24 July 2015

Church of Ireland missionaries
feature in new history collection

This half-age news report and photograph are published on the back page of today’s edition of the ‘Church of Ireland Gazette’:

Church of Ireland missionaries
feature in new history collection

Professor Salvador Ryan, editor of Treasures of Irish Christianity, Volume III, Mrs Mary O’Rourke, who launched the book in Maynooth, and Revd Professor Patrick Comerford, author of two chapters in the new book.

The stories of Church of Ireland missionaries feature prominently in the third volume of Treasures of Irish Christianity, which was launched earlier this month in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, by the former Minister for Education, Mrs Mary O’Rourke.

The latest volume in this series is edited by Dr Salvador Ryan, Professor of Ecclesiastical History in Maynooth, and is published by Veritas.

Treasures of Irish Christianity Volume III: To the Ends of the Earth, looks at “the Irish abroad,” with a special emphasis on the historical contribution of Irish missionaries.

This volume also marks the 1,400th anniversary of the death of Saint Columbanus, the Irish missionary who founded monasteries in the Frankish and Lombard kingdoms.

Professor Patrick Comerford, of the Church of Ireland Theological Institute has contributed two chapters to the book. One chapter looks at Sir Richard Church (1784-1873), an Irish Anglican from Cork who became commander-in-chief of the Greek army during the war of independence in the early 19th century, and later became a life Senator in Greece.

His second paper tells of the story of the Revd Robert Stewart from Dublin, his wife Louisa, and their family, who went to China with what is now the Dublin University Far Eastern Mission, and were martyred in 1895.

The Waterford-based writer Dr Rachel Finnegan has also contributed two chapters, looking at the 18th century ‘Grand Tours’ of Thomas Miles, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, and his nephew, Richard Pococke, later Bishop of Ossory and of Meath.

Professor Raymond Gillespie of Maynoooth recalls the Revd Devereux Spratt, a 17th century Church of Ireland priest who was captured by North African pirates.

Angela Byrne of the University of Greenwich recounts the sisters Martha and Katherine Wilmot from Glanmire, Co Cork, who made a pilgrimage to Russia in 1806.
Emmet Jackson traces the Holy Land pilgrimage of Lady Harriet Kavanagh from Borris, Co Carlow, in 1846-1848.

Sarah Hunter, of Trinity College Dublin, writes about the Dublin University Mission in Bengal.

Kerry Houston, of the Dublin Institute of Technology Conservatory of Music, sketches the life of the Revd William Sandford Pakenham-Walsh (1868-1960), a missionary in China.

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