Saturday, 30 September 2017

Ministry embracing social media
with launch of a new website

Today’s edition of the ‘Limerick Leader’ [Saturday 30 September 2017] publishes this quarter-page news report by Norma Prendiville [p 4]:

Ministry embracing social media with launch of a new website

Bishop Kenneth Kearon with Canon Patrick Comerford at the launch of the website

Norma Prendiville

Patrick Comerford is determined to bring the Church of Ireland in Limerick up to speed in terms of news media.

And he is spearheading a first in diocesan terms with a new website designed to help priests and lay ministers, the first such diocesan [initiative.]

The new website, in a blog format, was launched by the Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, the Right Revd Kenneth Kearon and the first posting suggests readings and hymns that could be used at Harvest Festival ceremonies in different parishes.

Already, Canon Comerford says, he has received a couple of hundred hits since the website went up and he is very pleased with the response.

“It is not just a website out there in the ether. It is helpful,” says the priest in charge of the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin group of parishes.

The website, he explains, is part of his work as director of continuing education in this diocese.

And he would be happy if other dioceses were to copy the template and example set by Limerick and Killaloe. There is resource material on the general Church of Ireland website, Canon Comerford explains, but it comes along with a lot of other material on other matters and can be difficult to access. This is straight to the point and even includes photographs that can be used by other ministers to illustrate their own newsletters.

However, for the former journalist and confirmed blogger, this is only the beginning. He plans to hold a training day for ministers and readers next month where the focus will be on using social media as well as traditional media. The topics, he explains, will include working with local radio stations, newspapers and the diocesan magazine as well as how to use social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and websites, in the parish. Producing parish newsletters and handouts will also be part of the agenda.

“I am bringing my social media interest and skills into helping and enabling the priests and readers of the diocese,” he says simply.

For him the day of the crumpled A4 newsletter to be picked up at the back of the church is gone. Using new media is about “finding people where they are rather than where we want to be,” he believes.

It reaches out beyond the congregations attending services to a wider congregation and keeps them in touch with the church, he argues.

Age is not a barrier. “I am 65 and I am finding my age group, which is the average of most people attending services, are all using social media, whether texting or Facebook.”

He puts his own sermons online on his personal blog and also uses social media to remind people about services and the response he gets come from a wider number of people than those attending Sunday service.

Moreover, the majority are using their mobile phones for this. So for example, a text can alert them to a sermon by Patrick and they can then read it for themselves.

The new website is and for more information Canon Comerford can be contacted at

His own blog, which contains a lot of material on local Limerick is at

Friday, 22 September 2017

New website offers
ministry resources in
Limerick and Killaloe

Bishop Kenneth Kearon and Canon Patrick Comerford at the launch of the new website, ‘CME Limerick & Killaloe,’ at the Diocesan Council meeting in Adare (Photograph: Joc Sanders)

A new set of resources for clergy, readers, schools and all in ministry has gone online in the Dioceses of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert.

The new website, CME Limerick & Killaloe, was launched at a diocesan council meeting in Adare, Co Limerick, by the Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, the Right Revd Kenneth Kearon.

The new website, in a blog format, is being produced by Canon Patrick Comerford of the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes, who is also Director for Education and Training in the dioceses.

The new site is at:

The first posting to go on line has a list of Harvest-themed resources for clergy and parishes The page includes readings for Harvest, suggested hymns linked to the Harvest theme and the readings, and links to Harvest resources available from the Children’s Ministry Network, USPG and Christian Aid, as well as Harvest photographs that parishes and schools can use.

Meanwhile, details of the first in a series of training days for clergy and readers in the diocese have been announced.

The Diocesan Communications Officer, the Revd Michael Cavanagh, Priest-in-Charge of the Kenmare and Dromod Union of Parishes, the Editor of Newslink, Joc Sanders, and Canon Comerford, a former journalist, are facilitating a training day in Killarney on parish communications on Monday 23 October.

The topics for discussion include working with local radio stations, newspapers and the diocesan magazine, how to use social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and websites, in your parish, and producing parish newsletters and hand-outs.

The day begins at 11, is open to all clergy and diocesan and readers in the united diocese, and ends at 3 p.m.

The planned dates and topics for further training days are:

20 November, Preparing for Advent and Christmas (Saint Mary’s Rectory, Askeaton).

22 January, Preparing for Lent and Easter.

12 February, Relating to other faiths (meeting Jews and Muslims in Limerick).

12 March, A life of prayer: personal prayer and leading intercessions.

For more information, Canon Patrick Comerford can be contacted at:

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Harvest readings, hymns and
resources for Year A, 2017

Harvest time and harvest resources (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

As we prepare for Harvest Thanksgiving Services in parishes throughout the united dioceses, these are some resources that may be helpful:

Readings (Year A):

Deuteronomy 8: 7-18:

The people of Israel are exhorted that when they prosper materially they are not forget the Lord their God.

Psalm 65:

All creation gives praise to God, who is the hope of all the ends of the earth and who crowns the year with goodness.

2 Corinthians 9: 6-15

Christians are instructed to give thankfully and cheerfully to God’s work. They are not to do so grudgingly.

Luke 17: 11-19

Only one of ten lepers healed by Jesus returned to thank him and he was a Samaritan.


Eternal God,
you crown the year with your goodness
and give us the fruits of the earth in their season:
Grant that we may use them to your glory,
for the relief of those in need
and for our own well-being;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Post Communion Prayer:

Lord of the harvest,
with joy we have offered thanksgiving for your love in creation
and have shared in the bread and wine of the kingdom.
By your grace plant within us such reverence
for all that you give us
that will make us wise stewards the of the good things we enjoy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Note: material from the Book of Common Prayer (2004) is copyright © the Representative Church Body.


In the Church Hymnal, Hymns 37-47 are identified specifically as being suitable for Harvest:

37: Come, ye thankful people, come.
38: Father, blessing every seed-time
39: For the fruits of his creation
40: Father of mercies, God of love
41: God, whose farm is all creation
42: Good is the Lord, our heavenly king
43: Holy is the seed-time, when the buried grain
44: Praise and thanksgiving
45: Praise, O praise our God and king
46: Tá an fómhar seo go haerach, céad buíochas le hÍosa
47: We plough the fields and scatter

In addition, the hymns in the following section, Care for the Created Order (48-50), and the preceding section, God’s World (23-36), may be helpful in planning.

Bishop Edward Darling’s book, Sing to the Word (Oxford: OUP, 2000), recommends the following hymns in connection with the readings for Year A:

Deuteronomy 8: 7-18:

42: Good is the Lord, our heavenly king
647: Guide me, O thou great Jehovah 539: Rejoice, O land, in God thy might.
557: Rock of ages, cleft for me.

Psalm 65:

612:Eternal Father, strong to save.
645: Father, hear the prayer we offer
42: Good is the Lord, our heavenly king
581: I, the Lord of sea and sky.
709: Praise the Lord! You heavens, adore him

2 Corinthians 9: 6-15

10: All my hope on God is founded
38: Father, blessing every seed-time
40: Father of mercies, God of love
363: O Lord of heaven and earth and sea
47: We plough the fields and scatter

Luke 17: 11-19

92: How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
211: Immortal love for ever full
361: Now thank we all our God
104: O for a thousand tongues to sing
366: Praise, my soul, the King of heaven
373: To God be the glory! Great things he has done!


USPG Harvest Resources:

The Diocese of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert is working closely with USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), one of the oldest Anglican mission agencies.

This year’s harvest resources from USPG for churches and schools is looking at Harvest in a changing climate.

What would you do if there was not going to be a harvest?

This is the dilemma currently facing many communities in Madagascar.

Drought and torrential rains have washed away farmland and depleted nutrients in the soil.

This means the land can no longer yield a healthy harvest. At the same time in coastal regions, rising sea temperatures have reduced fish stocks, so fishermen must venture out into deeper and more dangerous waters.

However, the church is responding with emergency aid and with training in preparation for future disasters. And in helping communities generate an income – so they can buy food.

This Harvest, USPG is inviting you and your church to find out more about the issue of climate justice in Madagascar and around the world.

This is also an opportunity to make a donation that will save lives.

The resources available online from USPG include:

USPG Harvest 2017 PowerPoint (for use with sermon, all-age talk or primary school talk)

USPG Harvest sermon 2017 (PDF)

USPG Harvest all-age or primary school talk 2017 (PDF)

USPG Harvest 2017 prayer meditation (film)

USPG Harvest 2017 Bible study (Word)

Faith in a Changing Climate advocacy and resource pack

Harvest and Children’s Ministry:

The Children’s Ministry Newsletter includes ‘back to school’ prayers, suggestions on making children feel welcome, recommended resources and a sample programme plan for children’s activities, and creative approaches to telling Bible stories.

The Children’s Ministry Network representative in these dioceses is the Revd Canon Jane Galbraith.

Christian Aid Ireland:

This year’s Harvest resources from Christian Aid Ireland include a Harvest Appeal poster, factsheet, prayer card, prayer sheet, sermon notes, a draft order of service, an all-age talk, an all-age presentation, and a children’s harvest activity sheet.

Some intercessions that may be helpful:

Let us pray for our world and all the people in it.
We pray for ourselves as we celebrate the harvest.
We are thankful for the good things that have come to us.
We may not till the fields, but we have been busy all year,
whether in workshops or at workstations,
in the office, the shop, the kitchen,
the community or the classroom.
Our achievements have been both great and small,
but all are of value and we thank God for them.

Lord, in your mercy:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for those for whom there is no harvest;
those who have no work
or who are dispossessed by acts of war or natural disaster.
We pray for all those for whom life
is a struggle against starvation, disease, terror or oppression.
We pray for the wisdom to husband the earth’s resources wisely
and to hand them on to the next generation in good order.

Lord, in your mercy:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for our Church, its clergy and its leaders,
that the will of the Lord may be done.
We pray for all people of faith throughout the world
that they may live in mutual respect and harmony.
May we be recognised as Christians by our love
and not be ashamed to confess our faith.

Lord, in your mercy:
Hear our prayer.

We pray for the sick in body and mind
and for those who care for them;
may they be comforted and strengthened in their troubles.
We pray especially for any known to us
who are in special need of our prayers at this time.
We remember them now and lift them to the Lord in a moment of silence ...

Lord, in your mercy:
Hear our prayer.

Jesus Christ is the light of the world,
a light which no darkness can quench.
We remember before God those who have died
and light a candle to symbolise the light of Christ,
which eternally shines and brings hope.
We remember ...
You turn our darkness into light: in your light shall we see light.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


To illustrate parish newsletters, bulletins, notices or harvest service sheets, you may click on any of these photograph and download it for use. But please state, Photograph: Patrick Comerford.

Harvest time, Photograph: Patrick Comerford

Harvest time, Photograph: Patrick Comerford

Harvest time, Photograph: Patrick Comerford

Harvest time, Photograph: Patrick Comerford

Harvest time, Photograph: Patrick Comerford

Harvest time, Photograph: Patrick Comerford

Harvest time, Photograph: Patrick Comerford

Harvest time, Photograph: Patrick Comerford