Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland




Rev. Ken McGrath
to be instituted as Vicar for the Development of New Ministries
Rev. Ken McGrath

The Rev. Ken McGrath, the first clergyman to hold the title of ‘Vicar for the Development of New Ministris’ in the Diocese of Connor will be instituted at Lisburn Cathedral on Sunday 29th January at 6.00 pm. Mr. McGrath’s appointment is for a period of three years and his selection for the position came about in three stages.

Initially, Cathedral Rector Rev. Sam Wright discussed the possibility with him and asked that he and his wife Annette consider staying on in the parish.

Both they and the Select Vestry agreed enthusiastically and the next step was for the Bishop Right Rev. Alan Harper and the Church of Ireland to approve the appointment.

The Rector, and the Cathedral's Parochial Nominators then met the Bishop and the Diocesan Nominators for a Board of Nomination in Church House, Belfast on Thursday November 24, which approved the appointment.

The legal title of Vicar is a recent addition to the Church of Ireland Constitution and is not just another name for Rector.

It is a title with specific role attached and a contract for a specific time period.

"The appointment provides church-wide recognition of the increased responsibilities Ken has taken on in developing innovative ministries for students and migrant workers, as well as providing increased oversight for a wide variety of ministry that takes place through the Cathedral," added Rev. Wright.

The Rector explained that staff at the Cathedral was made up of Rev. McGrath, Youth Outreach Worker Keith Neill and himself.

They and their families have formed a strong leadership team over the past three years and are all delighted they can continue to pray, plan and work together under God's direction.

They also aim to provide further leadership for the parishioners of Lisburn Cathedral and the church plant in Hillhall over the coming three years.

"This leadership team believe strongly that God is saying Ken and his family have come to Lisburn 'for such a time as this'.

"A time when God is pouring out his favour on the church as seen particularly in the recent REACT mission; and prompting and leading the Cathedral into new territory in ministering among students and those from other cultures and countries," added Rev. Wright.

"Who better to co-ordinate this work than someone with a back-ground in teaching, who has lived and worked in another country and who has first hand experience of cultural diversity?

"It is for us an affirmation of God's leading that the Select Vestry and wider church, not only wholeheartedly embraced this idea and agreed to Ken's promotion, but also appointed him to the position of Vicar." Parishioners have greeted the news of this appointment with delight and are thrilled that Ken and Annette (who has recently taken on the role of a Commissioned Minister for All Age Worship) and their children Charlotte and John are staying on to work among the people and the community in and around Lisburn Cathedral.

The Bishop of Connor, the Right Rev Alan Harper will lead the Service on Sunday at 6.00pm.

Rev Maurice Elliott (Shankill Parish, Lurgan) will preach the sermon.