Kilkenny Bishop Burrows to begin a 150-'stop' virtual tour of diocese and history

Follow his progress online around the diocese and back over the past 150 years


Bishop Michael Burrows' Disestablishment 150 Road Trip

The Church of Ireland Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, the Right Reverend Michael Burrows, will tomorrow (Thursday) begin a virtual tour of his diocese, giving a short talk at 150 'stops' related to each of the 150 years since Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1870.

Originally planned as a road trip round the diocese, the bishop will, due to lockdown, instead provide an online reflection about one year in each the past 150 as he 'visits' each of the 150 churches in his diocese over a period of 15 non-consecutive days.

The tour, which people can follow online, will be of interest to history lovers. Lots of topics will be covered - from outings by horse tram, the First Home Rule Bill, Adoption legalised, the Famine, Boycotting, and much more.  

All funds raised will go to Bishops' Appeal literacy projects in the developing world in association with Mothers’ Union and Feed the Minds.

“Although my peregrination plans are now largely virtual, they can, perhaps, in some way warm our hearts as we prepare for a rather strange Christmas,” Bishop Burrows says.

“This ‘virtual’ road run also makes a measure of historical sense as the years between 1870 and 2020 are now bookended by two crises which shook the Church of Ireland and the society in which it is set... Disestablishment and Covid-19. Both tested the resourcefulness of the church; both involved great faith and generosity to allow the church to travel safely through a human, pastoral and economic crisis.”

The audio talks will be available on the diocesan website and Facebook page at the time originally scheduled for Bishop Burrows’ arrival at each particular church, providing a cumulative chronicle of his tour. The timetable will be posted each day of the tour.

“I'm definitely not expecting to receive a specific amount from each parish in light of the great economic challenges faced by parishes," said Bishop Burrows .

"However, the needs of the poor do not go away. Before the pandemic I made a commitment to raise particular sums for Feed the Minds and Mothers' Union projects. These agencies understand the reality of diocesan life now but hold out a hope that I might raise for them at least something of what I had promised. 

"So, if individuals or parishes feel they can manage to give anything to needs beyond the local, I will be delighted to receive electronic contributions via our online platform.

"Cheques made payable to Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal sent to the Diocesan Secretary, Diocesan Office, Palace Coach House, Church Lane, Kilkenny would be most welcome also."

The bishop's last similar 'peregrination' - called Route 66 - raised €40,000 for women's literacy projects in Africa in 2017. The cause is the same this year. Donations can be made via the website 

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