Despite the considerable advances in modern communication techniques in recent years the attraction of church magazines remains strong, and those produced at both parish and diocesan level are eagerly devoured by local church people and the wider community. The introduction, by the Church of Ireland press office, of an annual competition has further sharpened interest.
A new initiative was launched last week by the Archbishop of Dublin. This is a new monthly newsletter called The Clarion, produced by the Church of Ireland parish of Powerscourt with Kilbride (Bray), where the rector is the Ven Ricky Rountree, and the Roman Catholic parish of St Mary, Enniskerry.
This has been made possible by the involvement of the recently established Liturgical Publications of Ireland Ltd, a company with experience of US liturgical publications. This will be a full colour 16-page magazine incorporating news from both parishes and from the wider community. It will include a combined diary of community events ,with the liturgical diary of each parish as the main centrefold.
The “joint parishes” is a long-standing concept in Enniskerry, where there has been an established commitment to do everything possible together. This has involved joint study, combined fundraising and joint projects of many kinds, as well as celebrating elements of the main Christian festivals together.
The front page of the first issue of The Clarion depicts the Good Friday "Way of the Cross", a highlight of the annual joint liturgical calendar.
This evening the Archbishop of Dublin will unveil a plaque in memory of the Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett in Tullow parish church as part of "Beckett in Foxrock", an evening of drama, poetry and prose.
The Beckett family lived in Foxrock, in the heart of Tullow parish, alongside other prominent Church of Ireland families such as the Elverys, Orpens and Darleys. The parish register, now the Representative Church Body Library, records that Samuel Barclay Beckett was baptised in Tullow church on June 10th, 1906, by the Revd George Clark.
Tomorrow morning RTÉ will televise a Service of the Word for Mothering Sunday with the clergy and people of the parish of Taney, Dundrum, Co Dublin.
In Conwal parish church, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, the rector Canon Stuart Wright, will lead a Mothering Sunday Songs of Praise service at 7.30pm. The former dean of Cashel, Dr Philip Knowles, will co-ordinate and introduce hymns chosen by the people of Letterkenny.
On Tuesday the standing committee of the General Synod and the Representative Church Body will meet in Church of Ireland House, Dublin.
The Dublin & Glendalough Retired Clergy Fellowship will meet on Tuesday at 2.30pm for a service of Holy Communion in Glenageary parish church.
This will be followed by a talk by its honorary secretary, Canon Peter Norton, on Arnold Spencer-Smith who joined Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914-17 Antarctic expedition as chaplain and photographer.
The final talk in the Balbriggan Lenten series on An Insight into Other Christian Denominations and Other Faiths will take place on Wednesday at 8pm in the Bracken Court Hotel. The subject will be "Islam", and the speaker will be Dr Ali Selim, a member of staff at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland.