Saturday, 14 July 2007

Bishop Edward Darling & Dr Donald Davison MBE, ARSCM

Here is Bishop Edward pictured on the Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the diaconate in June 2006. He celebrated the day in his former parish of St John's Malone, South Belfast. He is pictured here with his wife Patricia, some of their children (and their spouses), and their grandchildren. A real family gathering! Edward was born in 1933.

After spending 13 years as Rector of St John's, Edward was appointed Bishop of Limerick in November 1985. His successor as Rector of Malone (Alan Harper) is now the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh.

We often sing Edward's words in the anthem 'All created things, bless the Lord!' at St Thomas Aquinas, Ham. The music is by Dr Donald Davison, Organist and Choirmaster at St John's Malone. Donald is pictured here after receiving his MBE earlier this year from HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

I got to know Donald when we were both on the teaching staff of The Queen's Univesity of Belfast.

Bishop Edward Darling and Dr Donald Davison were both the main editors of the Church Hymnal, published by Oxford University Press in 2000. It is a fine book, reflecting the enormous talent associated with St John's Malone. I quote now from the website of the Royal School of Church Music which honoured Donald in 2006.

'We move to Belfast, where Dr Donald Davison has worked over many years to support the worship and music of the whole Church of Ireland. This is in addition to his work as a parish organist and director of music, and until recently as University Organist at Queen’s and City Organist in Belfast. His career is that of a university lecturer in mathematical sciences; but the organ and church music have been as important a part of his life. In particular, the RSCM wishes to mark Dr Davison’s contribution to the new liturgy of the Church of Ireland; and especially his work as music editor of the fifth edition of the Church Hymnal, and his co-authorship with Bishop Edward Darling of the excellent Companion to that hymnal. On the recommendation of the Archbishop of Armagh, the Council of the RSCM has the greatest pleasure in appointing Dr Donald Davison to the Associateship of the Royal School of Church Music.'

The anthem 'All created things, bless the Lord!' is very suitable for Harvest Festival, and I should be pleased to make a copy available to anyone who requests it. Of course the copy would be for personal use only, and should not be used for public performance without the prior permission of the copyright holders. Simply let me have your email address with the request.

You may wish to make a thank offering to Bishop Edwards special charity - Bothar. Please visit www.bothar.org for details.

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