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Archbishop commissions new Director of Irish Church Missions

The new Director of Irish Church Missions was commissioned by the Archbishop of Dublin in St Mary’s Church, Howth, on Friday evening last (February 2). The Revd David Martin was surrounded by a large congregation of family, friends and supporters of ICM in the church where he served as Intern Deacon.

David is from Ballywalter in County Down and prior to ordination served in London and New York and worked for almost 10 years at Immanuel Church Dublin, an ICM trustee church. During his time at Immanuel he trained part time at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute. He served as Intern Deacon in Howth and served a curacy in Hillborough Parish Church. He is married to Honour and they have four children.

Speaking at the service, the chairman of the ICM Board of Trustees, Bishop Wallace Benn, retired area Bishop of Lewes in Suffolk and a native of Greystones, said the commissioning marked the beginning of a new chapter for ICM and David. He thanked the Rector of St Mary’s, Canon Kevin Brew, for enabling the service to take place in Howth and Archbishop Michael Jackson for licensing David. He presented David to be commissioned.

The sermon was preached by former ICM Director, the Revd Eddie Coulter. Drawing on the second reading [2 Timothy 1: 1–18] said that the only way people are going to hear the Gospel was if Gospel ministers get the Gospel message out. He suggested that in the fast moving, changing culture of Ireland today where no one seemed to appreciate or listen to the Gospel, it was easy to get derailed from the Gospel paths.

However, he said Paul’s letter to Timothy offered David encouragement to keep going and have confidence in his gifts of teaching and preaching. He urged David not to be ashamed of the message of the Gospel but said that as Ireland drifts more from its Christian roots, people would accuse Christians of having a message that was immoral, oppressive and out dated.

“The Gospel never changes. It is always the message of Jesus. Many will want to change the message as cultural and moral view points change … Don’t lose your nerve. The Gospel is always with us,” he said. “The world has changed and what is in front of us is very different from the years before. We must look at new ways to bring the Gospel to the world and in ICM we have that flexibility, creativity and support to adapt the Gospel to a changing Ireland.”

Speaking on behalf of the trustees of ICM, Canon Brian Courtney welcomed David and looked forward to the ministry he would bring. He said the ICM and its ministry had changed over the years but the essential message of its mission had not changed.

  • The Revd Eddie Coulter (preacher), Canon Brian Courtney (ICM trustee), the Revd David Martin (director of ICM), Archbishop Michael Jackson, the Revd Stephen Farrell (registrar), Bishop Wallace Benn (chairman of the board of trustees of ICM) and Canon Kevin Brew (Rector of Howth).
  • The Revd David Martin, his wife Honour and two of their children with Archbishop Michael Jackson.
  • ICM Trustees who were present with the Archbishop: Chris Wray, Grant Carroll, Bishop Wallace Benn, Canon Neville Hughes, the Revd David Martin, Canon Brian Courtney, Archbishop Michael Jackson, the Revd Eddie Coulter, and the Revd Mark Jones.