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BUSY ARCHBISHOP PRESIDES AT CEREMONIALS IN MILLICENT AND THE CURRAGH

Leinster Leader 2/10/2008 
 
 
BUSY ARCHBISHOP PRESIDES AT CEREMONIALS IN MILLICENT AND THE CURRAGH
BY
LIAM KENNY
 
 
The Church of Ireland community has always had a significant presence in Co. Kildare, the Leader from time to time carried reports of harvest festivals and other liturgical events held under its auspices.
 
Two such events featured in an issue of the paper in early October 1958. In the first, representatives of nearly every neighbouring parish turned out to meet their beloved Archbishop, the Rev. George Otto Simms, when he visited St. Michael’s Church, Millicent, Clane. The occasion was the Pastoral Dedication Festival and the Church was decorated with a wealth of autumnal floral splendour. That together with the unique magnificence of the interior of the edifice rendered a very impressive background as the procession of sixteen robed clergy, headed by the St. Michael’s Choir boys wended their way up the isle to take their respective places at the East end.
The Service was conducted in part by the Rector, the Rev. Chancellor B.L.Handy MA and the Rev. R.J.J.F McConchy, BD, rector of All Saints, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. The Lessons were read by the Rev. W. Burrows, MA, Rector of Crumlin, and the Rev. W.F. Reid, Rector of Carbury. Miss Frances Moore of Greystones was congratulated on her proficient organ accompaniment.
Dr. Simms in his homily drew inspiration from the landscape between Sallins and Clane. Speaking on the text ‘Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord’ Dr. Simms said it could be any person walking from Sallins who might ascend the hill on which this most beautiful church stands, surrounded by its exquisitely maintained grounds, and gazing across to the wonderful mountains could not, unless he was very dull in mind be anything else but uplifted in spirit. Then as their church, like the beautiful old Mother Church of St. Brigid in Kildare has the Christianity and ever open door, he might enter, pause a while and find rest and holy quietude from the busy world outside.
At the conclusion of the service his Grace pronounced the Blessing and after the Service, Chancellor and Mrs. Handy entertained all to tea in the rectory.
There was coverage too of another Church of Ireland worship – this time at the Garrison Church, Curragh Camp, which was filled to capacity each night for the Parochial Mission, held under the auspices of the Church Army. The guest speakers were Capt. W. Deane Stewart, Capt. R. Boyd, assisted by Brother J. Stewart (Members of the Irish Church Army). During this most memorable week, in addition to eloquent addresses, a series of informative coloured slides was screened, showing much of the work done by the Church Army in the British Isles and Africa. A visit of the Male Voice Choir was greatly appreciated and on the Friday His Grace the Archbishop, the Most Rev. Dr. Simms (already mentioned in connection with Millicent) gave the address. Tea was served on several nights during the mission. The Benediction was pronounced each night by the Rector, the Rev. F.W.R. Knowles, MA, Chaplain to the Forces. The vocalist was Miss D. Cowell (Dublin) and the organists were Mrs. N. Gannon and Mrs. K. Jackson. Clergy in attendance included the Very. Rev. H.B. Eaton, MA, Dean of Kildare; Rev. Precentor R. Watson, MA; Rev. J S Stronge, BA; Rev. JE Gregory BA; Rev. Dr. Emerson and Rev. A. Wilson BD.
 
Still on a clerical note, but this time in relation to Catholic Church personnel, there is a report of a function in Crookstown Hall to bid bon voyage to Fr. Tony Bell as he prepared to leave for France. Fr. Bell, a native of Ballitore, was ordained last June in Bordeaux and had been home on holiday in south Kildare. He was returning to France as Professor of English and Geography at the junior seminary in Achen in the south of the country.
Very. Rev. M. Gleeson, PP, on behalf of the people of the parish presented him with a wallet of notes as a mark of their appreciation. In a very interesting address Fr. Gleeson spoke of the conditions in France today and of the pressing need for more Catholic priests for the French mission. Others who paid tribute to Fr. Bell were Rev. J. Kelly, CC; Mr. W.G. Doyle, NT, Moone; and Mrs. W. J O’Connor, former principal of Crookstown national schools where Fr. Bell received his earlier education. And, as always, at the culmination of every church function the ladies committee took over and a highly enjoyable social and tea followed in Crookstown Hall.
 

Liam Kenny, in his regular feature 'Nothing New Under The Sun',  recalls events which took place in the Church of Ireland's Saint Michael's Church in Millicent and the Garrison Church on the Curragh Camp. The ceremonies were reported in the Leinster Leader of October 1958.


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