The task of presenting and living a vibrant Christian witness isn’t always an easy one, but it is one that is both challenging and rewarding for the individuals and church communities which engage with it, whether that be through a contribution to worship, prayer, mission, biblical study, charitableness, music, community work, the list goes on in relation to how individuals can and do contribute to church life. And it is a vibrant church life that the Christian community within the parishes and diocese of Clogher have been promoting and sustaining.
Approximately 700 leaders and 3,000 young people are involved in a broad range of youth and children’s organisations that operate across the diocese, nearly 50 different types of organistaion, from Youth Clubs to Uniformed Organisations, and Bible Clubs to Sporting Groups.
The Diocesan Wells Youth Ministry Project has now come to an end after its successful three-year programme. It has been succeeded by a new initiative “Streams”, which aims to build on the many foundations laid by the Wells project. The two former youth councils have merged to form one new diocesan youth council, which in conjunction with the Diocesan Youth Officer, recently held consultation meetings in a number of localities throughout the diocese in order to identify youth ministry needs and inform plans for the future.
Parishes in Kesh Rural Deanery have collaborated during the year to coordinate rural deanery events including Easter Praise and Youth Services.
Messy Church has become a popular form of ministry in both Kilskeery Parish and Enniskillen Cathedral, attracting a large and growing number of young families.
The Diocesan Board of Mission launched Clogher Diocesan Missionary Sunday, encouraging each parish throughout the Diocese to focus on Mission for a particular Sunday during February, clergy were asked to either speak on the theme of mission or invite a speaker from a Missionary Society.
The Board of Mission has once again awarded a number of grants to individuals and groups planning to go on overseas missionary work this year. Many who received grants last year shared their experiences at a Diocesan Missionary Service in September.
In response to the tragic prevalence of suicide in society, the Diocesan Board of Social Theology in Action organized two information evenings on the subject. The Diocesan Ministry of Healing continues to organize Lunchtime Healing Services in Enniskillen Cathedral, and in addition to regular diocesan healing services, it also coordinated a support information evening on the illness of depression.
Last summer the Bishop led a diocesan pilgrimage to the Erl Passion Play, during Lent Clones Parish delivered a number of talks relating to aspects of the Prayer Book, Fivemiletown and Dromore Parishes hosted a marriage preparation course and Killadeas Parish held a World War 1 Exhibition. Enniskillen Cathedral held a parish mission during Holy Week with students from the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, and Magheraculmoney parish hosted a FarmSafe Awareness evening.
New Members of the MU Trustee Committee were commissioned by the Bishop in Garvary Parish Church, and MU Area Services took place in Castleblayney, Aghavea, and Inishmacsaint Parish Churches. In February the MU organized a Prayer Breakfast at which the speaker was the Revd Canon Kathy Trimby. Indoor members look forward to the forthcoming Bishop's Indoor Members' Tea Party in The See House.
In terms of church buildings, Hall Risk Assessment Training was delivered in Aghavea Parish Hall, and major restoration work has been completed on Garrison and Clabby Parish Churches.
At the Diocesan Advent Carol Service, six new Diocesan Pastoral Assistants were commissioned by the Bishop in Clogher Cathedral, bringing the total number of Diocesan Pastoral Assistants serving in the diocese to twelve.
Those involved in lay ministry in the diocese have an opportunity to meet together each month at the Lay Bible Study meeting which is organized by the Revd Canon David Skuce, Warden of Readers.
Members of the select vestries in Enniskillen Rural Deanery were recently invited to a commissioning service with the Bishop for the new select vestries for 2014/15 in Maguiresbridge Church.
Members of the clergy regularly meet together under the auspices of the Clogher Clerical Association, and have welcomed a number of interesting speakers during the past year, including the new rector of the Garrison Group of Parishes, the Revd Ngozi Njoku who spoke on the subject 'I was a stranger...', Mr Christopher Steed who spoke about African Christianity and Julie Curry who talked about Messy Church.
Two clergy from the Diocese have been appointed as Deans elsewhere, the Revd Canon Arthur Barrett has moved to take up the position of Dean of Raphoe, and the Revd Canon Bryan Kerr takes up the position of Dean of Dromore shortly.
In September the Revd Rob Clements, curate-assistant in Enniskillen Cathedral was ordained to the Priesthood, and in March the installation of Archdeacon Helene Steed took place. Archdeacon Steed succeeds Archdeacon Cecil Pringle who served the diocese faithfully and diligently as Archdeacon for a period of 28 years.
In addition to the arrival of the Revd Ngozi Njoku to the diocese, the Revd John McClenaghan became rector of the Aghalurcher Group, the Revd Anita Kerr was introduced as Diocesan Curate serving in the Galloon Group, and the Revd Neal Phair will shortly be instituted to the Ballybay Group.