Andrew Clarke (People's Churchwarden) presents a framed print of the Middle Church to Canon Ernest Harris and his wife Ray.
At the `Farewell Reception' are L to R: (front row) Rev Canon Ernest Harris, Ray Harris and Trish Harris. (back row) John Tuft (Rector's Churchwarden), Edith Haddock (Church Secretary), Robert Yarr (organist), Dr. Andrew Sands (Vestry) and Andrew Clarke (People's Churchwarden).
BALLINDERRY: The Parish Church Hall was packed to capacity on
Saturday evening 1st October for a 'Farewell Reception' to mark the
retirement of the rector of 21 years, the Rev Canon Ernest Harris.
Mr Harris, who was instituted in Ballinderry Parish Church in March 1990, was Installed as Prebendary of Cairncastle on the Chapter of St Saviour Connor at a Service of Installation in Lisburn Cathedral in
Dr. Andrew Sands, a member of the parish vestry, chaired a most enjoyable programme of entertainment including music, sketches and a video presentation giving a snapshot of some of the highlights of the rector's ministry and a video message from Ernest and Ray's son John, who now lives in America with his wife Megan. The Sunday School children began the programme as they sang, 'Our God is a great big God' and the packed programme concluded as the choir sang a farewell hymn, May God's blessing surround you each day'.
Canon Harris and his wife Ray received several gifts on behalf of the parishioners including a framed print of the Middle Church.
Prior to the presentations rector's churchwarden John Tuft, who chaired the proceedings, spoke appreciatively of the exemplary service given by Canon Harris, whom he described as a 'faithful servant of God'.
Lay Reader Dr Fred Ruddell, Andrew Clarke (People's Churchwarden) and vestry members Edith Haddock (Secretary), Dr Andrew Sands and Sandra Megarry added their thanks and appreciation after which parishioners, guests and friends were invited to add their greetings.
Among several guests who spoke was Canon Sam McComb, a former rector of Ballinderry; Canon McComb and Canon Harris trained together for the ministry and are former curates of Christ Church, Lisburn.
Canon Harris preached his farewell sermon at Ballinderry on Sunday evening 25th September. Both he and his wife Ray have now settled into their new home in Moira.