The ministry of ‘a decent man’ — 3 Comments

  1. I think your own epitaph will be a pretty favourable one. Having been a parishoner in your urban parish and someone who, as an incomer without relatives or roots or even many friends in that area, really felt the want of a secure community, I thought you did as much as one priest could to make us feel welcomed and included.

  2. Your former urban parish was a rural one when I arrived there in 1954, and there was a very strong, if relatively small CofI community. In fact there was a very strong local community and, as you mentioned above, the scope for being anyone other than yourself was very limited. Although doing relief as a Christmas postman I did come across some military types whose pension envelopes suggested they were overstating their former military rank. Short of that, however, everyone knew everyone else’s business.

    As my mother ran the local newsagents, we knew as much as most, but were stongly advised to be discreet (ie shut up) no matter what we came to hear.

    By the time you came, the place was a concrete jungle, infested with crime, poverty and distress of all sorts. A different place entirely.

    I am now living in Raheny (north Dublin suburb) where, despite the residential build up over the years, there is still a sense of community and focus on the village. This came across to me very strongly during the first Raheny Festival a few years ago. It was a marvellous experience to see the locals virtually pedestrianise the main road as they drifted between festival locations and even stopped for a chat in the middle of the road. Took me back a while.

    Incidentally, this is the village from which Rev. Jim Carroll is retiring after a very active and much loved ministry over the last 21 years. His is loved across all the religious denominations and none. A real jewel in the Raheny crown.

    Anyway, hope you’re enjoying where you are and that the baillifs don’t come for yours or the wife’s house in the near future. 🙂

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