Issue 149                           “UNION NEWS”                     August 2022



Dear Parishioners,


Fleadh Cheoil – 31st July – 7th August

Final arrangements are being put in place for the Fleadh Cheoil which commences next Sunday.  We very much look forward to the Fleadh Cheoil and we hope it will be a most enjoyable time for everyone and that the weather will be kind in Mullingar.  Given the traffic restrictions, the church service times will have to be altered in All Saints’ for Sunday 31st July and Sunday 7th August.  There will be a Service of Holy Communion in All Saints’ on both Sundays at 8.30 a.m.  Next Sunday 31st July the President of Ireland will open the Fleadh and the clergy from the churches have been invited to take part.  In light of this, next Sunday morning the service in Killucan will be at 10.30 a.m., not 11.30 a.m. as announced.   The following Sunday 7th August there will be a service in Killucan at 11.30 a.m.  Due to the Fleadh, the service in All Saints’ for the Transfiguration of Our Lord will  be postponed from Saturday 6th August.



Lighten Our Darkness

In July we had a wonderful weekend working on “God’s Gardens of Hope” and we hope this work will continue each month for the remainder of the year.  The young leaders are very much involved in this project but I would like to welcome other parishioners to take part.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will give you the details.



Climate Sunday Service – Sunday 4th September

The next Climate Sunday Service will be held in All Saints’ on Sunday 4th September at 11.00 a.m.  I would like to invite everyone to attend the Service.  The Service will be led by the young leaders and the Choir will lead the singing.  In the light of the very striking recent weather events this Service takes on an added significance and I hope it will be very well supported.


Following the Service Olive and I would like to invite everyone in to the Rectory garden for light refreshments.




The annual Open Air Service was held on Sunday 24th July and the theme was ‘creation care’.  Clonmacnoise was such an appropriate setting and we were truly blessed with the weather as a heavy shower passed over before the Service began.  We enjoyed a time of worship in glorious sunshine.



Summer Holidays and Summer Work

I hope that parishioners who have already been on holiday will have returned feeling well rested and refreshed.  For those parishioners who will be on holiday this month, I hope you will have a very sunny and enjoyable holiday.  We also remember those who are particularly busy with their work over the summer months and, in particular, we remember the farmers in the Parish.  We are very blessed with the good work the farmers undertake.  We also pray that farmers will keep safe as given the nature of their work there is always the risk of an unintended accident.  We pray that God will bless us all with a good harvest this year and we look forward to giving our thanksgiving at the Harvest Services in October.


Harvest Extravaganza

On the weekend of the Harvest Festival in All Saints’ – Sunday 16th October – parishioners are organising a very imaginative Harvest Extravaganza which we hope will be very well supported by parishioners and the wider community.  Details of the Extravaganza will be in the September Union Notes.  In the meantime, if anyone would like to know more about this special event please contact Emma Coburn who will be pleased to provide more information.



Year of Renewal

You may remember on Easter Sunday we launched a Year of Parish Renewal as the country emerged from the Covid pandemic.  In the autumn we hope to hold some very special events in the Parish to enable us all to come together as a community to share in both religious and social events.  The place of the Church in modern society is very important in the local context as it provides a true beacon of hope at this time of challenge and opportunity.  It will be a lovely experience to participate and attend these occasions and dates for these occasions will be announced in the September issue of the Union Notes.


Holy Days in August

  • On Monday 15th August we will remember the blessed Virgin Mary at a service in All Saints’ at 11.00 a.m.
  • Sunday 24th August is St. Bartholomew’s Day which will be celebrated in All Saints’ at 11.00 a.m.



I do hope you will continued to have an enjoyable and peaceful summer.


With God’s blessings,

Rev. Alastair Graham




Church Services this Month

Sunday 31st July

All Saints’                            8.30 a.m.            Holy Communion, Rector

Killucan                              10.30 a.m.            Morning Prayer, Rector



Sunday 7th August

All Saints’                            8.30 a.m.            Holy Communion, Rector

Killucan                              11.30 a.m.            Morning Prayer, Rector



Sunday 14th August

All Saints’                          10.00 a.m.            Holy Communion, Rector

Kilbixy                                11.30 a.m.            Holy Communion, Rector

Almoritia                              7.00 p.m.            Evening Prayer, Rector



Sunday 21st August

All Saints’                          10.00 a.m.            Holy Communion, Canon Lawrence

Killucan                               11.30 a.m.            Holy Communion, Canon Lawrence



Sunday 28th August

All Saints’                          10.00 a.m.            Holy Communion, Canon Lawrence

Killucan                               11.30 a.m             Holy Communion, Canon Lawrence



Sunday 4th September

All Saints’                          11.00 a.m.            Climate Sunday Service for parishioners

from all the churches –

followed by coffee in the Rectory garden



Holy Days this Month

Monday 15th August          11.00 a.m.            Blessed Virgin Mary

Wednesday 24th August     11.00 a.m.            St. Bartholomew’s Day


Services of Holy Communion will be held in All Saints’ Church

Issue 147 “UNION NEWS” June 2022


Dear Parishioners,
General Easter Vestry
The General Easter Vestry was held on Sunday 8 th May in All Saints’ Church
Mullingar and we were delighted that it was so well attended. I would again like tothank the outgoing members of the Select Vestry for all their fine work during the pandemic. We are particularly indebted in the Parish to the wonderful workundertaken by the Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary and the sterling workof organisation by the churchwardens in each of the churches.

It was most encouraging to see the enthusiasm for our Year of Renewal as we begin the rebuilding of the Parish after such a torrid time during the pandemic. It was also veryencouraging to see some younger parishioners going forward for the Select Vestry andwe now have a very committed and vibrant Select Vestry undertaking the management of the finance, fabric and furnishings of the Parish in the coming year.
We pray God will bless all their good work and endeavour in the building of His
Kingdom in the Mullingar Union of Parishes.

On Saturday 14 th May the Mayfair was held at All Saints’ Church following a twoyear absence due to the pandemic. It was a most enjoyable occasion with plenty of attractive stalls. As always the stallholders worked so hard and the large number ofparishioners who attended had a most enjoyable day. We raised a wonderful sum of money for the Parish. A thousand thanks to Emma Coburn and all the stallholders and parishioners who helped.

Music Sing Music Sing
On Sunday 29 th May in All Saints’ a large congregation of parishioners of all ages gathered for a most inspiring Service of hymn singing and sacred music. Everyone enjoyed the singing of much loved hymns.

The Lighten Our Darkness young leaders sang a beautiful anthem, followed by the wonderful Children’s Choir, soloist Silver and then an uplifting anthem by the Senior Parish Choir.

Sacred music truly feeds the soul and we had a wonderful feast of music and singing which was so greatly enjoyed after the long absence of music due to the pandemic.

Many thanks to all the parishioners who made this such a special occasion.
Stat e Exams
We wish all the young people in the Parish every success with their State exams this
month. Special prayers will be offered for them at church services on Sunday 5 th June.
This is also Vocation Sunday and prayers will be offered for vocations in the church.
Whist Drive

One of the sad casualties of the pandemic was the suspension of the Whist Drives in
All Saints’. On Friday 10 th June at 8.30 p.m. there will be a special Whist Drive held
and we warmly invite our friends from the Diocese, along with the Parish, to this very
special evening. Parish Whist Drives are occasions of great fun and enjoyment and
we are delighted to be able to hold them again.
Service of Remembrance and Thanksgiving
On Sunday 12 th June at 11.00 a.m. in All Saints’ there will be a special Service of
Remembrance when we will remember all those who sadly passed away since the
beginning of the pandemic and those who were seriously ill. We will also be offering
thanksgiving to God for the wonderful dedication of so many health workers, those in
other essential services and business and voluntary bodies who stepped up ‘to the
plate’ during the pandemic to help all who were in need.
End of Year School Service
On Sunday 19 th June at 11.00 a.m. in All Saints’ Mullingar we will hold the End of
Year School Service for children who attend All Saints’ National School, the Principal
and teachers, staff and parents. This is a very special service that we hold each year
and our School Principal gives the address. We wish all the young people leaving
school this year the very best for their future education and thank them for all they did
during their years in All Saints’.
Parish Retreat
On Saturday 18 th June, in Mount St. Anne’s Killenard, we will be holding our annual
Retreat from 10.30 a.m. to 3. p.m. Lunch will be provided. This year the theme of the
Retreat will be “God and Evil”. If any of your family, friends or neighbours would
like to attend they would be most welcome. Please telephone 087-7870985 to reserve
a place.
We offer our very deepest sympathy to Mark, Rachel and Alice Potterton, and the
Potterton family, following the sad death of Mark’s mother Maud. Mark’s mother
was a truly remarkable person and an amazing wife, mother, grandmother, sibling and
friend. She will be very sadly missed. Maud showed such courage and dignity
throughout her illness. She was also a highly respected and much loved Christian.
Her faith greatly shaped and influenced her life and she certainly did reflect the image
of Almighty God in everything she did. We pray that Mark, Rachel and Alice and the
family will be comforted by their lovely memories of her and by knowing that God’s
promises are true. We pray that Maud, now in the fuller presence of God, may rest in
peace and rise in glory.
We also offer our deepest sympathy to Harvey, Emily, Shirley, Adele, Olwyn and
David Bourke and the Stratford family following the tragic and sudden death of Alex
at such a young age. At this very sad time we hope they will be comforted by the love
and support of all their family and friends and by knowing that God’s promises are
true and we pray that Alex now in the fuller presence of God may rest in peace and
rise in glory. May they also draw comfort from their wonderful memories of Alex and
the time they spent with him.
Holy Matrimony

We warmly congratulate Tracy McKeogh and Mark Warde on their marriage in
Killucan on Saturday 21 st May. We hope they will have a very happy and long life
Holy Days in June
A Service of Holy Communion will be held on each Saint’s day in All Saints’ at
St. Barnabas Saturday 11 th June
St. John the Baptist Friday 24 th June
St. Peter and St. Paul Wednesday 29 th June
English Speaking Classes- As part of our Parish Support for the people of Ukraine
living in Mullingar, we are organising English speaking classes in All Saints every
Tuesday morning at 10a.m. I would like to thank Lesley Whiteside and Brigid Mayes
for conducting the classes. If you would like to assist in either teaching or in providing
tea/coffee after the class please call me on 0877870985
Killucan Parish Walk- as part of the renewal of parish life on Sunday the 26 th June
we invite parishioners to come to Nanny Quinn’s Carpark, Killucan at 11.30a.m. We
will have a short prayer service followed by a walk and conversation on the canal and
a pot luck lunch. I do hope this event will be very well supported.
Summer Madness- 20 young people from the parish will be travelling to North
Antrim at the beginning of July for the Christian Rock Festival ‘Summer Madness’
We hope they will have a wonderful time and enjoy sleeping under canvas in the tents
provided by the Diocese.
All Saints’ School has a fundraiser ‘ CASH FOR CLOBBER’ in June. Gather up your
old unwanted clothes and shoes and help make money for the school. All donations
gratefully accepted. Our collection date is 19 th /20th June. Quilts, pillows and blankets
are unfortunately not accepted.


Sale: Many thanks to everyone who attended the sale, ran the stalls and contributed in
any way. I was an enjoyable day and we look forward to repeating it next year!
Competitions: thank you to everyone who entered the May Fair competitions. The
judges were very impressed with the high standards and would like to compliment all
who participated.
Cookbook: ‘Mum’s Favourite Recipes’ by Karen Lomax. This book is a collection of
the favourite recipes that Karen made for her family. Her husband Ron has completed
the book which went on sale May 14 th . A number of copies ae still available to
purchase for €10 in All Saints’ Church.
Emma Coburn

Church Services this Month

Sunday 5 th June
All Saints’ 10.00 a.m. Holy Communion, Rector
Killucan 11.30 a.m. Holy Communion, Rector
Sunday 12 th June
All Saints’ 9.30 a.m. Holy Communion, Rector
11.00 a.m. Service of Remembrance and
Thanksgiving for those who passed away, those who
were seriously ill and those who gave such sterling

service during the pandemic
This is a united Service for all parishioners in the Parish
Sunday 19 th June
All Saints’ 10.00 a.m. Holy Communion, Rector
11.00 a.m. End of Year All Saints’ School

Killucan 7.00 p.m. Evening Prayer, Rector
Sunday 26 th June
All Saints’ 10.00 a.m. Holy Communion, Rector
Killucan 11.30 a.m. Meet at Nanny Quinn’s, Killucan for
prayers & parish walk on canal
Kilbixy 5p.m. Evening Prayer
Almoritia 7.00 p.m. Holy Communion, Rector

Issue 146                           “UNION NEWS”                       May 2022

Dear Parishioners,


Following the wonderful celebration of Easter, we now look forward to rebuilding the life of the Parish after the two years of the pandemic.  The month of May provides an inspiring opportunity for some special events which I hope you will enjoy supporting.

  • General Easter Vestry – 8th May

This very important annual meeting of the Parish will be held in All Saints’ on Sunday 8th May at 11.00 a.m.  I hope that each of the Parishes will be very well represented.  This annual meeting provides an important opportunity for us to launch our renewal and revival programme for the Parish following the two years of the pandemic.

  • Mayfair – Saturday 14th May – 10.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m.

We are so fortunate to be able to hold our Mayfair again as it has not been possible to hold it over the last two years due to the lockdowns.  We will have all the popular stalls for this year’s sale and plan to have most outdoors – Cakes, Plants, Books & Jigsaws, Tombola, Raffle, Burgers & Teas.

All donations are most welcome and can be brought to All Saints Church on Friday 13 from 3 – 6pm, on the morning of the sale and to any church service you may be attending in advance of the sale. Many thanks in advance for these. If you are able to help on any stall on the day please let us know, can you let your Church Warden or Emma know ( 087 6374131)

                                      Children’s Competitions


Under 8:                       Biscuits.

Please pick a recipe of your choice and present 6 cooked

biscuits on a plate without any icing on them.

8 years to 6th class:    Scones.

Please bake and present on a plate 6 plain or fruit scones.

Secondary school:      Rhubarb or Apple Tart.

Crafts:                         For all primary school ages.


Garden on a Plate:

Using a dinner plate (the lid from a biscuit or sweet tin could be used too) create a mini garden of your own design.

Pencil/Pen holder: Recycle your recycling bin !

Using items that you usually recycle please make and decorate a holder for pencils & pens.

Please submit your entries by 10.30am on Saturday morning at All Saints church. Entry fee €1. Prizes will be awarded to the winners in each class. Have fun making and baking and we look forward to seeing your entries, you can enter as many classes as you wish.


  • Music, Singing, Music, Singing – Sunday 29th May at 11.00 a.m.

In All Saints’ we will have a singing extravaganza of church music on Sunday 29th May.  The Senior Choir will lead the singing of much-loved hymns, the Children’s Choir will sing modern songs, African singers will treat us to their songs, and a soloist will provide musical treats.  Everyone is most welcome, so do please come and join us.

 Confirmation Celebration Day – Saturday 28th May

A fun-packed day for those who were confirmed last year and those who will be confirmed this year, will be held in Wilson’s Hospital School on 28th May from 10.00am – 4.00 pm.  This will be a most enjoyable occasion for all the candidates and it is hoped there will be well over 100 young people attending.

  • Parish Retreat – Saturday 18th June

We are holding a prayerful retreat in Mount St. Anne’s Retreat Centre, Killenard, on Saturday 18th June from 10.30 a.m.–3.00 p.m.  At the retreat we will reflect on the theme “God and Evil”.  I do hope a good number of parishioners will wish to attend. The invitation is extended to parishioners’ friends, neighbours and family.  However, I will need to know the names of those who will be attending in order to book places in the Retreat Centre.  If you intend to come, please call me on 087-7870985.

  • Wilson’s Hospital School – Saturday 7th May

A fundraising Fair will be held on Saturday 7th May from 12.00 noon – 4.00 pm in the school grounds.  There will be many traditional events and your support will be very much appreciated.  We have a long and valued relationship with the Diocesan school and I hope a good number of parishioners will be able to support this school fundraising event.

  • Whist Drives

Following the pandemic, Whist Drives are beginning again in some parishes.  In Tullamore Parish Centre there will be a Whist Drive on Friday 20th May at 8.30 pm.  In the Parish we hope to hold a Whist Drive at 8.30 pm on Friday 10th June.



  • General Synod

The General Synod of the Church of Ireland will be held in Belfast on 5th, 6th and 7th May.



  • Confirmation 2022

in All Saints’ Church  On Sunday 22nd May at 4.00 p.m. I would like to meet with the young people who are going forward for confirmation this year The meeting will conclude by 5.00 p.m.



  • Lighten Our Darkness

The young leaders gave an outstanding performance of the presentation for the Bishop and other dignitaries on Sunday 10th April.  The initiative has now been truly launched and there will be significant work undertaken in different areas over the next number of months.  On 8th April the young leaders also attended the Climate Change Conference organised by the 4 church leaders in Dromantine Monastery, Northern Ireland. They made an enormous impact and won the admiration of the church leaders and the other attendees.


  • Bishop’s Pastoral Visit

As well as attending the Lighten Our Darkness presentation the Bishop also preached at Almoritia church.  Parishioners had gone to enormous trouble to have everything properly prepared and provided lovely refreshments after the Service.  The church service was a truly inspiring occasion and will long be remembered.


With God’s blessings,

Revd. Alastair Graham  087-7870985






Saturday 14th May


10.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m.


All Saints’ Church, Mullingar








Issue 131 “UNION NEWS” February 2021


Dear Parishioners,

Happy New Year

I would like to again, at the beginning of this month, wish you a very happy and safe New Year.  None of us has any certainty as to how the year will unfold but we do have some hope that the implementing of the vaccine programme holds out a potential which will allow us return to some normality.  I have come to appreciate the importance and influence of patience.  Being patient is something we can all do.  Worry and anxiety won’t, on its’ own, bring an end to the pandemic.  But remaining patient provides a wonderful “antibiotic” for worry and stress and one of the invaluable fruits of patience is the feeling of calmness.  I heartily recommend patience to you and I know you will not be disappointed.  While sitting patiently you might like to quietly read the words of Psalm 121.  Each word is strong enough to hold up the human spirit and give comfort and hope.

Psalm 121

I will life up mine eyes to the hills

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord

the maker of heaven and earth.


He will not let your foot slip

He who watches over you will not slumber,

indeed He who watches over Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.


The Lord watches over you

the Lord is your shade at our right hand

so that the sun shall not burn you by day

nor the moon by night.


The Lord will keep you from all harm

He will watch over your life,

the Lord will watch over your coming and going

both now and forever more.  Amen.


Sunday Worship during the Lockdown

In addition to the “Sunday Moments” every Sunday on the website and Facebook, from this Sunday 7th February I am inviting all parishioners to join together in spirit as we visit our own gardens, green spaces or farmyards to worship and glorify God for a few moments.

I will send you an Order of Service each month in the Union Notes to be used on the Sundays during the month.  I hope we will all be able to join together in spirit to “keep the Lord’s day” as we should.  I would ask you also to text me on the Sunday so we can know how many parishioners are joining together in spirit to worship God and to support each other in prayer – 087 7870985.

The young leaders of Lighten Our Darkness have kindly agreed to take part.  You will remember their Prayer Vigil in the first lockdown.

In time we could perhaps share videos of the different “Garden Services”.  I look forward to worshipping with you this Sunday, 7th February, in spirit.

Communion, Contact, Connection

These are all essential in God’s world.  During the pandemic we are really appreciating their importance and miss them enormously.   Each of these are found in abundance in our Parish when we are living in “normal times”.  When the pandemic passes we must celebrate these in a very special way and, of course, revive them all to their former glory.  So many people are suffering a poverty of “loss” by not being in communion, contact or connected.  May I invite you to take a moment to connect with someone in the Parish.  I know they will really appreciate your call.  We all need divine and human contact.  Prayers and telephones are good starting points.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, will be on Wednesday 17th February.  I am going to hold an Ash Wednesday Service on Zoom at 8.00 p.m. on that day.  If you would like to join me for the Service please let me know and I will happily send you an invitation for the Zoom Service- 0877870985 or by e mail .

Zoom Reflection Meeting

In last month’s Union Notes I mentioned the holding of a Zoom Reflection Meeting.  Happily, a small number of parishioners have responded and the first meeting will be held on Monday 1st March at 8.00 p.m.  If these meetings are successful I hope we will be able to hold one every month.  I have put back the first meeting until 1st March to give parishioners a further opportunity to attend the meeting.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to be part of the Zoom Reflection Meeting by telephone or e mail.


This month we continue to remember with thanksgiving all those good people in all walks of life who are doing such sterling work to help support those who have succumbed to the Corona virus.  Their compassion is an inspiration and we are greatly in their debt.  We also remember those who are not well at this time and those recovering from recent operations and procedures.  We remember those who have been bereaved and we remember Karen and Ron Lomax following the sad passing of Karen’s aunt.  We pray that all those who have passed on from this world may rest in peace and rise in glory. In particular at this time we remember George Forbes who’s fathers’  second anniversary will be remembered on Sunday 7th February

A Morning Prayer and an Evening Prayer

O Lord, our heavenly father, almighty and everliving God, we give you thanks for bringing us safely to this day; keep us from falling into sin or running into danger and in all things guide us to know and do your will, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Lighten our darkness we beseech thee O Lord and by thy great mercy defend us from all the perils and dangers of this life, for the love of thine only Son our saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.


Sunday Worship during February

Order of Service

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, amen.

May I invite you to look up at the sky and then say or sing the hymn “Count your blessings”

Count your blessings, name them one by one

Count your blessings, look what God has done,

Count your blessings, name them one by one

And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Please take a moment to name your blessings.

Bible Verse

“and my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glorying Christ Jesus” Philippians 4, verse 19


I invite you to move to your lawn or grass.  Please place an item of food on the ground.  Take a moment to look at both the grass and the food and remember how blessed we are to have food to eat and water to drink for our sustenance and wellbeing.

Bible Verse

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for growing and increase the harvest of your righteousness” 2 Corinthians 9, verse 10


Please gather a few dead leaves together. The leaves resemble our failings and the failing of others.  Holding the leaves we remember behaviour that can offend us.  Holding a grudge might feel natural but the Bible encourages us to forgive and to seek God’s forgiveness for our failings and the mistakes of others.

Please let the leaves now fall to the ground.

Bible Verse

“If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”  1 John 1, verse 9

Say or sing “Jesus loves me”

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so

Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but he is strong

               Yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me

               Yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.

Stand and look at a tree which is near at hand.

Bible Verse

“I am the true vine and my father is the gardener, He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, I am the vine and you are the branches; if you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing”  John 15

This bible passage reminds us that Jesus exists and is alive and with us.  Jesus has all the good qualities of God.  Jesus is like the trunk of the tree.  As the trunk feeds the branches, when we are in Jesus’s presence His love and power feeds us and we can bring life to others – feed the hungry, help the sick, care for the poor, support each other.  When we try to go it alone, try living life without God, we soon discover our mistake.  We can wither and die.  We must make sure we keep in touch with Jesus, knowing Him and being known by Him.

Prayers:              Let us pray.

Almighty God, by whose grace alone we have been accepted and called to your service, strengthen and guide us by your Holy Spirit in all our work and make us worthy of our calling, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Remember in mercy our Father, those who are passing through illness, those recovering from operations and those who have succumbed to the Corona virus, bless all that is being done for their good and surround them with your healing love and power, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.  Amen.

Prosper with your blessing O Lord, all our work in this Parish and strengthen the hands of all parishioners who serve you, make our worship more worthy, our witness more effective, our lives more holy, and inspire us all with a fresh zeal for our Parish to the honour of your name and to your glory.  Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore.  Amen.

Closing Hymn – “Our God Reigns”

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of Him

who brings good news, good news

announcing peace, proclaiming news of happiness

our God reigns, Our God reigns!     “Our God reigns” (four times)

 End of Service- Do keep well and safe this month. I am always available if you wish to speak to me.

With God’s blessings,  Canon Alastair Graham

Issue 129 “UNION NEWS”December 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Christmas and the Re-Opening of Churches

After considerable representations to the government by church leaders, including the church leaders in Mullingar, the churches have been permitted to open again in time for Christmas.  We are all delighted with this decision.  In our representation I made the very strong case that, for parishioners, going to church was a very essential part of their Christmas.  I do hope that will be reflected in the numbers who attend our Services this year.  As you will see from the “Union Notes” there will be a full range of Christmas Services and all the Christmas music and carols will be played from recordings made by our Parish Choir.   However, under the restrictions it is only possible to have 50 parishioners at a Service, except where added space is available.  So it is essential that parishioners make contact beforehand to indicate which Services they wish to attend.  All the church Services will be held in All Saints’ Mullingar and St. Etchen’s Killucan.

If you wish to come to a church Service in All Saints’ please contact Arthur O’Toole at 087-9733233 (email  and if you wish to attend Killucan please contact Jean Kilmartin on 044-9375144.


Advent Reflections

In our preparations for Christmas, I will be giving an Advent Biblical Reflection on the following Wednesdays at 11.00 a.m. in All Saints’ – Wednesday 9th, 16th and 23rd December.


The church will be open for private prayer every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11.00 a.m. until 1.00 p.m. in All Saints’.

Parish Gift Day

I would like to thank everyone very much indeed for their generous gifts to the Parish  this year.  As our Honorary Treasurer has reminded us in his letter, the Parish has been significantly challenged financially due to the Covid 19 pandemic and any gifts you are able to make will be very gratefully appreciated.

Advent, Christmas and Epiphany – Church Services

Sunday 6th Dec.   All Saints’            10.00 a.m.            Advent Holy Communion

Killucan               11.30 a.m.            Advent Morning Prayer


Sunday 13th Dec. All Saints’           9.00 a.m.              Advent Holy Communion

11.00 a.m.            Christingle Family Service

Killucan               5.00 p.m.              Christingle Family Service


Sunday 20th Dec. All Saints’           10.00 a.m.            Advent Holy Communion

Killucan               11.30 a.m.            Parish Carol Service

All Saints’           7.00 p.m.              Candlelit Carol Service


Christmas Eve

24th December     All Saints’           10.00 a.m.            Holy Communion

11.00 p.m.            Midnight Candlelit Christmas


Christmas Day

25th December     All Saints’           9.00 a.m.              Holy Communion

10.30 a.m.            Christmas Family Service

Killucan               12.00 noon           Christmas Festival Holy


St. Stephen’s Day

26th Dec.               All Saints’           10.00 a.m.            Holy Communion


Sunday 27th Dec. All Saints’           10.00 a.m.            Holy Communion


Holy Innocents Day

Monday 28th        All Saints             10.00 a.m.            Holy Communion


New Year’s Day

Friday 1st Jan.      All Saints             11.00 a.m.            Holy Communion


Sunday 3rd Jan.    All Saints             11.00 a.m.            Epiphany Carol Service


We are providing a wide range of church Service options to enable everyone to attend church over the Christmas and New Year period.



Christmas Raffle

The Raffle will be drawn on Tuesday 15th December and in the Union Notes you will see the wide range of prizes which have been donated.  I would like to thank everyone for their generosity and Jean Kilmartin for all her organisation and hard work. I am sure there will be many more cards to be returned by parishioners.  Please return the cards to Jean Kilmartin or leave them in the Rectory postbox or give them to one of the churchwardens by Saturday 12th December at the latest.  Sincere thanks is due to those who have already returned the cards.  Please support our Christmas Raffle if you have not already done so.



At the recent Diocesan Synod, Mark Potterton was elected Lay Honorary Secretary of the Diocese of Meath and Kildare.  This is a wonderful recognition of Mark’s amazing commitment to the Church of Ireland which, in this Parish we benefit so richly from,  and has now been recognised throughout the Diocese.  We wish Mark well with his new and important responsibilities.



Remembrance Tree – Killucan

Sue and Brendan have again presented Killucan Parish with a lovely Remembrance Tree.  This thoughtful gift provides the opportunity for parishioners to hang a card on the tree with the names of those they wish to be remembered at Christmas.  At the Christmas Day Service the names on the cards will all be read out.  I would again like to thank Sue and Brendan for this sensitive and most thoughtful initiative which we greatly appreciate.




Due to the Corona virus, the Confirmation this year had to be postponed.  However, the Bishop has now confirmed that the Confirmation for next year will be held in All Saints’ on Sunday 24th October and I hope to start meeting with all the candidates in early February next year.  For those who are considering Confirmation, I would like to remind them and their parents that Confirmation is a very important time in their Christian lives and, in their preparation, I would expect the young people to attend church on Sunday mornings, as of course all Christians are urged to keep the Lord’s Day holy.   I would invite those who would like to be confirmed to let me know their intention before the end of January.




I know you will all want to offer your deepest sympathy to our much loved parishioner Mavis Murray following the sad death of Mavis’s sister Elizabeth in New Zealand.  Elizabeth had not been well in recent years but managed to make a trip to Ireland last year when Mavis and all the family were able to enjoy her company during her visit.  We all hope that Mavis will be comforted by her lovely memories of Elizabeth and in knowing that God’s promises are true and that Elizabeth, who bore her illness with such courage and dignity, will rest in peace and rise in glory.



All Saints’ School

I would like to both thank and congratulate the Principal, teachers and staff of All Saints’ School who have worked so hard to ensure that this term has gone exceptionally well and the children have benefited so much from being able to attend school each day.  I would also like to thank all the parents for their support and co-operation with all the restrictions that have been necessary due to the pandemic.  We hope that the teachers, staff, children and parents will have a very enjoyable and blessed Christmas.

Christmas Greetings

Olive and I would like to wish everyone in the Parish a very holy and blessed Christmas.  This time last year none of us could have imagined the challenge we were all going to face due to the onset of the Corona virus last March.  However, we have all coped with the challenge that the pandemic presented and I think everyone is to be warmly congratulated on the changes they made to their lifestyles to comply with the restrictions.  We would personally like to thank everyone in the Parish for their support and encouragement and good work.


We also remember those who have found life financially difficult due to the pandemic and we sincerely hope that in the coming year their fortunes in this regard will improve.  We should also recognise the real difficulties the pandemic has caused for young people at all levels and the sacrifices that they have had to make, which run so much against the grain of their life as teenagers and young adults.  Not only have young people been brave, but they have shown a lovely spirit of acceptance, even though they have been deprived in so many ways by being denied the fullness of their social life either through sports, music activities, college life and, of course, having the opportunity to meet with all their friends.


In the Parish, for those who have succumbed to the virus, we continue to remember you in prayer.  We also sadly remember those who passed away during the last year who we miss so much.  We think of their families who, in suffering their bereavement, will naturally feel a sense of sadness this Christmas.  During the pandemic a great many people stepped up to the plate to provide necessary services, through the health services, community and voluntary services and business to help those in need.  All those who were involved in this good work deserve our warm applause and sincere thanks.


At Christmas we remember that “God is with us” and we “do not need to be afraid”.  Certainly God’s loving presence has been both a comfort and strength to so many of us during these trying months and having hope in Him gives us confidence for the future.  As we approach the New Year we hope the pandemic will pass, but as life returns to normal I sincerely hope that the realisations we have all gained from living through the pandemic will encourage each of us to focus on the true priorities in life.    May we all seek to shape our lives and the life of the world in the way that God always intended.


Do enjoy your Christmas and keep safe and well.  May God continue to bless you and those whom you love and may I again wish you all a very happy and blessed Christmas and New Year.


Revd. Canon Alastair Graham



Jesus is the reason for the season

Issue 128 “UNION NEWS” November 2020

Dear Parishioners,

The Providence of God

While we have benefited from the expertise and experience of the medical profession and academic scientists during the pandemic, Christians also draw strength and comfort from the providence of God.  We firmly believe that God, rather than being absent from His world, intervenes in His existence and offers care and protection, and provides the confidence for all of us to know there is a power beyond human experience that we can all trust and have hope in.  Prayer, therefore, is a wonderful blessing as it enables us to share a loving relationship with God.  The reading of the Bible provides us with much strength, wisdom and consolation.

Prayer in Church

The churches will remain open this month to enable parishioners to find time for prayer and reflection and to experience the comfort of God’s presence and the hope of His gospel.  All Saints’, Killucan and Kilbixy are open each Sunday:

All Saints’        between            10.00 a.m.-12.00 p.m.,

Killucan           between            11.30 a.m. -12.15 p.m.

Kilbixy             between            4.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m.

It is lovely to see parishioners gathering to pray every Sunday and, while we are not permitted to hold a Service, the playing of sacred music provides an inspiring backdrop to our private prayer.  In addition to the Sunday opening of the churches, All Saints’ is also open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week and the opening times can be found in these Union Notes.

Remembrance Sunday – Sunday 8th November

Remembrance Sunday is always an important time in the Parish and we hold the annual Service of Remembrance in All Saints’ which is always so well attended.  This year, due to the restrictions, we will not be permitted to hold a Service.  However, at 11.00 a.m. in All Saints’ those who are in church for prayer will be invited to stand for the two minute Silence and for the laying of a wreath.  In Killucan, at 12.00 noon, the two minute Silence will be observed, and in Kilbixy in the afternoon the two minute Silence will be observed at 4.30 p.m.  I warmly commend each of these occasions to you.

Parish Gift Day – Sunday 29th November

For the last number of years we have held the Parish Gift Day on Advent Sunday.  This year we will continue to offer prayers for the Parish on Sunday 29th November and the Honorary Treasurer, John Hales, will be writing to all parishioners before Parish Gift Day Sunday.  This has been a very challenging year financially for the Parish and many parishioners have been very generous in their support which is greatly appreciated.  I am very conscious of the financial pressures placed on many parishioners due to the pandemic, but if parishioners are in a position to support the Parish their gifts will be warmly welcomed as, throughout the pandemic, we have done our very best to keep the churches open and a momentum in the Parish.

November Prayer Promise

Christian Voices Together, which comprises the leaders of the different Christian faith communities in Mullingar, has launched a November Prayer Promise.  During November the Christian leaders will pray daily for your prayer requests.  All you have to do is send an email to  As Christian leaders we offer our sincere support to everyone at this challenging time, with the assurance of knowing that “the Lord is near to us”.

Harvest Thanksgivings

We were very fortunate to be able to hold our Harvest Thanksgivings in Killucan and Almoritia on Sunday 4th October.  Unfortunately, due to the introduction of the new restrictions, the Harvest Festival to be held in All Saints’ on 11th October had to be cancelled.   However, on Friday 16th October we were able to hold four short Harvest Services for the children in All Saints’ School which were very enjoyable.  This year as our Harvest gift to the community we were able to give a good quantity of non-perishable food items to the very worthy work at TEAM which provides shelter for those suffering from domestic violence.  I would like to thank everyone for their gifts.

Lighten Our Darkness

The young leaders held a Zoom meeting on Friday 30th October which went very well.  The young leaders are continuing to keep the work of their Project alive and have some very interesting plans for over the Christmas school holidays.  More details of their plans will be given in the December issue of the Union Notes.

Diocesan Synod

The Bishop and members of the Diocesan Council have decided to hold the Diocesan Synod by Zoom on Saturday 21st November.  This will be a very ambitious undertaking and we commend our Bishop for her commitment to ensure that this important Diocesan event is held despite the impact of the pandemic.


Christmas Raffle

Every year we run a raffle at the Mayfair and it has always been both enjoyable and well supported.  In the light of the absence of the Mayfair this year, the organisers thought it could be very worthwhile and very enjoyable to hold a Christmas Raffle.  Raffle cards are included with these Union Notes and if you require additional cards please contact Jean Kilmartin at 044-9375144.  We hope there will be a good response.  All the prizes have a lovely Christmas theme and, to those who are successful in the raffle, the prizes will certainly brighten Christmas this year.



The ashes of the late Frank Small were buried in the family plot in Almoritia on Sunday 1st November. We pray that Frank will rest in peace and rise in glory.  We offer our deepest sympathy to his wife Mary, his children Mark and Vicky, his brother Billy, his sister Marie, his grandchildren and the wider family and circle of friends.

We also offer our deepest sympathy to Mignone and John Duggan following the sad passing of Mignone’s mother, Mignone,  in Cavan General Hospital.  Mignone’s mother had been unwell for some time but bore her illness with enormous courage and grace.  She was deeply loved and admired by her loving husband, Wilson, her eight children, her ten adoring grandchildren, her remaining siblings and all members of the family.  Mignone was a person of great faith, and we pray that, now she has departed this life, she will rest in peace in heaven in the care of her heavenly Father and will rise in glory.  We trust that Mignone, John, Jane, Graham and Erica will be comforted by their lovely memories of her and by knowing that God’s promises are true, that death is not an end but an entrance to eternal life.

We pray that both Frank and Mignone are resting in heavenly peace.


Church Opening Times for Prayer

Sundays           10.00 a.m. – 12.00 noon            All Saints’ Mullingar

11.30 a.m.                                St. Etchen’s Killucan

4.00 p.m.                                  Kilbixy

Monday            10.00 a.m. – 12.00 noon            All Saints’ Mullingar

Wednesday       12.00 noon – 2.00 p.m.              All Saints’ Mullingar

Friday               1.00 p.m. – 3.00 p.m.                All Saints’ Mullingar


“Our heart is restless until it finds rest in thee”

St. Augustine



A Scripture Reading

You might like to read these words of Scripture I found helpful in my recent Bible reading: Ephesians 6, verses 10-18:


10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.



A Prayer

Blessed Lord who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, help us to hear them to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them, that through patience and the comfort of your holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life which you have given us in our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.


Thought For The Week 24/09/2020

Thought for the Week

Each year in September, the Church of Ireland appoints the second Sunday as a time for special prayers for vocations to the Church.   One of the very well known passages of Scripture is found in Matthew Chapter 4 when Jesus calls the first disciples, Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John.  They, of course, were fishermen beside the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus asked them to follow him and they did.

Why did they respond?  Indeed, the same can be said today.  Why is it that people respond to the call of Jesus and follow Him?  Often Jesus’s call comes slowly.  It grows over a period of time until it can no longer be ignored.  For some others, of course, it comes dramatically as it did for the first disciples.  Part of the answer is that Jesus himself had such astonished magnetism that when we encounter his love we find ourselves drawn into his presence and inspired by his holy spirit.

Simon Peter never imagined when he decided to follow Jesus that he would end up with a huge church in Rome dedicated to his memory.  Andrew didn’t suppose that whole countries such as Scotland, Greece,and Russia would regard him as their patron saint.

But it wasn’t just Jesus’s magnetism that drew people.  Historians all agree that the reason people in the ancient world travelled from near and far to be with Jesus was because of his remarkable healings.  He really did have remarkable powers of healing and these healings were signs of the new thing that God was doing through Jesus – bringing God’s healing rule.

The first disciples found themselves at the very centre of bustling crowds.  Like the early disciples, we are called to serve and to minister to people.  Those called by the Lord are ambassadors of healing, showing the difference God’s rule makes and how His healing facilitates the restoration of our relationship with Him.

We see God’s healing power working individually in our lives, healing us of that which harms us.  We see God’s healing power melting the hostility that often dwells between people of different race, colour and creed.  We see God’s healing power enabling nature to recover its’ greatness when people realise that their role is not to plunder God’s earth but to treat it with respect and love and to admire its’ diversity.

So, as we this month remember those called to serve God through ministry, and how we ourselves as Christians are called to serve and show God’s healing power through our lives and witness, we can draw strength from our prayerful discernment as we remember the words of Frances Havergal’s lovely hymn “Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee, take my moments and my days and let them flow in ceaseless praise”.


Thought For The Week 17/09/2020

Thought for the Week

There will be dismay among many people now that it appears the number of people affected by the corona virus is rising again with the subsequent restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the virus in the country.  While this setback is disappointing, it does remind us of the need for everyone to take personal responsibility for their own hygiene and to encourage others to do likewise.  If we all behave responsibly we will be supporting the common good and helping to repress the spread of the virus.


Christians, of course, can also draw comfort and inspiration from God’s love and grace.  The psalmist, in Psalm 46, reminds us that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its’ waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”  Through our prayerful relationship with God we can be confident in knowing that, as the book of Deuteronomy says, “underneath are the everlasting arms”.  So, while we need to be and should be careful, we do not need to be afraid because we are blessed with God’s protection and His love.


The prophet Isaiah summed it up so well when he said “So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41, v 10.


“May God be gracious to us, bless us and make His face shine on us” Psalm 67 and may you keep well and safe in your daily life.

Union Notes June 2020

Prayerful Thoughts and Comforting Words and

Parish Information at a time of National crisis

  “May God be gracious to us, bless us and make His face shine on us”

Psalm 67

June 2020

Dear Parishioners,

Christians Supporting the Common Good

I do hope you are continuing to keep safe and well. Last Friday 5th June it was announced that there would be a further easing of restrictions and churches will be able to open after the 28th June. We are all drawing some encouragement from the reduction in the number of cases of those contracting the Corona virus.  Let us pray and hope that this improvement will continue.  There may be many things that we are unable to do during the pandemic but one thing that we can all do is to take personal responsibility for our lives and to ensure that we observe the simple guidelines for hygiene and social distancing, to ensure that we play our part in the containment of the virus.  In our families and among our friends we can also be strong advocates of appropriate behaviour and through all our actions, including hand washing, coughing etiquette, social distancing and wearing masks when necessary, encourage those whom we live with and know to follow our example.  Christians are called upon to think of “others” as well as of themselves.  We have a mandate to support the common good and, by putting the common good to the foremost of our priorities, we can all play a very positive part in helping to resolve the current issues we all face in the country and wider world.


I would also like to express my appreciation and sincere thanks to parishioners working in the Health Service, other public services, in commercial life, in providing care and in voluntary service, for all the good work they have done and the invaluable contribution they have made during the pandemic, which in so many cases required them to take a personal risk in order to help and support those in need of their service.



Re-opening of church buildings

Under the government programme for the easing of restrictions, it is intended that church buildings will be open on 28th June.  The Bishops of the Church of Ireland are preparing guidelines which we will follow. The Select Vestry will consider the guidelines before the 28th June and advise all parishioners of the arrangements for the re -opening of the church buildings and the holding of Services.

Killucan Church Bell

I would like to thank Alfie Bailey who has faithfully rung the bell every Friday at 12noon during the pandemic. The ringing of the bell is a sign of hope and Alfie has done a wonderful job which is appreciated by the whole community of Killucan.



Virtual Coffee Mornings

Each Thursday in All Saints’ Church Hall we gather together for coffee and conversation to raise money for local charities.  Arthur and Marion O’Toole are fantastic hosts – Arthur’s “Tasty Treats” will always leave you coming back for more.

With the Church closed these charities are missing out – so we plan to host some virtual coffee mornings in the form of an online Zoom Meeting and Facebook chats. We will launch this on Thursday 11th June.  Full details on how to access will be on the website beforehand.  Now we know that this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea or coffee!  However in the circumstances it’s all we can do for now – but we hope people in the parish and beyond will support our “Go Fund Me Campaign” generously so that the charities we support can continue to benefit.

The money raised in this campaign for June and July will be divided equally among our two chosen charities for these months. They are T.E.A.M (Temporary Emergency Accommodation Midlands), and Meals on Wheels, two charities that are really under pressure as a result of the Covid19 pandemic.

As restrictions ease you may like to host a small coffee morning with close neighbours or friends  and family  – any money raised can be donated here or by contacting us at or texting us on 089 2497078


You can Type this link to reach the go fund me campaign page  – or follow links on the website and social media.


Lighten Our Darkness

The 100 days of the Prayer Initiative will be marked on Tuesday 23rd June.

The Prayer Initiative undertaken by the young people continues every evening at 7.00 p.m.  Now that the school year has concluded for those in secondary and third level education, the young people are going to engage in further preparation for the work of the project.  The project as presented on Sunday 1st March continues to have a striking relevance and will certainly have a valuable contribution to make to Ireland in post-Covid 19.  I would again like to thank all the young people for their interest, enthusiasm and commitment and if other young people in the Parish would like to know more about the Project I would be delighted to hear from them.



All Saints’ School

The Board of Management has written to Peter Burke TD, to enquire about the guidelines being produced by the Department of Education and Skills for the re-opening of schools.  The Board hope that these guidelines will be made available as soon as possible so that there can be adequate time over the summer to prepare for the re-opening of the Parish National School at the end of August.  I would like to assure the parents of children attending the School, and the parents whose children will be starting at the end of August, that they will be kept fully informed of all developments by the Board of Management.


Select Vestry

There will be a meeting of the Select Vestry by ‘ Zoom’ on Monday 22nd June at 8p.m. the Hon. Sec will notify members by e mail.



We offer our deepest sympathy to Nia and Alasdair Richardson following the death of Nia’s aunt, Sharon.  Nia’s aunt had been hospitalised towards the end of her life and endured her illness with enormous courage.  She passed away peacefully in hospital.  Nia had provided her aunt with truly sensitive care and support which was a great comfort to her aunt at this very difficult time for her.  We pray that Sharon, now in the fuller presence of God, may rest in peace and rise in glory.


We also offer our deepest sympathy to Robin and Lesley Aust, following the sad passing of Robin’s father, Sidney and his step-mother Beryl, in London.  Both Sidney and Beryl were hospitalised together at the end of their lives and had the comfort of being cared for in the same room.  Their passing was clearly a very sad time for Robin and his family and, in offering him our deepest sympathy, and appreciating the loving care he provided for them, we pray that both Sidney and Beryl, who are now at peace, may rest in the fuller presence of God and rise in glory.



I do hope that you will continue to keep well and safe and if I can be of any assistance or help to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me in the Rectory on 044-9348376.



With kind regards and with God’s blessings,


Rev. Alastair Graham



Virtual Coffee Morning


Thursday 11th June


Details on Parish website



Message from our Treasurer RE: Parish Donations and Offerings During Covid19 Restrictions


We have taken the steps necessary to set up a secure online payment portal through Paypal on the website  – we also have details of the BIC and IBAN Number of the Parish Account on the Donations Tab on the website.


To set up a standing order or to donate by bank transfer please use the following account details:


Account           Mullingar Union of Parishes

            IBAN               IE74 BOFI 9018 5315 7250 71

            BIC                  BOFIIE2D


I want to take this opportunity to extend a most sincere “Thank You” to all who have already sent cheques, lodged to the bank account direct, donated through Paypal and set up standing orders for monthly transfers, your ongoing support is very much appreciated at this time.


We understand that financial circumstances have changed for a lot of our parishioners in light of the current economic affect of the pandemic and we would ask that no parishioner puts themselves under financial pressure in order to support the parish during this time.  If you would like to contact me at any stage my number is 087 2709685


Keep well & safe


John Hales

Parish Treasurer

Psalm 71

1 In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame.

2 In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me.

3 Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.

4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.

5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.

6 From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you.

7 I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge.

8 My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.

9 Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.

10 For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together.

11 They say, “God has forsaken him; pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him.”

12 Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly, God, to help me.

13 May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace.

14 As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.

15 My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all.

16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone.

17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvellous deeds.

18 Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.

19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God?

20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.

21 You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.

22 I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel.

23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered.

24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.

Prayerful Thoughts and Comforting Words

Psalm 31

1 In you, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.

2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.

3 Since you are my rock and my fortress for the sake of your name lead and guide me.

4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.

5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, LORD, my faithful God.

6 I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the LORD.

7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.

8 You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.

9 Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief.

10 My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.

11 Because of all my enemies I am the contempt of my neighbors – an object of dread to my closest friends— those who see me on the street flee from me.

12 I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.

13 For I hear many whispering, “Terror on every side!” They conspire against me and plot to take my life.

14 But I trust in you, LORD; I say, “You are my God.”

15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.

16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.

17 Let me not be put to shame, LORD, for I have cried out to you; but let the wicked be put to shame and be silent in the realm of the dead.

18 Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.

19 How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.

20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.

21 Praise be to the LORD, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege.

22 In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.

23 Love the LORD, all his faithful people! The LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full.

24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

St. John’s Gospel, Chapter 5, verses 1-12

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.


Living God, we pray for everyone in Ireland as we face the future with uncertainty and anxiety.  We pray for those who feel troubled in any way and long for peace and an end to conflict.  We pray for those who face trauma and upheaval in their lives, feel insecure and search for hope.  We pray for those who doubt their ability to cope with what life may bring, those overwhelmed by pressures, paralysed by fears, crushed by sorrows.  We pray for those faced with difficult decisions, circumstances beyond their control, unexpected dangers, awkward choices.  Living God, reach out to all of us for whom the future seems uncertain and unwelcome, and bring the assurance that, even in the darkest moments, greatest challenges, most worrying times, you are always there, able to bring light out of darkness, hope out of despair, joy out of sorrow and good out of evil.  Amen.


Most merciful Father, we commend to your care and protection those who succumbed to the Corona virus and those whose work is dangerous, especially those who risk their lives in providing care to those with Covid-19.  We thank you for their courage and their devotion to duty and pray that in every hour of need they may know that you are with them and need fear no evil.  Amen.


Lighten our darkness O Lord, we pray, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers at this time, for the love of your only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.


Letter from Rev. Canon Alastair Graham 16th March 2020


16th March 2020 

Until recently the news about the Corona Virus was, for many, about the situation in China and the Far East.  It was only when news broke of the outbreak in Italy that many “ears popped up” and, of course, in the last few days the outbreak in Ireland has dominated news bulletins and personal conversations.

Naturally this has aroused much anxiety and, indeed, fear as the authorities grapple with the task of both dealing with,and controlling, the outbreak.  We have all been called to play our part and we have both a duty and a responsibility to do so.  This requires changes to our lifestyles and also the showing of support for those most adversely affected – those who have succumbed to the illness, the dedicated frontline doctors, nurses, ambulance paramedics, pharmacies, medical staff and carers, those who have sadly lost their employment and all whose work is essential for the provision of daily essentials of food and medicine.

In the Parish regretfully, but sadly necessary, public church services have been suspended to support “social distancing”.  All Saints’ Church Mullingar will be open each Sunday from 10.00 a.m. – 11.00 a.m. for those who may wish to have a time of private prayer in church.The seats in the church will be positioned over a metre apart.

Social distancing is absolutely essential and we must all play our part in complying with the restriction.

However, for Christians, spiritual distancing is not at all necessary.  Indeed, spiritual togetherness is essential.  We need more prayer not less.

On Wednesday 18th March I will be circulating to each home in the Parish, prayers, bible passages and devotional thoughts, which I hope parishioners will pray each day in their homes.  Joseph Scriven, the Irish poet, born in Banbridge, Co. Down, spent much of his adult life in Canada.  While staying in Ontario he learned of his mother’s illness in Ireland and he wrote her a poem to comfort her called “Praying Without Ceasing”.  This poem has become a much-loved prayer for millions of Christians who now sing the poem as a hymn – “What a Friend we have in Jesus”.  The poem reminds us that we should never be discouraged, that we can find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share, and at all times we should take our anxieties and worries “to the Lord in prayer.  In His arms He will take and shield you and you will find a solace there”.

May I invite you to pray this prayer each day:

We remember in mercy, our Father, those who have succumbed to the Corona virus and their families and friends.  We ask you to bless all that is being done for their good by doctors, nurses, ambulance paramedics, medical staff, carers and pharmacist.  We pray that you will surround them with your healing love and power and we make this our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.  Amen.

With God’s blessings to you for your safety and protection.

Revd. Canon Alastair Graham

Rector of the Mullingar Union of Parishes