Congratulations to Revd Rory Blake-Knox who has been ordained presbyter for Moneyreagh Community Church.
Rory was ordained by Bishop David along with Revd Stephen Doherty at an historic outdoor service at Nendrum Monastic Site. The preacher was Revd Paul Cowley MBE.
I grew up in south Belfast in a pretty traditional Parish - St. John’s Malone, but if I’m honest, struggled with church and drifted from regular church attendance and faith in my teens.
Thankfully, I was surrounded by strong Christian influences in my life, through family and friends and in my late teens began going to a small group and youth club at another church along with a number of friends. The verse from Colossians 1:15 “He is the visible image of the invisible God”, challenged me to focus on Jesus and His call to follow Him in my walk with God. I was deeply impacted by God’s word and the authenticity and loving relationships I encountered during this time and had a fresh commitment to Jesus.
Once I finished school, I began going to Willowfield Parish and was involved with a lot of the youth ministry, spending time around people who were pursuing God’s kingdom in their every day. At this stage I began to see God move powerfully in my life and those around me, seeing people deeply impacted by God’s love for them.
I was at Queen’s University studying Law and went on to a Master’s in Criminal Justice, but I knew God was calling me to a different path. Looking back, He was definitely shaping me and giving me a real love for people and His community. I was also involved with an ecumenical community who challenged me to what real community could look like, living out real, loving and sacrificial lives for God and for others.
During this time, I met my wife Hannah, and we shared a strong love for South Africa, both having been on mission teams and we went on to live there for 2 years and work alongside Crosslinks. Through this experience I learned to rely and trust God for everything and that He will provide my every need. I also spent a lot of time praying, reading scripture - specifically Ephesians and seeking God over our future together, and it became clear that he had put the local church, the authority and anointing on it and authentic Christian community on my heart and we returned home in 2015.
I have been serving and leading in Moneyreagh Community Church and studying for the past 4 years. It has been a bit of a baptism of fire, in terms of pastoring people, teaching and preaching and seeking God for the vision and direction of the new church in the community. It has been difficult at times having two young children and carrying the burden for people and the new worshipping community, but God has consistently been before us and with us in every season and we have seen Him move mightily in our lives and those around us. I hope and pray I can continue to draw close to Him and pursue the kingdom and what he is doing being led His spirit as the journey continues through my ordination.