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news letter April/May 2019


News letter April/May 2019

The Big Day for May is the Confirmation on Saturday the 25th at 3.30pm. Please pray for our seven candidates who have been attending the classes in Rathvilly and Stratford before the services.
The next day our big annual event the tractor run will take place on Sunday 26th May at 2pm.starting at Bough School. This is always a great event with proceeds being shared between the Rectory fund and Lalor centre in Baltinglass.
There will be a mid-summer supper and song at Lisnavagh House on Wed.19th of June at 7.30.p.m.Tickets on sale from the parishioners.
Finally, congratulations To Paul and Leanne Murphy, Garrettstown on the birth of their baby girl.

On Monday the 29th of April in Bough school there will be a service at 8.30, in Stratford on Thursday the 2nd of May in St Marys at 8.00 pm there will also be a service all are welcome.

In Baltinglass and Ballynure on the 8th of May in St Marys there is a service taking place, also United service on the 5th of May in Baltinglass Ger James will be taking this service.

Darkness into light will take place on the 11th of May at 4.15 am in Baltinglass, they also need helpers to take part if you would be interested in helping this event contact mags on 089- 9798484. Registration cannot happen on the night so make sure to register as it is for a great cause,

The annual BKT youth club have organised a BBQ on the 11th of May from 8.00 to 10.00 pm all are welcome.

There will be a monthly healer prayer service on Wednesday the 1st of May after which evening Wednesday service is on hold for the summer months.

Also a light reminder that the rector will be away for general synod from the 14th to the 18th of May.

Easter great vestries are as follows:


  • Rathvilly Monday 29th April 8.30 in Bough school.
  • Stratford 8.00 pm on Thursday 2nd of May in st john Baptist church.
  • Baltinglass and Ballynure Wednesday 8th of May 8.00 pm in St Marys.
  • United service Sunday 5th of May in Baltinglass with Ger James taking the service.
  • Darkness into light 4.15 am the 11th of May.
  • Annual BKT youth group BBQ on Saturday 11th of May 8.00 pm – 10.00.
  • Monthly healer prayer service Wednesday 1st of May after which evening Wednesday service is on hold for the summer months.
  • Confirmation 3.30 on Saturday 25th of May Rathvilly.
  • The rector will be away for general synod from the 14th to the 18th of May.

Merry Christmas

This weekend Bishop Empey is taking Saturday evening service and Archdeacon Bantry White is doing Sundays. Next weekend  (17th -18th) Saturday evening in Stratford  and United service at 11 in Baltinglass for the Carol service.
Wednesday the 21st at 8pm there is a candle little Carol service in Ballynure
Christmas Eve 7.30pm in Rathvilly
Christmas Day 9am Ballynure
10.15am Stratford
11.20 Baltinglass

Saturday new year’s eve evening prayer in Stratford at 7.30pm
New Year’s Day 11am Rathvilly
Epiphany /Nollaig na mBán 11.45 am Baltinglass Hospital all welcome

Cricket club agm December 30 8pm
Venue to be arranged

Greetings all,

Time to get back into the swing of things again and I hope all will find our schedule action packed and fun filled. I thought as well as sending the odd text that I would put up a note with all the dates and events in one place. This note will be at the back of churches as well as on Facebook and the web page.

Wednesday evening services are back running at 8pm.

First Wednesdays are Healer Prayer services and if you can not attend but wish to have someone prayed for, please put their name in the prayer diary at the back of Baltinglass Church.

Second and fourth Wednesdays will be reflective prayer with short scripture passage and lots of space for silence

Other Wednesdays will be Complin

Choir returns on Thursday the 8th at a new time of 8pm which I hope will be easier for some to get to, all welcome especially men!

 BB and GFS will start back on the 16th and will be running on the same night once a fortnight for the most part, the dates are 16-9, registration and prep for Ballynure harvest, 23-9, help with Ballynure harvest, 30-9, 14-10, 28-10, 11-11, 25-11, 9-12.

Other dates for these groups for events will follow.

Sunday school is on the first Sundays of the month in Baltinglass but on third Sundays we are starting an all age service in Rathvilly at the 10.15 service with coffee after. I would strongly encourage those with children, especially young children to bring them along and not be worried about how much noise they might make!


Ballynure Friday 23rd September at 7.30pm, Preacher Rev. N Halford of Eniscorthy

Followed by Harvest Supper and 70s/80s disco in Baltinglass Golf Club, tickets €20 from the rector, also available from the school secretary.

Stratford Saturday 1st October 7.30pm, Preacher Rev. N O’Raw

Baltinglass Sunday 9th October at 11.20 am, Preacher Rev. H. Oxley, no other service that morning

Rathvilly Sunday 30th October at 11 am Preacher Mr D O’Bryne who runs a retreat centre in Kerry

Rathvilly Coffee evening and sale is on 14th of October in Bough

Parish Bazaar is on the 19th of November at Stratford Lodge

Sunday 20th of November we host the regional service for the BB at 3pm

On Sunday the 27th November there is the Advent carol service at 11am in Rathvilly as we treat this as a 5th Sunday

Christmas Carol service is on Sunday the 18th December in Baltinglass at 11am (this is also running as a 5th Sunday)

Christmas services as last year, Sunday after Christmas Jan 1st. Only service 11am Rathvilly

This year the school services will be at 1.15 pm. They are on Tuesday 13th September, Tuesday 11th October, Monday 14th November and Tuesday the 6th of December

I am also hoping to have a couple of Table quizzes to fundraise for the parish and for the Diocesan literacy projects in DR Congo and Ethiopia. The first of these will be in Lizzy Kehoes pub on the 28th of October, the next is to be finalised…

 As a final note I am on the lookout for people who might like to read in church, you can let me know if you see me about.

Michael Commane’s Independent News Media article on his visit to us:

On Sunday, September 20 the Church of Ireland community in Baltinglass in Co. Wicklow celebrated its annual harvest festival. It’s an important date in the Anglican calendar. Some Catholic communities mark the occasion but it’s not widespread.

There is no special date for it except to say that it takes place this time of the year. As it suggests, it takes place to mark the gathering of the harvest.

And according to all the experts this has been a great grain harvest with farmers experiencing higher yields than in many years.

Does that mean that our bread and porridge will be cheaper this winter? I doubt it.

Máirt Hanley is the Church of Ireland rector in Baltinglass and he invited me to talk in church on the Sunday they were celebrating the harvest festival.

I know Máirt since my days working and living in Kerry when he was ministering in Tralee and then later in Camp in West Kerry.

It was my second time to talk in a Protestant church so naturally I was somewhat more nervous than usual when getting up to speak.

It all worked out fine. The church seemed full and Ireland being the small place that it is, a number of people present knew people I know. That’s Ireland.

The theme of my talk was based on my recent trip with Concern Worldwide to Lebanon, which was relevant to the first reading from the prophet Joel, who lived approximately 400 BC/BCE.

Máirt, his wife Una and their three children Sadhbh, Oscar and Cathal live in the manse, which is on the grounds of the church.

I arrived early so there was plenty of time for a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Even if there was an element of panic when I arrived, I immediately felt at home. Within seconds toast and coffee was served. Just what I needed. The reason for the panic was that Una and Máirt were in the throes of putting the finishing touches to the preparations for the food, fun and games that were being served up after the church service.

At one stage little nine-year-old Sadhbh began to explain to me what she missed from living in Kerry but quickly added that she was enjoying life in Wicklow and was happy in her new school. She even went on to tell me what secondary school she expects to attend.

I know little or nothing about Máirt’s family but sitting down in Máirt and Una’s kitchen on that Sunday morning I was conscious of the warmth and ‘normality’ of family life. A man and a woman with their three young children doing what nature, love and life suggests.

I felt at home in the short hour I spent in their kitchen.

On the few occasions I have been in the house/home of a Catholic priest I have to say I have found myself wondering what to say and how to behave. There is always something pained about it, there is something odd about it all. There’s something missing. I’d go as far as saying, in most cases, there seems to be something not right about it.

Driving back from Baltinglass I was wondering is Máirt Hanley any less a priest than his Catholic counterpart? I doubt it. I wonder what God thinks about it all?

Has it all to do with holiness and theology or more to do with history, turf wars and power?

Of course there is place for different types of priesthood within the Catholic Church: religious congregations and diocesan priesthood. Why not married priests? Why not women priests?

Just asking.