Parishioners of Rossorry say farewell to rector before he comes next Bishop of Clogher


Attending the presentation to Revd Canon Dr. Ian Ellis and his wife Heather.

The parishioners of Rossorry Parish Church in Clogher Diocese and representatives of the many organisations within it have paid tribute to their Rector, Revd Canon Dr. Ian Ellis and his wife, Heather, at a farewell during the Easter Sunday service.

Canon Ellis is to be consecrated as the next Bishop of Clogher later this month.

Towards the end of the in-church Service of Holy Communion for Easter Sunday, Mr. Nigel Irvine, a member of the Select Vestry and choir member, gave the farewell address on behalf of the parish, extending their heartfelt appreciation for all that Canon Ellis had given as the 25th Rector of Rossorry.

He recalled that when a new bishop had been elected, it was greeted overwhelmingly with joy and some relief by the various parishes across the Diocese. However, for Rossorry the news was taken onboard with very mixed emotions, thrilled that Canon Ellis would become their next Bishop but with a deep sense of sadness in their hearts that they would be losing both him and Heather from the day-to-day life of their Parish.

Canon Ellis has been rector since March 2015 and has made an enormous contribution not only to their Parish and local community but to the wider Diocese in general.

He has served as Clerk of the Cathedral Chapter, a member of Diocesan Council, serving as its Clerical Honorary Secretary, member of the Diocesan Board of Education, a Diocesan Nominator and a member of General Synod, a clerical representative on the General Synod Safeguarding Board and the Clogher representative Canon on the chapter of St Patrick’s Cathedral, in Dublin. He has also served as Vice-chairman of the Board of Governors of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School, chairman of its Education Committee and as a governor of Jones Memorial Primary School.

Mr Irvine said that Canon Ellis had performed 79 Christenings, 27 marriages and 103 funerals, prepared and performed over 600 services including sermons during his incumbency which he said were without exception, completed with humility, dignity and with grace.

“You have generously and consistently afforded us all with open fellowship, warmth and sincerity, with a listening ear, a quiet and gentle nature, a genuine concern for those in times of trouble, pain or grief. A soft word, a calming prayer, an endearing eulogy … each bringing peace and comfort to many in their time of need,” Mr Irvine told the congregation.

Revd Canon Dr. Ian Ellis and his wife Heather at the farewell in Rossorry Parish Church.

He also praised the role of Heather, known for her uplifting enthusiasm, outgoing and friendly nature, tireless support within the Church community, the Mothers’ Union, the Wednesday Club, with Rotary and countless other organisations in the wider community, across the province and also nationally.

He reminded those present of the hugely successful Christmas Tree festival, a truly remarkable event and certainly a high point for their Church community.

Gifts were presented on behalf of the Select Vestry, Sunday school, Choir, Mothers’ Union, Prayer Group, Wednesday Club, Guide and Scout organisations, Parent and Toddler Group, Bowling Club, Parish Readers and Rossorry Parishioners.

Mr Irvine concluded; “With the last gift presented, all that remains to be said is, Canon Ian, you have proved to be a great servant to Rossorry, a man of dedication, scholarship, and spirituality, you have a lively mind and wise counsel, a loving nature and a warm heart.

“Thank you for your sincere and generous friendship, for your gracious ministry and exceptional pastoral care for us in Rossorry. God’s blessings to you, to Heather and to your extending family circle for whatever the God’s will has in store for you all.

The presentation ceremony ended with Andrew Irwin, a parishioner and Tenor, singing, “Time To Say Goodbye.”

Replying, Canon Ellis said he and Heather greatly appreciated the friendship and support from the people of the parish and it was his great privilege to have served in the parish.

He said it was people, not buildings that made the church and ended with a quotation from Psalms, “Commit your way unto the Lord and He will direct your paths.”

Taking part in the Service of Holy Communion for Easter Sunday.