Rector's Retirement - Camus-Juxta-Bann

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Rector's Retirement

Canon Mike & Adrienne with churchwardens Sandy Reynolds & Lilian Davis and
Parish Reader Lorna Doherty
(Photo by Paul of Davis Photography)

Christmas in Macosquin this year evoked a mixture of joy and sadness. We began by welcoming a newly baptised Laura into the church and ended with sad farewells to our Rector Mike and Adrienne as he retires from his ministry in Macosquin.
His retirement at the end of December 2017, marks the end of another chapter in the life of the Parish of Camus - juxta -Bann and also of his ministry.
Mike’s  vocation to ministry in the Church  became clear  when he was aged 18.  He spent a year with ‘ Voluntary  Service Overseas’ as teacher in  a Solomon Island Anglican Melanesian  Mission School  after he  left Portora Royal School in Enniskillen.  Returning to Ireland he spent the next four years in Trinity College Dublin where he met Adrienne and soon after was accepted for training for ministry in the Church of Ireland.
Ordained Deacon on 24th June 1973 ( the Feast of St John the Baptist), he  served  for four years  in St Columba’s Church in Portadown as the Curate  of the Revd Herbie Cassidy,  who subsequently  became Dean of Armagh.  Those were some of the worst years of violence in this Province and that  Loyalist area of  Portadown was  often referred to  as the centre of  the ‘Murder Triangle’.  In 1977 he was appointed to a second curacy  with Canon George Knowles in Christchurch,  Limavady.  
In 1979 Mike and Adrienne  left Northern Ireland with two very young  children  for the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf,   where he founded  a Branch of   the Samaritans, set up  a centre for  the Mission to Seafarers, built emergency  accommodation for distressed expatriates, an apartment  to accommodate  the Bishop,  and re-ordered  St Christopher’s Church in Manama  with a new  organ and stained glass windows for its role as  Diocesan Cathedral of the Gulf.
1983 marked the beginning of a new chapter in  his ministry.  He served  as a Chaplain with the Royal Air Force until 2000  with numerous postings in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland  and frequent overseas deployments,  before completing his military service  with the Royal Army Chaplains Department.  During  the next 7 years he served with the Royal Electrical  and Mechanical Engineers, the Royal Engineers, and several  Battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment before returning to civilian ministry as Rector of the parish of Camus-juxta-Bann (Macosquin) in 2007.
With  so many short  chapters   in his previous ministry, Mike had learned  from years of experience the truth of the saying ‘Time waits for no man.’   One of his guiding principles  has always been, ‘If it needs to be done, get it done’.  Soon after arriving in Macosquin  a parish Office was  created.  He then initiated a project which had been discussed  by the Select Vestry for decades.  The church was linked  to the adjacent Minor  Hall in 2010 with an attractive entrance foyer.  The next project was  to restore and rebuild  the 100 year old church organ. Next came the purchase of  comfortable pew cushions.  Soon afterwards there was a major refurbishment of the Rectory,  the replacement of the church’s concrete roof tiles with slates and the refurbishment of  the church clock faces. His final task for the Select Vestry was the installation of  new  and much improved church lighting.
Amongst his other activities Mike played significant roles as  a member of Macosquin Primary school’s Board of Governors , the Macosquin Village Community Association. For several years he was Hon Chaplain to the Royal Irish Regiment  and on its Regimental Chapel Committee.  He is also actively involved with the local SSAFA committee. One of his greatest interests has been his enthusiasm for organising and often cooking the weekly Senior Citizens lunches during the winter months which have been  so popular with elderly parishioners and  many others who have enjoyed the church’s hospitality since the Minor Hall was refurbished and equipped for catering in 2010.

Click here for Paul McFadden's article on Diocesan website

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