Monday, 21 June 2021

CSNL News - July/August 2021


Issue 66 CSNL NEWS July/August, 2021

Parish Of Celbridge & Straffan with Newcastle-Lyons

Church of Ireland United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough

By the parishioners - for the parishioners

From Our Rector - Dear Friends ..

As I write these notes it certainly seems that Summer has come - to most of us that is good news but to those sitting State and College exams it makes it all the more challenging and I would like to wish all exam students the very best at this time and as they wait for results which may not determine but can certainly influence the future trajectory of their lives. Lots of people, not just students, have hopes and dreams for the future and that is no bad thing but if one thing the past year has taught us is to live in the moment as we really do not know what tomorrow will bring. During lockdown we learnt to appreciate more of the simple and immediate things and to live day by day. In many ways while at times frustrating it is a healthy alternative to a life where we are always looking forward to the next thing and not appreciating that which is under our noses. Every day is a blessing and our lives are happening now - we dont have to wait until we can fly again or eat indoors or go to concerts (and yes I am looking forward to all those things) - let us continue to find joy in the everyday and celebrate every morning that we have the privilege of walking on this good Earth.

Yours Stephen

Zoom Coffee & WhatsApp Group

The Sunday Zoom meetings have been discontinued due to the return to public worship but the midweek chat remains on Wednesdays at 8 p.m., Anyone wishing to join can contact our Rector. Numbers and participants vary but it has provided an opportunity for fellowship.

The WhatsApp group which has reached 100 members continues to be a very lively forum of the sacred and the sublime with a good smattering of satire thrown in.

Services - normal pattern now that we are back to public worship

Sunday Newcastle 9 a.m. Straffan 10.15 a.m. Celbridge 11.30 a.m.

1st Holy Communion Service of Word Holy Communion

2nd Service of Word Holy Communion Service of Word

3rd Holy Communion Morning Prayer Holy Communion

4th Morning Prayer Holy Communion Morning Prayer

Aug 29th United Service 11.30 a.m. Christ Church, Celbridge

Note 1: There may be variations on major feast days.

Note 2: At the request of some parishioners we are having an occasional service from the BCP Rite 1/Traditional (as announced).

National Heritage Week - 14th - 22nd August, 2021

For those who attended the above over the last couple of years in Celbridge with the visit of Brian McCann from Newgrange Falconry, there was good news that a rare Golden Eagle chick was born at the falconry school. Boru, the father, bred in Germany, is 33 years old and the mother, Sky, is originally from Russia, is about 28. Brian had been trying to breed for a number of years. Golden Eagles live to about 50 years of age in captivity and 30 in the wild. The week is about getting as many people to enjoy heritage as possible. For more information


Barbara Lett & Andrew Jackson were married in Straffan Church on Saturday, 15th May in front of a real and a virtual congregation who joined in via Zoom with the 50 others allowed to attend in person. It was a lovely occasion, the first and only wedding in the parish this year due to Covid postponements. The sun shone on the newly weds as they left the church. We wish Barbara & Andrew every blessing in their married life together.

Primrose Hill National School

The school closes on Thursday, 24th June with an online closing service. We wish all the children and staff an enjoyable break for the Summer and thank Ms. Manning who has been acting Principal during Mrs. Floods maternity leave.

Slip Halls

It is good to see the various groups and activities beginning to return to the Slip Hall - a very tangible sign of the opening up of society as we slowly but steadily move out of the Covid Era. It is also good to welcome Paul and son Jack Carmody of Paul Carmody Picture Framing as tenants to the Lower Hall. We wish them all the best in developing their business.

Farewell & Thanks

Dr. John Darlow of Celbridge, a long time member of the choir and regular and distinguished lesson reader in Christ Church, Celbridge has just returned to the UK after many years in Ireland. On Sunday, 30th May, we had a small presentation and Covid friendly coffee reception to mark the occasion at the end of the service. John was presented with a large framed photograph of the Church and a card signed by most of the regular parishioners in Christ Church. The picture was taken and printed by Dallas Camier and was very appropriately beautifully framed on site in the Lower Hall by Paul Carmody Picture Framing (now tenant in the Lower Hall). We will miss John who was very much a part of the community of faith in our parish and a friend to so many. He will be especially remembered for the beautiful and often dramatic way in which he read the readings. We wish him every blessing in this new chapter in his life and hope he will visit us on holidays in the years to come.

Purple Llama Market

The market is held in the grounds of Christ Church, Celbridge from 11 a.m., to 4 p.m., with a variety of crafts and coffee each Sunday.

Chuckle Time - Parish Newsletter Blunder - For Post Pandemic!

The church will host an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment and gracious hostility.


Thanks to Geoffrey McMaster who took the services on Sunday, 6th June and also to all those maintaining the grounds of the three churches.

Bishops Appeal /Diocesan Appeal/Christian Aid

The Church of Ireland Bishops Appeal has released 10,000 in emergency funding to support Covid relief efforts in India. Individuals and parishes are invited to contribute to support these efforts. Funds will be channelled to partner agencies working on the ground in communities in India providing vital support and supplies. At the end of April, 100,000 lives have been lost to the pandemic in India. We can only imagine the distress the doctors and nurses are working in to care, as best they can with extremely limited resources for the sick and the dying in the hospitals. Let us remember the doctors and nurses who have travelled to our country from India and provided care for our citizens over the last year in the hospitals and nursing homes throughout Ireland. These are very valued members of our healthcare staff and it would be one way of showing them how much we value their contribution to our society reports Rev. Albert


The grand total for the Al Ahli Hospital Diocesan Appeal in Gaza is 17,874.60 - Geoffrey Mc Master reports and thanks all who supported it.

Dee Huddleston thanks all those who supported the Walk for Water around the three churches. So far, 1,113.00 has been raised, but there is some more to come in. Thanks to everybody for their generosity as this is a super amount to raise and will really make a difference to the ladies and children who have to walk long (and often dangerous) journeys each day simply to collect water. On 29th May, Dee was joined by Elizabeth, Liz & Florence for a very enjoyable walk at the three churches with their buckets of water.


We remember all those who are sick at home, in hospital or nursing homes especially during the pandemic, those who care for them, those who have lost their livelihood due to Covid-19, those who were isolated in their homes not able to see/visit friends and loved ones, those bereaved, all front line staff, all those in government and the HSE who have decisions to make, those producing and administering the vaccine so that we can have more freedom, yet still abide by all the rules.

Services Before & After Churches Re-opened

On Sunday, 2nd May, prior to the service, Rev. Stephen announced that church services would resume on Sunday, 16th May. The Service of the Word again was videod from the Rectory garden with sound effects of breeze, planes and a wood pigeon! On the final service broadcast from the Rectory garden prior to the churches opening since Christmas Day, when it came to silence for prayer or thanksgiving, the birds joined in in thanksgiving! Rev. Stephen spoke about an Indian Evangelist, who had converted from Sikhism to Christianity, was walking with a friend in the mountain, came upon a man dying in the snow. His companion went ahead but the evangelist lifted the man on to his back and slowly the heat in his body revived the dying man enough for both of them to be able to walk together, when they found the man who went ahead, dead in the snow. The theme was laying down ones life for ones friends. Our Rector mentioned that during Covid-19 more money was spent on saving lives than destroying for a very long time. Love will prevail. Thanks to those who did readings - young and old - from all parts of the parish.

Covid measures remain in place until advised otherwise but it was wonderful to be able to be in each others company as we worship and witness together as a Church family and community. While it was lovely to see familiar faces please do not feel under any pressure to come back until you are ready to do so. For those there will be a recording of 1 of the 3 morning services broadcast on Sunday afternoons.

For those of us who could, it was wonderful to worship together again from Sunday, 16th May and especially on Pentecost to receive Holy Communion for the first time since Christmas Day. Rev. Stephen had sent out a suggestion to keep him company and wear something red - Pentecost is about the Spirit coming to us as tongues of flame - and many did enter into the spirit! If there was a prize it would have gone to the husband and wife who wore matching red masks in Straffan!

From The Editor

The closing date for the next issue of CSNL NEWS will be Monday, 30th August.

Certificate In Christian Theology And Practice - Report By Dee Huddleston

I have always enjoyed being involved in the life of our parish in various ways but a couple of years ago I felt that I would like to become more involved and study to hopefully become a Lay Reader. So, I applied to begin training last year and, following some initial study and early discussion about the course with Reverend John Tanner and a subsequent interview, I was fortunate enough to be selected for training in the above certificate. This is a new course jointly taught by the Church of Ireland Theological Institute and Trinity College and it aims to provide the tools for participants to develop their theological foundations in preparation for lay ministry or for ordination. It is a very interesting and challenging course, which runs for twelve months, and so far we have studied the Old Testament, the Creeds, the New Testament and Leading Public Worship. I had thought that I knew some of these subjects pretty well but have found them to be much more interesting than I had previously thought. I am not entirely sure where the study leads after the initial twelve months, as this is a new programme, but hopefully will manage to stay the course and be able to serve and share what I have learned before too long.

Organisation Focus - Church In Chains

The Church in Chains Global Guide lists 60 countries where Christians face persecution because of their faith. The Guide divides the countries into three categories - severe (many or all Christians face persecution including imprisonment, torture, murder or violent mob attacks, significant (some, but not all, Christians face arrest, attack or serious restrictions) and limited (some churches or individuals face restriction or discrimination). An independent Irish charity, it encourages prayer and action in support of persecuted Christians worldwide. Two Christian men in India have been killed in separate states and Pastor Yang Hua has been brutally beaten in a police station in China, recently.

Calendar Of Events


Mon 30 Closing date for material for CSNL NEWS.

Quiz In Aid Of St. Brigids Hospice, Curragh - Answers

Thanks to our Rector for sharing the quiz on social media. There were 210 entries from 18 counties!

1. Likes the woodland (4) FERN

2. A Christmas wreath (5) HOLLY

3. Shade of green (5) OLIVE/KELLY

4 Evening (8) PRIMROSE

5. In the eye (4) IRIS

6. LILACAM - Anagram (7) CAMILLA

7. Spring blossom (6) CHERRY

8. Marks remembrance (5) POPPY

9. Weeping/used for baskets (6) WILLOW

10. Mrs. Bucket (8) HYACINTH

11. CARNIVOE - Anagram (8) VERONICA

12. A climber (3) IVY

13. Symbol of love (4) ROSE

14. of the valley (4) LILY

15. Sweet .. (7) WILLIAM

16. Makes a chain (5) DAISY

17. Covers the hills (7 ) HEATHER

18. Brush or Fawlty (5 ) BASIL

19. .. du Maurier (6) DAPHNE

20. Seasoning with lamb (8) ROSEMARY

21. Princess in Aladdin (7) JASMINE

22. A stringed instrument (5) VIOLA

23. TRYLEM - Anagram (6) MYRTLE

24. Nut (5) HAZEL


1st - Helen Armitage - Tipperary.

2nd - Yvonne Treacy - Wexford.

3rd - Hazel Pearson - Kildare.

Incompleted/incorrect - Hazel Hemmingway - Waterford.

The quiz made 1,431.00 for The Friends of St. Brigids Hospice & Home Care Services. The Curragh. Valerie & Lilian.

Whos Who In The Parish

Rector: Rev. Stephen Neill 01-6288231 087-2328172

Keep up to date on & &

NON Going Events!

Craft & Chat/ Time Of Prayer For Healing & Whist Drives will resume when the Pandemic is considerably less of a threat.

Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Sermon for Trinity Sunday

 Apologies no service video today due to me selecting wrong frequency on sound input into camera 😐

Sermon below:

Sermon for Trinity Sunday 2021

I begin with a question: How many of you lie awake at night wondering about the Theology of the Trinity? – Or alternatively how many of you dream about how the three persons of the Godhead are related?

....................I thought so............. its really not up there with your immediate and most pressing concerns.............You're probably much more absorbed and distracted by more mundane matters like trying to help a family member through the Leaving Cert or looking after a relative who is unwell or perhaps contemplating how you are going to adjust to going back to work after the pandemic or maybe planning a family wedding.

Lets face it the Trinity is not something that most people think of a lot – especially those who are not involved with institutional religion and or the mainstream churches.

Look at the evangelical churches and house churches and I would guess that very few of them are talking about the Trinity this morning. Its not even explicitly defined in the Bible though it is certainly strongly implied.

So why do we have a Sunday set aside to discuss and investigate the internal nature of the Godhead? Is it not even a bit arrogant on our part to think that we might possibly understand the inter-relationships of the persons of the Trinity?

The only way in which we can know God is in how God chooses to reveal Godself to us? God can never be an object in our eyes. God is always subject – I Am – The initiative is always with God and as 1st Corinthians reminds us 'Now we see through a glass darkly'.

To my mind Trinity Sunday is a call to humility ..................

..........  not something we are very good at but something that is essential if we are not to loose something absolutely vital by reducing faith into an intellectual and rather cold exercise.  

I'm not saying we leave our brains and our intelect outside the room but that we learn that celebrating our relationship with God is perhaps more important than discecting it and even if we do it won't make any difference to that reality. God is God regardless of our attempts to define or understand God and the more we define usually the more we limit.

We love to tie things down in tidy definitions and define Truth in terms of Black and White.

I came across a lovely cartoon when I was preparing this sermon – It shows a scribe in the desert transcribing a long scroll and alongside is his friend or colleague who says with more than a hint of irony:

'Quit worrying about corroborating your sources – its not as if anyone's going to take all this literally”

But we do! We live in a fundamentally literal black and white culture which has little room for a wider and more generous definition of Truth.

Nowhere is this more clearly to be seen than in social media where people's whole lives can be torn asunder by a few words in a tweet, instagram or facebook post....We hop on words and we use them as weapons – We use words to divide – we use words to conquer - Heaven help anone who uses the wrong word for they will be crucified.

And that was ironically the history of the doctrine of the Trinity – wars were fought and blood was spilled before the formulae we find in our creeds today was settled on. All because of words!

Does that mean we throw away our creeds – that we do away with these ancient formulas of faith because of the bloody context in which they found their present form? No – I don't think so but it does mean that we perhaps look at them in a differnt light.

The great modern church historian Jaroslav Pelikan who was a great favourite of mine puts it so well when he says this about the recitation of creeds – and incidentally he was an advocate of singing the creeds:

“the singing of the creed is a very important and cherished way of indicating a universality of the faith across not only space, but time. To know that in the Philippines this morning this was the creed that was recited at mass and to know that the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century and Thomas Aquinas in the 13th, and my late father and grandfather all affirmed this.

It’s ‘we’ all of us together. And in a more profound sense, that also forms an answer to your — to your question. My faith and my faith life, like that of everyone else, fluctuates. There are ups and downs and hot spots and cold spots and boredom and ennui and all the rest can be there. And so I’m not asked of a Sunday morning as of 9:20, what do you believe? And then you sit down with a 3×5 index card and say, “Now, let’s see. What do I believe today?” No, that’s not what they’re asking me. They’re asking me, “Are you a member of a community which now for millennium and a half has said, “We believe in one God.” And so that’s what I affirm when I sing it”

And so back to the Trinity which is at the core of those creeds – it seems to me that the Trinity is an invitation.................

An invitation into a relationship with God and a relationship with one another in the Body of Christ – an invitation to participate in the mystery of God, not to define and understand it for that is ultimately impossible for us mere mortals but to celebrate and embrace it.

 And what do we do when we celebrate? – We sing! (It seems Professer Pelikan was onto something here)

What else do we do? – we let go of ourselves and our need to be in control – to have all the answers – to know what is Truth – to exlude and to narrow the generosity of God ......

We become part of something bigger as in humility we relinquish our ego and we come closer to the true Word as we let go of our words.


Saturday, 29 May 2021

Christian Aid - Walk for Water


Thank you to these three ladies for a very enjoyable Walk for Water at the three churches in our parish this morning. It was lovely company Elizabeth, Liz and Florence - you are just great. We will have a bucket in all three churches tomorrow and next Sunday, if anyone wishes to support the initiative. Thanks to everyone who has already supported. Dee Huddleston


Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Return to Church - No booking required

 Note: while COVID measures will be in place in all churches there is no need to book - In the unlikely event of over-capacity we will regretfully have to limit numbers and will introduce a booking system for subsequent Sundays

Saturday, 1 May 2021

CSNL Online Service - Easter 5 - Sunday 2nd May 2021


Return to In-Person Worship - 16th May 2021

 Following the Government announcement relaxing restrictions on in-person worship and having consulted both of our parish Select Vestries I am happy to announce that on Sunday 16th May all of our churches will reopen for worship. Covid measures will remain in place until advised otherwise but it will be wonderful to be able to be in each others company as we worship and witness together as a Church family and community.

Some will be aware that I have had reservations about an early return to in-person worship but in the light of the now rapid pace of vaccination I am happy that we can do this in a safe and responsible way. For those who for whatever reason cannot attend there will be a recording of one of the three morning services broadcast on Sunday afternoons. While it will be lovely to see familiar faces please do not feel under any pressure to come back until you are ready to do so. While the Sunday Zoom sessions will cease we will continue our midweek zoom chats (details from Rev Stephen on 0872328172). Hopefully this will be the last re-opening and we can look forward to better days ahead. Rev. Stephen

Friday, 30 April 2021

Hospice Fundraiser Quiz


CSNL News May June 2021


Issue 65  CSNL NEWS    

May/June, 2021


Parish Of Celbridge & Straffan with Newcastle-Lyons

Church of Ireland United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough

By the parishioners - for the parishioners


From Our Rector - Dear Friends ..I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  (2 Timothy 4:7).  I am not one for using Biblical quotes out of context but the above seemed so apt to where we are today. We have been to hell and back and I think that is no exaggeration!  We may not have crossed the finish line yet but it is in sight.  By the end of next month the vast majority of us will have been vaccinated and please God we will begin to live more fully and more freely than we have for the past 14 months.  As we come out the other side of this we are not the same people we were before.  We have all been changed and some of that change has involved a lot of hurt and trauma.  It will take time to adjust to our new reality and it will not just be a case of picking up where we left off and it is important we acknowledge that if we are to move on.  As people of faith we know that to be true - Easter is only Easter and Resurrection is only real if we have acknowledged what happened on Good Friday on the Cross before that wonderful first Easter morning.  In the same way we cannot just forget the past year because it is now a part of who we are.  If we are to be healed in the days ahead then we must acknowledge that hurt and open ourselves to Gods healing Love.  We can and will move on and that healing has already begun but let us be patient with ourselves and with each other and most of all let us be kind.


Yours         Stephen


Chuckle  Time - Parish Newsletter Blunder - For Post Pandemic!

The church will host an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment and gracious hostility.


Zoom Coffee & WhatsApp Group

Our Bi-weekly informal Zoom chats continue (Sundays at 10.30 a.m & Wednesdays at 8 p.m.) numbers and participants vary but it has provided an opportunity for fellowship in lonely times.  It has been suggested that we may retain the midweek Zoom as an ongoing part of our parish outreach, especially in winter months.  The WhatsApp group which has just reached 100 members continues to be a very lively forum of the sacred and the sublime with a good smattering of satire thrown in.  Like the Zoom and for a wider body of participants this has helped keep the lines of communication open in the parish and indeed has allowed us all to get to know each other a lot better.  On any one day the content can vary from parish announcements, encouraging messages and videos, genealogy, history, humour, shared photos, community information and just general chat and banter.  If anyone wants to join contact our Rector on 087-2328172.  Like the Zoom chat this is a resource that will be maintained post Covid.


Morning Ireland

Recently Cian McCormack of RTE Radio1 interviewed Straffan parishioner and churchwarden Dee Huddleston and our Rector for a feature on the responses of various church communities to the restrictions on public worship.  There was a general desire to return to in person worship.  Dee articulated very clearly the importance of gathering as people of faith.  Some interviewed felt that it was time to return to the church buildings.  Our Rector cautioned against reopening until the most vulnerable had been vaccinated.  The other churches in the feature were Roman Catholic & Russian Orthodox.



We sympathise with the Beattie family, on the death of Alice Beattie, who died on 8th April, and whose service took place on line on 12th April, her brothers John & Ken, nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces, relatives and friends.  Our sympathy to Carl Farrar on the death of his wife, Sylvia, of Castledillon, Straffan.  Sylvia died peacefully at Naas Hospital after a long illness bravely borne. We also remember in prayer her brother, George, sister Denise, sister-in-law Roisin, brothers-in-law Billy & George, nephews, grandnephew, cousins, relatives and friends.


Parish Lower Hall Development Report By Jos Evertsen

As from 1st April, a new tenant has moved into the Lower Hall.  Keys were handed over to Paul Carmody of P.A. Framing.  Paul has an expanding picture framing company which specialises in bespoke picture-framing, contemporary and traditional frames for paintings, photography, posters and memorabilia.  The entire refurbishment project, to renting out, took 14 months half of which was due to delays caused by the Covid circumstances.  In getting the premises advertised and promoted in the rental market, we received great advice and support from Mr. Eamon OFlaherty, Sherry Fitzgerald, Maynooth.  In a generous gesture to support our parish efforts to bring the Parish Hall buildings back to life, Eamon waived all fees for his services.  We thank Eamon and we very much appreciate his generous contribution to our project.  With this part of the project now completed, we can hopefully look forward to further beneficial use of our parish properties.  We thank all who have been active and supportive in realising this objective and achieving this milestone. 


Mission Link

In December, the Rev. Keith Scott and his wife Lyn, said farewell to their friends and colleagues at the Anglican seminary of St. John the Evangelist in Kitwe and returned to Northern Ireland.  They had been there since 2015, though had spent 10 of the last 19 years living and working in Zambia.  As well as teaching Old Testament doctrine, Church & Society, he was Parish Priest in Kwacha Parish, taking services every Sunday. The couple say their timing of their departure was right for the seminary.  It needs to stand on its own two feet.  The seminary has benefited from boreholes and electricity supplies.  Keith believes that there is still a role for a missionary/mission partner.  There is a big need for training and delivering training is an expensive exercise.  I know Zambians as capable as me who could teach in the seminary but they are now teaching in the United States because that is where they qualified and have settled.



Barbara Lett & Andrew Jackson are to be married in St. Finians Church, Newcastle-Lyons on Saturday, 15th May.  We wish Barbara & Andrew every blessing in their married life together.


Ecumenical Bible Week - Unlocking Faith Today: Responding To New Realities - 24th - 30th May

This is now in its 8th year.  The opening event is organised by Holy Trinity, Rathmines on 24th.   The closing prayer event will be on 30th organised by St. Finians Lutheran Church.  There will be a Young Adult Forum on Wednesday, 26th from 5 - 7 p.m.  The following afternoon there will be Theological Symposium and will include Sam McConkey as presenter.  That evening faith leaders will discuss What is your personal dream of faith into the future?  Further details on


Organisation Focus - Dublin Bereavement Support Service

While the DBSS is being run under the auspices of Clontarf Church of Ireland parish, and is rooted in the Christian calling to show love and compassion to all, the service is open to everyone and offered in an impartial, non-judgemental way which does not seek to impose religious beliefs on others and acknowledges that peoples experiences of grief may differ, but all are equally valid.  Initially, this is being offered via zoom on a one to one basis.  The support service is being offered free of charge although donations can be given if desired.


Services - (all services until further notice on line only)

Sunday Newcastle 9 a.m.   Straffan 10.15 a.m.    Celbridge 11.30 a.m.

1st        Holy Communion  Service of Word       Holy Communion

2nd        Service of Word    Holy Communion     Service of Word

3rd        Holy Communion  Morning Prayer        Holy Communion

4th        Morning Prayer      Holy Communion    Morning Prayer


On line services can be accessed via links on the parish website or Facebook page. 


Pentecost & Trinity Sundays

It is likely that we will be returning to public worship soon and Pentecost (23rd May this year), often considered the Birthday of the Church will have added significance if so in that it will be a rebirth of our public life of worship and fellowship.  Caution will still be required but there is every indication that the levels of vaccination by then will support a safe return to in person worship.


Easter General Vestry - Celbridge & Straffan - 22nd April, 2021

This was held via Zoom with those attending from both ends of the parish.  The meeting opened in prayer.  The minutes were circulated before hand and duly adopted.  The Rector began his report by saying that one thing had changed since the last EGV in August, we now have hope, in this Easter period, with the vaccine roll-out.  He especially remembered all who had lost loved ones or who had been unable to visit those in hospitals and nursing homes.  He thanked John Lougheed for his oversight of the administration, which was more difficult and Gordon Bass for the very challenging time he had as Hon. Treasurer.  Liam Gately was thanked for his generosity of time and expertise.  The church and glebe wardens were thanked - Paula Howard, Bill Nicholson, Shirley Dunlop, Dee Huddleston, Ken Denner & Tony Kelly.  Rev. Stephen thanked Jos Evertsen for the transformation of the church building complex in Celbridge - so

much achieved in such a short length of time, assisted by Ken Denner and now being taken over by Bill Nicholson, whom he thanked along with Ann, for also tidying the grounds when on their walks.  He thanked the members of the Select Vestry and wider parish and all who participated in the on line worship with readings and prayers.  He thanked Jackie Taylor for her support throughout the years.  Rev. Stephen concluded by announcing his churchwardens are - Paula Howard, (Celbridge) & Dee Huddleston (Straffan) and his glebewarden is Ken Denner.


Gordon Bass had circulated the 2020 Audited Accounts prior to the meeting and he explained the income and expenditure headings in some detail.  He reported that considering the severe impact of the Covid lockdowns, we ended the year in a somewhat better position than we might have hoped.  The Gift Day brought in almost 16,000 which was a major boost.  We also received an extremely generous donation of 30,000 to be used specifically for the benefit, maintenance and restoration of Strafffan Church.  Generous loan facilities of 30,00 were received for the Lower Hall Development Fund, which the Parish are committed to repaying by the end of 2021.  One consequence of the pandemic restrictions was that practically no fundraising was possible in 2020 (compared to over 13,000 being raised in the previous year).  Rental income remained robust, bringing in almost 33,000.  Gordon stressed that the long-term financial importance to the Parish of the re-development of the Parish Halls complex in Celbridge cannot be over-stated.  On the expenditure side, our regular recurring costs are approximately 7,000 per month and this varies very little whether or not the Churches are open or closed.  Gordon thanked all who had continued to financially support the Parish despite the fact that our Churches remained closed for several extended periods.  He added that Parish finances will remain very challenging throughout 2021 and the continuing support of all Parishioners will be gratefully appreciated.  He reminded everyone who transfers money directly to the Parish Bank account to make sure they key-in their name as the receiver reference with their payment as without this, the Parish has no way of knowing who it came from. The very comprehensive report was duly adopted and Gordon was thanked for the enormous amount of work involved.


The following were duly elected

Peoples Church Wardens:        Celbridge         Bill Nicholson

                                                Straffan            Shirley Dunlop

Peoples Glebe Warden:  Celbridge & Straffan   To be confirmed

The remaining members of the Select Vestry are:-

Gordon Bass                           Caroline Cummins                  Linda Daly     

Tom Hardy                             John Lougheed                       Liam Gately

There are still a couple of vacancies on the Select Vestry.


Jos Evertsen has stepped down from the Select Vestry and he was thanked for his 12 years of service.  Jos thanked all for their support and thanked our Rector for keeping worship going through the Pandemic, through whats app, Zoom etc., and providing cohesiveness, while having his own domestic pressures and wished him a lot of strength.  Stephen thanked all for their prayers and support.  The meeting concluded at 9 oclock prior to a meeting of the newly elected Select Vestry.  John & Gordon retained their seats!


Newcastle-Lyons Easter General Vestry Meeting - 21st April, 2021 via Zoom

Rev. Stephen opened the meeting by thanking the Vestry for their part in steering us though a real roller coaster of a year.  Although we find ourselves in a very familiar place again this year, we have hope of better times as many of us have been vaccinated and as more of us receive the vaccine there is hope of returning to life as we once knew it - our freedom, our relationships, our family life, our social lives and of course very importantly our worshipping life as a community of faith.  The last year has also brought pain to a lot of families, with the death of loved ones, we remember Betty Beattie who was such a large part of our weekly church service.  It is hard to think that she is no longer with us.  Rev. Stephen thanked everyone for their support throughout the year.  He paid a particular thanks to Geoffrey McMaster as a valuable colleague in ministry.  Thanks, were also given to our Hon. Secretary, Maggie Harris, Church Wardens - Elizabeth Waldron & Vivien Bond.  He also thanked the Glebe Wardens - Willie Harris & Michael Spillane.  A special thanks to our Hon. Treasurer, Sandra Doble, who has an increasing demanding job in overseeing our parish finances and for the considerable work involved in the preparation of the annual accounts. Finally, to all vestry members and parishioners for the help and time everyone has contributed to the smooth running of the Parish.   The following are the results of the annual elections:-


Rectors Church Warden:                                  Vivien Bond

Peoples Church Warden:                                 Elizabeth Waldron

Rectors Glebe Warden:                                    Willie Harris  

Peoples Glebe Warden:                        Tony Waldron

The remaining members of the Select Vestry are:

Devon Beattie                         Claire Burke                           Sandra Doble

Willie Doble                            Mervyn Eager                         Maggie Harris

Peter Hildebrand                    Andrew Jordan                       Avril Kerr

Michael Spillane

Subsequently, Sandra Doble & Maggie Harris were elected as Treasurer & Secretary respectively.


From The Editor

The closing date for the next issue of CSNL NEWS will be Monday, 14th June, as there is usually an issue prior to Primrose Hill National School closing for the summer holidays.



Holy Week & Easter

Thanks to Rev. Stephen for continuing to produce services on the world wide web for those who can access them.  There was a short act of worship for Holy Thursday ending in silence - with the words He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross - Philippians 2:8 on the screen.  On Good Friday the service was recorded from Straffan Church between 2 p.m., and 3 p.m., the traditional hour, with the cross laid out on the bare communion table - the reading of St. Johns Passion, hymns - When I survey and There is a green hill and prayers and intercessions - Is it nothing to you all ye that pass by?  A service of Holy Communion was conducted by Rev. Stephen from Christ Church, Celbridge on Easter Sunday and included readings, prayers and the reading of the Easter Anthem by various members of the congregation.  The Editor for one, belted out the hymns!  Rev. Stephen in his sermon noted that after Christmas, Easter was the most popular festival, but for Christians, Easter is the most important.  An image was shown of the stone rolled away with the words Lockdown never really worked around Easter.  However, God is always present and available for us and resurrection is a natural consequence for Gods love for his creation.  The service included the renewal of baptismal vows.  The hymns included Jesus Christ is risen today, This joyful Eastertide and Christ triumphant.   This is the second year that the churches have been closed for Easter - and Easter Sunday morning shone bright and it would have been lovely for a dawn sunrise service.


On the Second Sunday after Easter, Rev. Stephen brought the recording of the Service of the Word outside, with bird-song and planes in the background, (though the Editor hears that our Rector had to do take 2 when the neighbour started using a chainsaw during the Creed!).  The sermon was preached by Geoffrey McMaster on Doubting Thomas and the fact that Thomas missed out on the important event of seeing Jesus after his resurrection, and like Victor Meldrew - his reaction was that I dont believe it!  Geoffrey went on to say that all Christians have doubts and have struggles in life - but that unbelievers have struggles to exist.  Jesus cannot be stopped by our locked doors.  He keeps turning up.  Very fittingly the final hymn was No more we doubt thee.


The service of Morning Prayer was recorded in the Rectory garden for the Third Sunday after Easter with contributions from members of each church taking part in readings and prayers.  Rev. Stephen commenced his sermon by telling about a chaplain visiting a wounded soldier and asking him if he would like a reading from the Bible.  He didnt.  He said that he was thirsty and he was given some water.  He asked again and the soldier said that he was cold and he was given the chaplains coat.  The chaplain didnt ask again.  When he was about to go the soldier said that if what you did for another, you have done for me, I want to hear it.  The gospel is about action.  Are we witnesses when we live our lives?  If we are changed/transformed then it should be clear for all to see that we are.


On 25th April, the theme was the Good Shepherd, and without the aid of sheep for the Service of the Word, filmed in the Rectory garden, we had Patch, the Rectory sheep dog!  Although the service was centred on the Good Shepherd, the sermon began with the tale of a Professor and his students of ornithology who gave them 40 days to learn all about birds for a test.  When the students turned up, there were 5 birds in cages - all covered apart from their feet and legs.  One student had enough and walked out and told him what he thought of this dreaded Professor - and before he got to the door, the Professor asked him his name, whereby the student turned up his trouser legs and said you tell me.  As Rev. Stephen went on to say that the Good Shepherd knows all about each one of us as in Luke 12:7 - even the hairs of our head are numbered and thats something to think about when salons/barbers have been closed for such a long time!


Our Rectors vision for 20/20 - was a Fresh Vision - and we have had a year to reflect and pray on this theme - more being and less doing.


Thanks to all who participate in the services - reading, leading prayers and especially to our Rector for the services for the past year, which are greatly appreciated.  Each service takes a large amount of time to put together with readers and prayers and lovely images and graphics as well as the service and sermon.



Calendar Of Events


Sun      23        Pentecost.

Mon     24        Start of Ecumenical Bible Week.

Wed     26        Young Adult Forum - Ecumenical Bible Week.

Sun      30        Trinity Sunday.

                        Closing service for Ecumenical Bible Week.


Mon     14        Closing date for material for next issue.

Sun      20        Fathers Day.



We pray for all those who are sick at home, in hospital or nursing homes especially during the pandemic, those who care for them, those who have lost their livelihood due to Covid-19, those isolated in their homes not able to see/visit friends and loved ones, those bereaved, all front line staff, all those in government and the HSE who have decisions to make and those producing a vaccine.


Update - Newborn Knitting

Newbornknitting continues its efforts to meet the needs of refugee babies and their mothers in Greece, with the free shops eager to receive our donations.  3 boxes full of goodies like blankets, hats, toys, clothes and care items arrived safely including a box of aid to the camp in Samos despite all difficulties facing them at the moment.  As the weather gets warmer, summer baby clothes are much in demand.  If your children or grandchildren have grown out of summer clothes, please consider donating them.  Those knitting blankets and winter clothes, please dont stop!  All will be stored.  Teddies and baby comforters are needed all year, as are dignity items for mothers and other young refugee women.  They have also recently received a request for glasses to recycle.  Frames are needed, preferably without the lenses and glasses case.


If you would like to help with their efforts but are not a knitter, please consider sponsoring a parcel to Greece.  Without financial support, boxes would not be able to leave Dublin.  Further details from


Bible Cake (Version King James)

½ lb. Judges 5, verse 25b.

½ lb. Jeremiah 6, verse 20a.

1½ tablespoons 1st Samuel 14, verse 25.

4 - Jeremiah 17, verse 11a.

10 ozs. 1st Samuel 30, verse 12a.

½ lb. Nahum 3, verse 12a chopped.

2 ozs. Numbers 17, verse 8b - blanched and chopped.

1 lb. 1st Kings 4, verse 22.

1 teaspoon 2nd Chronicles 9, verse 9a.

A pinch of Leviticus 2, verse 13 a.

2 teaspoons Amos 4, verse 5.

8 tablespoons Judges 4, verse 19b.


Cream first three ingredients together until soft and fluffy.  Add fourth.  One at a time, still beating, then fifth, sixth and seventh ingredients together and beat again. Sift together eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh, then add to creamed mixture and mix well with twelfth ingredient.


Divide between 2 x 2lb. greased and lined loaf tins.


Bake in moderate oven 160C, Gas 3 for 1¼ - 1½ hours in centre of oven.


Answers to Bible Cake


½ lb. butter.

½ lb. soft brown sugar.

1½ tablespoons honey.

4 eggs.

10 ozs. raisins.

½ lb. figs.

2 ozs. almonds.

1 lb. plain flour.

1 teaspoon mixed spices.

Pinch of salt.

2 teaspoons baking powder.

¼ pint of milk.

Whos Who In The Parish


Rector:  Rev. Stephen Neill     01-6288231                  087-2328172


Keep up to date on & &


NON Going Events!

Craft & Chat/ Time Of Prayer For Healing & Whist Drives will not resume until the Pandemic is considerably less of a threat.



Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.