Irish Jesuit David Tuohy was one of four people who were installed as canons in the Church of Ireland Chapter at Christchurch Cathedral on Sunday, 1 October 2017. He was installed as an ecumenical canon, as was the Rev Lorraine Kennedy-Ritchie, a Presbyterian minister in Dublin. Two lay canons were also installed on the occasion: former Irish President Mary McAleese and Professor Jim Lucey, clinical professor of psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin.
In his welcome to the new appointments at the service, Church of Ireland Archbishop Michael Jackson noted that they represented “the contribution in life they have made to life for others and with others in a wide range of fields and over sustained periods of time”.
David Tuohy, who has a long and rich experience as a consultant on leadership and organisation development, has worked on a number of substantial projects with the Church of Ireland since 2011, when he worked on a report into Church of Ireland schools – ‘Who is coming to our schools?’ – with Dr Anne Lodge and Dr Ken Fennelly. Four years later, in 2015, he worked on another schools report with Dr Ann Lodge, called ‘Small schools, value for learning’. He has also worked with Archbishop Jackson and with a number of other committees on various reviews and surveys, and these have borne fruit in the form of key initiatives for giving vigour to Church life in Ireland.
The appointment of canons, both lay and ecumenical, from outside the Church tradition is designed to honour people who have given distinguished service to the cathedral’s mission and ministry. Each appointment is for five years.
Looking forward to the installation Archbishop Jackson said: “The opportunity afforded to Christ Church Cathedral by the decision of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland is one we value and appreciate. In a small yet significant way I hope that the cathedral will be able to recognise, in the year of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the distinct and unique contributions of a wide range of people associated with public and religious life in Ireland from a wide variety of perspectives”.
The Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, the Very Reverend Dermot Dunne, remarked on the appointment of the ecumenical canons: “Given the position of Christ Church in the heart of Dublin, the cathedral provides a tangible and visible ecumenical expression where all traditions of the Christian faith can come together in a space that is neither threatening nor exclusive. This is already happening in the cathedral where ecumenism is expressed in many of our liturgies and gatherings. Having Ecumenical Canons on the Chapter of Christ Church will broaden the ecumenical landscape of both the cathedral and the dioceses”.