L to R: (front row) Eileen Logan, Helen Smyth, Rev Raymond Devenney, Mrs Kathy Devenney, Hugh Crookshanks and Clara Crookshanks. (back row) Paul Logan, William Grant, Denise Grant, Daphne Dunlop, Tini Philip-Thomas, Georgina Poots, George Poots and Sandy Wood.
L to R: (front row) Margaret Friel, Philip Price, Rosalynd Price, Ryan Price, Alison Price and Regan West. Also included are Philip and Rosalynd's grandchildren James, Adam, Rachel and Katie. (back row) Norma Halliday, Diana McVicker, Susanne Brown, Basil McCrea MLA, Rev Raymond Devenney, Kathy Devenney, Robert Jordon and Margaret Jordon.
The Rev. Raymond Devenney preached his final sermon as the rector of the Parish Church of St Patrick, Drumbeg at morning worship last Sunday, 26th February.
The church was packed to capacity for the service. Ross Morrow presided at the organ and together with the parish choir led the congregational praise that aptly included, 'Lord for the years your love has kept and guided'. The choir sang the anthem medley: Handel's "'Zadok the Priest' (excerpt), and Vivaldi's 'Gloria'.
In his final sermon, Mr Devenney gave thanks for the wonderful time he and his wife Kathy have spent at Drumbeg, where both of them were very happy.
He also thanked the parishioners, family, friends, clerical colleagues and his wife Kathy for the help and support he had received during his ministry at Drumbeg, saying: "It was all very much appreciated".
After stating that 'the church must change' and 'the church must not
change, he explained that we must embrace change — it is part of our
life and part of our Christian journey saying that Christ came to bring
abundant life and the church is there to change lives. After emphasising
the need always to be faithful to the Christian message which like our
Lord is "yesterday, today and forever" the same; he concluded by giving
thanks to almighty God and to the parishioners for the privilege of
being part of the church's ministry in the Parish of Drumbeg in its
lovely setting in the Lagan
David and Sunita Shaw with the infant son Jacob. Baptised on Sunday 19th February, Jacob is one of the youngest Drumbeg parishioners.
During Holy Communion which followed, Mr Devenney was assisted by Canon John Bell, former rector of Holy Trinity, Drumbo and the Rev Robert McKee, former Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church Moderator and former minister of Killinchy.
At the conclusion of the service, several presentations were made: Mrs. Betty, McClean (People's Churchwarden) presented a gift to Mr Devenney on behalf of the parishioners; Olivia McAteer and Jenna Foyle presented a gift to Mrs. Kathy Devenney on behalf of the Sunday School; and Mrs. Margaret Hegarty presented a gift on behalf of the Drumbeg Residents' Association.
Following the presentations, Basil McCrea MLA, wished the Drumbeg rector a happy retirement commending him for over eleven years of ministry at Drumbeg, Mr McCrea said: "Your retirement is well deserved and I want to wish you well. The fact that this service is so well attended is a credit to your leadership and guidance over the years. You have done fantastic work bringing all faiths together for special services at the church and I look forward to seeing your successor carrying on this great work."
Lunch was served afterwards in the church hall providing the opportunity for parishioners and friends to say farewell to their rector of 12 years.
Mr Devenney has served 41 years in the ministry, of which the last 37 were in the Diocese of Down & Dromore. He was ordained in 1970 and served curacies in Ballymena (Diocese of Connor), where he met his wife, and in Ballyholme (Down & Dromore) before becoming rector of Killinchy with Kilmood and Tullynakill in 1981. In September 2000 he became incumbent of Drumbeg and retired on 29th February.
They have two sons, Paul and Chris. Outside of the ministry he had many sporting interests. He is a former Irish Chess Champion, got his 'colours' for fencing at Trinity, and was a competent squash player.
L to R: The Rev Robert McKee, former Non- Subscribing Presbyterian Church Moderator and former minister of Killinchy, Mrs Lorna McKee, Rev Raymond Devenney, Mrs Kathy Devenney, Basil McCrea MLA and Canon John Bell, former rector of Holy Trinity, Drumbo.
Bill and Gladys Parkes bid farewell to the Rev Raymond Devenney. At 95 years of age, Bill is one of the oldest Drumbeg parishioners.
Mrs. Betty McClean (People's Churchwarden) pictured presenting a gift to the Rev Raymond Devenney on behalf of the parishioners
Olivia McAteer and Jenna Foyle, the oldest and youngest Sunday School children, pictured presenting a gift to Mrs Kathy Devenney on behalf of the Sunday School.
Mrs Margaret Hegarty pictured presenting a gift to the Rev Raymond Devenney on behalf of the Drumbeg Resident's Association.
Andrew and Candida Corscadden with their children Erin (12), Grace (8) and Alastair (4).