• 28 June 2024

Welcome Revd Jan!

Revd Jan Stevenson has received a warm welcome from her new congregation in St Donard’s, Bloomfield.

The Archdeacon of Down, the Ven Jim Cheshire, instituted Jan as Incumbent at the service on 27 June 2024 and Revd Canon Myrtle Morrison, Rector of St John’s Newcastle, gave the address.

Myrtle, like Jan, is from Cork, and they have been friends for 35 years. She described Jan as energetic, thougthful, prayerful and someone who seeks to please God in every area of her life. Myrtle assured the congregation that Jan, like the apostle Paul, would love them, challenge them and encourage them to "love and serve their community so that the spirits of many people would be blessed."

Jan comes to Bloomfield from St Columbanus Ballyholme, where she has spent five years as Community Pastor, and many from the parish came to support her on this special evening. Local church representatives also also gave the new rector a warm welcome.

Jan shares her story below:

“God’s ways are higher than our ways.” I was eight years old when I gave my life to Jesus on a Scripture Union camp in County Cork. School in Midleton and Dublin was followed by training as a teacher.  I was 21 when I decided that serving God was all or nothing and so I went to Tanzania with CMSI to teach in Dodoma for 2 years.  While there I felt God’s call to the mission field in my own country and studied in St John’s Nottingham for a year.  Ordination and a five-year curacy in Lisburn Cathedral came next, followed by five years as curate-in-charge of St Andrew’s Ballysally. 

Sam and I got married and our two lovely daughters meant I decided to be a fulltime Mum for a number of years. When I had the opportunity to lead Braniel Community Church for six months I discovered that I have a real heart for helping the church engage with the local community.  My five years as a Community Pastor in Ballyholme Parish has radically altered my expectations of what God can do through us loving our “neighbour”.

I begin this new chapter as Rector of St Donard’s, Bloomfield with my husband Sam who is a Diocesan Evangelist. We give thanks to God for the privilege of serving Jesus with this congregation. We will seek to pray, listen and follow where we believe God wants to lead this parish.