Report and photograph by John Kelly
Three new Parish Readers for Connor Diocese were commissioned at a special service in Finaghy on Sunday May 11.
Nigel Adams of Magheragall Parish (Lisburn), Alan Devers of Holy Trinity Church (Ballywillan Parish, Portrush) and Victor Stephens, Church of the Epiphany (Parish of Upper Malone, Belfast) were commissioned to the office of Parish Reader at the service in the Church of the Epiphany.
The rector of Ballymacash, the Rev Canon George Irwin (Warden of Readers), led the service assisted by the Rev Nicholas Dark (Magheragall), the Rev Peter McDowell (Ballywillan) and the Rev Garth Bunting (Upper Malone). The candidates were presented for commissioning by their rectors.
Canon Irwin conducted the act of commissioning and in his address he reminded the congregation that Pentecost Sunday was the Birthday of the Church when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles sending them out to transform the world.
He said that the commissioning of three new Parish Readers was a significant occasion not just for the three parishes represented but also for the whole Diocese of Connor.
He challenged them to be stewards of the ministry of God and to be filled with the grace of God emphasising the need for them to first and foremost be people with a calling to the daily work of Jesus Christ in accordance with His commission to make disciples of all nations.
Canon Irwin concluded by calling on members of the parishes to remember them constantly in their prayers and do everything to assist them.
Organist Sylvia McCullough and the Church Choir led the praise and Sylvia and her daughter Natalie sang a duet entitled, ‘Nearer my God’. Following the service supper was served in the church hall allowing members of all three congregations to congratulate Nigel, Alan and Victor in their new position of Parish Reader.