Bishop Harold Millar instituted Rev Catherine Simpson as incumbent of the Parish of Glencraig, with the Archdeacon of Dromore, Ven Roderic West, giving the address at the service on Thursday 23 May.

Holy Trinity Church was full as the parish welcomed their new vicar and the people of Seapatrick, Banbridge, said goodbye to their curate assistant. Many clergy also made the journey to support Catherine as she began a new chapter of ministry in North Down. 

 Catherine introduces herself…

I grew up just outside Portglenone, Co. Antrim. Our family church is Portglenone Parish, and it was here that my journey towards ordained ministry began.

I attended Ballymena Academy, after which I completed a BA (Hons) QTS In Primary Education, (Lancaster University). After graduating, my first teaching job was Primary 2 in Old Warren Primary School, Lisburn, followed by Carnaghts in Ballymena, until I was appointed to McKinney Primary School, Dundrod, where I was the Vice Principal.

Following my ordination in August 2014, I served my Deacon year as an intern in Christ Church, Castledawson in the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe. In September 2015 I went to Seapatrick Parish, Banbridge as Curate Assistant, and so began my time in the Diocese of Down and Dromore.

It has been a very happy 3 years and (nearly) 9 months in Banbridge, and a time of great blessing as I have experienced our Heavenly Father’s leading, guiding and preparation for the future. It has been a superb experience, where I have learned much and have been given many opportunities to develop and grow. It therefore almost seems obvious to say I am so grateful for the leadership and mentoring I have received and all I have learned from the Rector, Ven. Roderic, and the team of people that are part of the mission and ministry of Seapatrick Parish.

Over the last months it has been overwhelming at times and yet so reassuring to acknowledge the Lord’s guidance in my call to Glencraig, and I am very much looking forward to stepping into this new role, I am thankful for the prayers of so many, and for the love and encouragement of family and friends.

I look forward to what God has in store for us in Holy Trinity, Glencraig, in this new chapter, as we share the love that has been lavished on us by God, not only in the sending of his Son to offer us redemption, but in the opportunity to be partners in his Gospel witness and the building of his Kingdom in the power of his Holy Spirit.