Parishioners and staff from St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, attended a farewell tea on October 6 to say goodbye to two members of clergy who are moving to new positions. PHOTO ALBUM
The Rev Canon Denise Acheson, former Dean’s Vicar, will soon be taking up a part-time post at Lisburn Cathedral, and the Rev Campbell Dixon, MBE, was introduced as Priest-in-Charge of St Mark’s Parish, Ballysillan, on October 9.
Addressing the gathering in the Cathedral Hall, the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev John Mann, said that both Campbell and Denise were loved and appreciated by the Cathedral parishioners and many others who have an attachment to St Anne’s. “Equally, from my own point of view, they have both kept me right in their own way and I shall miss them both,” he said.
Denise became Dean’s Vicar in 2013 having previously been rector of St Colman’s, Dunmurry. She took extended leave to care for her daughter Ruth and resigned her position in the Cathedral earlier this year.
Dean Mann said he had been delighted when Denise first agreed to come to the Cathedral. “I knew already of her fine qualities and there are many things in which she has been a personal support to me over the two years that she was with us.”
Campbell spent five years in St Anne’s. “Coming from ministering in his home parish of Jordanstown, he had to make the adjustment that we all do to the Cathedral way of doing things,” the Dean said. “This was during the months of transition to a new dean and as we sought to bring about the restructuring both physical and in terms of staffing and operational ability for the Cathedral to fulfil its place in the city today.” He added that Campbell’s former life and experience in a complex workplace was ‘invaluable.’
“Whilst no one is indispensable, at times Campbell got pretty close to it, especially in those early days or change and rebuilding,” the Dean said.
Campbell and Denise were presented with gifts from parishioners and their colleagues in the Cathedral.
Afterwards, Campbell said: “I would like to place on record my sincere appreciation of the generosity of the Cathedral community and for the many cards, letters and good wishes I have received.
“It was very kind of the ladies in providing a lovely afternoon tea making it a very special occasion.”
He added: “I will miss all the friendships, the craic and the banter. Wishing everyone God’s richest blessings. “
Denise said: “It was quite moving to feel the warmth of those who were there. I really mean it when I say it was just lovely.”