Rev Jonny Campbell-Smyth is new Antrim Rural Dean

Thursday February 1st 2024

The Rev Jonny Campbell-Smyth is the new Rural Dean for Antrim.

The Rev Jonny Campbell- Smyth, rector of the United Parish of Ballynure and Ballyeaston, Ballyclare, has been appointed Antrim Rural Dean.

He succeeds the Rev Canon Derek Kerr who has moved to the Parishes of Tynan, Aghavilly and Middletown in the Diocese of Armagh.

Brought up in Lisburn, Jonny worked in IT for many years, and was among the first intake on the new MTh course at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute.

He was ordained a deacon in September 2011 and did his internship in Holy Trinity Parish, Portrush. He served his first curacy in St Patrick’s, Coleraine, and his second curacy in St Patrick’s, Jordanstown, before his institution as rector in Ballyclare in January 2017.

His appointment as Rural Dean comes into effect on February 1.

Jonny said: “I’d like to first thank Bishop George for trusting me with this position in Antrim Rural Deanery. I consider it a privilege to serve God’s Church in this way within a Deanery that I have already been a part of for the last seven years.”

Jonny paid tribute to Canon Derek. “I think it is important to recognise the incredible contribution that Rev Canon Derek Kerr has made to our Deanery. I’d like to thank him for his friendship and his support. Derek has brought much joy to our Deanery meetings, but more than anything he has been a pastor to the clergy. We will miss him and wish him well.”

The new Rural Dean continued: “As I begin this new role, I pray God’s continued blessing on us as a Deanery, and I’m looking forward to seeing many within the Rural Deanery at our upcoming midweek Lenten Services starting on Ash Wednesday in St Saviour’s, Kells. Do join us.”

Jonny is married to Alison and they have two sons. 

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