Fortunately, during the eleven weeks in the summer that we were back to Church after the initial lockdown we kept our Church services going on Facebook live. We have a faithful group of African mums and some cocooners who have formed a little community on Sunday mornings who recognise each other. Our African ladies post their greetings and enthusiastic religious comments and our cocooners posting their greetings and supportive messages during our Facebook live services. It was lovely to have this online community when we were forced to close the church doors again for the second time. We now have 66 services saved on the website. We are delighted to be back to public worship in December with socially distancing measures in place. Please wear a mask while attending Church.
We celebrated Harvest on 11th October, I deliberated on the date, hoping that we could have a congregation but, in the end, decided as the month was moving on to have our Harvest on Sunday 11th on Facebook Live. Our ukelelist sang the three Harvest hymns, ‘Come ye Thankful People, come’, Holy is the Seed Time’ and we finished with the quintessential harvest hymn, ‘We Plough the Fields and Scatter’. We decorated the Pulpit and Communion rails with apples and oranges and for props used a couple of paintings with harvest scenes that two parishioners had created in previous years. I think the church looked well but a very different Harvest this year, our Flower Guild normally do such an amazing job decorating our Church for Harvest, hopefully next year we will be back to church.
Friday 16th October was World Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) Awareness Day. One in every fourteen children and adults has a Developmental Language Disorder, which causes significant issues with speaking and comprehension for those affected. In a bid to raise awareness of the hidden condition, which is very poorly identified in Ireland, an International DLD Awareness Day was held on October 16th.
Emma, who is our local newspaper ‘The Echo’s’ office manager, has a son with DLD and came to me to ask if we would light up the Church in yellow and purple on October 16th to help raise awareness of DLD. We were delighted to be of assistance for DLD day especially as the Echo have be so supportive to our Parish over the years so St. Maelruain’s was lit up in purple (portable spot lights) and yellow (our flood lights are already yellow sodium light). Other public buildings across the city were likewise lit up such as City Hall / Dublin Castle, the Red Cow Inn and City West. Let’s hope DLD Awareness Day brought this condition to the attention it deserves.
I returned to my bike during the weekdays as I was not getting as much exercise as I normally would, similarly a couple of parishioners came to church by bike for the same reason. We had a surplice bike rack beside the parish hall which we brought over to the Church and I asked a parishioner, who is a qualified painter and decorator, David Gibson, if he would give it a coat of paint and he very kindly offered to paint it along with the two church benches, the downpipes of the church and the Sexton’s cottage gates. I took it as another vote of confidence in the future after the voluntary painting of both halls which I reported on previously.
Christmas is going to be very different this year because of COVID19 and so it is with this year’s Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal. We had our appeal on our Facebook Live on Sunday 25th October, our Family Service, which is the Sunday in the calendar that I normally launch our appeal, just before Halloween. It always amuses me the reaction of parents in the lead up to my talk to the children about the launch when I ask the children in the congregation ‘What would they like for Christmas?’ Imagine the reaction of the children when I ask them about receiving the four W’s.
Washing: Would they like to receive items for Washing? Such as facecloth, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush… Perhaps a child who has no means of personal care? Writing: Would they like to receive items for Writing? Such as pens, pencils, copy books….. Perhaps the child who can’t afford to go to school? Wear: Would they like to receive items to Wear? Such as hats, gloves, scarves, socks …. Perhaps a child who has little clothing and suffers in the cold winter? WOW: Would they like to receive items to WOW? Such as a doll, toy car or a soft toy …. Perhaps a child who has no possessions or toys and receives no present at Christmas? The children in the congregation usually only show excitement about the contents of the boxes when they see sweets! My hope is the simplicity of the Shoebox puts the needs rather than the wants of our western overly commercial Christmas in perspective.
This year, unfortunately with the Corona Virus, we can’t ship our donated Shoeboxes as we normally do to Eastern Europe and Africa but Team Hope have invited us to send €20 so that they can make up the boxes and distribute them to the children in need, who so excitedly receive them. If you go onto their website www.teamhope.ie you can choose items from the four W’s to be put in your box or if you prefer just simply donate €20, you can donate up until 23rd December. Team Hope can also be contacted on 01 294 0222.
On 12th November we recorded the TUD Tallaght Campus’ Annual Remembrance Service in the Church for deceased staff and students, I was asked to preach and I chose to speak on the Beatitudes, the eight blessings recounted by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew.
We had our annual Gift Day on 22nd November and as we go to print approximately € 5,000 has been donated, a big thank you to those who have given so far. As mentioned in the Gift Day letter and reported by our Hon Treasurer at our Easter Vestry we were €8000 in deficit at the end of 2019 so I am dreading to see what the end of year accounts will show for 2020. If you have not already given please consider doing so, every bit helps to ensure the future of our Parish. As you prepare to open your purses to support businesses in your local area, as we are all being encouraged to do, we urge you to support your parish too. Traditional methods of fundraising could not take place this year, so please put your parish on your 2020 Christmas present list.
I was sad to learn of the death of (Archbishop for North America and Europe) Metropolitan Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma of our Indian sister church that have used St. Maelruain’s as a place of worship for a long number of years. Dr. Joseph visited St. Maelruain’s in 2018. We extend our condolences to the Mar Thoma community in Ireland on his sad passing. Unfortunately, with the Covid19 pandemic they have been unable to use our Church since March but we hope to accommodate them again in the future.
May I take this opportunity to wish all the readers of the parish Newsletter a very happy Christmas, I pray that at some stage in 2021 our lives will have returned to some sort of normality with our health intact and I look forward to the doors of our church remaining fully open to welcome back parishioners.
God Bless William
The funeral of Eileen Williams took place in St. Maelruain’s on Monday 19th October, we extend our deepest sympathies to her husband Michael.
ENVELOPES Church giving envelopes will be available in the Church Porch by Christmas. If anybody would like to join the envelope scheme, keeping in mind the tax rebate available to the parish, please ask the Rector or contact the Parish Office 462 6006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
THE CHURH OF IRELAND GAZETTE If you would like to subscribe to the Church of Ireland all Ireland monthly magazine please contact the Parish office 462 6006 or email email@example.com
CHURCH REVIEW Subscription of €40 will be due in January on orders of the Dublin and Glendalough Diocesan Church Review Magazine, please send payment to Parish Office (cheques make payable to Tallaght Parish Church). If you do not wish to continue with you subscription or if you would like start receiving the magazine please let the parish office know 462 6006 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christmas in St. Maelruain’s
Sun 20th Dec 11.00am The Nine (short) Lessons (but no sermon!) on FACEBOOK live & parish website
Thurs 24th Dec Christmas Eve
11.30pm Christmas Eve Midnight Holy Communion in the MAIN HALL To keep the church sterile for the 11am Not on Facebook live
Fri 25th Dec
8.30am Christmas Early Morning Holy Communion Service in the Small Hall to keep the church sterile for the 11am Service not on Facebook live
11.00am Christmas Holy Communion Service with overflow speaker in Church car park or watching via FACEBOOK
live saved on parish website
Sun 27th Dec Sunday after Christmas - No service for congregation for either 8.30am or 11am services as the buildings will not be sterile following Christmas.
11am Family Service on FACEBOOK live only
Thurs 31st New Year’s Eve
11.30pm New Year’s Eve service in the Main Hall so that church will be sterile Sunday Service.
8.30am Service Holy Communion each Sunday. 11.00am Service Holy Communion: 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. Morning Prayer: 2nd and 5th Sundays of each month.
Family Service: 4th Sun of each month. 1st Wed of the month Holy Communion with prayers for the sick 10.00am