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 >>


Drumcliffe Group Appointment

Rev. Capt. Isaac Hanna, Rector of Maghera & Killelagh Parishes, Derry Diocese, is to be the new Incumbent of the Grouped Parishes of Drumcliffe with Lissadell and Munninane Diocese of Elphin. His institution on Friday 28th August 2015 in Lissadell Parish Church.

Rev. Hanna is to be appointed to the Drumcliffe Group of Parishes in late August. Commissioned as a Church Army Officer in 2001, followed by Ordination in 2008. Isaac has served in the Church of England and latterly the Church of Ireland, in a variety of roles. Latterly, as the Rector of Maghera & Killelagh Parishes since 2010.

Isaac is married to Dianne (a trained counsellor) they have two children, Joshua aged 12 and Daniel 9. Isaac will take up his appointment in late August. Speaking about his appointment, Isaac is quoted as saying, “I am very much looking forward to moving to Sligo in the Summer. As a family we are excited about this new chapter God is opening in our lives.” Speaking of his hopes for the future Isaac says, “I pray that God will enable me to be led by Jesus, to lead like Jesus and to lead others to Jesus.”

Kilmore Central National School celebrates 40th Anniversary

On Saturday 23rd May Kilmore Central National School, which opened in April 1975 celebrated its 40th Anniversary. A family funday / open day held at the school to mark occasion was attended by friends, teachers and pupils past and present.


Below: (Bishop, Canon, Teachers and members of the Board of Management)
Mrs. Jennifer Jones (Teacher), Canon Mark Lidwill, Bishop Ferran Glenfield, Dr. Derek Grant (Principal), Mr. William Foster, Mr. Trevor Cassidy, Mrs. Sandra Bennett
KilmoreNS 40th Anniversary1

Below: Mr. William Foster, long standing member of the Board of Management planting a tree on the school grounds to mark the occasion watched by students Keith Bennett (left) and James Lord (right)
KilmoreNS 40th Anniversary2

KilmoreNS 40th Anniversary3

Diocesan Pentecost Service – Vision 20:20 Launch

The Slieve Russell Hotel was the venue for the diocese to be together in the one place to celebrate Pentecost. Hundreds came from every parish young and old to share in the day in worship and praise. The inspiring service was lead by clergy and lay ministers. Children and young people were included in inclusive worship.

Bishop Ferran spoke form Acts 2, Luke’s account of the Pentecostal experience of the early Church. An ouline of the bishop’s sermon is available on the website. The gathering heard of inspirational stories from parishes around the diocese as to some of the initiatives they were taking. We also heard live from one of these: the Manorhamilton Southern Gospel Choir, who were in fine voice.

At the end of the service each parish was presented with a banner depicting the 20/20 Vision what we are working together with God in the next 5 years. It was a memorable time of worship and fellowship.

Below are some photos from the day…

























Royal Visit to St Columba’s, Drumcliffe

On Wednesday 20th May, Their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall attended an ecumenical service for peace and reconciliation at St Columba’s Church, Drumcliffe. The service was led by Dean Arfon Williams and local clergy from Sligo Churches Together – Revd Alan Mitchell, Canon Noel Regan, Fr Pat Lombard and Revd Stephen Taylor. Prayers were led by Revd Michael and Ann Wooderson; meditations were given by the Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh, Ferran Glenfield and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran. A peace candle was lit by former Rector of Drumcliffe, Revd Ian Linton and Fr Christy McHugh, local Parish Priest.  Former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese and the British Ambassador to Ireland, Dominick Chilcott read from Scripture; students from Sligo Grammar School, Ursuline College Sligo, Mercy College Sligo, Summerhill College Sligo, Grange, Co Sligo and Sligo VEC Schools sang ‘Look at the World’ and ‘You raise me up’ and also led the congregation in the hymns. The Musical Director was Alfred Potter, the Organist was Paul McDonagh-Forde and the Accompanists were Leonard Dorrian and Richard Mitchell. Mrs Eungoo Goh and Mable Chah sang solos and Ramune, a Russian harpist, played as the Royal couple entered and exited the Church.

The service took place shortly before Prince Charles and Camilla visited Mullaghmore in Co. Sligo – the place where Prince Charles’ great uncle, Lord Mountbatten, along with his grandson Nicholas Knatchbull, Lady Brabourne and local boy Paul Maxwell were killed in an IRA bomb attack. It was attended by around 200 people including family members of soldiers killed in IRA attacks at Warrenpoint as well as relatives of Bloody Sunday.

In his reflection Bishop Glenfield said that the history of Ireland and the UK had been marked by trauma and trouble but that, as Isaiah 32 shows, the spirit of God has the power to transform creation, the country, the community. God, the Spirit brings healing out of hurts, reconciliation out of wreckage and trust out of turmoil. He said that the service was an opportunity to remember and revisit the horror of the recent past, savour the comfort of the present and hope for a better future together as we wait upon the Lord.

After the service a peace tree was planted in the graveyard of St Columba’s church by Prince Charles assisted by the Head boy, Zac Irwin and Head girl Sara McGeough, from Sligo Grammar School. An original painting by celebrated local artist, and church member, Annie West was presented to the Royal couple by Jessica Barber and Kitty Bird.

Sligo Gospel Choir sang outside in the church grounds as the Prince and Duchess arrived and departed

Dean Williams said that their Royal Highnesses appreciated very much the warm welcome they received at Drumcliffe and the generosity of local people.
















Photos by Chris Bellew | Copyright Fennell Photography 2015.