Better Together – Diocesan Synod, 17th Oct


The Annual Joint Meeting of the Diocesan Synods of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh took place on Saturday 17th October in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. At this meeting Bishop Ferran Glenfield introduced the proposed union of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh under a single administration. At present the diocese is administered in two parts: Kilmore and Elphin and Ardagh. However, one of the key things identified in a series of Conversation Days facilitated by the Bishop shortly after his appointment was a desire for a single administration to avoid unnecessary duplication and waste. Both Killmore and Elphin and Ardagh have been united since before the Church of Ireland was disestablished nearly 150 years ago. The Bishop noted that over the years respect and trust had built up, to the point that we consider ourselves as one family, who are better together.

During the Synod a series of motions were put before and unanimously approved by the Synods of the Diocese of Kilmore and the Dioceses of Elphin and Ardagh which will enable the two Dioceses to work together under one administration. The proposed single administration and financial scheme will now go forward to the RCB. If the RCB are satisfied the scheme will be placed before the General Synod in May 2016.

A huge amount of work has been done to get this far and Bishop Ferran paid tribute to the two working groups who worked tirelessly through the details of the proposed single administration and the accompanying financial scheme. He also thanked the various officers of the RCB for their input.

These changes are part of our larger Vision for the church, 20/20 VISION, which in relation to administration aspires that ‘Diocesan administration and structures should be relevant, accountable, representative and supportive of the local church. Diocesan resources should be released to this end.’ In his Presidential address, the Bishop said that these changes make sense – ‘we are better together, not just symbolically but in reality’. He asked for support and prayers as we go forward in God together as three distinctive members of one united family, Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh.


Bishop Ferran Glenfield

Olwen Heaslip and Cathy Clarke
Olwen Heaslip and Cathy Clarke

Revd Canon Patrick Bamber and Deborah Davitt
Revd Canon Patrick Bamber and Deborah Davitt

Damien Shorten and Hannah O'Neill
Damien Shorten and Hannah O’Neill

Dean Arfon Williams John Davies
Dean Arfon Williams and John Davies

Dean Nigel Crossey, Cynthia Poyntz
Dean Nigel Crossey and Cynthia Poyntz

Emma Lynch - Tearfund
Emma Lynch – Tearfund

Mary Geelan
Mary Geelan

Sandra Lindsay
Sandra Lindsay

William Foster Red Canon Billy Stafford
William Foster and Canon Billy Stafford

RTE Service on Sunday with Sligo Grammar School Choir


The RTE One Service on Sunday 11th October was a Harvest Thanksgiving with Sligo Grammar School Choir directed by Johnathan Carter. The service, which was lead by Revd. Canon Patrick Bamber can be seen on the RTE player at:


Revd. Nick Jones Appointed as the Minister in Charge of the Drung Group of Parishes

nick-jones-familyRev. Nick Jones is to be appointed as the minister in charge of the Drung Group of Parishes on January 22nd 2016. Although originally from England, Nick has a deep love of the Irish, so much so that he married native Irish girl Dorothy in 2009! Nick originally trained and worked as a lawyer in London, but following his conversion to Christ in 2002 he began to consider overseas mission work and subsequently ordained ministry. He is delighted that those two things have been combined and that he can now serve as a Church of Ireland minister. Nick and Dorothy have two children, Bethany (5) and William (2), and so they don’t get much spare time! However, when they do they enjoy playing tennis and watching rugby (especially England Ireland games!). Nick also enjoys windsurfing, surfing, 5-aside football, squash and reading. Nick is very much looking forward to serving the Drung Group of Parishes where he hopes to delight in sharing not only the gospel of God but his life as well (1 Thessalonians 2:8).

Bishop Wallace Ben Visits KEA

bishop-wallace-bennBishop Wallace Benn will lead a Quiet Day for the clergy of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh on the 9th October 2015. and the Lay Readers Autumn School on the 10th October 2015.

The theme for the clergy Quiet Day will be ‘Jesus our Joy’ and will have two addresses on Philippians entitled ‘Confidence in Christ’ and ‘The Servant Heartedness of Christ’. The Lay Readers Autumn School will seek to give an introduction to Luke’s Gospel (the set gospel of the next lectionary) plus a workshop on how to preach it!

Wallace Benn was educated at St Andrews College Dublin & University College Dublin before going to Trinity College, Bristol to train for the Anglican ministry. After 25 years in parish ministry of very different sorts he became area Bishop of Lewes in the Diocese of Chichester from 1997-2012. During his time there he had special responsibility for youth work as well as Reader support & training.

He founded Bible by the Beach Convention which is a long weekend of worship, learning and Bible teaching (as well as great fun) each early May Bank Holiday in Eastbourne. For 15 years he was President of Church of England Evangelical Council. He is an author and popular speaker with an enthusiasm for teaching the Bible, evangelism and church growth, as well as the pastoral care of those in ministry.
An enthusiastic supporter of the Leinster & also Irish rugby team, he is also a petrolhead having once taken part in TV’s Top Gear.

Married to Lindsay, who is a learning support teacher, he has two grownup children and two grandchildren.

Farewell to Revd Liz McElhinney

On Sunday 30th August a Service of Farewell was held in St Coman’s Church, Roscommon for Canon Liz McElhinney who has retired as Priest-in-Charge of the Roscommon Group of Parishes. The church was filled with parishioners and members of the wider community who enjoyed the music and singing of various groups. At the service, a plaque was unveiled dedicating the restored East window to the glory of God in memory of Canon J.M.E. and Mrs Lily Maguire by their daughter Revd Canon Liz McElhinney.

Refreshments were served after the service in The Core Community Centre. The Lamb Festival Committee made a presentation to Revd Liz in thanks for her contribution to the annual Roscommon Lamb Festival. Mr Steve Frost, member of The Core committee, spoke of the foresight and commitment, especially of Cyril, in the development of the building to the fine facility it now is and drew our attention to the plaque on wall, acknowledging this work.


Liz McElhinney Farewell
Kids: Lanesborough, Roscommon Sunday School music group

Liz McElhinney Farewell
Flautist: Flautist, Hazel Murray

Liz McElhinney Farewell
Sean: Musicians Sean Hanily and Annie McNally playing outside The Core

Liz McElhinney Farewell
Liz Lamb presentation: A presentation to Revd Liz thanking her for her contribution to the Roscommon Lamb Festival (L-R Gerry Browne (Chairman of the Lamb Festival Committee), David McElhinney (Revd Liz’s Son) and Revd Liz McElhinney)

Liz McElhinney Farewell
The Four Amigos: (L-R) Cyril McElhinney, Dulcie Galloway, Chris Nolan, Brian Murray

Ordination of Alastair Donaldson and Raymond Kettyle

(L-R): Revd. Alastair Donaldson, Canon Ronnie Bourke, Bishop Ferran Glenfield, Revd. Raymond Kettyle.

Last Sunday 6th September, Revd. Alastair Donaldson and Revd. Raymond Kettyle were ordained for ministry in the Church of Ireland by Rt. Revd. Ferran Glenfield, the Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh in St John’s Cathedral, Sligo. Alastair as Presbyter/Priest and Raymond as Deacon.

Revd. Alastair Donaldson, who is from Crossmaglen in Co. Amargh and has recently served as Deacon Intern to Fivemiletown Parish, Diocese of Clogher, was ordained for the curacy of the Roscommon Group of Parishes, Elphin. Revd. Raymond Kettyle, from Virginia in Co. Cavan will be serving as a Deacon Intern in the Boyle and Riverstown Group of Parishes, Elphin with Canon Ronnie Bourke.

Revd. Eddie Coulter, Superintendent of Irish Church Missions, gave the Address. In his sermon he encouraged the congregation, saying that God uses ordinary people, a praying people to build his church. He reminded us that we can have confidence in a God who is attentive to prayer, who loves us and the people for whom we pray and who is a forgiving God.

New Dean Installed at St. Fethlimidh’s Cathedral

St. Fethlimidh’s Cathedral, Kilmore was full last Friday evening as colleagues, friends, family and parishoners gathered for the Institution of The Revd. Nigel Crossey as Incumbent of the Kilmore Group of Parishes and his Installation as Dean of Kilmore. The service was led by The Rt. Revd. FerranGlenfield, Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh assisted by the Ven. Craig McCauley, the Archdeacon of Kilmore.

Revd. Nigel served as Chaplin to St Columba’s College in Dublin prior to his appointment as Dean of Kilmore. He was born in Belfast and read Classics at Christ’s College, Cambridge before studying for ordination at the Church of Ireland Theological College in Dublin. He was ordained for Drumglass Parish, Dungannon in 1984 before becoming Rector of Magheraculmoney Parish, Kesh in ClogherDiocese. He has also served in chaplaincy roles across the United Kingdom and Europe. Nigel is married to Yvonne and they have four children and one grandchild with another soon on the way.

The music for the service was wonderful with singing led by the Cathedral choir directed by Raymond Fergusson and accompanied Vera Pollock playing the organ. In an address given by Revd. Barry Paine, Rector of Balinderry Group of Parishes, Armagh, Nigel was described as an intelligent, challenging, fair, faithful, tough, forthright, profession, loyal, committed man, a man who would champion injustice, a person of God, a person of prayer and a person of the Scriptures. Revd. Barry said that the church should be a ‘beauty spot’ in a world of fear, desperation and fragility. Speaking from 2 Corinthians vs 8, he said that the church should be searching for a vision for a better way forward and excellence in faith, speech, knowledge, earnestness and giving. He encouraged the congregation to pray for Revd. Nigel as he came to serve in the Cathedral Church of St. Fethlimidh and Ballintemple Parish Church.

The service was followed by a wonderful tea in the Parish Hall and the warm reception was very welcome on a chilly evening. Canon Horace McKinley, Rector of Whitechurch, Dublin opened a series of speeches welcoming Revd. Nigel which was followed by words of welcome from Wendy Swan, representing the Kilmore Group Parish Nominators, Sam Scott, the Rector’s Church Warden of St. Fethlimidh’s Cathedral Church and Robert Lowry, the People’s Church Warden of Ballintemple. Canon Mark Lidwell, the longest serving Rector in the Diocese, extended warm wishes on behalf of the clergy and the Cathedral Chapter. Revd. Nigel said that he was touched by the generosity of his welcome and thanked everyone who had gathered and travelled and made the effort to attend the service. The formal proceedings of the evening concluded when Alana Cowan presented Nigel’s wife, Yvonne, with a bouquet of flowers.

dean-nigel-crosseyThe photograph was taken by Andrew Quill and is of the new Dean making his declarations of office. In the photo are: Dean Arfon Williams and Revd. Nigel Crossey.

Revd. Isaac Hanna Instituted as the new Rector of Drumcliffe, Lissadell and Munninane

Revd. Isaac Hanna Instituted as the new Rector of Drumcliffe, Lissadell and Munninane

Friday evening 28th August was another milestone in the life of the parishes of Drumcliffe, Lissadell and Munninane. It was, of course, the Institution of the new Rector, Revd. Isaac Hanna. The service, which took place in a well filled Lissadell church, was led by Bishop Ferran Glenfield assisted by Dean Arfon Williams. Revd. Isaac was supported by his wife, Dianne and two sons, Joshua and Daniel. Other members of their family were also in attendance and it was wonderful to be joined by a number of Isaac’s former parishioners from Maghera.

The choir seats were well filled and a Praise group consisting of Gillian Brennan, Kathy Clarke, Nathanial Clarke and Nathan Bourke led the singing. The organ was played by Jennifer Siggins a member of the Lissadell parish. Bishop Ferran remarked during the service on how good the singing was. Scripture readings were read by Isaac Hanna (Revd. Isaac’s father), Adam Norris and our Lay Reader Alan Williamson.

The address was given by Revd. Paul Hoey, a friend of Isaac’s who began his sermon by asking four questions – What will we call our new Rector? Will he visit? Will he preach long? Will he be confidential? Rev Paul told us the he gave a loan of a fiver to Isaac some years ago and Isaac hasn’t mentioned it since then so he is obviously to be trusted. He also suggested that if anybody wants a visit we should be aware that Isaac has a penchant for pistachio nuts and to keep some in the house!

More seriously, Revd. Paul said that it was God who led Isaac from Kilkeel to Maghera and it was the same God who has led Isaac to Sligo. Isaiah 6:1-8 demonstrates that call and Matthew 3:1-5 tells of the mission of John the Baptist calling people to look to Jesus as Saviour. Revd. Paul suggested that Isaac as at least five tasks ahead of him: to serve in changing and challenging times, to guide through times of change and uncertainty, to do things in old and new ways, to help us live out our role in the community and world as followers of Christ, to be changed with the people by God’s Holy Spirit as he lives for Christ. The congregation were encouraged to continue to support Isaac and his family in prayer as they settle in to their new home, schools and ministries.

Following the sermon, the Act of Institution was carried out By Bishop Ferran. During this act some members of the various parishes brought forward symbols of the teaching, pastoral and sacramental ministry that Isaac would carry out in his new charge. The new Rector then led the Prayers of the People and the Recessional Hymn ‘ Great is Thy Faithfulness, oh God my Father’ was sung with a great sense of conviction by the whole congregation.

Across the road in the Lissadell Centre a fine supper and time of meeting and greeting was enjoyed by all. There were speeches, eating, drinking tea and enjoying fellowship. We trust and pray that the Parish in Maghera will soon find the person of God’s choosing to lead them forward. The whole evening was very meaningful not just for those taking part but also for all those present.


Rev Paul Hoey, Rev Isaac Hannah, Bishop Ferran Glenfield, Dean Arfon Williams

Dianne Hannah, Rev Isaac Hannah, Joshua Hannah, Daniel Hannah, Bishop Ferran Glenfield.

isaac-hannah-institution-IMG_1690Church Wardens: William Clarke (Drumcliffe), Christopher Clarke (Lissadell), Ronnie Lawson (Drumcliffe), Linda Regan (Lissadell), Rev Isaac, Victor Barber (Munninane), Heather McDonald(Munninane).

isaac-hannah-institution-IMG_1698Rev Isaac’s first service in Drumcliffe with Alan Williamson, Lay Reader

isaac-hannah-institution-IMG_1679Francis Barber, Lilly Morrison, Margaret Colvin, Joan McDonagh

isaac-hannah-institution-IMG_1681Musicians: Nathaniel Clarke, Kathy Clarke, Nathan Bourke and Gillian Brennan (not in photograph)

isaac-hannah-institution-IMG_1694The Young Ones: Amy McCrea, Shauna Williamson, Rachel Davis, Damien Shaw, Linda McMahon.

isaac-hannah-institution-IMG_1695Security Men: Willie Barber, Derek Chambers, Stuart Patterson.

isaac-hannah-institution-IMG_1696Tea Ladies: Linda Regan, Avril Patterson.

September Ordinations

Revd. Alastair Donaldson and Raymond Kettyle will be ordained by Bishop Ferran Glenfield at 4pm on Sunday 6th of September 2015 in Sligo Cathedral. Alastair as Presbyter and Raymond as Deacon. The service will be lead by Very Revd. Dean Arfon Williams and the guest preacher will be Revd. Eddie Coulter, Superintendent of Irish Church Missions.


alastair-donaldsonAlastair, who is from the village of Crossmaglen in Armagh and has recently served as Deacon Intern to Fivemiletown Parish, Diocese of Clogher has been appointed curate to the Bishop for the Roscommon Group of Parishes, Diocese of Elphin. He and his fiancée, Elise will be getting married in August and are both looking forward to beginning their married life together in Roscommon. Speaking of his appointment, Alastair said that he was delighted. “From what we have had the pleasure of seeing so far, Roscommon, Ballinlough and Lanesborough churches present a wonderful challenge and opportunity for gospel ministry. I am delighted to have been given the opportunity by Bishop Ferran and I’m so thankful to be able to continue God’s work in this area from Cannon Liz McElhinney”.


Alastair would consider himself an Anglican with strong evangelical convictions and believes that the Church needs to go out and gather up the lost. He believes in a Church which is mission focussed both in terms of its immediate surroundings but also with its worldview. He has an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and tries to keep this as fresh as possible through prayer and reading of His word. That said all things are possible through His grace. He strongly believes in testifying to the truth of the Gospel by word and deed.


raymond-kettyleRaymond, who, in his own words, was manufactured and raised in Virginia, Cavan will be serving as a deacon intern with the Revd. Ronnie Bourke in the Boyle/ Riverstown Group of Parishes, Diocese of Elphin. Speaking of his process of discernment, Raymond had this to say:



“I had the privilege of growing up in a loving Christian home, something I wasn’t always grateful for, but am so thankful for now because if I hadn’t been brought to church by my parents I don’t know if I would ever have come to know of God’s love for me and the impact that has had on my life. For it was in Sunday school as a child that I thought, “God sounds kind of cool, I want to follow Him.”


My working background is as a quantity surveyor. It was during my work that I discovered, rather quickly, that what I was doing wasn’t really fulfilling in my life and I began a process of discernment. The response came, to my shock and horror at the time – for I felt a call towards the church, and ordained ministry at that. I tried to suppress this, but God is persistent. It felt a bit like when God was talking to Samuel in the temple, only it took a while for me to say “your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10).


Having a stammer in my speech, I’ve had tremendous trouble in having any confidence in speaking to anyone, never mind a congregation of people. There were times in school I was bullied and could barely tell people my name without getting flustered. However, I’ve discovered Paul’s words in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians have rung true, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12: 8-9). I’ve found in hardships, I’ve had to lean close on God and draw strength from Him. It has caused me to bring my frustrations to God in prayer and He listens because He can take it.”


Raymond says he feels that God has given him a call and passion to serve in rural areas. For this reason he is looking forward to working with Revd. Ronnie and meeting everyone during his intern year as they journey together and seek to ‘love and serve the Lord’.

Childrens Ministry Newsletter and Training Updates

It’s the start of a new school year, and for many parishes this signals the start of a new Sunday Club Programme. Here are some programmes & resources the Children’s Ministry Netowrk & Sunday School Society for Ireland recommend, alongside some Bible story telling ideas, a creative prayer idea and a craft…

Click here to Download the Full Harvest 2015 Newsletter

Don’t miss Lynn Storey and Lydia Monds lead a 3 hour workshop on Harvest & Advent ideas for Sunday Club Programmes, Bible story telling ideas, creative prayer ideas, crafts, songs, activities, memory verses & much more. There will be a focus on wide age ranges from tots to 6th class with lots of take home ideas.

All taking place on Saturday 5th September from 10am – 1pm in St Saviour’s Parish Hall, Coolgreaney Hall, Arklow, Co. Wicklow.

Contact Rev Nigel Sherwood to confirm your place: [email protected]

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn to create and deliver engaging and innovative assemblies. Facilitated by APCK and taking place on 24th September in Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Braemor Park, Rathgar, Dublin 14, from 10am – 3:30pm.

The training is free and lunch is included. Open to all clergy, Sunday Club leaders, teachers and school chaplains.

Contact Rev Niall Sloane to book your place:[email protected]

Click Here to Download the Training Brochure >>