Funeral of the Rev Canon Dr Ken Cochrane

Wednesday January 6th 2010

The late Rev Canon Ken Cochrane.A funeral service for The Rev Dr Canon Kenneth Wilbur Cochrane, who died on New Year’s Eve, took place in St Paul’s Parish Church on Wednesday January 6. The service was followed by cremation at Roselawn Crematorium. 

Canon Cochrane’s long and faithful ministry spanned more than 50 years in the Diocese of Connor –  47 years of these were spent in Lisburn.  Born in Coleraine on October 21 1927, he attended Coleraine Technical College and Coleraine Academical Institution before progressing to Trinity University, Dublin where he graduated in 1958 having obtained a BA and Div Test. 

He was ordained in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast in June 1958 and served as Curate at St Aidan’s, Sandy Row, Belfast (1958-1961) and St Nicholas’, Lisburn Road, Belfast (1961-1962).  In May 1962, he became curate in charge of the new district of St Paul’s, a daughter church of Christ Church, Lisburn. 

Having lived in temporary accommodation in Belvoir Crescent, Mr Cochrane moved in 1964 to ‘Hawtree’, which was later to become the Rectory of St Paul’s Parish.  He was Curate-in-change 1965-1966 and instituted as Rector in January 1966 in the new parish of St Paul. During his incumbency he became Examining Chaplain to two Bishops of Connor.  He was appointed to the Board of Nomination of the Diocese of Connor and later Canon of St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast in 1986 and received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1988. 

In 1990, Dr Samuel Poyntz, former Bishop of Connor, appointed him as Canon of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, representing the diocese.  He also became Clerical Secretary of the Diocese of Connor.  Also during his 36 years ministry at St Paul’s, he appointed nine Curates – one became a Bishop, two became Deans, some became Canons and two obtained doctorates. 

Canon Cochrane retired in December 1998 and became assistant to Canon McCombe at Christ Church Parish, Lisburn in 1999.  When the present Rector of Christ Church, the Rev Paul Dundas, was instituted in January 2005, Canon Cochrane became senior minister. 

On Sunday September 30 2007, in his final sermon as Assistant of Christ Church Parish, Canon Cochrane spoke of how he was brought up in a Christian home where his father read the scriptures every night.  His parents gave him a love for the Bible and the more he learned about it, the more he learned about life. 

Both he and his wife Mildred continued as parishioners of Christ Church Parish.  His long and faithful ministry in the Diocese of Connor and his pastoral service to the City of Lisburn was further celebrated on Sunday June 29 2008 at a special service in Christ Church marking the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination.  The preacher was the Dean of Connor, The Very Rev John Bond, who was Canon Cochrane’s first Curate in St Paul’s.

Dean Bond was also the preacher at Canon Cochrane’s funeral service. Also taking part were the Rev Jim Carson (Rector of St Paul’s), the Rev Paul Dundas (Rector of Christ Church) and the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy.

Recalling happy memories of his curacy at St Paul’s, Dean Bond spoke of the dynamic ministry of his former boss. He said: “Ken Cochrane was an energetic and hard working priest, outgoing, friendly and imaginative, a natural role model for his curates.  He nurtured many vocations to the sacred ministry and offices in the church.  He transmitted confidence to those around him and the parish admired his attention to detail and his trusting availability to so many to whom he was supportive, and brought out their best.  A wise counsellor, his desire to get things done and with warm hearted helpfulness remained equally strong in retirement which he spent and enjoyed in Christ Church.”

Dean Bond’s address at Canon Cochrane’s funeral can be downloaded in full here.

Report by John Kelly

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