Reflections on a year as deacon internFriday 7 September 2012
Revd Alistair Morrison has come to the diocese as curate in Ballyholme Parish where he was ordained priest on 2 September.
Alistair reflects below on his year as deacon (intern) at Colman’s, Dunmurry, in the Diocese of Connor:
Every so often things change, even in the Church of Ireland. I count it a privilege to have been among the first group of students to experience the changes introduced in the new M.Th. course and formation for ministry programme. After two years of full time study in Dublin the final year of our training was serving as an Intern Deacon in a local parish, while at the same time researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation to complete our academic studies.
The local parish for my Intern Deacon year was St Colman’s, Dunmurry, and my training rector was Revd Denise Acheson (a former curate in Ballyholme Parish). St Colman’s is a small but busy parish, and provided for me the opportunity to observe and experience many of the tasks performed and demands made upon the rector.
During my year in Dunmurry I visited parishioners in their homes, in nursing homes and in hospital. For me the challenging yet most rewarding aspect of visiting was to travel a little of the way with those who were on their final journey, and to dwell with those who grieved and mourned the loss of a loved one.
I particularly enjoyed sharing and leading worship each Sunday, and serving God’s people at Holy Communion. I was also involved each week with leading a Sunday School class and helping out at the Youth Fellowship.
I believe St Colman’s, under the supervision of my training rector, provided a great place to learn about my new trade. As I look forward to my ordination in September as priest, and my curacy in Ballyholme Parish, I do so in the confidence of God’s call on my life to serve his church, even if it means more change.