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200th anniversary of Killinkere Church

Bishop Ferran, Archdeacon Craig and Mrs Violet Kellett cutting the cake.
Bishop Ferran, Archdeacon Craig and Mrs Violet Kellett cutting the cake.

Killinkere Church of Ireland in the Diocese of Kilmore celebrated its 200th anniversary on Sunday 10th September 2017. It was a wonderful opportunity to gather as a parish, a group of parishes and a community together. Many too had travelled from across Cavan, Ireland and the UK to attend the service including a former Rector, Canon William Mitchell’s children and grandchildren (Canon Mitchell was Rector of Killinkere from 1942 until 1973).

The current Rector, the Venerable Canon Craig McCauley, began the service by welcoming all and thanking all who have worked so hard to make this special day happen – “while we may be small in number – there is a strong heartbeat in the parish.”

The Rector read best wishes from two former Rectors – the Revd Robert Kingston and the Revd Warren Nelson. He also brought greetings from the Very Revd Eamonn Lynch, PP of St Ultan’s Church in Killinkere, as well as greetings from Killinkere GAA Club.

The service began with a call to worship, giving thanks for the life and witness of Killinkere Church over the past 200 years before the congregation joined in the hymn ‘Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven’.

A son of the parish, the Revd Canon John Clarke, Rector of the Navan Group of Parishes, then read the chosen passage from Philippians 4.

Special musical guests for the day the Ballybay Country Gospel Group then sang – reminding the congregation through song of some of the core truths of the Christian message.

The guest preacher for the day was the Rt Revd Dr Ferran Glenfield, Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh. He reflected on the events of the last 200 years, how Ireland, Cavan and Killinkere had changed; many had had to leave to build a new life elsewhere and yet in the midst of that, Killinkere Church had been built. He acknowledged the work of the current vestry who in 2015 had fully restored the interior of the church to provide a beautiful place for God’s people to worship. Drawing on Philippians 4, the Bishop encouraged all to seek their peace in Christ and to build their lives on Jesus.

After further music from the Ballybay Country Gospel Group, the Rector led a prayerful time of thanksgiving and dedication for the present and future of Killinkere Parish.

Bishop Ferran then prayed God’s blessing on the parish with the words: “Blessed Lord, in this parish of Killinkere, across the Virginia Group of Parishes and throughout this community, draw our hearts to you, guide our minds, fill our imaginations, control our wills and make us wholly yours. Use us as you will, to the glory of your holy name and the welfare of your people; and may the blessing of God Almighty – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – be upon us now and always. Amen.”

The youngest parishioner - James (with parents Derek and Galina and sister Victoria) and oldest parishioner Betty with the Rector and Bishop Ferran.
The youngest parishioner - James (with parents Derek and Galina and sister Victoria) and oldest parishioner Betty with the Rector and Bishop Ferran.

The service finished with an adapted version of the hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision’.  Reflecting the corporate sense of the parish and the call to be Christ–centred, the congregation sang ‘Be Thou Our Vision, O Lord of our heart, naught be all else to us, save that Thou art”.

Afterwards the large congregation shared memories and fellowship in the hall over a beautiful tea supplied by the parishioners. The Bishop, the Rector and Mrs Violet Kellett (who baked the cake) cut the anniversary cake and photos were taken of the youngest and old parishioners. The Bishop thanked the Rector for all his hard work in the parish over the past 13 years.

Once again thank you to all who made Killinkere’s 200th Anniversary such an enjoyable and memorable day.