After a vacancy of over two years, the congregation of Bready, near Londonderry in Northern Ireland, was delighted to welcome its new minister and his family in April, 2022. Mr Paul Wallace, a licentiate of the Northern Presbytery, having accepted the call from the congregation, was ordained and installed as the new pastor.
The Moderator of Synod, Rev. Philip Moffett, opened the meeting with worship and prayer. Rev. Harry Coulter preached on 1 Thessalonians 1 and Rev. Prof. Stephen Neilly gave an exposition and defence of Reformed Presbyterianism. The Moderator of Presbytery, Rev. Stephen Robinson, put the relevant questions for ordination and installation to Mr Wallace and having received satisfactory answers, he proceeded to ordain and install Mr Wallace with the laying on of hands by the Moderator of Presbytery and Rev. Mark Loughridge, who prayed the ordination and installation prayer. Rev. Jonny McCollum gave the charge to the minister and congregation from Exodus 3, after which Rev. McCollum brought proceedings to a close by pronouncing the benediction.
After the service, the Interim Moderator, Rev. Blair McFarland introduced the speakers: Rev. Philip Moffett brought greetings to Rev. Wallace from Synod; Mr Stephen Davis, Clerk of Session, gave a warm welcome to Rev. Wallace, his wife, Elaine, and their family, Joel, Heidi, Alexander and Craig on behalf of the Bready congregation and Rev. Caldwell Darragh welcomed the new minister and his family on behalf of the local community.
Rev. Wallace concluded the speeches by expressing gratitude for the welcome and generosity that he and his family had already experienced from the congregation, for all involved in planning for the evening, and for all the work that had been done to prepare the manse for their arrival. He then brought proceedings to a close by giving thanks for a lovely supper prepared and served by the congregation.
The Session would like to thank all visiting preachers who led services of worship each Lord’s Day during the vacancy and preached God’s word. The congregation is thankful to God for the provision of a new teaching elder and we pray that he and his family will know God’s blessing as they serve the Lord in Bready.
After the evening service the following Lord’s Day, over a cup of tea, Rev. Blair McFarland was thanked by the Clerk of Session for all his work as Interim Moderator during the vacancy; he received a gift from the congregation and his wife, Claire, was presented with a beautiful camellia by Abigail McMorris and Karla Rankin.
Report by William Lynch, Elder in Bready RPC