You Tube Link for live streaming services: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw9yjPMe6ExEvlB8ycfktCg/videos?view=57

Dear parishioners and friends,

Last Wednesday I conducted the funeral of Angus Macdonald in Mount Jerome. He was a much loved parishioner of the parish who moved to Monkstown with his beloved wife Morag following his retirement, after many years working for Brown and Polson, which became part of Unilever. He served on the Select Vestry for a number of years and he and Morag were greatly respected in the community. We continue to remember his family Morag, Peter, Fiona, Laura and Meryl, Brian, Stephen and Ron, Gail, and Angus’ grandchildren and great granddaughter and the wider family circle and friends in our prayers at this sad and difficult time. I also conducted the funeral of one of my former parishioners from my Drumcondra days last Tuesday. Betty Black was an extraordinary lady who up until her early 90’s was still winning prizes for her stunning flower arrangements. She was the oldest past pupil of Drumcondra National School and was delighted to cut the celebratory cake when we reopened the school following its rebuilding in 2015. Angus and Betty will be sadly missed and we thank God for their lives and their example to us all. May they rest in peace.

Our journey through the season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday which this year falls on 17 February. We will live stream a Wednesday morning Eucharist from the church from Ash Wednesday to the end of Lent at 10:45 and the link at the top of this letter will take you to our You Tube channel. Our Sunday morning service will be live streamed also as normal. Please do join us if possible as we observe the great Lenten season together.

Throughout Lent there will be pre-recorded short daily reflections available on all our diocesan online channels. The series, ‘Walking with Jesus in the Wilderness’, will feature ‘thought for the day’ type reflections (of about 3-4 minutes in duration) which are being recorded by many of our Diocesan Readers, based on one of the readings for the day. They have been coordinated by the Revd Ken Rue and Mark Acheson. The series will begin on Ash Wednesday with the Archbishop, before the lay readers take over with their reflections, which will continue until Maundy Thursday. The reflections may be found on the diocesan You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJQH1IpNHCI2ue7S782OlFw and also on the diocesan website: https://dublin.anglican.org and also on the diocesan Face book page. Commending the new online series, Archbishop Jackson commented: “Extended periods of Lockdown offer few opportunities, not least when we find ourselves coming to terms with successive Lockdowns. There is every likelihood that once again The Season of Lent will be in Lockdown.” “In response to this, the Readers of the United Dioceses have accepted my invitation to offer a thought for the day throughout Lent. I hope that many will find this helpful and useful and wish to thank all who have worked to make this possible. I also want to encourage you to use this series as part of your engaging with Lent 2021 in very difficult practical and spiritual circumstances,” he added.

The annual service for the World Day of Prayer usually takes place in one of the local churches but due to the pandemic a physical gathering for worship cannot happen. RTE will broadcast this year’s service on RTE1 television on Sunday 28 February at 11:10am. Valerie Duncan is our parish representative and she has reminded me that the last ‘large’ church service in Monkstown before restrictions was the World Day of Prayer service on Friday 6 March last year when 70 people gathered to mark the event. This year’s service, which RTE will broadcast, has been compiled by the Christian women of Vanuatu in the South Pacific Ocean, north east of Australia. Those who normally watch us on the parish live stream may like to watch the RTE service on RTE+1 or indeed may watch the RTE service live and our live stream later.

Over the coming weeks if you are Spring cleaning please remember that we will gladly take donations of unwanted bric-a-brac and collectables for the parish sale. Hopefully we will be able to hold our sale in November but regardless of that we are happy to receive your donations at any time. Part of the crypt is being used for much needed storage facilities and sale items may be stored there safely. Chris our caretaker is around the church Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 12 noon and arrangements can be made to drive in and drop things off safely. Please remember that all items must be in a saleable condition, clean and not broken. We do not require electrical goods, jumble, VHS tapes, magazines or books in poor condition.

We continue to thank you also for your generous financial support of the parish in these very difficult times.  Monkstown church may be closed for public worship but our work and ministry continues and our bills still have to be paid. Donations to parish funds may be posted by cheque made payable to ‘Monkstown Parish Church’ and posted to me here at Winton Lodge. Our parishioners and friends have been most generous and supportive and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for remembering our parish in these difficult times.

Liz is continuing to work from home and she is monitoring emails to the parish email address and doing her normal work from her home office. She may be contacted on 087 979 1072.  Please do continue to phone one another also and to check in with friends, family and other parishioners. These little gestures are really appreciated as we continue on this strange and often unsettling journey together. All of us know that loneliness is one of the main difficulties we have been facing during our lockdown periods and we are here, working away on the ground, if you require support, information or just a chat. Please do continue to phone one another also and to check in with friends, family and other parishioners. These little gestures are really appreciated as we continue on this strange and often unsettling journey together.

Please continue to take care of yourselves and one another and contact me if you need me.

With love, prayers and my very best wishes, Roy