by Eddie McIlwaine
CANON Sam McComb, who spent most of his career in the Church of
Ireland in the pulpit of Christ Church, Lisburn, is about to celebrate
the 40th anniversary of the day he was ordained.
The ceremony took place in St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast one Sunday afternoon in June 1971 and was performed by the late Archbishop Arthur Butler.
It was a day and an occasion I'll remember for the rest of my life," says Canon McComb and his wife Madge with whom he has a son David and twin daughters Pamela and Jacqueline, feels exactly the same way.
Immediately ' after his ordination Sam became curate at St Michael's Parish Church in Belfast's Lower Shankill where he served at the height of the troubles.
Afterwards he went to Christ Church as a senior curate for four years before becoming a rector for the first time at Ballinderry from where he eventually moved back to Christ Church as rector for two decades and a bit during which period he became a well loved and valued figurehead, respected in the widespread parish.
When he retired from Christ Church as a Canon this preacher with the homely, wise approach, filled a temporary vacancy at St Catherine's Parish in Aldergrove near Crumlin where he remains to this day, working with the parish's new rector the Rev William Orr who has been there for three years, also serving the parishes of St Jude's at Muckamore and Gartree on the Lough Neagh shore.
And it will be in St Catherine's on Sunday June 26 at morning service that the parishioners and guests will pay homage to this veteran of the cloth.
Sam will preach a sermon from the pulpit that morning which will be based on the same text of Scripture that he used for his first deliverance all those 40 years ago in St Michael's when he became a curate.
And he will listen to the choir, with conductor Peggy Farr at the organ, singing some of his favourite hymns including Be Thou My Vision and Guide Me 0 Thou Great Jehovah which were on the menu at his ordination service.
Afterwards the rector, the Rev Orr and the parishioners will
entertain the Canon and Madge and family to tea and buns in the parish
hall and help him to reminisce about his life and times as a cleric.
Sam will be part of the St Catherine's scene next year along with the Rev Orr when this parish celebrates its 300th anniversary.
Canon Sam McComb