Katharine’s Institution

In my time as a Parish Priest, I worked with seven curates. Great variety and good company when times were difficult.

Friday night saw the Institution and Installation of Katharine Poulton as Dean of Ossory – which means the very fine Cathedral in Kilkenny. It’s probably the most senior appointment of a woman in ministry in the Church of Ireland to date – thinks have moved perhaps rather more slowly than some of us might have expected. Katharine was the first woman ordained in the Church of Ireland 23 years ago. This is what I said


  1. … “I have been reflecting on the nature of ministry. It’s time we outgrew some of the past. Ministry can’t any more be just about clergy. And inasmuch as it is about clergy, It can’t any more be about workaholic pastors trying to fulfil some impossible vision of ministry or unreasonable expectations of their people. Nor can it be about that kind of care which generates dependency. Nor about that sense of ‘us and them’ which somehow creeps in and pounces at the Easter Vestry. What we seek today is some kind of mutual sharing or collaboration between clergy and people in the work of ministry. It’s subtle and difficult to do. It requires commitment and a sort of inner self-discipline from everybody which recognises what a delicate business is the work of building christian community, ministering and serving community. – how easily it is destroyed, energy and initiative curbed by a desire to settle for the short term and the merely traditional substituting the part for the whole …”

    Thanks for fixing the link. I’m so glad I didn’t miss the above …

    1. Thanks David. Forgot to bring the mouse with me and I’m all thumbs on the laptop!

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