Ian Smith, CMS Ireland’s Director of Mission, died at home on Wednesday July 29 after a period of illness with cancer.
As Director of Mission at CMSI, he was responsible for overseeing the Society’s work in Ireland and around the world. He joined the CMS Ireland team in June 2007 after spending 23 years working with CMS Britain – where, alongside building links with the local church, he travelled and worked extensively in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The Chairman of the Church of Ireland’s Council for Mission, Bishop Harold Miller, paid tribute, saying: "Ianwas only with us for a short time here in Ireland, during which I had the privilege of getting to know him, not only through CMSI, but also as a member of the Council for Mission and the Anglicanism sub-committee of the Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue, as well as a lay reader in the Diocese of Down and Dromore. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Carol and his children Luke and Colletta at this time of loss. Ian’s faith in the Lord was utterly firm, and he rejoices now to be in the nearer presence of his Saviour."
Colleagues at CMSI described Ian as "a man of passion and commitment." In its tribute, the Society said: "During his two years with the Society, Ian’s passion for the gospel and his wide experience of mission, throughout the world, shaped his leadership and characterised his relationships with those he encountered in Ireland and beyond. In Ian’s own words, mission was 'in his DNA.' The extension of God’s Kingdom was at very heart of this man of God."
Speaking on behalf of CMS Ireland, Acting Director of Mission Brian Lavery said: ‘Ian was a man of tremendous faith and vision. His energy, passion and commitment were evident in everything that he did. Throughout his illness Ian’s faith remained strong and he talked freely about the comfort he found in prayer and intimacy with God. His example, as a leader and fellow disciple, was a constant source of inspiration, even during his illness."
The funeral service will be held in Holywood Parish Church, Co. Down, on Tuesday August 4 at 11.30am.
A memorial service will be held in St Oswald's Church, Fulford, York, tba.
Donations in lieu of flowers, if desired, to CMS Ireland.