The Rev Kevin Graham was instituted as rector of St Bartholomew’s, Stranmillis, by the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, on September 26.
Parishioners from both Kevin’s previous parish of Movilla Abbey, Newtownards, Diocese of Down, joined his family, friends and Stranmillis parishioners for the service.
Following the presentation of the incumbent–elect to the Bishop by the Archdeacon of Belfast, the Ven George Davison, the lessons were read by Prof Roddy Cowie, diocesan reader attached to St Bartholomew’s; the Rev Colin White, assistant priest at St Bartholomew’s; and the Rev Christopher Woods, a friend of Kevin’s who now ministers in England, but was a former curate–assistant of St Mark’s, Dundela, East Belfast.
After Bishop Alan preached and instituted Kevin as rector of the parish, members of the congregation brought forward symbols of the teaching, pastoral and sacramental ministry of an incumbent.
Following the service, the congregation shared in fellowship and refreshments in the Church Hall, where proceedings were chaired by the Rev Louise Stewart, deputising for the Rural Dean of South Belfast, Canon Robert Jones, who was officiating at a family wedding in the Republic of Ireland.
A member of Movilla Abbey paid a warm tribute to Kevin’s ministry there and thanked him for all that he had contributed to the parish’s life, worship and witness during his time as its rector. Prof Cowie, on behalf of St Bartholomew’s, welcomed Kevin, his wife Cheryl and sons Jamie and Luke to the parish and said how much everyone was looking forward to working with the new rector at what was the start of a new era of ministry in the life of the parish.