A large congregation filled Aghalurcher Parish Church in Colebrooke, County Fermanagh on the evening of Friday 13th September 2013, to mark an important milestone in the life of Aghalurcher and Cooneen with Mullaghfad group of parishes. The group of parishes welcomed their new rector, the Revd John McClenaghan, who was instituted by the Bishop of Clogher, the Rt Revd John McDowell.
Prior to taking up the position in the Aghalurcher Group, Mr McClenaghan served as rector of Keady in the Diocese of Armagh for over five years. The preacher at the service of institution was the former Archbishop of Armagh, the Rt Revd Alan Harper.
Assisting the bishop at the service were the Venerable Cecil Pringle, Archdeacon, the Diocesan Registrar, the Revd Canon John Stewart, and the Revd Canon Maurice Armstrong, Rural Dean of Clogher. The Bishop’s Chaplain was the Revd Sampson Ajuka, the Organist was Mrs Isobel Little and the parish choir led the singing.
The processional hymn was the well known early Irish hymn Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart. Mrs Arlene Foster MLA, a parishioner, read the Old Testament reading from Nehemiah chapter 7. Psalm 84 was led by the Rural Dean, and the Epistle from 1st Corinthians chapter 11 was read by Gareth Carrothers, a member of the Youth Fellowship. The gradual hymn was Firmly I believe and truly, and the Gospel reading from St John chapter 21, was read by Mrs Joy Coalter, Diocesan Reader. The sermon, preached by Archbishop Harper, was followed by the hymn Jesus all for Jesus.
The Archdeacon, the Venerable Cecil Pringle presented Mr McClenaghan to the bishop for institution, after which all joined in the hymn God is here as we his people.
During the commission and number of symbols of ministry were preSented to the newly instituted rector. Mr John Primrose, People’s Churchwarden of Cooneen Parish presented a Bible, Mrs Glenda Eagleson, Sunday School Leader in Aghalurcher Parish presented a container of water, and Mrs Emma Gould, Branch Leader of Colebrooke and Cooneen Mothers’ Union presented the rector with a Book of Common Prayer. Mrs Mairead Primrose, Leader of Colebrooke and Cooneen GFS, presented bread and wine, and Luke Coulter, representing 1st Colebrooke and Cooneen Scout Group, presented oil. Mr Mervyn Downey, Rector’s Churchwarden of Aghalurcher Parish, brought forward the key of the church, and finally Miss Elizabeth Clarke, GFS member, presented a towel.
After the hymn Love divine, all loves excelling, the newly instituted rector led the prayers. The offertory hymn was I, the Lord of sea and sky, and the final hymn was Will you come and follow me.
Everyone was invited for refreshments after the service in Aghalurcher Parish Hall, during which a number of speeches were made. Master of ceremonies was the Revd Canon Maurice Armstrong, Rural Dean, and speakers included Mr Ronnie Herron, Rector’s Churchwarden from Mr McClenaghan’s previous parish, Mrs Arlene Foster MLA, on behalf of Aghalurcher Parish, Mr John Carrothers on behalf of Cooneen with Mullaghfad Parish, the Revd John McClenaghan and finally the Bishop. The evening concluded with all joining in the third collect of Evening Prayer, and Mr Derek Johnston, Rector’s Glebewarden of Aghalurcher Parish, making a presentation on behalf of the group of parishes to the Rural Dean, the Revd Canon Maurice Armstrong.