60th anniversary celebration in Cloughfern

Wednesday May 9th 2012

The Parish of Cloghfern will hold a special service to celebrate its 60th anniversary on Ascension Day, Thursday May 17 at 7.30pm.

Guest preacher will be the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, Bishop of Connor, and the service will be followed by refreshments in the church hall.

The history of the parish dates back to 1950 when Canon Parr was appointed as Bishop’s Curate to the Parish of St John, Whitehouse, with a remit to establish a Parish of Cloughfern.

Services were held in Fernagh Community Centre. Over the next two years a dual purpose hall was built on the present site of the church and dedicated by Bishop King Irwin.

In 1955–56 a new parochial hall was built by the rector and parishioners and the existing hall transformed into a church proper. This was completely redecorated and stained glass east window installed. The Church of the Ascension was consecrated on Ascension Day.

In 1959 full parochial status was granted on Ascension Day, and Rev JEC Parr was instituted as rector. The parochial halls were refurbished and officially reopened by Mrs Anne Parr in 2002 on the 50th anniversary of the parish.

Sadly, both Canon and Mrs Parr have both now passed away.

Former rectors of Cloughfern include the late Rev Jim Rooney, and the current Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev John Mann. A number of curates who trained in Cloghfern and now have their own parishes have received invitations to the anniversary event.

A number of thriving organisations are active in Cloghfern Parish, and these include Guide and Scout units. Befrienders, Prayer Group, indoor bowls, badminton, MU, the choir and the Ascension Players.

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