Parish Trip to Pisa: 13-19 May

Following the two trips that were organised for members of the parish to Padua (June 2012) and to Rome (November 2014), arrangements have been made for a party of up to 35 people to visit Pisa for a weeklong tour from 13-19 May, with a booking deadline of 4 February. As before, the group will be led by Alistair Rowan.

Pisa, one of the most important medieval cities in Italy, was for a period of some three centuries an independent seafaring republic—la repubblica marinara—wielding immense naval power, evidenced by the construction of its great Romanesque cathedral (consecrated by Pope Gelasius II in 1118) and by the fact that it was the Pisan troops who, in 1149, were the first Europeans to enter Jerusalem at the end of the second crusade. The four historic parishes of the city, Santa Maria and San Francesco on the north of the River Arno, and San Martino and Sant’Antonio on the south, are rich with Romanesque and Gothic churches, town palaces, colleges, and the earliest botanic gardens in Europe.

Some features of the trip include:

  • A full day coach tour to San Miniato al Tedesco, Collodi, and some major baroque gardens
  • A half-day coach tour to the painted Romanesque church of San Piero a Grado (where Saint Peter is supposed to have first set foot in Italy) and the spectacular Carthusian monastery—la Certosa di Pisa—at Calci with its rich state apartments of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany
  • A round trip on a local train to the nearby city of Lucca

The party will be staying at the historic Royal Victoria Hotel, situated on the northern bank of the River Arno, at Lungarno Antonio Pacinotti 12, near the Ponte di Mezzo in the city centre. The terrain of Pisa is flat and easy for pedestrians, with good shops and many pleasant restaurants. The cathedral precinct, including the monumental baptistery, the campanile (the leaning tower), and the Gothic Campo Santo, is swamped by visitors at all times of the year, but these places can conveniently be visited in the early morning to avoid the crowds and the rest of the city is surprisingly quiet.

Cost: A visit of six nights, including breakfast in the hotel, dinner on the first and last evenings, two lunches (provided on the coach trips and in Lucca), plus travel costs in Italy and all entry fees, is 650 per person with a supplement for a single room of between €210 to €300. For people who share a three-bed room, the cost of the trip is reduced by €80, bringing the price per person down to €570.

Travel to Pisa: Ryanair flies direct from Dublin to Pisa on Sunday, 13 May at 5.00pm, arriving in Pisa at 8.45pm. The return flight on Saturday, 19 May leaves Pisa at 11.30am, arriving in Dublin at 1.20pm. It is important to book your flight as soon as your place on the tour is confirmed in order to secure the best value.

Booking a Place: Anyone who wishes to join the trip should give their name as soon as possible to the treasurer, Charles Smith, either by email to charleshillas@gmail.com or by telephone to 01-2888877. The hotel expects confirmation of the total number and names of participants no later than Sunday, 4 February and, since the previous parish trips to Italy have proved popular, there is a good chance that this tour will fill up quickly. Any particular queries should be sent to Alistair Rowan, either by email to alistairrowan@fastmail.com or by telephone to 01-4966768.

RESCHEDULED: Trip to Birr Castle and Gardens, 30 September

The trip to Birr Castle and Gardens has been rescheduled for Saturday, 30 September.  The cost of the visit is €35, which includes admission, lunch (soup, sandwiches, and tea/coffee), and transport.  The castle tour also includes full access to the Science Centre, Great Telescope, and gardens.  We will meet at the church at 9.15am to depart by 9.30am and plan to arrive in Birr by ~11.45am; we expect to leave Birr by 4.00pm for a ~6.45pm arrival back in Dublin.  Due to the small size of the group (max. 20), we will travel by car and are seeking three additional drivers, who will receive as compensation €10 per passenger in their car.  As there is substantial demand for castle tours, the booking deadline is 12 noon on Sunday, 24 September.  For more information about the site, please visit http://birrcastle.com/.  If you would like to book a spot, please contact the parish office at 01-668-8522 or email admin@stbartholomews.ie.

Dublin Orchestral Players Concert

The Dublin Orchestral Players will perform a delightful concert programme on Saturday 11th February at 8pm in Saint Bartholomew’s Church. The concert will feature Beethoven’s much loved Violin Concerto, played by Wicklow-born violinist Lynda O’Connor. Other works to be performed are Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, and Grieg’s Holberg Suite for String Orchestra. Conducted by Andrew Synnott, this promises to be a wonderful evening in the lovely setting of Saint Bartholomew’s. Tickets €15 (€12 Concession) can be purchased online or on the door.

Parish Walking Group

As the winter bites that little bit harder, our parish walking group will take a break until February. Thank you to all those who have supported our first two successful outings and please keep an eye on the news in late January for details of our February walk. All will be welcome to join us.

Vacancy for Parish Administrator

The United Parishes of Saint Bartholomew’s and Christ Church Leeson Park have a vacancy for an Administrator on a part-time basis for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Minimum requirements are competence with Microsoft Office including desktop publishing.

If you are interested, please make contact through the website email for further information. The closing date for applications is Monday, 24th October and interviews will be held on Saturday, 29th October. We will require a C.V. and two references.

Parish Administrator

After over two years, we said goodbye to our administrator, Mark Bowyer, on Friday. Mark has been appointed to a full time role working in HR for a Dublin based law firm. We wish Mark well as he begins this new chapter in his life and thank him for all he has done here at Saint Bartholomew’s over the last two years. He will continue to be involved in the parish and singing in the choir.

Good Friday RTÉ Service

Saint Bartholomew’s Church took part earlier this month in recording a service for broadcast on RTÉ for Good Friday. You can tune in to the service on Good Friday (25 March) on RTÉ One at 3.10pm or watch it online. If you miss it there will still be a chance to watch it on the RTÉ Player.

Auditor required

We need a qualified auditor to audit the accounts of Saint Bartholomew’s Church and Christ Church Leeson Park for the year 2015.  If you have the appropriate qualifications please could you call Charlie Smith (Hon. Treasurer) on 01 2888877 or email charleshillas@gmail.com.