The Institution of the Revd Neal David Stewart Phair took place in St Maeldoids Church on Friday 25th July 2014. The church saw very many distinguished guests; friends and family witnessed the Right Reverend Bishop John McDowell institute Revd Phair at this very special service. Canon Ian Berry led the institution service with Canon John Stewart as Diocesan Registrar, also officiating was Archdeacon Helene Steed.
The first hymn was very appropriate for the start of the evening “Guide me O thou, great Jehovah” The sermon was given by the former archbishop of Dublin, the Most Revd John Neill, who travelled from Kilkenny with his wife. In his sermon he reminded Neal that “a priest is to be an encourager and not a dictator”. He said Jesus gave his disciples “leadership abilities” and out of a little seed grows something wonderful. He welcomed the Phair family and wished them well as a new partnership begins.
During the course of the service parishioners from the three churches took part in the readings and the commissioning of Revd Phair. The choir led by Charlotte Adair sang the hymn “Take my life and let it be”.
Representatives from the group of parishes, members of the local and wider communities were given an opportunity to greet the new rector. During the final triumphant hymn “To God be the glory” a collection was taken up for the development of lay and ordained ministry in the diocese.
After the formalities of the Institution a parishioner from St Maeldoid’s Castleblayney, Christchurch, Ballybay and St Coleman’s, Clontibret welcomed Revd Phair, his wife Lucy and their children. On behalf of the Presbyterian Church, the Revd Damian Boyle welcomed Revd Phair and Father La Flynn, representing the Roman Catholic church welcomed him also. Minister Heather Humphreys welcomed the Phair Family and hoped that the Group of churches would go from strength to strength. Revd Phair thanked everyone for their best wishes to him and his family.
Thank you to all those who prepared the beautiful supper that was served at the end of the service.