A 20-year relationship was recognised on Sunday October 14 when St John’s Parish, Malone, hosted a special service for Bishop Samuel Poyntz and his wife Noreen.
The couple arrived in Malone in 1987 when the Bishop was translated from Cork to Connor. Following retirement in 1995 he and his wife continued to attend St John’s and play a very active part in the life of the Parish.
On the eve of Bishop and Mrs Poyntz’s departure to live in Dublin, the special service was followed by a parish lunch.
Bishop Poyntz preached and celebrated the Eucharist as well as choosing the hymns and other musical parts of the service, including organ voluntaries performed by Dr Donald Davison.
During his sermon, Bishop Poyntz, appealed to Church of Ireland people to value their Godly heritage, as enshrined in the Book of Common Prayer, and remember that worship is an offering to God and should be ordered as such with care and attention. The Mission of the Church grows from its devotional heart.
At the end of the service one of St John’s young people, Katie Nicholas, sang Rutter’s moving setting of “The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” thereby expressing the blessing of all present on Bishop Sam and Noreen as they leave the Parish.
Bishop Poyntz has long been a supporter of the young people, and some of those he led on a pilgrimage to Taize a number of years ago were present at the service. There were also a number of retired clergy and their wives, present, including Lord and Lady Eames, reflecting Bishop Sam’s long and dedicated ministry in which they shared.
At the lunch following the service, tributes were paid to Bishop Sam’s immense contribution to parish, diocese (including about 20 recent confirmation services!) and the wider Church, especially during difficult times.
The occasion was not without humour and a sense of celebration as Bishop and Mrs Poyntz move on to what they describe as “retirement phase two” in Dublin. They will be greatly missed in Connor and especially in the Parish of Malone.
Photos by Arthur McCartney.