The Rector Writes
This morning 21st January I awake to hear on the radio, or as some still call it the wireless, that this is supposed to be the bluest day of the year. Dark, dreary weather, post Christmas blues, credit card payments due, economic recession and a whole lot of other things!
Strange, then, that I feel differently. I am reminded that each new day is a gift from God -
reminded by a Christmas rose still blooming outside the window, snowdrops out and daffodils showing above the ground. A squirrel, albeit grey, flitting between the trees. We had an extended family with us yesterday and enjoyed that.
Today is a new day, a fresh start with challenges and opportunities. Thank God for this day.
That's the way life feels in the parish also. A new year, new opportunities, new challenges, which, even in situations of difficulty need or loss we can embrace and use rather than let slip away and be wasted.
I hope Christmas was a special time for every individual and family in the parish
- A time of difference even if seen in frantic busyness and preparation;
- A time of joyful reunion and family celebrations;
- A time of thankful reflection on times past;
- A time in which we find time to feel afresh the presence and power and love of God with us in Jesus Christ.
Many people helped make Christmas special in the parish and parish school:-
Preparing for and holding the school nativity services and the parties;
Participating in the community and parish carol services and sharing in the refreshments provided.
There were lots of Christmas "dos and outings" in various organisations.
On Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day so many people coming to church to re connect with family and friends, to be again in God's house and presence and to give him the glory. It was GREAT - thank you all!
Now, already well into January, we look ahead to all that 2008 offers. As we make plans in our private and home lives, so too we must plan ahead for the parish and parish school.
The daily round of school life continues in the recently extended building. Over the holiday period parents generously assisted in clearing classrooms and in replacing furniture following the sealing and polishing of floors. Other parents have been most generous in giving time and energy to provide and erect shelving in classroom and resource stores. This is greatly appreciated. Outdoors we continue to tidy up the grounds with planting of the banks, setting up of green school gardens and marking out of car park and play areas.... and all the while, in the capable hands of the teaching and ancillary staff, the "business" of the school continues in the classrooms corridors and General Purpose Room.
Parish life in its various elements, organisations, clubs, discussion groups, offers fellowship, involvement and opportunity which is ultimately offered to God in our worship day by day and week by week. Realising more and more that "church" is as much about people and matters outside the church as it is about those in the church, we continue to be challenged to reach out and to provide for the needs of the growing community, one where change is upon us. We are grateful to be part of a parish which embraces the wider community, which sees the need and is in a position to respond positively to it.
Kilternan Care Centre is now into its first full year. We wish all its residents and staff happiness, contentment and a rich sense of God's presence and provision touching their lives.
Provision of a Community Resource Centre, a priority for our parish, is being delayed for several reasons.
The sale of parish lands in 2007 not having materialised, we must now start afresh to see the way forward and bring our plans to fruition. To this end the Select Vestry is looking to a new sale of land in order to finance the project. There are several ways in which this might be achieved, even in the economic downturn. Whatever way we go the parish will require full value for its lands. Despite the Local Area Plan being adopted on 31st August 2007, we are frustrated that planning permission submissions are not yet being accepted by the Council. The planning process itself could take up to twelve months.
The above said, the Select Vestry, accepting the poor condition of the Parish Hall and Parish Centre, is seeking to make these more serviceable and user friendly for the short term. In doing so we are looking to the needs of pre-school, parish groups and organisations and other users. Given the various needs and hopes of those involved, this is not an easy task and compromise and co operation will need to be the hallmark in all our hopes.
The review of the parish register of vestry persons took place on 8th January 2008. It was encouraging that several young people signed up, having recently become eighteen or come new to the parish.
Confirmation: Six young people have expressed their wish to be confirmed in 2008. We welcome them as they begin preparing for this important step in their Christian journey. Meeting these young people is an opportunity to get to know them and to chat about our Christian faith and what it all means to us. We look forward to confirmation in Tullow Parish Church on Sunday 18th May at 3.30 p.m. Archbishop John Neill will preside and we will join up with Tullow Confirmation candidates. It will be Reverend John Tanner's first Confirmation Service as rector and we wish him well.
Parish finances: The parish greatly appreciates the generosity of all who subscribe in whatever way to the parish finances. As we close off for 2007, we are thankful that the plate, envelope and annual subscriptions have come in approximately on par with 2006.
As we hear much talk of recession and economic gloom it is important that the parish remains on a sound financial footing. To this end the Select vestry encourages parishioners at the start of the year to look at their level of giving and where possible, to increase this at least by the rate of inflation. We again stress the value to the parish of monies subscribed in a recordable manner - envelope, standing orders or annual subscriptions- so that where appropriate the parish may claim tax rebate, itself a valuable source of income. Such rebate is claimable on amounts of €250 and over, subscribed in a tax year. Those who are self employed can claim tax rebate themselves on similar levels of subscription. Plate collection, though greatly appreciated, might be increased by 25% if received in one of the recordable manners noted above!
As parishioners are aware, the sale of land hoped for in 2007 has not materialised. Despite this the parish must continue to make provision for building and plant upgrades, even in the short term. As we think of necessary work to the halls, and heating systems in the halls and rectory, we realise the need to continue making provision in our development fund account.
Week of prayer for Christian unity
Marking the week of prayer for Christian unity on the second Sunday after the Epiphany, 20th January 2008, Fr. Eamann Cahill spoke in Kilternan Parish Church. The style and content of his address were spot on. The rector spoke at Mass in St. Mary's Church, Sandyford on Saturday 19th January. We thank God for the openness and welcome shared between the Catholic and Church of Ireland traditions in this area.
A note for your diary. The annual Easter Vestry meeting will take place on Tuesday 1st April 2008 at 8.00p.m. This is the parish A.G.M. and it is important that as many parishioners as possible attend and take part. This year it would be good if every parish organisation was represented and made a 2-3 minute presentation on its activities! With every blessing for 2008.
Parish charitable donations and the Bishops' Appeal.
Each Christmas the parish distributes money to various charities and needy bodies. A sub-committee of the Select Vestry makes recommendations as to the disbursements - a copy of which is attached. Whilst some parishes give bigger amounts to fewer charities, Kilternan Parish realising the dependence of organisations on receipt of many smaller amounts, continues to cover a wide range of needy bodies. Further support for long term aid and critical need is provided through the Church of Ireland Bishops' Appeal. Each year we hold retiring collections at the Easter, Harvest and Christmas festivals. In 2007 through the generosity of parishioners, we sent €9,842 to the Bishops' Appeal. This is administered through the Representative Church Body. Over 50% of monies donated is channelled to the field through Christian Aid, the remainder through direct giving to accountable and transparent causes.
Again Bishops' Appeal as a registered charity can recoup tax if donations are €250 or over and given in a recordable manner i.e. cheque or standing order. In thanking parishioners for your generous support, I would ask that people remember the needs of the world and give of your best - the Bible calls this - the first fruits of all that we have" - rather than the loose change which might be in one's pocket!
- Then the king will say to those at his right hand, "Come, O blessèd of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' ..........
The king will say to them, "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'" Matthew 25: 34 following.
6th February - Ash Wednesday
27th February - Ecumenical discussion group meets
2nd March - Mothering Sunday
5th March - Ecumenical discussion group meets
6th March - World day of Prayer Service - Our Lady of the Wayside, Kilternan
12th March - Ecumenical discussion group meets
26th April - Parish Family and Fun Day (Please note earlier date this year)
The annual Autumn Parish Lunch took place on November 18th 2007 in the Summerhill House Hotel in Enniskerry. The warmth of the hotel with mulled wine and mince pies set the scene for what I think everybody who attended would agree was a very pleasant day spent with the extended Kilternan parish family.
In total, 156 people sat down to a delightful lunch surrounded by friends and family. The sound of animated chat and children's laughter was audible and heartening. This was a record attendance and we hope that the event will continue to grow. It is such an ideal opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones with quite a number of new young couples from the area attending for the first time.
The finale of the day were quiz sheets, one for the younger people and one for the adults, with some slightly obscure questions to test the brain after a large repast. By pure coincidence the winners names to be drawn out of the hat at the following choir practice were Emily Newell in the young peoples section and her father Stephen Newell proving to be the lucky one in adult section.
The Kilternan Social Committee would like to thank everybody for helping to make this a really enjoyable parish event and look forward to having even more of you there next year.
On Tuesday November 13th the Branch went visiting Whitechurch to hear their talk on 'Mothers' Union in Rwanda". We heard about the work we do there as an organisation and were able to ask questions after seeing slides which were truly eye-opening. We enjoyed a terrific supper and chat afterwards.
Many thanks to all who turned up to the Glebe House on Saturday December 15th for our annual Christmas Concert; in particular to Helen O'Toole who was asked to play for us at the 11th hour due to unforeseen circumstances. We all needed our cup of tea after all that singing, many thanks to the Glebe House for that.
Our Hampers were given into the Rectory to be delivered for Christmas. Thank you to all who gave so generously and to the Rector for his help.
Sixteen of us had a great night out in Greene's restaurant on the 16th January with a visit from David to boost the male population!
Wednesday 13th February at 8pm in Parish Centre. 'Chat "n Chew"
Sunday 2nd March ' Mothering Sunday
Mother's Union have traditionally always presented posies for the children to give to their mothers on this day. We also do the Coffee and Tray Bakes after church.
Thursday 6th March ' 11.15am Holy Communion in Christ Church ' Kilternan. On tea duty.
Wednesday 15th April 15th ' 11am. Coffee morning and Bring & Buy Sale at The Cottage, Ballybetagh Wood by kind invitation of Ann Walsh. Come and bring a friend.
10th KILTERNAN SCOUTS
Venture Scouts met for the first time in quite a few years. We have 5 members at the moment and are looking for more 14-17 year olds to join us. We joined up with another Venture group at the beginning of the year to get a few ideas. We have a programme set out every second week until Christmas. This includes helping out at a sponsor canoe in Lough Dan, a camp at Larch hill and skiing in November in Kilternan. Please contact Killian Donavan if you are interested in joining us.
Scouts (11-14 years) have 8 new members and have done two hikes already. One to the Hell Fire club and another on bikes over the Three Rock. The Scouts inputted into their programme and this includes skiing for the month of November. Other weeks are spent in Kilternan Parish Hall with guest speakers, Badge work and games. December will see us doing some work in the community. If you would like more details contact Heather on 087 264 6053.
Cubs (8-11 years) welcomed 12 new boys from Beavers and others joining the association for the first time. They went on a hike to Lough Dan and have had presentations and guest speakers from a Safety angle. Investiture happens after Halloween, when the boys become fully fledged Cubs. In December they will return by request to Leopardstown hospital for Carol singing. To go on a waiting list if you are not in Beavers please contact Michael O'Dea on 086 256 3505.
Beavers (6-8 years) have a full complement of 24 boys. They went for a walk and have done a lot of work/play outside while the weather was good. The boys play lots of indoor games and do badge work during the winter. If you would like to go on the waiting list please contact Michelle Mahon on 087 775 6659.
Group leader Heather Burnett Niland
The committee met recently to discuss the programme for the forthcoming year and are delighted to announce details of what we hope to do during 2008.
On February 12th, local historian Rob Goodbody will give a talk on the history of the locality.
The next meeting will take place in the Parish Centre on 11th March at 2.30 pm. This will be a film presentation and talk on the Niall Mellon project. For those unfamiliar with this it is the house building project in the townships of South Africa which is run by volunteer Irish labour. The talk and film will be presented by two people who have recently returned from working on the project. Please note that the dates of these two presentations had to be reversed after the February Church Review went to press.
8th April ' The Botanic Gardens
29th May ' 'Blooms" in the Phoenix Park
10th June ' Lullymore Gardens, Carlow
8th July ' Fota Island for an Overnight Stay.
29th July ' St. Joseph's School for the Blind Afternoon Tea
12th August ' Lunch in Powerscourt Gardens
9th September ' Altamount Gardens ' Tullow, Carlow
October ' Theatre (Details later)
November ' Theatre (to be confirmed)
December ' Christmas lunch (Details later)
We look forward to seeing old and new faces at our meetings and outings and as usual new members and friends are always welcome.
Kilternan Church Of Ireland National School
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Miss Wright would like to reuse yoghurt pots in Junior Infants as paint and glue pots. Please wash out your yoghurt pots and leave them into the Junior Infant classroom.
Don't forget we are also recycling used stamps, household batteries and printer ink cartridges.
Artist in Residence:
An Artist-In-Residence scheme is organised by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co. Council and we are lucky enough to be involved with the programme this year. They limit the participation to Senior classes and Ms Walsh's class will begin working with the artist, Tunde Toth, in February. Tunde will travel from Kilkenny where she has her studio and will work for 30 hours with the class over a given period. The project they will engage in comes under the "Fabric and Fibre' Strand of the Visual Arts Curriculum. Tunde would like to work with handmade papers and/or silk papers and we are most fortunate to be working side by side such an esteemed artist.
Supervalu Kids in Action
The Supervalu Kids in Action programme runs from 7th January to 16th March 2008. With the vouchers collected last year, the school was able to get kangaroo balls and skipping ropes. If you shop in a SuperValu store and spend over ˆ¢’âÝ¬¨10, please ask for a voucher and put into a collection tin in any of the classrooms.
A big welcome to Cian O'Byrne and his family. Cian joined fourth class on January 7. We wish him and his family every good wish and happiness with us.
Following the extension and renovation of the school, we are glad to announce the return of the House Competition Table Quiz for both pupils and parents! These quizzes have been a fun and very exciting way of earning points for the three houses.
The pupils' quiz will take place on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th February. Teams of four will represent each house, consisting of one pupil from 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th class. The team members will be voted on by their classmates in the same house. Individual and team questions will be asked from a variety of subjects and topics. The children in the school will be able to cheer on their teams.
The quiz for parents will take place on Thursday 28th February. This evening not only enables you to win points for your child's house, but it is also a great opportunity to mix with other parents and enjoy a fun, exciting and slightly competitive evening! The event is organised and hosted by the teachers and refreshments will be served throughout the table quiz. Subjects and topics include maths, geography, current affairs, music, pictures, television and film. Prizes and certificates will be presented at the end of the evening to the three teams with the highest points.
So begin looking at the House Competition list on the corridor to see which children are in the same house as yours and get together a team of 4 parents. Don't forget to think of a name for your team! We are looking forward to seeing you there.
On behalf of all the staff, I would like to convey our immense gratitude for the generous gifts we received at Christmas. Your recognition of our work means a great deal. We would also like to thank all the parents who gave their help and support in the run up to and during the Nativity performances. A large thank you also goes to the PTA for providing refreshments following both Carol Services.
Half Term: School will be closed on Thursday, February 14 and Friday, February 15 for Half Term
Golf Classic: The Fund Raising Committee have just formed under the leadership of Jenny Bailey and Liz Forster. A Golf Classic will be held in Powerscourt Golf Club on Friday, March 7. Details will follow. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Liz and Jenny for all their energy and ideas and to wish them and the committee every success.
In Service: As mentioned on your holiday list, the school will shut for one day's In-Service training. The date for this is Monday, March 11. The school will not be open on this day.
Staff Meetings this term ' 12 o'clock closing:
Friday, February 1st
Friday, March 7th
We are delighted to announce the return of Kieran Gallagher, our visiting Samba drummer. Kieran visited two years ago and taught drumming for eight sessions to each class, culminating in a lively and very memorable concert for parents to enjoy. These sessions will take place after Easter. Details to follow.
Green School News
The Green School Committee intends to hold a Day of Action on Saturday, February 2nd, weather permitting, in order to landscape the banks in the rear of the school. We are asking for a team of ten strong helpers to work from 10 o'clock onwards under the guidance of Simon Banks (parent and landscape gardener). Please put your name on the back of Ms Bennett's door and come along on the day with a spade and a fork. It might be an idea to bring a packed lunch too. Looking forward to seeing you on the day.
Health & Safety
At our previous staff meeting, we received practical and theoretical training in the use of fire extinguishers. Since the move into the new school, we have been audited for the correct amount and type of fire extinguishers and these have been purchased and fitted. Our fire alarm system is tested every Monday afternoon and faults are logged and followed up.