To mark the 150th Anniversary of Christ Church, Kilmore, we have asked some past rectors to share a biographical sketch of their life, ministry, and memories at Kilmore & Inch to accompany our ‘wall of past rectors‘.
I was ordained on 21st June, 1987 for the curacy of St Patrick’s, Ballymacarrett in East Belfast. It was a time of learning how to be a minister. After a couple of years I moved to a second Curacy in the Parish of St Mark, Dundela. There I learned more about being a minister and broadened the range of my experiences.
On the 1st April 1993, the day after my 31st birthday, I was instituted, in Inch Parish Church, as rector of the Grouped Parishes of Kilmore and Inch. I was young (ish), keen, enthusiastic and just a little bit scared. They say that your first Parish as Rector is a bit like your first love, something that you will never forget; something that will always hold a special place in your heart.
When I was being interviewed as a potential Rector for the Parish one of the Nominators (Col Don Shearer) told me that he felt the Parish was a training Parish for young Rectors and expected that I would be there for 4-5 years before being moved to a bigger Parish. It was my privilege to be Rector of Kilmore and Inch for over 9 years. I learned a lot, and those years have shaped my further ministry. I am so grateful for the people I met and the influence they had on me.
While in Kilmore and Inch, when my son was old enough and began to play, I took up rugby coaching at Ballynahinch. I kept it up for some 13 years and then took up refereeing. In the last year, whilst refereeing rugby matches, I have recognised a couple of players, from Ballynahinch RFC, that I baptised. Makes me feel very old!
In 2002 I was approached to become Rector of Whitehead and Islandmagee. After much prayer and thought, and with a little bit of a heavy heart to be leaving such wonderful people, I accepted the nomination. In 2006 I was appointed as Rural Dean of Carrickfergus, covering from Carrickfergus all the way up the coast to Cushendun. In 2016 I was made a Canon of St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.
No matter what the future holds, I know that a bit of my heart never left Kilmore and Inch, and never will.
Revd Mark Taylor.