Issue 133 “Union Notes” April 2021


Dear Parishioners,

Holy Week and Easter

Unfortunately this year we are again not going to be able to meet in church for the ceremonies during Holy Week and Easter.  This is, of course, a great disappointment but is understandable given the current restrictions in the country.  However, we are going to hold a number of Zoom Services which I hope you will be able to join.  On Mothering Sunday a good number of parishioners gathered for the Zoom Service and everyone was both uplifted and delighted to be able to see so many familiar faces from the Parish.  The Zoom Services will be:


Palm Sunday – Sunday 28th March

11.00 a.m. the Palm Sunday Service with the reading of the Passion Story


Holy Week

During Holy Week at 8.00 p.m. each evening from Monday 29th March to

Good Friday, 2nd April, there will be a Zoom Evening Prayer Service at



Good Friday 2nd April

Our normal Service, “Sacred Words and Sacred Music”, will be held on

Zoom at 8.00 p.m.  The Choir has recorded sacred music which will be

played along with the reading of Christ’s Passion.


Easter Day 

11.00 a.m. the Easter Day Family Service with Easter music



I would like to thank everyone who will be taking part in the ZOOM Services and also our Choir Director  Bill Mc Connell and Choir members who have individually recorded their singing at home.  Ron Lomax has  brought all their voices together to blend a lovely musical synergy which we will have the privilege of listening to on Good Friday and Easter Day.



Lighten Our Darkness

A copy of the recently printed leaflet on our Parish Initiative “Lighten Our Darkness” is included with the Union Notes this month.  The initiative has been very well received and we all look forward to its’ implementation when the restrictions allow.  I would like to thank everyone for their support in producing the leaflet.





Select Vestry

There will be a meeting of the Select Vestry at 8.00 p.m. on Monday 12th April by Zoom.  This is an important meeting and I do hope that as many members of the Select Vestry as possible will be able to attend.



General Easter Vestry – Thursday 15th April at 8.00 p.m.

The Church authorities have requested that all Parishes in this Diocese would hold the General Easter Vestry after Easter and that all the Returns would be submitted to the Diocesan Office by 4th May.  I do hope that a large number of parishioners will be able to attend the Zoom meeting of the General Easter Vestry as we will require a quorum to transact the business of the meeting.  It is everyone’s firm hope that this will be the last year that General Easter Vestries will have to be held by Zoom.




Happy Congratulations

Muriel Ray, our much-loved parishioner who lives in Hopestown just outside Mullingar, celebrated her 95th birthday in March and was able to enjoy some birthday cake with her immediate family with whom she resides.  Muriel still sings in the Parish choir and is such wonderful company.  Her knowledge of nature and life is so magnificently rich and her sharing of it in conversation is nothing short of inspirational.  We pray that God will continue to bless Muriel with good health and happiness and we thank her family for surrounding her with such enriching love.




We offer our deepest sympathy to Jean and Frank Kilmartin following the death of Jean’s sister-in-law, Deirdre, who had been married to Jean’s brother Norman for many years.  Deirdre unfortunately had a health condition that was never going to restore her to fullness of life.  In her latter years she managed to enjoy her return to living in Donegal, the county of her birth, and we pray that now in the fuller presence of God she may rest in peace and rise in glory and that Norman, Jean, Frank and the family will be comforted by their faith and by their lovely memories of her.


We also offer our deepest sympathy to Richard and Lesley Denniston following the death of Richard’s uncle David Satchwell in Roscommon.  Richard’s uncle was very highly regarded and admired in the whole community and his death came as both a shock and a sadness to his family and many friends.  We pray that Richard’s uncle is now safe in the Lord’s presence and that God’s love and care will sustain all the family at this sad time.


In last month’s magazine we mentioned the passing of Claude Rolston who had passed away peacefully at home on Sunday 14th February.  Claude and Anna were deeply loved in the Parish and Claude will be very sadly missed by us all and by the members of the Choir.  Unfortunately, due to a slight oversight, his daughter Florence’s name was incorrectly mentioned in the Notes, as was the reference to Claude’s sisters.  Claude had six sisters, Viola, Doreen, Iris, Emily, Lil and Ina, and three brothers, Cyril, Eric and Maurice.   Lil, Ina, Eric and Maurice pre-deceased Claude.  We again offer our deepest sympathy now to Claude’s sisters and brother and, of course, his wonderful wife Anna whose care of Claude was magnificent, and to his children Wendy, Sandra, Newton, David and Florence and all the other members of the family.  In remembering Claude with such affection we pray that he now is in the fuller presence of God and at peace.


We offer our sympathy to Canon John Clarke following the death of his mother who passed away peacefully after having lived a very long life.


We again sympathise with Kathy von Beaumont and her family following the death of Kathy’s mother.  We apologise for the small typing error in last month’s Union Notes.  The loss for Kathy and the family was, naturally, very upsetting and further created much heartbreak because, due to Covid, Kathy was unable to travel to attend her mother’s funeral.



Easter Greetings

Olive and I would like to wish you a very Happy Easter.  While, due to the restrictions, everyone’s  meeting with family and friends at Easter this year will be significantly curtailed, we do hope you will manage to have an enjoyable and restful time.  It is wonderfully inspiring to know that there is still a lovely momentum in the Parish and that we are all looking forward to the time when we can come again to each of the churches to worship God and to glorify His holy name.  We pray that God will richly bless your life with His love and grace and that each of us will feel truly inspired as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the hope that that brings to each of us and to the world in which we have the pleasure and privilege to live.


Revd. Alastair Graham


As I have mentioned before, I am always available to anyone in the Parish who might wish to contact me about any matter.  My mobile no. is 087-7870985.



















A Devotional Biblical Reading for Good Friday – Hebrews 10, verses 19-25

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,

20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,

21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,

25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.






A Devotional Biblical Reading for Easter Day – John 20, verses 1- 9

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.

Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.

He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.

Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there,

as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.

Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

(They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)


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Rev. Alastair Graham
The Rectory
Gaol Hill
Co. Westmeath

Tel: 044 9348376