In a ‘first’ for Mothers’ Union (in Ireland at least) Bishop Harold has commissioned the wife of the current chaplain as Diocesan President. Mrs Roberta Macartney was commissioned for Down and Dromore at a service in St John’s Rathfriland on Sunday 6 January. It was also her birthday!
Roberta succeeds June Butler, now All–Ireland President, who was warmly thanked for all of her hard work, vision and leadership in the diocese.
The MU in Down and Dromore has 60 branches with some 2,200 members and there are many challenges facing the new Diocesan President. Roberta, however comes to the role with much experience and many skills.
Roberta comes from County Armagh and has been a member of MU for over 30 years. She first joined MU in her home parish of Mullavilly and served as Branch Leader both there and in Milltown parish. Roberta also served as Diocesan Secretary of MU in Armagh Diocese.
She moved to Down and Dromore almost 5 years ago when her husband Gerald became rector of the grouped parishes of Drumgath, Drumgooland, Drumballyroney, and Clonduff. Roberta has been a Trustee as Prayer Chain Representative for the past few years and Gerald is known to many as the MU Diocesan Chaplain.
All–Ireland President, June Butler, said:
“It has been a privilege to serve as the Mothers’ Union Diocesan President in Down and Dromore for the past three years. We are now really fortunate to have someone of the calibre of Roberta Macartney stepping into the role. She has a very special Christian faith and, in addition to fulfilling the onerous role of a clergy wife, has many years’ experience in different branches and roles within Mothers’ Union. I know Roberta will be an inspirational leader for our trustee body and all the members in this diocese who I believe will support her as they have me. I would ask everyone to uphold Roberta in prayer as she takes on this responsibility.”