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 -
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-
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-
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