October / November 2020
FROM THE RECTOR In our last Newsletter in June I wrote about our plans for reopening the church for two metre public worship and when the date was brought forward a couple of weeks we opened our doors to parishioners with first Wednesday of the month Holy Communion with prayers for the sick on 1st July followed by our Sunday services on 5th July with the 8.30am service in the Small Hall, in order to keep the church sterile for the 11.00am service. The Small Hall is set up using a trestle table with a white cloth as a Holy Table and a plant stand topped with a bookstand as a pulpit. The chairs are set up with social distancing and I was delighted to welcome back our early morning worshipers safely. As I mentioned in the June newsletter we have organised the church using every third pew in order to create the two metre space between the members of the congregation. I set up the Main Hall with a television so if we have too many to be safe in the church they can view the service from the Hall but we haven’t had cause to use it yet! We have single use service sheets as well as a Covid19 tracing sheet on the back of the Noticeboard. When parishioners arrive for the 8.30am service the gates of the church are over with a sign pointing them to the Small Hall and by the 11am service the gates are wide open and parishioners are greeted with a sanitising table and white boards with Covid19 advice / rules.
During services I wear a visor and at the time of Communion I switch to a face mask. I use a silver salver to place wafers on that have been dipped in wine and distribute Holy Communion in the pews using a tweezers in order to avoid touch. I gave the congregation the option of receiving Communion spiritually by placing their palms downwards but to what I feel is a vote of confidence many choose to receive.
Over the eleven weeks that we have been back in Church we have a congregation of figures in the mid twenties from a core group of fifty people who attended the 11am service, we have another half congregation following faithfully on Facebook. I think it is fair to say that everyone was glad to see the doors of the church open again whick allowed the opportunity to have the relative normality of safely meeting fellow parishioners outside even with the new normality of being masked. Sadly our doors are closed to public worship yet again but people can still watch our 11am service virtually on Facebook live or the website.
I was grateful for our live steaming of over fifty services saving the parish thousands of Euro compared to other parishes for a what I believe to be amongst the best (starting on St. Patrick’s day with over a 1000 views because of the day that was in it) videoed by media student Lionel. Filming takes place from the top of the aisle in order to comply with GDPR (no members of the congregation appear on our live Facebook services) and I am tracked by the phone camera as I move around the sanctuary. We are very grateful to Laura whose foundation of 600 Facebook followers before Covid19 has led to a couple of hundred more since we have put our services online. We produced a video for Tallafest earlier in the summer and it is available to view along with the over fifty services. The video for Tallafest features the church, the tower (which can no longer be accessed by the public for insurance reasons) and the graveyard and has had almost 8.5k views many of which were by people who have lived in Tallaght for years and have never been inside the church.
Thank you to Lionel also for his beautiful photos of the church that have been used for Facebook posters and stories to advertise the services, as he has run out of the obvious photographic shots he has had to get creative with more imaginative photos! We thank Lionel also for the ‘props’ he uses for Sundays photos of which he used for Icons for the saved online services. We are also very grateful to Amy who is using the old hymns because they are out of copyright to chords on the ukulele and when parishioners returned, singing with a mask with her back to the congregation, singing just one hymn with a verse at a time during the service.
You can still ‘attend church’ virtually with all services broadcast live on Facebook or can be viewed via our parish website www.stmaelruains.ie if you are not on Facebook. You can watch the service on TV through your computer or through your gaming device! We have moved our Bible Study to Thursday evenings on Zoom. Zoom has also come in handy as a way of holding our now weekly Deanery (our local surrounding parishes) meetings, before Covid19 we met quarterly. It is good to have the opportunity to meet with colleagues and compare notes.
As a result of the initial lockdown our Easter Vestry was eventually held on Sunday 6th September during a shortened service. Although the church was less full than it normally would be for an Easter Vestry we had our faithful followers watching on Facebook Live. My Rector’s report on the past year, which began with thanking the parish coffee morning ladies and men for decorating the Small Hall from top to bottom last summer and this summer thanks go to our Bowls Club who got the Main Hall and Lobby area painted during the summer and also had the high windows cleaned and ceiling area dusted, I thought the club were very generous as they also renovated the kitchen in the Main Hall recently. It was a lovely vote of confidence for the future in these times when use of the hall is restricted. I thanked all those who enrich the life of the parish trough the organisations. My report was followed by our Hon. Treasurer, Jim Bird’s financial report which was sobering to say the least.
Jim’s report was for 2019, pre pandemic, when the parish finances were already almost €8000 in the red. I cannot stress enough the implications that the pandemic is having on our parish finances with no community hall rentals, Summer Sale or Christmas Sing Along and less giving on Sundays due to a reduced congregation of over twenty people. It makes for a grave future for the parish with no sign of a vaccine until next year at the earliest. I hope parishioners will understand how important our Gift Day appeal will be this year, we are all struggling but is would be a very sad day if the consequence of our financial situation was to cause the ‘doors of St. Maelruain’s’ to be closed on a more permanent basis. Please try and support your parish as best you can.
The Treasurer’s report was followed by the election of the Select Vestry and Triennial election of synods persons and Parochial Nominators, listed below.
The Select Vestry: Jim Bird (Treasurer), Vivienne Bright, Ian Carroll, Joanna Carroll, Laura Fryday, Brian Good, David Hutchinson Edgar (Secretary), Norma Kingston, Stephen McKee, Marlene Molllentze and Derek Sargent.
Rector's Churchwarden: Joseph Jeevanayagon Rector's Glebewarden: Billy Gould
People's Churchwarden: Hilary Armstrong People's Glebewarden: Ronnie Scott
Triennial Diocesan Synod persons: Amy Deverell, David Hutchinson Edgar and Laura Fryday (Supplemental: Lionel Deverell. Stephen McKee and Marlene Mollentze)
Parochial Nominators: Vivienne Bright, Laura Fryday, Stephen McKee and Ronnie Scott.
(Supplemental: Hilary Armstrong, David Hutchinson Edgar, Norma Kingston, and Derek Sargent).
Welcome to new members of the Select Vestry, thank you to those willing to stand and also to parishioners for their continued support especially in these mask wearing, socially distancing days. A heartfelt ‘thank you’ to the retiring members of last year’s Select Vestry. We concluded with The Grace.
We plan on having our first Vestry meeting via Zoom especially with the recurrence of Covid19 restrictions.
While we always take part in ‘Culture Night’, this
year 18th September, I left it until the week before to register the
Church as a venue. To be expected, with the announcement of renewed Covid19
restriction that afternoon we had only one local family and a family with
In closing, I’d like to ask people to continue pray for the parish and all those around the world affected by Covid19, our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones and for those who remain unwell.
God Bless, William
funeral of Ruth Ayres took place on 26th August in the graveyard. We extend
our deepest condolences to her children Audrey, Rachel, Natalie and
OPERATION CHRISTMAS SHOEBOX APPEAL This year the Team Hope’s Christmas Shoe Box appeal will be online due to Covid19, please donate €20 so that they can make up shoeboxes on your behalf https://www.teamhope.ie/christmas-shoebox-appeal/