Church of Ireland grows by 50%

An almost unnoticed, but historically dramatic, social change has occurred in Ireland over the past few years: more and more Irish Catholics are joining the Church of Ireland according to the Independent.ie.

After a long decline ever since 1861, Irish Anglicanism is undergoing a quite remarkable period of growth.

In the early Nineties, there were 82,840 members of the Church of Ireland in the 26 counties. This has increased by 50per cent, to 121,229.

Some of this expansion is due to immigration. But a substantial amount is due to conversion -- cradle Catholics turning to the Reformed faith.


Read more here.

Hat tip: Deirdre Good.

Comments (2)

As a cradle Roman Catholic too, it has often struck me that the Episcopal Church -- and other progressive Anglican churches -- could do a far better job of intentional mission outreach to currently unchurched cradle RCs as well as progressive current RCs weary of the deafness of the Magisterium. Although many RCs are aware of the similarities between post-Vatican II RC liturgy and BCP Rite II liturgy, most are unaware of the rich tradition of Anglo-Catholicism and such modern progressive Catholic voices within Anglicanism as Affirming Anglican Catholicism... I am convinced that if more knew there was a culturally and liturgically Catholic home available to them within Anglicanism, more would be received into the Episcopal Church and its sister progressive Anglican provinces. TEC should learn from the C of I on this...

There's so much to be explored here as the first post demonstrates. A tiny example: Saul Church, County Down, was built in "Celtic revival style" in the 1930's by the Church of Ireland near the landing site of St Patrick near Downpatrick.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul,_County_Down
The picture makes the C of I connection very clear.

This year's St Patrick's Day celebrations (March 17th) include the following from the Down District Council:

As St Patrick’s Day dawns, pilgrims are invited to take part in a walk to Down Cathedral, organised by the Church of Ireland. Buses to Saul Church will depart from The Mall approaching Down Cathedral from 8.30am – 9.15am for the Ecumenical Service at St Patrick’s Church, Saul before the walk back to Down Cathedral commences at 10.30am.

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