Union Notes May 2020


 Corona Virus Outbreak

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


May 2020

Dear Parishioners,

The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for everyone and, sadly, tragic for many.  While the phased reopening plan outlined by An Taoiseach has give some confidence, we are still in a very challenging situation.  I am very conscious of the financial, employment, farming, health, social and personal pressures so many people are suffering in the Parish.

We remember in prayer and offer our deepest sympathy to two families in the Parish who have recently been bereaved.  On Sunday 26th April, Ivan Bourke sadly passed away.  Everyone in the Parish and the wider community was heartbroken on hearing the sad news.  Ivan was a legend in the business community with his ownership of Hutchison’s store, in the Parish community of All Saints’ where he played the organ for over 60 years, in the wider community through his involvement in the Mullingar Choral Society and many other organisations.  He was the epitome of the true gentleman, with a graceful, generous, compassionate and kind personality which won the admiration and affection of everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.  Ivan was pre-deceased by his beloved wife Elsie and we offer our deepest sympathy to David, Olwyn, Shirley, Adele, his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sister and all members of the wider family.

Sadly, on Monday 27th April, Ann Hill of Killynon, Mullingar, passed away suddenly at her home. Ann was a warm-hearted loving person whose welcome to visitors was unsurpassed, with her lovely friendliness and her great generosity and hospitality, with plenty of cups of tea.  Her beloved husband, Bob, passed away last August and we offer our deepest sympathy to Robert, Anna and Aidan, her adoring grandchildren and her great-granddaughter, her brothers and sisters, and all the members of the wider family.

We pray that both Ivan and Ann may rest in peace and rise in glory.

Every week through the Parish website, (mullingarunionofparishes.net), and Facebook, Lorraine Hales is working exceptionally hard to keep everyone in the Parish up to date with Parish news.  I would like to sincerely thank Lorraine for her wonderful work and kindness, and if you are able to convey your own appreciation please do so.

Remember the Parish community Noticeboard : Text or Whats app   089 2497078  or email info@mullingarunionofparishes.net  It’s a lovely way to keep in touch and remind us that we are still together and united as a parish.


The Sunday Service at 12.00 noon is now well established.  The Bible Reflection continues every Wednesday at 8.00pm on the website and the virtual School Assembly is held every Friday morning at 11.00 a.m. on the All Saints’ School website. www.allsaintsns.org

The phased reopening will allow for churches to reopen for public worship on 20th July.  I will be liaising with the churchwardens and Select Vestry to agree what arrangements the Parish will be making and I hope to be able to give you details in the next issue of “Union Notes” in June.

I hope you will continue to keep well and safe and prayerfully benefit from the select readings and prayers I am including in this issue of the Union Notes.

If I can be of any assistance to you at any time, please do not hesitate to contact me in the Rectory on 044-9348376.

With kind regards and with God’s blessings,

Rev. Alastair Graham



Prayerful Thoughts and Comforting Words

Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us—

so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.

May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth.

May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.

The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.

May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.



1 Peter, Chapter 1, verses 3-9

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,

who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Matthew 6, verses 25-34

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.

Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


Reflection:  We live in a world filled with anxiety, and it’s easy to let it rub off on us.  Jesus in this passage is talking about the Creator, who has filled the world with wonderful and mysterious things, full of beauty, energy and excitement, and who wants people above all to trust Him and love Him and receive their own beauty, energy and excitement from Him.  Jesus watched a thousand different kinds of flowers growing in the fertile Galilean soil.  He held his breath at their fragile beauty.  One sweep of a scythe, one passing donkey and this beautiful flower is gone.  Where did its’ beauty come from?  It didn’t spend hours in front of the mirror putting on makeup.  It didn’t go shopping in the market for fine clothes.  It was just itself, glorious, God-given, beautiful, showing us the goodness of God our heavenly Father.


Psalm 31, verses 1-5

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

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

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

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

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


For those fearful of the future:

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.


The Great Realisation by Tomas Roberts

This has already been read by over 18 million people:

It was a world of waste and wonder, of poverty and plenty,

back before we understood why hindsight is 20/20.

You see the people came up with Companies to trade across all lands

but they swelled and got much bigger than ever we had planned.

We had always had our wants but now things go so quick,

we could have everything we dreamed of, today, or with a click.

We noticed families had stopped talking, that didn’t mean they never spoke,

but the meaning must have melted and the work/life balance broke.

The children’s eyes grew squarer and every toddler had a phone,

they filtered out the imperfections but amidst the noise they felt alone.

And every day the skies grew thicker till we couldn’t see the stars,

so we flew in planes to find them and down below we filled our cars.

We’d drive around all day in circles, we’d forgotten how to run,

we swapped the grass for tarmac, shrunk the parks till there were none.

We filled the sea with plastic because our waste was never capped,

until each day when we went fishing we pulled them out already wrapped.

And while we drank and smoked and gambled, our leaders taught us that it’s best not to upset the Lobbies, more convenient to die,

But then in 2020 a new virus came our way, the governments reacted and told us all to hide away.

But while we were hidden amidst the fear and all the while,

the people dusted off their instincts, they remembered how to smile,

They started clapping to say ‘thank you’ and calling up their mums,

and while the car keys gathered dust they would look forward to their runs,

And with the skies less full of voyagers the earth began to breathe,

and the beaches bore new wildlife that scuttled off in to the seas,

Some people started dancing, some were singing, some were baking,

we’d grown so used to bad news but some good news was in the making.

And so, when we found the cure and were allowed to go outside,

we all preferred the world we found to the one we left behind.

Old habits became extinct and they made up for the new,

and every act of kindness was now given its’ due.

But why did it take a virus to bring the people back together?

Well, sometimes you’ve got to get sick my boy before you start feeling better.

Now lie down and dream of tomorrow and all the things that you can do

And who knows if you dream hard enough maybe some will come true.

We now call it The Great Realisation and since then there have been many,

but that’s the story of how it started and why hindsight is 20/20.

Keep safe, keep well.


Order of Service Sunday 19th April 2020

Order of Service for Easter 2


Hymn 269 – Hark ten thousand…..

Greeting  – page 201 Prayer Book

Collect for Purity


Collect for Easter 2


Psalm 16

1 Peter 1 verses 3-9

Gradual Hymn 263 – Crown him with many crowns


Gospel John 20 verses 19 – 31

The Prayers

Prayer Humble Access -page 207

The Peace

Prayer – the Great Thanksgiving page 209

The Lords Prayer

Communion – during which the choir will sing the Anthem – ‘Greater Love’




Hymn 288 – Thine be the Glory

Mullingar Union Notes April 2020

Corona Virus Outbreak

 Prayerful thoughts and comforting  words and Parish information at a time of  National Crisis.

‘The Lord is my Shepherd’

Psalm 23

Dear Parishioners,

I would like to thank you very much indeed for the kind and generous comments regarding the prayers and readings I sent out to you following the outbreak of the Corona Virus.  I thought you might like to receive some more suggested readings and prayers which I hope will be of comfort to you during the challenging time we are all experiencing.   However, first may I just wish you all a very happy and holy Easter.  I hope it was a nice time for you given the social restrictions we were all asked to observe.  I would also like to update you on what has been happening in the Parish in recent weeks.


Church Services

As everyone will know, the holding of public church services is not permitted at the moment, and in the Parish we were fortunate to have been able to live stream a church service every Sunday morning.  During Holy Week we were able to live stream a Prayer Service each evening.  I am greatly indebted to Lorraine Hales who has so generously made her experience and expertise of technology available to the Parish, so that everyone can enjoy watching these church services.  Lorraine has been ably assisted by her husband John and I know I would be speaking for everyone when I offer them our sincere thanks and appreciation.  The numbers watching the Services have been quite remarkable.  Last Sunday, Easter Day, well over 1200 people watched the Service from All Saints’ and during the evenings of Holy Week over 500 people watched each evening.  On Good Friday evening that number rose to over 700.  The church services will continue to be live streamed every Sunday at 12.00 noon and everyone has very easy access by simply going to the Parish website or Facebook – www.Mullingar Union of Parishes.net – and follow the very straightforward instructions Lorraine has provided.


Community Noticeboard

We have now put up a Community Noticeboard for messages.  Parishioners might like to share a comment or idea and again the procedure is very straightforward either by WhatsApp or text 0892497078 or by e mail to info.@mullingarunionof parishes.net.  You are invited to send a message to either the Mullingar Union of Parishes website or Facebook and it will then be posted on Community Noticeboard.


Wednesdays – Bible Reflections

Starting on Wednesday 22nd April, at 8.00 p.m., I will be giving a live streaming Bible reflection.  If you would like to join me just go to the website and Facebook every Wednesday evening at 8p.m.and the instructions will be very clear.


Lighten Our Darkness Project

Every evening at 7.00 p.m. the young people light a candle and offer prayers in their own homes.  You are very welcome to join them by also praying in your own home every evening at 7.00 p.m.  The words of the prayers can be found on the Parish website.


Let’s Keep Talking

At this time we are encouraging everyone to keep in touch by telephone and I am trying to contact as many people as I can.  You, too, might like to join us by ringing people in Parish that you know.  The young people involved in Lighten Our Darkness Project telephoned a number of people over the Easter weekend and will continue to do so.



Recently there have been four bereavements in the Parish and we offer each of the families our deepest sympathy.


Billy Walshe of Anneville passed away peacefully and we offer our sympathy to George his son and Avril his daughter, Charlie and Mervyn, his grandchildren Sophie, Steven, Benjamin and Rebecca, and everyone else in the family circle and all friends.


Ivor Fogg of Lynn Avenue passed away peacefully and we offer to our sympathy to Janet his daughter and Gerald his son and Ivor’s wider family and many friends.

Douglas Matthews of Ballinea passed away peacefully and we offer our deepest sympathy to his daughters Olwen and Lorna, Martin and his grandchildren Carolyn, Leah, Joshua, Alison, Vicky,  Muriel Ray and Ilona and his wider family and circle of friends.


Frank Small of Newcastle passed away peacefully and we offer our deepest sympathy to Mary his wife, Mark and Vicky his son and daughter, Billy his brother, Marie his sister, his grandchildren and wider family and circle of friends.


Keeping in Touch

We will be updating both the Parish website and Facebook regularly with all the news in the Parish.  Please do go on the website, or ask a family member to do it for you, so that you can keep abreast of all that is happening.  I will always be very pleased to hear from you in the Rectory and my mobile telephone number is  087-787 0985.


Prayerful Thoughts and Comforting Prayers


Psalm 40, verses 1-5, 16 and 17

I waited patiently for the Lord;  he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,  out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock  and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,  a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord  and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one  who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,  to those who turn aside to false gods
Many, Lord my God,  are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us. None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,  they would be too many to declare.

Psalm 40:16-17

16 But may all who seek you  rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,   “The Lord is great!”                                                        17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;  may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;  you are my God, do not delay.


Psalm 42, verses 1-5

As the deer pants for streams of water,   so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.    When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food  day and night, while people say to me all day long,   “Where is your God?”
These things I remember  as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise  among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.


Acts 5, verses 12-16

12 The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.


Romans 8, verses 35-39

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Colossians 3, verses 1-4

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.


Prayers – Let us Pray

Almighty God, whose son our Lord Jesus Christ was made perfect by the things that He suffered: have compassion on those who are passing through illness and pain.  Uphold their faith that they may trust and not be afraid and give them the comfort and strength of your presence for your tender mercies sake.



We remember in mercy, Our Father, those who have succumbed to the Corona virus and those who have thankfully recovered and their families and friends and those who have sadly passed away. We ask you to bless all that is being done for their good by doctors, nurses, ambulance paramedics, medical staff, carers and pharmacists. We pray that you will surround everyone with your healing love and power. We make this our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour.


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

We ask it in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.


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.


Living Lord, conqueror of death, we remember with gladness how on the day of your resurrection you appeared to your disciples in your risen power and said to them ‘Peace be with you’.   Speak that word to our hearts today, O Lord. Lift us above all our doubts and fears; and help us to practice your presence and to rest upon your victory that your peace may be with us, now and for ever more.


Living God,     Speak to each one in your still small voice,                                                                                And grant them your peace which passes understanding,                                                                                           that quiet confidence that only you can bring,                                                                                                      And so may their burdens be lifted,                                                                                                                         And their souls refreshed.                                                                                                                                    Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


In time of National anxiety

O God our refuge and strength in every hour of need, raise up among us at this time faithful and fearless people who know that through loyalty to your word and will alone can a nation find true peace and security.


To such and to all in authority give a right judgment and the courage to follow your way for the good of all people and for the honour of your name.




The Lord’s Prayer  

                                                                                                                                                     May the Almighty and merciful Lord, grant us all peace and preserve each of us this day and forever more.


With God’s blessings,

Rev. Alastair Graham.                                                                                                                    Rector


Order of Service Palm Sunday 5th April 2020


Hymn 238 – Ride on, ride on in majesty Choral Version
Greeting – page 201.
Collect for Purity – page 201
Collect for Palm Sunday

Scripture readings
Psalm 118 verses 1 -2, 19 -29
​Isaiah 50 verses 4 – 9
​Philippians 2 verses 5 – 11
​Gospel Matthew 21 verses 1 – 11


Hymn 247 – When I survey the wondrous cross –  A recording taken from All Saints featuring Choir and Congregation

The Prayers
Prayer of Consecration page 212

Hymn – 244 There is a green hill far away – A recording taken from All Saints featuring Choir and Congregation

Poetry by Fleur Forbes

Ever Present

Do not be afraid for he is always here,
In the darkness of the night he will hold you near
And when the sun does rise, so early in the morn
He will still be there, at the first break of dawn.

When playing with your friends in the school yard
He’s the protective hand always on his guard.
And if feeling afraid or sad, as sometimes we do
His presence will be there simply guiding you.

And as you travel through the various steps of life,
There will be hard times, there will be some strife,
But remember at those times, there is a ray of light,
Ever present there, even in the darkest nights.

Carry this with you and you won’t feel alone,
Even if you are a long long way from home,
Take a little time, to think about our Lord,
For he will be your guide until you fear no more.

Fluer Forbes May 2020

Dun A Ri


I’m walking on these wooded paths
It is a forest that I know from past
For we would spend some Sundays here
With fond memories we hold so dear.

Our Granny liked to wander down
Towards the park from outside town
We’d walk the road all of us
And do our best not to fuss

And when we see the gates up there
We’d run towards without a care.
Heading towards the paddling pool,
Surrounded by so many views.

Into the water we would go
Taking our shoes off as we go.
There are so many people here
As every Sunday for many a year.

Our Granny would always sit and watch
In Hope’s that nobody would be forgot
And when it was our time to go
We head towards the path we know

Pass Sarah’s Bridge and under trees
Until the Wishing Well we’d see,
We always liked to make a wish,
Scoop up the water with silver dish.

And after that we had a treat
The chestnut tree we get to meet.
A climbing tree for all of us
We could not wait to scale right up

And find a branch where we could fit
And chat to all that had room to sit.
A little picnic we would eat
Ready now, the ducks to meet.

We would feed them crumbs from our lunch,
And hope that they enjoyed the munch.
A few more minutes please we’d ask
And hope that this would indeed last.

And when it was our time to part,
Past the Ice house we would march
Our legs were tired from this day
But the memories will always stay.

And when we got to Grannys house,
We’d sit down quiet as a mouse,
The fire lit, and Tummys full
Over the day we’d get to mull

It really was a perfect day
Down in the woods where we could stray
With tired heads we’d go to bed
Thanking God for what lay ahead.

Fluer Forbes April 2020


Little Fingers

I’m sitting here, in front of keys,
The black and white my company
I play a tune so sweet and light
The reflective tones try as I might

I listen to the children play,
Their little fingers find their way,
We play some scales, sightreading too,
And then at last some lovely tunes.

I see their faces lighting up,
What once was hard is now not tough
And sometimes too we have a chat
About exams that will be sat

It does not phase the children at all,
They work so hard to play it all
It really fills my heart with glee,
To hear the music in front of me.

And when the lesson is to cease
We decide again another piece
The practice I know there will be some,
And feel so proud with the work that’s done.

And when the night is nearly gone,
I sit and play, not for too long,
The ebony and ivory keys
They really do fulfill my needs.

And now it’s time to bid good night
And close piano, switch off light.
I think about the job complete
And look forward to our next repeat
Fluer Forbes April 2020


Mullingar Union of Parish Initiatives

Mullingar Union of Parishes Initiatives During the Covid19 pandemic.

– Everything we are taking on is underpinned by prayer.

1.Lighten our Darkness

‘Lighten our Darkness’ is the name some amazing young people in All Saints’ Parish Mullingar have given to their Christian Leadership Project.

The project was launched on Sunday 1st March with an inspiring dramatic production and the young people will be meeting shortly, after the constraint on social distancing has been lifted, to plan the next stage of the project.  The project seeks to highlight, in a very imaginative and enriching way, how the wisdom of God as revealed in the Bible can help us deal with the many challenges we face in the world today.

The very attractive logo holds out the firm hope that under God’s guidance the world can move from darkness to light and so represent all that is best in God’s creation, in humanity and in human behaviour.The young people will post their Programme for Action in due course.

Candlelight Prayer  Movement Launched MARCH 18th 2020.

Please join them in lighting a candle each evening at 7.00 p.m. to pray to God for help with the crisis the world is in.

We as part of the ‘Lighten Our Darkness Youth Movement in All Saints’ Church, Mullingar, County Westmeath will from tonight 18th March 2020 and every night  at 7p.m  light a candle in each of our homes to show that God’s love, life and hope is never overtaken by the darkness that surrounds us.

Our hope is that through prayer we may all find peace, healing and assurance in God’s love and protection.

Full details are available on our parish website here http://mullingarunionofparishes.net/index.php/lighten-our-darkness/


2.Let’s keep talking project –

this project encourages everyone to keep in touch with God through prayer and bible reading and through telephone calls to keep in touch with family, friends, neighbours and parishioners.


  1. 3. Praying with our Feet  –

Help DropsAn active group of people in the parish have offered to deliver shopping and other needed items to people living in the community who are unable themselves to collect them while maintaining  the guidelines of social distancing.


  1. Christ is Risen –

we are inviting younger parishioners to create and prepare a special Easter card with a prayer for everyone in the parish. These will be delivered with an Easter Egg, kindly donated, on Easter   Saturday and left at the doorstep  having first rung the bell or knocked the door!


5 Live Services and Digital Communication

we are actively researching the possibility of broadcasting services and sending short talks for the day, week or Sunday and we shall update you when this happens.

The Website and digital communications is maintained  by Lorraine Hales should anything need to be clarified  – Contact details are 08660522892 Email info@thevirtualoffice.ie

  Prayerful thoughts and comforting words at a time of National Crisis.


March 2020

Corona Virus Outbreak

  Prayerful thoughts and comforting words at a time of National Crisis.

  ‘In my distress I called to the Lord and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help and you listened to my cry’.

 Jonah 2 Verse 1

Dear Parishioners,

The outbreak of the Corona Virus has catapulted the world of Nations into an emergency that no one wanted and few expected. Everyone is now having to adjust their life in the battle against the invisible virus.

Christians  can draw comfort and strength from knowing that God’s love, care and importantly hope is never overtaken by the darkness.

The Bible and prayer are two inspiring and comforting pillars of support.  Quietly reading God’s word and entering His presence in  prayer brings peace, healing, assurance and hope.

Deuteronomy 31:6 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Human separation is not natural in God’s world. Humanity is built on interdependence and shaped by belonging and togetherness. We thrive on being ‘we’s not ‘I’s ’ However separation has become temporarily necessary due to the speed of the spread of the Corona virus. Physical proximity needs to be avoided. We know humans are more than ‘physical frames’ Each of us has a human spirit  and personality and through the use of telephone conversation social media and the internet we can all keep in touch and belong together

No spiritual distancing is required. Our human spirits are enriched and enhanced by the divine Holy Spirit whose presence brings to our lives hope, trust, assuring life and comfort. Jesus said ‘I am with you to the end’ Matthew 28. v20

God’s presence in our lives in truly special. Presence is one of God’s great gifts to humanity.

May I invite you to prayerfully and quietly read these words of scripture which I hope you will find helpful and supportive.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
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 your right hand;
the sun will not harm 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 forevermore.

Psalm 23 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Ephesians 3:14-21 

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


Matthew 11:28-30 

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Bishop Tom Wright writes:

‘This is an invitation which pulls back the curtain and lets us see who God really is and encourages us to come into his loving welcoming presence’

And now our prayers -Let’s pray

We remember in mercy, Our Father, those who have succumbed to the Corona virus and those who have thankfully recovered 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 pharmacists. We pray that you will surround everyone with your healing love and power. We make this our prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour.


Living God,

Speak to each one in your still small voice,                                                                                And grant them your peace which passes understanding, that quiet confidence that only you can bring,  so may their burdens be lifted,  And their souls refreshed.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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

We ask it in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.


Living Lord, conqueror of death, we remember with gladness how on the day of your resurrection you appeared to your disciples in your risen power and said to them ‘Peace be with you’.                                                                                                     Speak that word to our hearts today, O Lord. Lift us above all our doubts and fears; and help us to practice your presence and to rest upon your victory that your peace may be with us, now and for ever more.


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.


The Lord’s Prayer

May the Almighty and merciful Lord, grant us all peace and preserve each of us this night and forever more.

Lighten our Darkness– The young people will light a candle in their home and pray every evening at 7p.m. during the Coronavirus outbreak.

See Full details Here 

Select Vestry:

Members will be telephoning parishioners who may welcome support and conversation.

All Saints’ Church will be open for private prayers every Sunday from 10a.m. – 11a.m

At this challenging time for everyone we should not lose confidence or hope. In the words of the people’s song ‘We will survive’. The parish is available to offer help and assistance and we will all be strengthened by our prayer and bible reading and adherence to the guidelines and advise of the civil authorities.

Please don’t hesitate at any time to telephone or e- mail me if I can be of any support or assistance to you. Telephone 087 7870985

 May God bless you all at this time.

 Rev. Alastair Graham


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

Issue 121 “UNION NEWS” March 2020

Dear Parishioners,

UPDATE 16th March 2020


All of the following services are now cancelled  –  All saints Church will be open from 10am – 11am each Sunday for quite prayer and reflection  – please do not attend if you are unwell in any way  – please observe social distancing and physical contact with each other in order to keep our most vulnrable members safe and well. 

We have reactivated our Facebook Page to keep you all updated and advised on a regular basis you can follow the parish on Facebook here 

Parish Conference – Lighten Our Darkness – Sunday 1st March 10.30 am

The final preparations are being made for our Parish Conference and I sincerely urge everyone in the Parish to come to hear what the young people have to say in their Presentation and to support them by your presence.  For the last nine months the young people have given a great amount of their time to prepare for the Conference and it would be lovely to see their good efforts rewarded by your support.


The season of Lent provides the opportunity for prayer and reflection on faith and life issues.  This year All Saints’ Church will be open each day for prayer from 11.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.  A prayer Service will be held at 12.00 noon.  This gives a daily opportunity for prayer and reflection in church.  In addition, there will be Lenten Bible Study on Saturday 7th and 21st March at 10.30 a.m. in All Saints’.   The Lenten Parish Retreat will be held on Saturday 28th March and there will be a Lenten Songs of Praise in All Saints’ on Sunday 15th March at 11.00 a.m.  The Lenten occasions for April will be outlined in the April Union Notes.

St. Etchen’s Day

While St. Etchen’s Day falls in February, this year we are holding our Patronal Festival on Sunday 8th March in Killucan at 11.30 a.m.  We will combine the Women’s World Day of Prayer with this Service.  I am sure this special Service and occasion will be very well supported by parishioners.  Poppy Tansley, a young parishioner in Killucan, has kindly offered to hold a Cake Sale at the Patronal Festival in aid of the Mullingar Hospital MRI Scanner Appeal.  All contributions, baked or bought, will be gladly accepted by Poppy on the day.  Poppy will be selling the cakes during the Refreshments at the end of the Service and all monies raised is going to a great cause.  It is inspiring that a young parishioner has come forward with this offer of help for such a worthy cause.  I know Poppy will be very well supported.

St. Patrick’s Day -Now Cancelled  

There is always a special Service held in All Saints’ on St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday 17th March at 11.00 a.m.  At the Service there will be the Blessing of the Shamrock and the inspiring singing of the Breastplate by the Senior Parish Choir.

All Saints’ Whist Drive

The March Whist Drive will be held on Friday 6th March at 8.30 p.m. in All Saints’ Church.  The Whist Drive is always a most enjoyable evening with a delicious supper and a good selection of prizes.  I commend the Whist Drive to you.  This will be the last Whist Drive until November.  If anyone has a gift which they would like to present as a prize we would be very grateful if you could leave it in to the Rectory any time before 6th March.

Select Vestry There will be a meeting of the Select Vestry on Monday 30th March at 7.30pm in  The Church Hall to allow for social distancing.

General Easter Vestry – TBA Going Forward

The General Easter Vestry will be held on Sunday 26th April at 11.00 a.m. in All Saints’.  Last year we held the General Easter Vestry on a Sunday and parishioners expressed their support for the meeting to be held on Sunday rather than the practice of a weekday evening meeting.  I hope you will put this date in your diary to attend.

Mothering Sunday – Sunday 22nd March – Service Now Cancelled 

There is always a special Service held to ma – rk Mothering Sunday in the Parish at 10.00 a.m. in All Saints’ and 11.30 a.m. in Killucan.  Mothering Sunday provides a wonderful opportunity for families to come to church and celebrate with thanksgiving the care and love mothers provide.

Rock Solid Parish Youth Club

The Rock Solid Parish Youth Club will meet on Thursday 2nd April at 7.30pm in All Saints’.

Lenten Retreat TBA 

The Lenten Retreat will be held on Saturday 28th March in St. Anne’s Retreat Centre, Killenard.  At the Retreat we will be prayerfully reflecting on some important passages from the Bible.  The setting for the Retreat is ideal.  The prayerful ethos in Killenard facilitates a wonderful opportunity for quiet discernment and those parishioners who attended last year benefited greatly from the day.  If you would like to come and join us this year you will be most welcome and, if you speak to either the churchwardens or myself, we can give you more details and also provide transport if required.

Coffee on Thursdays – Now Cancelled 

The coffee mornings have become very popular and it is lovely to see so many people enjoying good company and conversation week by week.  I would like to warmly invite you to attend and your presence will be greatly appreciated.


We offer our deepest sympathy to Rev. Trevor and Anne Holmes on the death of Trevor’s father, Norman.  The funeral Service was held in Taney Parish Church on Thursday 6th February.  Norman was a wonderful person who won the admiration and affection of so many people over the years and in every aspect of his life he was held with the highest respect.  We would like to sympathise with Trevor and Anne at this sad time for them and the family.  Trevor preached a most inspiring address at the funeral, reminding us of the Christian hope we have in Christ, and the assurance of knowing that death is not an end but an entrance into a fuller life in God’s presence.  We pray that Norman, now in the fuller presence of God, may rest in peace and rise in glory, and that Trevor, Anne and their family will be comforted with the lovely memories they have of Norman.

Thank You

Olive would like to thank everyone for their prayerful support recently and for the many lovely cards she has received.  Olive’s knee surgery has been very successful and she is recovering well.  The support, love, kindness and prayers of parishioners has been a great comfort and encouragement.  Olive would like to thank everyone very much indeed.

 Parish Website Address – www.mullingarunionofparishes.net.

You may like to keep in touch with the Parish through the website or the facebook page 

Rev. Canon Alastair Graham


I hope everyone in the Parish will find time during Lent for prayer and bible reading and opportunities to reflect on faith and support charitable work.

Issue 120 “UNION NEWS” February 2020


Dear Parishioners,

Parish Conference

As you know, the date of the Parish Conference has been changed to Sunday 1st March at 10.30 a.m. in All Saints’ church.  I again would like to appeal to all parishioners to attend this important occasion, when we will be looking to the future of the Parish and also hearing the Presentation by young people in the Parish and their suggestions.  I would be very grateful if you would share the leaflet in the Union Notes on the Conference with family and friends.


St. Brigid’s Day

On Saturday 1st February at 11.00 a.m. there will be a Service of Holy Communion in All Saints’ to remember Brigid whose ministry and witness was so important in the Irish Christian church.


Parish Dinner

The Parish dinner will be held in the Greville Arms Hotel on Sunday 1st February at 8p.m. There has been a great response with 106b parishioners and 20 young people attending. If you would like to join us please telephone Jean Kilmartin (0449375144) for tickets, as tickets must be booked before the dinner


Parish Whist Drive

The February Whist Drive will be held in All Saints’ on Friday 7th at 8.30pm.  As always, there will be good prizes, delicious supper and friendly conversation.  I warmly commend the Whist Drive to you and your friends.



The General Election, as you know, will be held on Saturday 8th February and we remember all candidates who are going forward for election.  We pray that those elected will be committed to address the challenges and opportunities facing life in Ireland.  I would like to ask you to remember the forthcoming General Election in your daily prayers.


Prayer Service in preparation for the Parish Conference

On Sunday 16th February, there will be special Prayer Services held in the Parish seeking God’s guidance and direction for us as we prepare for this important parochial occasion on Sunday 1st March.  I do hope you will be able to attend church on Sunday to join in the prayers.


Select Vestry

There will be a meeting of the Select Vestry on Monday 24th February at 7.30pm in the Rectory.


Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Association

Meeting on Tuesday 11th and Tuesday 25th February at 7.00 p.m. in All Saints.



Rock Solid Youth Club

The Rock Solid Youth Club will be held on Thursday 27th February at 7.30pm in All Saints.


Faith Raising Day

The next Faith Raising Day will be held on Saturday 29th February at 11.00am in St. Anne’s Retreat Centre, Killenard.  These occasions are proving to be very worthwhile and anyone from the Parish who would like to attend will be most welcome.  Please feel free to ask me if you would like to attend.


Youth Breakfast

The Youth Breakfast and Holy Communion will be held on Sunday 9th February at 8.30a.m. in All Saints’



Ash Wednesday

On Ash Wednesday, 26th February, there will be the following Services in the Parish:  9.30 a.m. School Service All Saints’11.00 a.m. Holy Communion Killucan,  5.00 p.m. Evening Prayer Almoritia (this is a joint Service with Kilbixy),  7.00 p.m. Holy Communion All Saints’.


Lenten Retreat

The Lenten Retreat will be held on Saturday 28th March in St. Anne’s Retreat Centre, Killenard.  Further details will be included in the March Union Notes.



Revd. G. Philip Irvine.  Philip passed away peacefully on New Year’s Eve in Roselodge Nursing Home.  Philip had been a resident in Rose Lodge Nursing Home where he had been provided with the most wonderful compassionate care.  Philip had spent his ministry in Aberdeen and Dublin and, due to ill health, moved to Killucan in 2015.  He will be fondly remembered by his family and dear friends.  His humility and gentleness were hallmarks of his life which were deeply appreciated.


We would also like to sympathise with Alona and Wesley Notley following the death of their mother, Violet, who passed away peacefully shortly after Christmas.  Violet grew up in Mullingar and spent much of her married life living in Co. Leitrim.  Violet will be fondly remembered not only by her family, some of whom live in Mullingar, but also by many parishioners who had the privilege of getting to know her over the years.


We also sympathise with Caroline and Colin Lloyd following the death of George Lloyd of Ballynacargy on 10th January.  George was so well known in his local community and had won the admiration of so many people for the work he undertook in the community.  He also had a most endearing personality and will be sadly missed by his family and his many friends and neighbours.  We pray that George may rest in peace and rise in glory.


We also offer our deepest sympathy to Ethel, John, Cyril, James and Ada Farrar following the death of Ethel’s dear aunt Hazel in Cork.  Hazel was a wonderful age and her presence and love over many years won the affection of everyone in the family and her hospitality was legend.  We pray that, now that she is with the Lord, she will be safe and secure in His presence.



On Sunday 9th February at 3p.m.there will be a recital by talented young musicians and everyone is welcome. Tickets available.



Parish Website Address – www.mullingarunionofparishes.net.

You may like to keep in touch with the Parish through the website.


Rev. Alastair Graham






10.30 a.m.


All Saints’



Please come and support the young people on this special occasion