Family Services are Go!

Tomorrow (25th July) is our first Family Service since we returned to in-church worship and we are excited to integrate both live and recorded content.

View/download the Order of Service for tomorrow’s 10.30 service

The service will be broadcast live via the webcam and can also be viewed later on the recordings tab, or on Facebook.

If you wish to come along in person to either the 8.30 or 10.30 services tomorrow please make sure you have acquainted yourself with the Covid-19 Response Protocols.

As lots of families are away at this time of year, we still have capacity for up to 28 people at the 10.30 Family Service, over and above those who have booked a place. There is currently plenty of capacity at the 8.30 service of Holy Communion also.

We continue to broadcast Morning Prayer each Wednesday morning at 10.30 on Facebook Live and the parish website.

A message from the Rector

My Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you well and safe. The longer the current restrictions go on, I know the harder it will be to adhere fully to them – please continue to be strong and resolute in this regard and to trust the advice and directives given by the experts. Take heart – this too shall pass!

How strange it is to not have any gatherings during what is usually the busiest week of the year for clergy! More than that, it is THE most important week of the year for all of us who call ourselves Christians. Often, the busyness of life, the demands of work and the opportunities of leisure prevent us from engaging much if at all with the various liturgies of Holy Week. This year, most of us will have ample opportunity to commit some time to doing this, and I encourage you all to try and access the various services online or on television.

On Good Friday I will broadcast A Service of Meditation on the Cross at 3pm – a quiet, reflective service as we remember our Lord’s agony and death – all of which he endured for us.

I will be broadcasting morning service at 10.30am on Saturday.

The services can be watched live or later on the parish Facebook page or online at
 https://www.facebook.com/clontarfparish/.

The order of service for Good Friday can be found here.

Please do keep in touch and if you would like prayer suppport for yourself or a loved one, let me know.

Very importantly, if you have been adversely affected financially by this crisis and are struggling to pay bills or meet household expenses, please contact me directly in complete confidence at either 087 9091561 or at revlesleyrobinson@gmail.com.

I will be in touch again on Saturday dv and will provide Easter Sunday’s order of service then.

Stay Safe & God Bless

Lesley

New Youth Club in Clontarf Parish

Our new Youth Club for secondary school teenagers starts on Sunday 17th October in the Parish Centre, 6.30pm-8pm, and will continue to meet on the third Sunday of the month.

This gathering will be a mixture of fun, faith and friendship which is not exclusively for those seeking Confirmation, but anyone wishing to be confirmed next year must attend. The first night we’ll be having pizza, and there will also be a gift pack from the Church of Ireland Youth Department for each young person in attendance. This will be a good way for our teenagers to continue to engage with the parish even if they are otherwise occupied on Sunday mornings, and as always, they are welcome to bring friends from outside the parish.

COVID protocols will apply and masks must be worn when not eating.

Harvest Thanksgiving Service on Sunday 3rd October

On 3rd October, the 18th Sunday after Trinity, both the 8.30 and 10.30 services will be Holy Communion with a harvest theme. The 10.30 service will include some of our favourite harvest hymns.

There will be refreshments in the parish centre after the 10.30 service, but in line with current indoor dining rules, only fully vaccinated adults should attend (accompanying children welcome).

There will be a collection of non-perishable food items for a local homeless charity and a cash collection for Tearfund- please give as generously as you can to either or both.

Easing of restrictions means we can welcome more people to services in church

The recent roadmap for living with Covid announced recently by An Taoiseach now allows religious venues to use up to 50% of the venue’s capacity, subject to social distancing requirements.

For us, this means that the numbers allowed at services will no longer be capped at 50, as our comfortable capacity is 350; so up to 175 people could be allowed at a large service, e.g. a funeral.

It will also mean greater availability of pews as from now on every second pew can be used. We are blessed with a large church that allows plenty of scope to cater for our usual congregation while still maintaining a safe distance between people.

Rest assured that the safety of all who come to worship with us remains our number one priority, and so face masks must continue to be worn and hands must be sanitised on entry.

We look forward to safely welcoming more and more people back to in-person worship throughout the Autumn.

The Parish Centre will be reopening after the 20th September and so hopefully we can reintroduce refreshments after the services at that stage, subject again to all health & safety requirements.

Pet Blessing Service on Sunday 29th August

Thanks be to God and this beautiful spell of weather, we are all systems go for our Pet Blessing Service at 10.30am this Sunday, 29th August. The service will be at the back of the Parish Centre car park and we can increase our allowed number limit to 100 people, plus pets!

Also, because we are outside we will be able to sing some hymns and to serve refreshments after the service! Join us for this joyful time of worship and fellowship.

All dogs to be on leads and any deposits left by any of the animals to be cleaned up.

Any volunteers for set up please meet at the back of the Centre at 10am.

Pet Service on Sunday 22nd August

We look forward to welcoming our furry friends to worship with us once again at the 10.30 service on 29 August. Weather permitting, the service will be outdoors which allows for greater numbers to attend. We also hope to serve refreshments outdoors after the service!
Watch the forecast and your emails nearer the time for confirmation. Helpers will be needed for set up and take down 🙂

Church reopens for services on 16th May

We are looking forward to being able to welcome back worshipers into the church from this Sunday, 16th May.

As usual, we will have an 8:30am and a 10:30am service every Sunday morning. Attendances will be limited to a maximum of 50 people per service, and the following Covid protocols will apply:

  • Face coverings must be worn unless medically exempt.
  • Please sanitise your hands on arrival.
  • Please adhere to social distancing when arriving, leaving or queueing for Holy Communion.
  • No books or service sheets will be supplied – the order of service will be on the screens.
  • Holy Communion will be administered in one kind only – wafers will be used instead of bread.
  • Collection plates will not be passed around – baskets will be available at the back of the church.
  • Church doors will be left open during the service for ventilation purposes.
  • Pews will be disinfected in between services.
  • Please do not congregate in the church grounds before or after church.
  • PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND IF YOU ARE FEELING UNWELL

Remember, all our services will be broadcast live on our parish website through our webcam and will also be accessible later on the website and our Facebook page, so nobody should feel an obligation to attend in person if they are nervous about doing so.

Rector’s remarks at the Easter General Vestry, 7th April 2021

They say time flies when you are having fun, and it certainly doesn’t feel like a year since our last Easter General Vestry Meeting. Of course, that may be because it hasn’t been a year since our last Easter General Vestry Meeting!

In the midst of all the uncertainty last year, the central Church allowed the parishes to postpone these meetings and hold them outside the designated times dictated by the Constitution so, in order to meet the public health requirements, we met last September in the church building and incorporated our meeting into an Act of Worship.

This year for whatever reason, no such allowance has been made, and so I apologise to any of our parishioners who would have liked to attend an -in-person meeting but didn’t feel equipped to attend online.

In the intervening time since our last Easter General Vestry meeting, our church has been closed more often than not. None of our in-person activities have been able to resume, and while we now see light at the end of the tunnel with the continuing roll-out of the vaccine, we know we are not there yet. So, while we look forward to being able to reopen our church again when restrictions are eased, I believe it is right to wait until we can do so safely, without putting anyone at risk.

Thankfully, God’s presence is not confined our beautiful buildings, and we continue to worship him and gather together virtually through the wonders of modern technology.

Without doubt the hardest part of trying to minister throughout this last year has been at the times of death and bereavement. It has been heart-breaking not to be able to be with some stalwarts of this parish as they were passing from this world, or not to be able to give them the send off they deserved, or to give their grieving families the support they deserved.

Tonight we remember with thanksgiving the lives and witness of those whom we have lost since the last Easter General Vestry Meeting: Dorothy Taylor; Alan Harper; Cecil Medcalf; Freddy Condell, and Sylvia Larmour. We keep a few moments silence in their honour…

Out of the difficulty and frustration of trying to support grieving families this past year, the new Dublin Bereavement Support Service has come. Under the auspices of Clontarf Parish, this is an initiative of which we should all feel proud, and I wish to thank Jim Kieran and Tony Walsh along with all the volunteer counsellors for bringing it to fruition. Free, professional, bereavement support is available to all who need it through the website www.bereavementsupport.ie: please feel free to spread the word to any who might benefit from this service.

In any normal year, the list of people I want to thank publicly is long: that is because we are blessed with a vibrant parish in which many people play a vital role. Tonight, I particularly want to thank the people who have supported my efforts to continue to minister effectively to our parishioners and keep us all connected in the course of the ongoing pandemic:

  • Rev. Anne Lodge and Mark Acheson for their support and contributions to all the online services, and the few in-person services we have had since last September. I would also like to thank all those who take part in the services by recording readings, and Albert Adamson who organises the readers rota every week.
  • Trevor Garrett, who has spent much of the past year working inside and outside an empty Parish Centre, but who has ensured that both our church and centre have been maintained and cleaned, and our grounds have been kept and indeed enhanced.
  • Jonathan Boyle who has had the unenviable task of liaising with all the Parish Centre users in the midst of much uncertainty and shifting goal posts.
  • Our out-going church wardens Rhoda McConnell and Ola Obikoya who took such care to make sure in-church worship was conducted safely for as long as we were allowed to do so, and for their counterparts at the 8.30am service, especially Denis Henderson.
  • To John Davis, who single-handedly cleaned the pews which had been used at the 8.30 service before the 10.30 service, for as long as we could meet in-person, and to Stephanie Maxwell, our organist, who happily played our favourite hymns before and after services in the church, even though we couldn’t sing them.
  • To Nadine Watters, who jumped through many hoops to get our online banking set up and has ensured that all bills and financial obligations have been met throughout lockdown.
  • Sandie Stirling, who has continued to lodge the donations made in the church envelopes and to ensure that the tax has been reclaimed on all eligible donations.
  • To Brendan Teeling, our webmaster, for keeping our website up to date and for setting up the donate button which has allowed online donations to be made.
  • To all the parishioners who supported the raffle before Christmas, making it our most successful raffle ever, despite not being able to sell tickets at Nolan’s or the Autumn Fair, and to all who have dropped in donations or made online donations throughout the period of church closures. As you will hear from our Treasurer in a little while, we have been spared the financial devastation which some parishes have endured this past year, thanks to all those who have continued to contribute to our parish finances, and even more so thanks to the generosity of some of our dear departed who left substantial legacies to the parish. We are indeed indebted to them.
  • To the team of people who have delivered letters through countless letterboxes, helping me to keep in touch with parishioners, and to Philip Godden who has delivered many Church Reviews while the church has been closed.
  • Jeanne Colvin, who not only continues to act as secretary to the Select Vestry but has taken on the new role of Safeguarding Trust Panel member as well.
  • The Glebe Wardens, Grahame Walsh and John Davis for looking after any issues with the Rectory.
  • And last but not least, to all who encouraged me and kept me going by your kind comments and affirming messages over the course of this incredibly difficult year. I look forward to rebuilding in time all that we have lost during the pandemic and know that with your help and support we will come back stronger than ever.

As we continue to face the challenges of the present and look forward to a brighter future, we are reminded once again of God’s faithfulness to us in good times and bad. We have been afflicted but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not perplexed. We go forward in the faith of the Risen Christ and do not lose heart. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory.

#Clontarf Parish Easter General Vestry Meeting Wednesday 7 April at 8pm via Zoom

The annual Easter Vestry meeting will be held on Zoom at 8pm on Wednesday 7th April.

Everyone is welcome to attend but only registered general vestry members will be able to vote or be elected to an office. Voting will be done online via Mentimeter so it would be helpful to have a second-internet enabled device (e.g. phone or tablet) with you on the night, especially where two members of one household wish to vote.

The Zoom link is in the parish Social Matters email newsletter. If you don’t have access to the newsletter, please contact the Rector.