03 September 2016

Seven new readers commissioned
in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

At Choral Evensong in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

Patrick Comerford

I was in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, this afternoon for Choral Evensong and the commissioning of six Diocesan Readers and one Parish Reader by Archbishop Michael Jackson.

The six new Diocesan Readers – Mark Acheson (Clontarf), Fionnula Drury (Taney), Margaret Healion (Zion), Myra Moody (Donoughmore and Donard with Dunlavin), Lisa O’Brien Corry (Blessington and Manor Kilbride with Ballymore Eustace and Hollywood) and Bert-Jan van Embden (Kill o’ the Grange) – are the first from the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough to be commissioned after completing the new Diocesan Reader training programme at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute.

The new Parish Reader, Carol Barry (Kilternan), was trained on the programme run by Dublin and Glendalough Diocesan Guild of Lay Ministries.

It has been a joy to teach church history and liturgy to these seven students for the past few years and to see them commissioned as readers today. Others involved in their training who took part in this afternoon’s service include Canon Maurice Elliott of CITI, the Revd John Tanner, Director for Lay Ministry in the diocese, and Uta Rabb.

The Diocesan Readers have been studying for two years. They have completed three distance learning modules through Saint John’s College, Nottingham, and they have taken part in six day conferences I have been involved in teaching on at CITI. The parish readers complete two modules from Saint John’s College and also receive an introduction to liturgy and undertake brief parish placements.

Diocesan and Parish Readers come from many different backgrounds and have followed varied paths to answer their call to serve God.

The new readers make their declarations in the Cathedral Chapter House this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

Mark Acheson (Clontarf Parish) was born in Cork where he was baptised in Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral by Dean Henry McAdoo, later Archbishop of Dublin. He worked in the insurance industry for over 36 years is now involved in part-time administrative work with Abbey Presbyterian Church and Clontarf Business Association. He is National Chaplain for the Boys’ Brigade in the Republic of Ireland, and has chaired both the Diocesan and Church of Ireland Youth Council.

Carol Barry, who lives in Leopardstown, is an active parishioner in Kilternan.

Lisa O’Brien-Corry attends Cloughlea Church in Blessington Union of Parishes, Co Wicklow. She worked as an art teacher for almost 30 years.

Fionnula Drury is a parishioner in Taney Parish, Dundrum. She is a guidance counsellor and has worked at second level, third level and in further education.

Margaret Healion, who is from Churchtown, is the Parish Administrator in Zion Parish, Rathgar. She spent 25 years in advertising and was Creative Director of McConnell Advertising for 10 years.

Myra Moody was born in the rural parish of Donoughmore and Donard with Dunlavin and has lived all her life in part of West Wicklow, and she was the Girls’ Friendly Society Diocesan President for the past four years. She was recently appointed a co-ordinator of youth and children’s ministry in the parishes of Baltinglass, Kiltegan and Tullow.

Bert (Bert-Jan) van Embden has been a member of Kill O’ the Grange parish, Foxrock, for over 40 years, where he has been involved in the Sunday School, the music group, the select vestry, home study groups and as a parish reader.

The intercessions at Choral Evensong were led by Dr Joan Fosdyke (Rathfarnham Parish) and the sermon was preached by another reader, Sylvia Armstrong (Clondalkin and Rathcoole).

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