New parish and diocesan readers for Connor

Tuesday November 27th 2007

Reader Ministry is thriving in Connor, with the commissioning of five parish readers at a service in St Patrick’s, Ballymoney, on November 25, and a Service of Commissioning for three diocesan readers on December 6.

The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, attended his first meeting of Connor Guild of Readers at St Colmanell’s Parish Church, Ahoghill, on Tuesday November 27. He spoke about developments in ministry and how it will affect the training of diocesan and parish readers. More than 40 readers are expected to attend this meeting.

On Sunday November 25 the Rev John Cunningham, rector of Ballymoney, Finvoy and Rasharkin, presented Allan Bond, Elizabeth Wallace, Linda Cunningham and Roslyn Graham, while Stewart Heaney, rector of Ballyrashane and Killdollagh, presented Andrew Hunter for commissioning as parish readers.

The five candidates were commissioned by Canon George Irwin, Diocesan Warden of Readers.

On Sunday December 2, Canon Irwin will commission Richard Irvine as a parish reader in Lambeg where Richard is also the organist.

The commissioning of diocesan readers takes place in the Church of the Holy Name, Greenisland, on December 6. The three readers, to be presented by Canon Irwin, are Dr Isobel Hawthorne-Steele from Greenisland; Martyn Anglesea from St Nicholas, Belfast; and Aaron McAlister, St Patrick’s, Coleraine. They will be commissioned by the Bishop. The three new readers will spend a probationary year in the parishes of Cloughfern, Finaghy and Ballymoney respectively.

Preacher at the commissioning service is Dr Fred Ruddell.

At a selection meeting on November 2, three candidates were recommended for parish reader ministry and two for training for diocesan reader ministry.

With the centenary of the restoration of the office of reader in the Church of Ireland, Mr George Leckey, Ballymena, is compiling a history of lay readership ministry. He is very keen to hear from anyone who might have memorabilia or medallions worn by lay readers. George can be contacted at 5 Rathcavan Drive, Ballymena, Co Antrim, BT42 2QH.

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