The Archdeacon of Connor, the Ven Dr Stephen McBride, vicar of Antrim, has been appointed All Ireland Chaplain to the Mothers’ Union.
Announcing the appointment, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, the Most Rev John McDowell, said: “The Mothers’ Union has been at the heart of the worship and witness of the Church of Ireland for more than a century, and under the enthusiastic guidance of June Butler and the present leadership team continues to serve the Church with cheerfulness, modesty and devotion.
“I can think of no better person than Dr Stephen McBride to support and nurture this spirit of involvement and dedication (and fun) at the heart of the Church, so well supported by his wife Helen. I know too that their very much grown up children Rachael and Alex and their families will relish and support Stephen in his new role.
“Stephen was my training rector and, in those curacy years, impressed on me the importance of human relationships, especially the central relationship of marriage and family life, which are at the heart of our witness to the world.”
Stephen said he was honoured to be considered as Canon Robert Deane’s successor as All Ireland Chaplain and he looks forward to working alongside June Butler and the All Ireland Trustees and to meeting, worshipping with and supporting Mothers’ Union members across Ireland.
Stephen McBride is the current Connor Diocesan Mothers’ Union Chaplain and has had a long association with the Mothers’ Union, first through his mother Claire who was a former chairperson of the Holy Trinity and Immanuel Parish, Belfast, branch. His mother-in-law, the late Jean Clyde, held several diocesan posts in Connor and Armagh at executive level.
Stephen’s wife Helen has been a member of the Mothers’ Union from 1987 and was branch chairperson in Antrim Parish from 1996-2002.