The chapel of the Church of Ireland Theological Institute was decorated seasonally in October for two Harvest Thanksgiving Services – the first organised by the part–time MTh students and the second by the full–time students and the deacon–interns.
The large collection of fruit, vegetables and tinned food brought in by the students was later donated to the Mendicity Institution, a centuries–old Dublin charity that provides meals and food for homeless people and other poor people in the inner city.
The patrons of the Mendicity Institution include the Deans of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. The ‘Mendo,’ which is based in Island Street, was founded in 1818 and is Dublin’s second–oldest charity.
The harvest fare was presented to Charles Richards, Director of the Mendicity Institution, and Barbara Comerford, who co–ordinates an outreach programme from Christ Church Cathedral that works with the Mendicity Institution as part of the cathedral’s inner–city mission.
Receiving the food on behalf of the Mendicity Institution, Barbara thanked the ordinands and students at CITI for their generosity.
“As winter draws near, and as public spending cuts bite deeper, homeless people in the inner city are facing a bleak time,” she said. “This is a very visible and practical sign of sharing Christ’s love when more and more people are in need of knowing about it.”
The Mendicity Institution has always worked towards the relief of poverty in the city and continues today as a food centre providing free meals daily, including Sunday brunch. All meals are provided free of charge – and no questions are asked, she said.
Barbara added: “I am also pleased that this generosity on the part of the students strengthens the links between the theological institute and the mission and outreach of Christ Church Cathedral in inner–city Dublin. I would always welcome new volunteers on a Sunday afternoon.”
Photographs: Patrick Comerford