• 23 November 2021

Book of poems launched in celebration of Kilmood bicentenary

Canon Raymond Fox, a former rector of the United Parish of Killinchy, Kilmood, and Tullynakill, has published a book of poems to celebrate the bicentenary of St Mary’s Church, Kilmood. Proceeds from the sale of Yearning will go to The Rowan Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

The volume of poems was officially launched by The Rt Revd Andrew Forster, Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, at an event in Holywood Parish Church. Canon Raymond was a curate in Holywood from 1971–75 where the (very) young Andrew Forster was a parishioner.

Bishop Andrew paid tribute to Raymond, thanking him for his friendship and his ‘long and distinguished ministry’. Commenting on the new publication, he said:

“Poetry is about seeing the world twice, about taking a longer, deeper view of the world. Irish poets tend to take the everyday and show the meaning and depth that it is invested with. Raymond’s ‘Yearning’ does exactly the same, but we shouldn’t be surprised for Raymond has always encouraged us to look deeper and think harder with a raw honesty that increases our faith.”

The current rector of Kilmood, Revd Dr Stanley Gamble, hosted the evening. He said:

“We are very grateful to Canon Raymond Fox for producing this collection of poems as part of our efforts to mark the bicentenary of St. Mary’s Church, Kilmood. During his time as Rector, parishioners got to know an enthusiastic and energetic rector who was caring and compassionate. Throughout his rich and varied ministry in other parishes of the Church of Ireland, Canon Fox has shown himself to be a wise and insightful reflective practitioner. This comes out strongly in this collection of poems where Canon Fox helps us in our quest to understand the love of God in all its fulness and what it means to be human in light of this.”


Claire Galloway, Service Manager at The Rowan expressed her thanks for the financial support: “On behalf of The Rowan, we would sincerely express our gratitude and thanks to Cannon Raymond Fox for the kind donation. This donation will help our professional and highly trained team who provide a range of specialist support and services to people across Northern Ireland who have been raped, sexually assaulted or abused, in the past or recently.

“It is vital that we help to increase the knowledge regarding sexual violence throughout our communities, to help highlight where those in need can get practical and emotional support in a confidential setting, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. If only one person within each community shared our service, we can continue to help many more people.”

The Bishop of Down and Dromore, The Rt Revd David McClay, also commended the book and thanked Claire and the staff at The Rowan for their vital work.

Christine and Barbara Foster performed several moving songs and choruses during the evening which ended with food and refreshments.

Yearning, Poems in Search of Meaning, is published by Nendrum Press and costs £10. It may be purchased directly from Canon Fox or through St Mary’s Kilmood.
Canon Fox: (+44 7511 752160 or email canonfox@btinternet.com
St. Mary’s, Kilmood: (028) 97541249 or email killinchy@down.anglican.org.

Canon Raymond Fox

Raymond was born in Bangor, Co Down. After Engineering at QUB and Theology at Trinity College Dublin he was ordained in the Church of Ireland and served in Holywood, Down Cathedral, Killinchy Union, St Mary Belfast, Carryduff and Killaney, Belfast Cathedral and Donegal Group. His interests in ministry have been pastoral support, spiritual direction and liturgy. Married to Jean, they have three children and six grandchildren.

The Rowan 

The Rowan is the regional Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for Northern Ireland. A professional and highly trained team deliver a range of support and services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to children, young people and adults who have been sexually abused, assaulted or raped, whether this happened in the past or more recently. (Freephone helpline number 0800 389 4424).The service is jointly funded by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and the Police Service for Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Find out more about The Rowan at therowan.net