• 17 November 2023

Death of Archdeacon Billy Neill

It is with sadness that we share the news of the death of the former Archdeacon of Dromore, The Ven William Barnett Neill, on Tuesday 14 November at the age of 93.

Bishop David said, “I remember Billy’s quiet kindness, his pastoral care and warmth. He and his wife Anne were a wonderful team wherever they served. We especially extend our sympathy to Anne, assuring her of our prayers.”

The funeral will take place in St John’s Orangefield on Wednesday 22 November at 12.30pm.


Billy Neill spent his entire ministry in Down and Dromore. In 1963 he was ordained for the curacy of St Clement, Templemore Avenue, becoming curate assistant of Dundonald in 1966. Billy moved to Dromore diocese in 1972 and for 8 years served as rector of Drumgath (a Union of parishes grouped with Drumgooland in 1976). In 1980 he returned briefly to Down Diocese as incumbent of Mount Merrion before becoming rector of Dromore Cathedral in 1983. Two years later Billy was appointed Archdeacon of Dromore by Bishop Gordon McMullan, an office he held until his retirement in 1997.

During his ministry Billy also served the diocese as Warden of Readers, Director of Ordinands and Examining Chaplain for the Bishop.