My dear friends,
Sadly these weeks will see the departure of a number of clergy who have given great service to Armagh Diocese. Canon Neville Hughes is shortly to retire from parish ministry in the Mullabrack Group, exercised with great faithfulness and effectiveness over many years; Revd Andy Heber is moving to the Diocese of Connor following six years of dedicated and talented ministry in the Clogherny; and Revd Chris Broddle is taking on other tasks, having felt the time has come to relinquish the parish duties he exercised with great talent and energy over the past couple of years in the Errigle Keerogue Group. We wish all of them, with their families, both our sincere gratitude and God’s blessing for the future.
On the other side of the coin, it has been a great pleasure to welcome Revd Diane Matchett back to Armagh Diocese (she hails from here) as Rector of Kildress and Altadesert. And on 14th September, Graham Hare and Geoffrey Walmsley were ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral. Neither are newcomers to the Diocese, but it is a delight that they will be remaining among us, now as priests in serving God. We pray too for them.
November this year will be a busy time in the life of the Diocese and my request and prayer is that many will participate in a number of these events. The Diocesan Synod takes place on Saturday 3 November. Following this, over the following two weeks, I will be travelling to different parts of the diocese for my “Archbishop’s Roadshows”. These will be held at 8.00pm on Tuesdays 6th and 13th, Wednesdays 7th and 14th, and Thursdays 8th and 15th - all of November. (The venues have still to be finalised but will be circulated well in advance.) I will be following the usual patterns of meetings each week in the more southerly reaches of the diocese, in the centre and at the northern end of Armagh Diocese! The theme I have chosen this year is “The Coming Kingdom” – the reminder of that phrase we pray so often in the Lord’s Prayer, “The Kingdom Come”. In the first week, I will be talking about “reaching in”, and in the second week on “reaching out”.
Over the following weekend - Friday 16th until Sunday 18th November - I have invited the archbishop of Dublin and all the bishops of the Church of Ireland to visit different parts of Armagh Diocese for a weekend mission. This will conclude with a thanksgiving service in the Cathedral at 3.15pm on Sunday 18th.
I am looking forward to these busy few weeks. I hope that you will too!