A large congregation filled Lisbellaw Parish on the evening of Friday 28th August 2015, to mark an important milestone in the life of the parish, as they welcomed their new rector, the Revd Stephanie Woods, who was instituted by the Bishop of Clogher, the Rt Revd John McDowell.
Ven H Steed Canon M Lidwell Bishop Revd S Woods Chancellor J Stewart and Ven C Pringle
Prior to taking up the position in Lisbellaw Parish with Coolbuck, Revd Woods was Bishop's Curate in the Drung Group of Parishes in the Diocese of Kilmore. On her appointment the Revd Stephanie commented 'I am delighted to have taken up my post as rector in the parish of Lisbellaw with Coolbuck. Everyone has been so welcoming and helpful and I am enjoying getting out and about and meeting the parishioners. It is also lovely to be back in my home diocese of Clogher and has been so pleasant re-establishing relationships with the clergy I worked with when I was an intern in Rossorry Parish'.
The preacher at the service of institution was the Revd Canon Mark Lidwell, rector of Urney Parish, Cavan. Assisting the bishop at the service were the Venerable Helene Steed, Archdeacon; the Diocesan Registrar, the Revd Chancellor John Stewart; and the Venerable Cecil Pringle, Archdeacon Emeritus. The Bishop's Chaplain was the Revd Sampson Ajuka and the organist was Mrs Lynda Lindsay.
The processional hymn was 'Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty' followed by the Old Testament reading from Isaiah chapter 6, read by Mrs Audrey Potters. Psalm 121 was said in alternate verse and the Epistle from 2 Corinthians chapter 5 was read by Mr Charles Barr. The congregation sang 'Be Thou My Vision' and Miss Isobel Stewart, Parish Reader, read the Gospel reading from St John chapter 4.
After the sermon the Archdeacon, the Venerable Helene Steed presented Revd Woods to the bishop for institution, after which all joined in the hymn 'In Christ Alone'. During the commission all sang the hymn 'Lord, you give the great commission'. Mr Scott Robinson, a young parishioner, read a sentence of scripture from Psalm 122 at the church door; Mrs Jean McElroy, representing the Mothers' Union, read from Matthew 28 at the font; Mrs Ann Orr, representing Coolbuck Church, read from Philippians 4 at the prayer desk; Miss Abbie Crawford, another young parishioner, read from 2 Timothy 3 at the pulpit; and Mr Ian Hood, parish recorder, read from 1 Corinthians 11 at the Lord's Table.
After the commission and prayer, the newly instituted rector introduced the Peace and then all joined in the hymn 'Take my life, and let it be'. The rector then led the prayers and introduced the offertory hymn 'He who would valiant be'. The recessional hymn was 'Love divine, all loves excelling'.
Canon M Lidwell Chancellor J Stewart Revd S Woods and the Bishop
Everyone was invited for refreshments after the service to Lisbellaw Parish Centre, during which a number of speeches were made. The Master of ceremonies was the Venerable Cecil Pringle, Archdeacon Emeritus, and speakers included Miss Frances Boyd, Rector's Churchwarden; Mr Willy Roberts, a parishioner from Killoughter Parish in the Drung group of Parishes; the Revd Ruth Watt, minister of Lisbellaw Methodist Church; Mgsnr Peter O'Reilly, representing the local Roman Catholic community; the Revd Stephanie Woods, the newly instituted rector and finally the Bishop.
On Sunday 30th August the new rector conducted a service of Holy Communion in Lisbellaw Parish Church at 11.00am, and her first service in Coolbuck Church, also a service of Holy Communion took place on Sunday 6th September at 3.00pm.
Revd John and Revd Stephanie Woods