24 September 2013

Remembering Dean Tom Salmon
in Christ Church Cathedral

In Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)

Patrick Comerford

We remembered Dean Tom Salmon and his contribution to the life of the Church of Ireland in Christ Church Cathedral tonight.

The Very Revd Thomas Noel Salmon who died on 20 July 2013 in his 101st year, was the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, from 1967 until his retirement in 1988.

At the Cathedral Choral Evensong this evening, the former Precentor, Canon Adrian Empey, recalled Tom Salmon’s clerical and academic career. Both had been Vicars of Saint Ann’s, Dawson Street, and both were involved in the training of ordinands in the Church of Ireland for countless decades.

With amusement, and with relevant punch, Adrian recalled how Tom Salmon had been ordained on the 1930s by Bishop Frederick MacNeice, a prophetic but often unheard voice in Northern Ireland at the time.

And he asked challengingly whether the Church of Ireland is a welcoming or a closed church today.

The service was conducted by the present Dean of Christ Church, the Very Revd Dermot Dunne, and Canon Ted Ardis. The present precentor and another past precentor, Canon Peter Campion and Canon John Bartlett, were present in the chapter stalls, along with a number of chapter members, the present Vicar of Saint Ann’s, the Revd David Gillespie, as well as the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson.

The attendance included family members, many present and former members of the cathedral board, and the Dean of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, the Very Revd Victor Stacey.

The preces and responses were by William Byrd, and the canticles were sing to settings by Charles Villiers Stanford.

It was a fitting tribute to decades of faithful service to the Church of Ireland – a church that needs to listen to and to respond to the challenges posed by Canon Empey this evening.

The Dean’s Stall in the Chapter in Christ Church Cathedral this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2013)