On the evening of Friday 22nd April 2016 Inishmacsaint marked an important milestone in the life of the parish, as they welcomed their new rector, the Revd Canon David Skuce, who was instituted by the Bishop of Clogher, the Rt Revd John McDowell.
Prior to taking up the position in Inishmacsaint Parish, Canon Skuce was rector of the parishes of Maguiresbridge and Derrybrusk.
The preacher at the service of institution was the Revd Canon Noel Regan, former precentor of Clogher Cathedral Group of Parishes. Assisting the bishop at the service were the Venerable Helene Steed, Archdeacon; the Revd John McClenaghan; and the Venerable Cecil Pringle, Archdeacon Emeritus. The Bishop's Chaplain was the Revd Sampson Ajuka and the organist was Mrs Gillian Rutherford.
The processional hymn was 'In Christ Alone' followed by the Psalm (sang), the Old Testament reading from Leviticus chapter 19, read by Mr Jordan Anderson. The Magnificat was sung, followed by the Epistle from Acts chapter 20 read by Mr Colin Brownsmith. The congregation sang The Gradual and Mrs Eileen Cutler, DiocesanReader, read the Gospel reading from St John chapter 10.
After the sermon the Archdeacon, the Venerable Helene Steed presented Canon Skuce to the bishop for institution, after which all joined in the hymn 'You are my strength when I am weak'. During the commission all sang the hymn 'Lord, you give the great commission'. Mr George Pattison read a sentence of scripture from Psalm 122 at the church door; Miss Lauren Crooke read from Matthew 28 at the font; Miss Victoria Armstrong read from Philippians 4 at the prayer desk; Miss Cathy Armstrong read from 2 Timothy 3 at the pulpit; and Miss Michelle Elliott 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 'You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord'. The rector then led the prayers and introduced the offertory hymn 'The Church is wherever God's people are praising'. The recessional hymn was 'We shall go out with hope of resurrection'.
Speeches took place in the Church after the service. The Venerable Helene T.Steed, Archdeacon acted as MC and thanked the organist, Mrs Gillian Rutherford and the choir for such wonderful singing, to those who prepared the church, and to those who took part in the service.
Mr Abraham Storey spoke on behalf of Maguiresbridge and Derrybrusk Parish and wished David every success and that he was a sad loss to both these parishes. He spoke of the large attendance who packed Maguiresbridge Church to bid him a fond farewell for his last service.
Mr Ron Ferguson, Rector’s Church Warden welcomed David and said that he was no stranger to the parish having been brought up in the rectory where his father was the rector of the parish. He looked forward to working with David as rector. Ron also thanked a number of people for helping during the vacancy and in particular he thanked all those who took services throughout the vacancy. In particular he thanked Eileen Cutler for all that she did during the vacancy.
Mrs Doris Elliott thanked Miss Isobel Stewart for her work as Pastoral Assistant during the 18 month vacancy. Isobel was very highly thought of for her visits to the elderly and sick as well as those who were in hospital. Doris said that she was loved by the whole parish and would be sorely missed. When she visited parishioners she lifted their heart. She then made a presentation to Isobel on behalf of the parish for all the help and support that she had given.
Mr Edward Rogers spoke on behalf of the select vestry and paid a special tribute to our two church wardens, Mr Ron Ferguson and Miss Elizabeth McClelland. He thanked them for all the hard work they had put into the smooth running of the parish. In particular, he said the parish had a very special person in Ron Ferguson who had carefully steered and guided the parish during the vacancy. On behalf of the select vestry, Edward made a small presentation to Ron and Elizabeth for all that they had done.
Myrtle Abercrombie extended a warm welcome on behalf of the Methodist congregation. Fr. Jimmy McPhillips extended a warm welcome from the Roman Cathiloc parish of Botha (RC) David replied and said how delighted he was to have been appointed by the Bishop to be the incumbent of Inishmacsaint Parish. He thanked everyone for their support and to those who had influenced him in his ministry. In particular the mentioned Betty Ferguson who was an organist in Inishmacsaint for a lifetime and who was a person who had influenced him throughout his ministry. He thanked the select vestry for all the work that had gone into preparing the rectory for his arrival. He also thanked the parish of Maguiresbridge and Derrybrusk for such a wonderful send off that he had received and for all that they had done for him over the last ten years there. He also thanked the choir and the organist Mrs Gillian Rutherford for the lovely music and singing which really made the occasion so special.
Bishop John McDowell finished the proceedings and said it was a pleasure and delight to have instituted David in Inishmacsaint. He said he hadn’t appointed David in order just to make history (back to where his father was minister), he said he had put great deal of prayer and thought into appointing David and that he believed David was the right person for this parish and that he had taken that responsibility very seriously.
The proceedings ended with the hymn ‘The Church is wherever God’s people are praising’. Everyone was invited for refreshments afterwards to Derrygonnelly Orange Hall.
On Sunday 24th April the new rector conducted a service of Holy Communion in Inishmacsaint Parish Church at 11.30am.