Monday 27 February 2023

Castletown Wanderers - The Beginning

Thanks to everyone who despite the very cold weather came along yesterday (Sunday 26th Feb) to our first event. It began in the church grounds with a short time of grounding meditation to quieten ourselves and to become present to Creation and each other and then a walk up the avenue of Castletown House and into the forest for lunch and some activities which were designed to help us connect with the beauty and diversity of Creation. These included journey sticks, bug frames (Thank you Linda) and a nature mandala (Thank you Lucy). Thanks to Lydia Monds of CMH who led us yesterday and gave us a taste of some of the possibilities of engaging more intimately with the natural world and in that discovering beauty, peace, healing and even a sense of the Divine. Watch this space for news of our next event!

Saturday 18 February 2023

Castletown Wanderers - Reconnecting with Nature and the Holy


Join the Castletown Wanderers as we learn to slow down and connect with ourselves and with something bigger than ourselves - nature; community; and for those who have faith, God.

What? Who? Why?

This is a wander for the whole community and offers gentle grounding and meditative exercises and supports to move from 'doing' to 'being' to help us be in the moment and enjoy what is around us.

It's a collaboration between Christ Church, the Anglican church on the grounds of Castletown and the Church's Ministry of Healing, Ireland (CMH:I), which uses nature connection to support people's mental health, spiritual health and whole health.  And of course the biggest partner is Nature and the beautiful grounds of Castletown House.

Did you know that just 2 hours per week in nature boosts your immune system, resets your nervous system, reduces your feelings of loneliness and increases your sense of wellbeing?  What a gift!  Let's accept it.

Who is it for?

This is a welcoming space for everybody.  Nature is free, we simply want to provide some nature connection opportunities. 

Young and old are welcome - noisy people are welcome, quiet people are welcome, tired people are welcome, energetic people are welcome, people who love getting muddy are welcome, people who have dirt aversions are welcome, people with a faith, with no faith, with a strong sense of spirituality, with a desire to build community, all welcome.  We won't pretend to be anything other than who we are, but we also won't impose anything or expect anyone to come as anyone but who they are and as they are.

An example of what you can expect:

We'll meet on the grounds of Christ Church and do some simple grounding exercises - noticing the sounds around you and becoming present.

Then we'll walk to Castletown House together - some with mobility passes may drive there.

Anyone who needs bathroom breaks and coffee stops can head into the cafe.

Then we'll head to the woods just beyond the House and invite people to engage with nature in whatever way suits them.  This is completely participant led, once a few health and safety measures have been put in place.  Here are some examples of options:

1. free play

2. nature art and mandalas

3. Sit spots under trees with ideas for breath work (we may even have a hammock!)

4. working with clay and loose nature parts to explore process and creativity

5. mindful wander prompts - these include postcards of things to spot or journey sticks that you can add to as you wander

6. blindfold walk (along ropes!)

We'll finish with a closing gratitude circle and people can go on their way.

Will you come and shape this programme and community with us? We'd love to see you there.

Sunday 26th February 12.30 meeting at Christ Church Celbridge


What do I need to bring with me?

Appropriate clothes for the weather. (children in particular may get muddy)
A packed lunch - or you can buy something at the cafe
We will have a few camping chairs for those who need to sit - you may want to bring a picnic blanket or something waterproof to sit on for eating or crafting or sit spots
Drinking water.

Friday 10 February 2023

Turkey / Syria Earthquake Appeal

 Bishops Appeal is working through Christian Aid to support Turkey/Syria - Many will have already contributed but we will have retiring collection in all churches for those who wish to contribute this way 


A picture containing text

Description automatically generated

A message for all clergy regarding the Bishops’ Appeal call for donations for people affected the earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Two PowerPoint files – one slide each – to help with promoting the appeal in parishes are also attached

Thank you for your time in considering this and in advance for your support



The Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal for World Aid and Development has launched a call for donations to help the people of Turkey and Syria following the earthquake on Monday (6th February) which has resulted in over 21,000 deaths.

Bishops’ Appeal has immediately released €10,000 from its reserves to Christian Aid for its work in the area, and is encouraging parishes to contribute to this appeal in support of Christian Aid over the coming Sundays.  All details about how to give are provided below.

In a joint endorsement of the appeal, Archbishops John McDowell and Michael Jackson said: “The disastrous earthquake which has so suddenly overtaken and overwhelmed the people and resources of Turkey, and stretched beyond breaking point the already ravaged infrastructure of Syria, requires a swift response from aid agencies in the Western world. The Bishops’ Appeal of the Church of Ireland is to be commended for releasing €10,000 from its reserves immediately to be channelled through Christian Aid, a trusted partner, to the areas affected.

“Of course, much more is needed and we would encourage parishes to make a special appeal sometime over the next few weeks to supplement this initial contribution by Bishops’ Appeal. Equally we would encourage prayer that the God of all comfort would be very near to all who are suffering through injury, bereavement and anxiety, and for all relief workers.”

Christian Aid has a track record of working together with local partners in north-west Syria since 2012.  The agency and its partners are already providing winter kits to people seeking shelter in the region, where over four million people are in need of aid due to the civil war.  They will scale this work up to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of those affected by the earthquake.

What is needed?

The main needs according to its partner field teams are:

  • Winter kits including blankets, mattresses, food parcels and heating material – partners had already procured 40,000 of these kits prior to the earthquake and have started distributing these immediately within collective shelters;
  • Preparing shelters to help people find some safety indoors from the weather; and
  • Working with other local organisations to remove debris and continue rescue efforts.

It is also expected that donations will be used to provide basic food, water and sanitation, shelter and healthcare, education and mental health support, particularly for children and young people.

Dean Niall Sloane, speaking on behalf of the Bishops’ Appeal Advisory Committee, added: “For over five decades, the Bishops’ Appeal has responded to crisis across the globe.   This week we are quickly becoming aware of the extent of the tragic events in Turkey and Syria.  All funds collected will be distributed to our dedicated mission partners who are actively working in the affected areas.  We would also encourage parishes to pray for all those affected by these events and for all aid workers who are engaged in the relief operation.”

How can we help?

Donations can be made, in euro or in sterling, in the following ways:

  • An online donation at
  • A direct lodgement into the Bishops’ Appeal bank account (details of which are provided on the Bishops’ Appeal website at the link provided above);
  • Sending a cheque, payable to Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal, to: Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal, Church of Ireland House, Church Avenue, Rathmines, Dublin 6, D06 CF67;
  • Making a donation through a Church of Ireland parish or diocesan office.

Taxpayers can give more help by gift aiding donations (if resident in the UK) or tax relief on donations (in the Republic of Ireland).  The appropriate forms and further details about how to give are also available at


Shared on behalf of Bishops’ Appeal