Each year as Bishop of the diocese he challenges us, encourages and provokes discussion.
His full address can be found here ... Full text
He posed 5 challenges
- Rural decline in Ireland.
- Responding to the needs of a developing Cork Metropolitan Area.
- Churches with a small ‘c’ – diversifying the use of our church buildings.
- Exploring and responding to the needs of the age group known as ‘millennials’.
- The new Cork, Cloyne and Ross project in partnership with Bishop’s Appeal and Christian Aid to improve maize production in Burundi.
1. What are the needs of rural Ireland and how can we be a part of meeting those needs?
And, in particular, how can we utilise, diversify the use and expand the use of church buildings to be a part of the meeting of those needs?
2. What part can we play in the Cork of today as it develops and how can we respond in diverse, or extra-territorial forms of parish and ministry?
3. Do our churches look closed or do they look open for business?
- What use is a church that is only open for one hour a week, and for occasional special events?
- Can we find additional and alternative uses for some of our churches?
- Are churches open, and what are they open for?
- Working in partnership with local communities could our parishes and our church buildings serve areas in some way?
- As part of our being and looking open are our churches easy to find and well sign-posted?
- Is it obvious what times Services are at?
The questions linked to the 5th area I'll leave for another day ... as I'm currently caught up in all things Zambia at the moment!
--------------------Robert's Simple Reflections
Its all very well asking lots of questions ... I suppose we need to ask - how can we find answers? - this is crucial that we do find answers to these questions - Its in these questions and many like them that leadership happens, where creative solutions can be found.
I wonder what you think of in these questions?
In Blarney, in Inniscarra, in St. Peters - what other uses can our building be used for ... how can we be of service to the community?
The Millennial Age group - what needs done ?
We have asked so many questions I do think we now need to consentrate on the answers to these and various other questions.
Lets together find the answers so that those with questions can find the answers with us!