Pew Sheet – 21st April 2024

The Rector writes  ‘We continue our journey through Eastertide, experiencing the joy of the Risen Lord. This fourth Sunday of Easter traditionally features Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Each year on this day , we hear from the 10th chapter of the Gospel of John and of course we have the wonderful Psalm 23 as well. Shepherds meant a lot to the people of Jesus’ time, and of course traditionally in the Hebrew scriptures, leaders and kings were often called the ’Shepherd’ of their people. We don’t tend to think about that aspect so much now but in these times of crisis we pray for wise shepherds to lead us. We pray that our leaders and those in decision making positions will move quickly to lay the foundations for a comprehensive just peace in our troubled world. ’

Thoughts from The Revd Richard Coles

(Richard posted this on Good Shepherd Sunday 2020 and when I read it then I thought it was so good that I kept it. Today I have printed it on our Pewsheet,  with Richard’s permission, in order to honour our own Bishop Paul in his silver Jubilee year )

It’s always an occasion when the Bishop comes (although this bishop has a habit of turning up unannounced and sitting at the back where I don’t notice his presence until the half way through the sermon and think first ‘oh **** did I just preach a heresy’ and second ‘I hope Dan didn’t eat all the hobnobs’) .

When here formally the sense of occasion is obvious.

He comes in his regalia, literally kingly kit, a pectoral cross on his chest, an amethyst ring on his finger, on his head a mitre, symbolising the tongues of fire that appeared over the heads of the Apostles at Pentecost, and carrying a crook, the symbol of his governing authority, showing he is a shepherd of the flock of God (it’s good timing, because the Gospel readings on this Sunday in Eastertide are all about the Good Shepherd).

The crook is given to a Bishop at his or her consecration and if you ever see a vicar on the train in a purple shirt carrying a flat case that looks like it might contain a snooker cue, that will be the shepherd’s crook (they unscrew). It’s distinctive shape is heavily symbolic: the pointed tip symbolises the obligation of the Bishop to goad the spiritually lazy; the hooked top symbolises his obligation to draw back those who stray from the faith; and the staff itself symbolises his obligation to act as a firm support for the faithful.

Abbots also carry crooks, symbolising their duties as shepherds of the flock. Do you know how to tell whether a saint holding a crook in a stained glass window is a bishop or an abbot?  Abbots’ crooks face inwards – symbolising their care of their enclosed communities – but bishop’s crooks face outwards, symbolising their care of the whole world.

I sometimes think that one of the failings of the Church today is that bishops have become more like abbots, concerned with the sheep already in the pen rather than those who wander away.

Jesus didn’t come to save the righteous, he tells us, but the unrighteous, the wanderers, the wayward ones, so we should go looking for them where they are, not just where we think they ought to be.  That can take us to dangerous places, but nowhere where Christ the Good Shepherd hasn’t been before, yanking, goading, and hauling.

If that sounds uncomfortably ‘directive’, the imagery does not end there. In the Good Shepherd passages from St John’s Gospel it is particularly rich. The good shepherd knows his sheep and the sheep know him; he is the gate through which the sheep pass to salvation; the shepherd who gives eternal life; and who lays down his life for the sheep. Ultimately the power bishops exercise is to do that: to lay down their lives for their sheep.

For some this has meant, literally, giving their lives for their people – like the twentieth century bishops Oscar Romero and Janani Luwum, who stood with the lowest to speak truth to the highest and got shot to death for their troubles.

For most, sacrificial love is less dramatic. It means endurance, not heroics; the patient, day by day, taking care of things, shouldering burdens, turning to the in tray, and the email, and disappointing everyone by making impossible choices between rocks and hard places.

A few years ago I saw Deborah Warner’s staging of Bach’s St John Passion at the English National Opera. I wasn’t mad about it, actually, finding it all a bit overdone, but there was a moment of real pathos at the end, even if unintended.

During the last bars of the final chorus the Evangelist came on holding a live lamb. The symbolism was obvious – Jesus is not only the shepherd, he is the sheep, the lamb of sacrifice – but as the music died away and the lights went down the lamb, unscripted, began to bleat, in tiny uncomprehending distress at a world it could not understand but only fear.  It got a nervous and unintended laugh; but for me it was the most authentic note in the whole performance.

I hear it now, in the streets of my own parish, in the towns and cities of the world, and in the media, and zoomed, tweeted, and facebooked.

May God bless our bishops, send us all as good shepherds to his flock, give us courage and endurance and reckless love.

Music Notes 21-04-2024

Hymns at St Mary’s

493   Ye that know the Lord is gracious

92     How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

517    Brother, sister let me serve you

644   Faithful Shepherd, feed me

The writer of our final hymn today, Thomas Benson Pollock (1836-1896) was born in the Isle of Man. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin where he took Holy Orders in 1862. Thomas worked as a priest in England alongside his brother, James Samuel, in Birmingham. The two brothers were Anglo Catholics working in a very poor part of Birmingham seeing themselves as missionaries to the marginalised in society. They faced opposition from members of the mainstream Protestant churches which became violent at times. The brothers both wrote many hymns and litanies and Thomas was involved in the compilation of the first congregational hymnal.

The composer of the tune Friedrich Silcher (1789-1860) was born in Stuttgart Germany and was a music teacher. He was passionate about choral singing and the preservation of German folk music and published many collections of folksongs arranged for choirs. This melody is reminiscent of a folk tune, simple in form and very pleasing to sing. He shares the interest in folk music with Ralph Vaughan Williams who uses settings of folk songs in many of our favourite hymns today.

Bébhinn 087 228 5965

Random Notes CDLV


In 2006 the journalists who wrote the following pieces were in desperate need of a good story
(but settled for this lot!)




Wayne Rooney bears a striking
resemblance to his parents , Wayne Snr. and Jeanette.

David Duchovny of the X-Files is allergic to his wedding ring.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter, Apple, aged one, has started

Fashion Designer Sadie Frost was locked out of her home
because she didn’t have the right door key.

David and Victoria Beckham have bought their son, Brooklyn, three goldfish.

George Michael got a parking ticket for leaving his car on a double yellow line.

Mel C. of the Spice Girls, was seen buying pink Andrex loo
paper in a branch of Asda.

One of the Queen’s corgis yawned as he waited while she toured a shopping centre in Germany as part of a state visit. (the caption was accompanied by a photo of a corgi yawning.)


Dates for your Diary

27th April        Mothers’ Union Big Hymn Sing

11am St Factna’s Cathedral Rossarbery 

5th May   Cork Choral Festival ‘Sacred Trail’  Finnish Choir to visit

11am United Service in St Mary’s Church Carrigaline

(note NO 9:30am Service in St John’s Church that day)

Rogation Sunday , distribution of Sunflower Seeds

Light refreshments in the Parish Hall afterwards. (if you would like to make some sandwiches or cake, please contact the Church Wardens)

7th May   Movie Night

The film The Way’ in the Parish Hall

12th May  Parish Confirmation

11am in St John’s Church (note NO Service in St Mary’s Church that day)  All parishioners are encouraged to be there for our 3 young people.

18th May   Youth Group (details to come later….)

19th May    Pentecost  

Services at normal times, Sunday Club Prizegiving at 11am Service

The Parish Fete  will be held on June 8th in the School grounds. Please start keeping items aside for the Fete. Thank you.



The Owenabue Garden and Flower Club will host a talk

“What do bees need to thrive? The best plants to feed them throughout the year”

with Eleanor Attridge, Beekeeper and Tutor with the Cork Beekeepers Association   Includes Horticultural and Decorative Competitions

Plant Sales Table and Refreshments

On Monday 22nd  March 2024 at 8pm in St. Mary’s NS,

Waterpark, Carrigaline, all  welcome, €7 visitors.

Categories Parish Notices | Tags: | Posted on April 22, 2024

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