Thursday 11 May 2023

CSNL News May June 2023


Issue 77  CSNL NEWS         May/June, 2023.

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 ..

Summer is fast approaching and indeed some say it starts on 1st May and with it our minds turn perhaps to holidays and leisure time, to outdoor activities and all those pastimes we associate with the warmer days and long evenings.  This period of refreshment and renewal is very important and not something we should neglect no matter how busy we may think we are or need to be.  Jesus spent a lot of time alone and often went away for some quiet time.  He had an important mission to accomplish but part of that was looking after his bodily and mental health.  It might sound strange but we all have to be a little bit selfish if we are to be any use to others - we cannot continually give and serve and provide if we do not feed our own souls and bodies.  So please look after yourselves so that you can better look after one another and may you all experience rest and refreshment in the months ahead.          


Yours.                                                                                                               Stephen


                   Church Services

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


*Services will continue in Newcastle at 10 a.m., on the 1st Sunday as a permanent change in the Sunday timetable.


WhatsApp Groups

WhatsApp group continues to be very active.  There are also groups specifically for Newcastle and another for Straffan notices together they provide a very effective means of contact in the parish.


Ash Wednesday, St. Patricks Day, Mothering Sunday, Holy Week & Easter

There was a service of Holy Communion in Christ Church, Celbridge on Ash Wednesday.  It was lovely to have an organist and the pupils and staff of Primrose Hill National School.  Thanks to Geoffrey McMaster for conducting the Service of the Word on St. Patricks Day also in Christ Church, Celbridge when Aaron Neill was in hospital.  Thanks to Geoffrey McMaster, Cynthia Lang & Dee Huddleston who took the services on Mothering Sunday when Aaron was in hospital. 


Thanks to all who read The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew at the services on Palm Sunday.  A Compline service was held in St. Finians Church, Newcastle-Lyons on the  Wednesday of Holy Week.  A service of Holy Communion concluding with the stripping of the Altar took place on Maundy Thursday in Straffan Church.  Good Friday morning ecumenical walks - The Way of the Cross - took place from or to all three churches in the parish.  Thanks again to all who took part and read.  It was a lovely sunny morning.  Rev. Stephen & Fr. Patrick (Parish Priest, Newcastle), led the walk in Newcastle, Rev. Stephen, Fr. Joe, Fr. Jacob & Fr. Peter led the walk in Straffan and Dee Huddleston & Fr. Joe led the walk in Celbridge. 


Thanks to all who decorated the churches and those who provided the music.  On Holy Saturday, the Eucharist of Easter Eve was held in Straffan Church following the Easter Candle being lit from the Easter fire and brought into the church.  The birds joined in when the fire was lit and also in the ecumenical dawn celebration of the Resurrection at Castletown gates, Celbridge at 6 a.m., on Easter Sunday morning.  There was a large crowd of over 50 - young and old, led by our Rector & Father Joe.  A cold, dry and windy morning with a beautiful red sky.  This was followed by refreshments in the Slip Hall, enjoyed by all.  Thanks to all who helped.  Holy Communion was celebrated in all three churches on Easter Sunday morning and it was the first time since Covid that parishioners had the option of receiving the wine and bread, which was a welcome return to normality.


On Going Events

Craft & Chat:  The Group continues to meet on Tuesday afternoons at 2.30 p.m., in the Slip Hall.  All are welcome to craft, chat and have a cuppa!


Whist Drives:  Friday 31st March marked the return of our Parish Whist Drive in the Slip Hall.  It was the first one for three years and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces after such a long break.  There was a very good attendance and the supper was as good as ever.  Thanks also to those who donated prizes of which there were an abundance. Thanks to Rebecca Taylor, James Taylor & Esther Lougheed for organising everything and we look forward to one more Whist Drive before the summer break on Friday, 12th May at 8 p.m.  New players are always welcome.


Time Of Prayer For Healing: The Wednesday morning services in Christ Church, Celbridge are not resuming at the present.


World Day Of Prayer - Prepared By The Women Of Taiwan

The service was held on Friday, 3rd March in the Slip Hall, Celbridge and attended by almost 50 people - women and men.  Many took part in the readings, and the leader was June Galligan.  Thanks to all who arranged the evening, the visual presentation, the props, the music, the readers, those who provided the refreshments and set up and cleared up afterwards.  This was an ecumenical event with participants from both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic parishes and attendees from Newcastle-Lyons, Straffan & Celbridge.  Father Joe McDonald & our Rector gave the final blessing.  The collection raised 380 for World Day of Prayer charities. 



Please remember in your prayers four young people from our parish currently preparing for Confirmation in Christ Church Cathedral on Pentecost Sunday, 28th May.  They are Anni Leach, Kaelan Brooks, Robyn Kerins & Olivia Lanigan. 


Castletown Wanderers

Plans are afoot for another event in late May.  It will be announced on the parish website and social media.


Easter General Vestries

The EGV for Celbridge/Straffan took place on Thursday, 20th April in Primrose Hill School.  The meeting opened in prayer and apologies were noted.  Rev. Stephen read a letter from John Lougheed, who has resigned from the Select Vestry due to health reasons.  This was noted with sadness and appreciation for all he has done for the Vestry and parish and wished him well with his recovery.  The Minutes of last years EGV were adopted.  There were no matters arising. 


In his report, our Rector noted that it was the first almost normal year since Covid.  The parish faces a challenge as the numbers attending in Celbridge have dropped catastrophically.  Those present were asked to pray about the situation.  Tributes were paid to both Bill Nicholson, who has departed to a rural life and to John Lougheed for all they contributed to the parish over the years.  Rev. Stephen then went on to thank all the Select Vestry members, the Treasurer, Gordon Bass, the lay ministers, Dee Huddleston, Cynthia Lang & Geoffrey McMaster.  He also paid tribute to our organists, James Pasley, Jenny Shaw & Dorothy Evertsen, noting how much music added to worship.  He thanked the Church Wardens, Paula Howard, Dee Huddleston & Shirley Dunlop and all who assist, the Glebewardens, Kenneth Denner & Thomas Hardy and all who help in maintaining the grounds of the churches, the Editor, Lilian Webb, for her means of communication with the parish newsletter.  In addition, he thanked the church cleaners, flower arranges, car boot team, headed up by Jos Evertsen & Robert Moody who set up work parties, Rebecca Taylor for organising Craft & Chat & Rebecca & Esther Lougheed for the return of the Whist Drives. Linda Daly was thanked for taking the minutes.  Rev. Stephen then announced that his Churchwarden for Celbridge is Paula Howard and for Straffan, Dee Huddleston and his Glebewarden is Kenneth Denner.


Gordon Bass presented the Treasurers Report and commented on each aspect of the income and expenditure.  The Income from Sustentation/Standing Orders/Envelopes/Subscriptions were down.  The Parish benefit from this means for those who contribute over 250.  A Tax Rebate was received over 13,000.  The Plate Collection increased.  There was an increase in both the rental income from the  parish properties and the car boot sales over the previous year - this is as a result of Covid restrictions being lifted.  The utilities have doubled since last year.  The Diocesan Assessment remains the same.  Repairs and maintenance attributed to 50,000 between the halls, both churches and the Rectory.  There was a great amount of discussion on how to get more parishioners to contribute, due to the high dependency on fundraising and rental income.  There are always repairs and maintenance that will need attention.  Lots of ideas were discussed in how to get more parishioners involved with the parish - social events, special services involving the children etc.  The age profile is a serious issue.  Rev. Stephen then undertook to summarise and forward a document and circulate to those attending, look for comments and proceed from there.  Finally, Gordon Bass was thanked for the great amount of work he does as Treasurer.


The following were duly elected to the Select Vestry:

Peoples Churchwarden - Celbridge                   Esther Lougheed

Peoples Churchwarden - Straffan                     Shirley Dunlop

Peoples Glebewarden                                      Thomas Hardy

Ordinary members:

Gordon Bass               Caroline Cummins      Linda Daly

Dorothy Evertsen        Liam Gately                Robert Moody

In the Triennial Elections, the following were elected:

Parochial Nominators   Debbie Kelly                Jos Evertsen

Supplementals              Caroline Cummins      Kenneth Denner

Diocesan Synodspersons  Tom Hardy               Robert Moody

Supplementals              Paula Howard             Dee Huddleston


The meeting ended with The Grace.


St. Finians Church, Newcastle-Lyons was the venue for the EGV on Tuesday, 25th April  This will be reported in the next issue, which will be out 18th June.



Thanks to all those who turned up on Saturday, 25th March and 15th April to tidy the grounds of Straffan Church and provided refreshments.  Also to the work party, organised by June Galligan in Celbridge.  They did a great job of clearing the flower bed at the Slip Hall which had become totally overgrown.  Special thanks to James Pasley who brought his strimmer to great effect! 



Our sympathy goes to Tony & Debby Kelly on the death of Tonys Dad, Thomas, who died peacefully on 9th March and whose funeral mass took place on 14th March in St. Cocas Church, Kilcock followed by burial in Kilcock.  Deepest sympathy also to Declan Burke and his wife Claire on the death of his brother, Niall Burke and to Malachy Mackenna and his wife Sarah-Lyn on the death of his mother Phyllis Mackenna.  We remember all who grieve in our prayers at this time.


Straffan Car Boot Returns On 20th May!

Due to a wedding and two Holy Communion services in the village, this is the reason for the later than usual start.  We will have a total of 10 events, the same number as last year.  A Volunteers Team Meeting was held on 29th March in Straffan Hall.  Looking forward to seeing you all again.  The dates for your diary are:-


May, 20th.  June 3rd & 17th.  July 1st, 15th & 29th.  August 12th & 26th.  September, 9th & 23rd.                                                        


We wish James Huddleston & Rebekah Forster every blessing on their marriage in Straffan Church on Saturday, 29th April.


Organisation Focus - Church In Chains

Their Global Guide was launched by Rev. Trevor Sargent, who appealed to Christians not to ignore the plight of persecuted Christians, but to be a voice for those who cannot speak or seek justice the way we can.  David Turner, director of Church in Chains explained that the new Global Guide documents how persecution of Christians is increasing right across the globe from Latin America to some countries in Europe; from the Middle East to a growing number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa; from the former Soviet states of Central Asia through the religiously diverse countries of South Asia to the communist-led countries in East Africa.  Every TD and Senator were sent a copy of the Guide and they were asked to sign a petition seeking the reversal of Pakistans blasphemy laws.


Church Of Ireland General Synod - Wexford, 12th & 13th May

Please remember all those who have decisions to make.


New Pioneer Evangelist Appointed - St. Brigids Centre of Mission, Kildare

Kelley Bermingham, who lives in Celbridge, is a member of Celbridge, Straffan & Newcastle-Lyons parish has been appointed to the above position and we wish her Gods blessing in this new role.  St. Brigids Cathedral Centre of Mission is in partnership with Church Army.  It is being led by Rev. Philip McKinley.  Kelley previously worked as Community Officer in St. Patricks Cathedral and said that The Mission of the Church and Christian faith in action is very close to my heart.  Kelley has a long history working and volunteering in the community with people who have additional support needs.  She is passionate about social justice, connection, human rights and all this is on a foundation of strong Christian faith. 


Parish Outing

There will be a parish outing on Thursday, 25th May to Huntington Castle & Gardens, Carlow.  The cost of the bus is 20.00 and entrance to the castle and gardens is 12,00.  Bookings can be made with Esther Lougheed (01-6275245) & Rebecca Taylor (01-6288429 -evenings).  These outings in the past have been very enjoyable and a means of getting together socially from the different ends of the parish.


Chuckle Time

A lonely hearts advertisement - Widower, 52, a lonely sincere genuine man who is certainly not at the pope and slippers stage of life.


Calendar Of Events


Fri        12        Whist Drive.  Slip Hall, Celbridge.  8 p.m.

                        General Synod, Wexford.         

Sat       20        First Car Boot Sale.  Straffan Church grounds.

Thu      25        Parish Outing to Huntington Castle & Gardens.

Sun      28        Pentecost Sunday.

                        Confirmation.  Christ Church, Cathedral, Dublin.


Sat       3         Car Boot Sale.  Straffan Church grounds.

Mon     12        Closing date for next Issue of CSNL NEWS.

Sat       17        Car Boot Sale.  Straffan Church grounds.


Whos Who In The Parish


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



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