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Letter from the Rector

Dear Parishioners

I am writing this article for the first time as Rector of this wonderful and vibrant Parish. I was appointed in September 2021 and my Service of Institution was held in Christ Church, Taney on the evening of Friday 29th October. I was totally taken by surprise when The Archbishop rang me and said my name had been nominated to him by the Parish and Diocesan Nominators, and that he would be delighted if I would take on the role of Incumbent. I am both grateful and honoured that the Parochial and Diocesan Nominators, along with The Archbishop, have put their trust in me as I bring the Parish forward in the next stage of ministry in the life of Taney Parish. I would like to reassure you all that I will be diligent and fervent in my approach to worship and pastoral care of you all.

Welcome Back

September / October marks the beginning of the reopening of activities that Taney is renowned for. As we head into Autumn, we return to the routine of school, college and work. There are many activities that cater for all age groups. All the activities are listed on our Parish website (www.taneyparish.ie) and on the back page of this issue of Taney News. If you feel you would like to sample any of these groups, please feel free to contact the relevant person and you would be welcome to join in.

Looking Back

It is now two years since the last edition of our parish magazine Taney News was circulated to the Parish Community. Two years that in some ways have flown by and in another way, it has been a long two years. Our community and indeed the world has changed since the outbreak of Covid-19 came to our shores in March 2020. The brakes were applied to all our Parish Organisations, including Church services, bringing us to a shuddering halt. Thankfully, technology enabled us to continue to bring church into your homes. For many people, the enforced lockdown meant working from home, not being allowed to visit family and friends, and prevented people from holidaying. Thankfully, all these restrictions have been lifted and in so doing, it would appear that many more people have contracted the Covid-19 virus. I myself was not immune and contracted the virus during the first week of my holiday in France with Anne. Thankfully Anne, who is obviously made of sterner stuff, managed to remain virus-free. I firmly believe that most people have become complacent with regards to handwashing and the wearing of facemasks, and I include myself in that. With numbers creeping up, I would urge everyone to return to wearing a face covering in busy places and to keep washing your hands. Looking back, an awful lot didn’t happen and yet a lot did happen. Although our church was closed for a considerable time, church services continued to be broadcast on the Parish YouTube channel, and I must thank Richard O’Donnell and Pat O’Doherty who gave of their time to facilitate this and continue to do so. It must be noted that the availability of Live Streaming has had its down side as a number of parishioners have remained away from church opting instead to view the service online, either as it happens or viewing it later in the day or week. It is in constant review as to how best to facilitate the Live Stream and balance that with encouraging people back to in-person worship. If there is any change to the current arrangement, the parishioners will be notified in advance. I am conscious that there are a number of parishioners who simply cannot make the journey to church and this will be very much in my thoughts.

Our Parish Administrator

I would also like to make mention of Tara O’Rourke (our Parish Administrator) who continued working throughout the closure of the Parish Centre. Tara provided much needed support to me and I will always be grateful to her for continuing to work during difficult times. She always had a smile and a kind word to say. Tara is one of those unsung heroes who keeps the wheels of Taney Parish and the Parish Centre turning. She is a blessing to have on the team. Thank you, Tara.

Parish Youth Activities

Cubs, Scouts, Beavers and Brownies all continued to meet, albeit remotely, as we all got used to staying apart and yet we were together thanks to Wi-Fi and Zoom. I wish to thank all the leaders of the various groups who continued to operate under such trying times. A number of the groups met in the grounds when it was permitted to do so and I know that their dedication was rewarded by the enthusiasm of the members, even in the rain.

Memorial Service

I suppose the sad part of all that predates this edition of Taney News were the number of funerals that were conducted when only a handful of mourners were allowed to attend but thankfully, we were able to provide a space for coming together in greater numbers back on 18th March to offer support to one another. The memorial service was conducted by The Archbishop and in excess of 300 people attended and all wore face coverings.

Thank you

We owe a debt of gratitude to Helen and Ian Geoffroy who made it possible for parishioners to attend services once we were allowed to reopen. The planning and seating arrangements meant that everyone could be accommodated safely. One of the main questions that I was constantly asked was ‘when can we all get back to singing’? and this was a more difficult nut to crack, but thankfully, we are now back singing in church.

The Parish Centre

The Parish Centre is now almost back to full capacity with our own organisations occupying the various rooms as well as the wider community. Some Parish Organisations have suffered as a result of Covid-19 and for various reasons, their numbers are low. I think especially of the Indoor Bowling Club and the Snooker Club, so if you feel you would like to try out either of these sports, please contact the Parish Office and I know that Tara will be more than happy to pass on your details to the relevant person secretaries.

Rev Canon Robert Warren Retirement

Another casualty of the restrictions was my predecessor’s retirement when back in January 2021, Rev Canon Robert Warren presided over his last service to an almost empty church. It was a sad farewell in more ways than one. Ordinarily, we would have come together in great numbers to say farewell and to enjoy some refreshments in the Parish Centre, but alas, that was not to be. Instead, Church Wardens made a presentation to Robert and Vera after the service, and this was viewed by many on the Live Stream. Not an ideal way for Robert to conclude over 40 years of ministry. I can happily report that Robert and Vera have now fully settled back in the Kingdom of Kerry (in Fenit to be precise, just outside Tralee) and are thoroughly enjoying their retirement.

Planning Ahead

The knock-on effect of all that we have endured was the inability to plan ahead but thankfully, I believe that we can now look forward with hope for the future. And talking about forward planning, here are two dates for your diary. The annual Harvest Festival Service will take place in Christ Church on Sunday 2nd October at 10.15am. This will be a United Service for both Christ Church and St Nahi’s, the guest preacher will be The Rev Terry Lilburn, former Chaplain to St Vincent’s Hospital. Looking ahead to November, the Annual Remembering Service will take place on Sunday 6th November at 10.15am in Christ Church. During the course of the service, we will be remembering those who have died during the past year, and family members will be invited to come forward to light a candle in memory of their loved ones. The guest celebrant and preacher will be The Right Rev’d Michael Burrows.

Harvest Appeal

Each year as an act of thanksgiving, we invite parishioners to contribute to a specific Harvest Appeal to provide funds for certain projects that our Parish is undertaking. It is hard to believe that three years have passed since our last Harvest Appeal. As always, the Parish is greatly indebted to everyone who has supported the appeal in the past. We are once again appealing to the generosity of parishioners to raise funds towards the replacement of the light fittings in the Minor Hall. The existing lights are somewhat past their ‘sell by date’ and are beginning to disintegrate. It is hoped to replace the current fittings with more eco -friendly LED lights that will incorporate movement and sound sensors. Also, the Select Vestry have been investigating the ingress of water in the church tower. This is a major undertaking and will require substantial work over the coming years. Of course, the Vestry is investigating the most cost-effective way to rectify these works and it is hoped, through your generosity to start building a fund in preparation of the required works. To make a contribution to facilitate both of these projects, please contact the Parish Office or place your contribution in an envelope marked ‘Harvest Appeal’ and place it in the collection baskets in the church. In anticipation of your kindness and generosity, I thank you in advance.

Taney Parish Primary School

As I write, our Parish School is gearing up once again to welcoming back teaching staff, administration staff and pupils for the new school year. In welcoming back the old (!!!) pupils, we also welcome the youngest of the school - the children in Junior Infants - as they begin their formal education. To Mrs Fraser and all in our Parish School, we wish you every blessing for the new academic year.

Parish Fête

We are having our Parish Fête on Saturday 17th September from midday to 3.00pm. We are looking forward to once again welcoming you all and the local community to the grounds of Taney for our Fête. The last time we gathered was in June 2019. You may ask, ‘Why September?’ At the time of initial planning, it was unclear if we could indeed have a Fête at the usual time in June so it was felt for this year only, the Fête should take place in September. We will return to our usual time of the second weekend in June in 2023. If you are free and would be willing to get involved, we need volunteers to assist with setting up, car park and generally providing an extra pair of hands. We thank Gillian Haine and her committee for all their work in the lead up to our Fête.

Communication

Please remember that the Parish continues to communicate various activities and events via our weekly Taney News Extra and our website www.taneyparish.ie. It is important that you read our short weekly newsletter to keep abreast of events and special occasions. Some parishioners have stated that they do not receive our Weekly Newsletter, and that is simply because we do not have an email address for them. Please contact the Parish Office to have your details added to our Parish Database. Please be assured that in keeping with the Data Protection Act of 2018, we will not pass on your details to any third party.

It only remains for me to welcome you back to the various organisations as we reopen after the summer holidays and I hope and pray that you had time to relax and recharge the batteries, ready for another busy season ahead of both worship and fellowship.

With every blessing

Rector of Taney Parish