festal Eucharist this morning is the former Archbishop of Dublin, the Right Revd John Neill.

Later, the Friends of Christ Church Cathedral are hosting their annual lunch in the cathedral crypt and holding their annual general meeting in the chapter room.

The current issue of the
Friends’ News (Vol 33 No 1) carries the following two-page report and these photographs on pp 12-13:

Friends host reception for former
Canon who becomes new Bishop

Rev Canon Patrick Comerford

Christ Church Cathedral was a joyous setting for the consecration of the Revd Canon Kenneth Arthur Kearon as the new Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe earlier this year. [24 January 2015]

The new bishop had been a canon of Christ Church Cathedral for 20 years since 1995 and he remained a chapter member throughout his ten years as Secretary General of the Anglican Communion since 2005.

Bishop Kearon, who studied at Mountjoy School, Trinity College Dublin and Jesus College Cambridge, was ordained deacon in 1981 and priest in 1982. He was curate of Raheny and Coolock, Dean of Residence and chaplain in TCD and Rector of Tullow before becoming the Director of the Irish School of Ecumenics in 1999.

He has lectured at the Church of Ireland Theological College, TCD, and the schools at the Adelaide and Rotunda hospitals, and written extensively in the area of medical ethics. He is married to Jennifer, a physiotherapist and daughter of Bishop Samuel Poyntz, former Bishop of Connor and of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

The new bishop’s consecrating bishops were Archbishop Michael Jackson of Dublin, Bishop Pat Storey of Meath and Kildare and Bishop Patrick Rooke of Tuam. The other bishops of the Church of Ireland present who took part in the consecration were Archbishop Richard Clarke (Armagh), Bishop John McDowell (Clogher), Bishop Paul Colton (Cork) and Bishop Michael Burrows (Cashel and Ossory).

The retired bishops who took part included the new bishop’s father-in-law, Bishop Samuel Poyntz, his three immediate predecessors in Limerick, Bishop Trevor Williams, Bishop Michael Mayes and Bishop Edward Darling, as well as Archbishop Alan Harper (Armagh), Archbishop John Neill (Dublin), Archbishop Walton Empey (Dublin) and Bishop Kenneth Clarke (Kilmore).

Archbishop Barry Morgan of the Church in Wales was the preacher, and Bishop James Tengatenga, the new chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, read the Gospel. The other visiting bishops who took part in the consecration included: the Scottish Primus, Bishop David Chillingworth, Bishop Gregory Cameron (St Asaph, Wales), Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya (Swaziland), and Bishop Edward J. Konieczny (Oklahoma).

The new Bishop with Kenneth Milne at the dinner in the Chapter House

Celia Dunne, the Revd Dr Alan McCormack and Barbara Comerford at the dinner in Christ Church Cathedral

Three serving or past presidents of the Methodist Church in Ireland, also took part in the episcopal ordination: the present President, the Revd Peter Murray, and two former presidents, the Revd Donald Ker and the Revd Winston Graham.

This was the first time for Methodist presidents to take part in an episcopal ordination in the Church of Ireland since the decision of both the General Synod in Christ Church Cathedral last year and the Methodist Conference allowing for the inter-changeability of ministry. The Church of Ireland now recognises Methodist Presidents as Episcopal Ministers, and the consecration marks the start of full inter-changeably of ministry between the two Churches.

Bishop Brendan Leahy, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Limerick, and Abbot Mark Patrick Hederman of Glenstal Abbey were there too.

On the evening before the consecration, the Chapter and the Friends of Christ Church Cathedral hosted a reception in the Chapter House dinner in honour of the new bishop in the newly refurbished music school. The attendance included members of the chapter and friends, and guests from throughout the Anglican Communion.

After Bishop Kearon’s consecration, a reception in the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, was attended by the many old friends of the new bishop, including Clare Amos of the World Council of Churches, Janette O’Neill, Chief Executive of Us (formerly USPG), clergy from dioceses throughout the Church of Ireland, visitors from throughout the Anglican Communion, and friends from the Irish School of Ecumenics.

The new bishop with Valerie Houlden and Lesley Rue of the Friends of Christ Church Cathedral

Photographs: Patrick Comerford, 2015

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