New Church of Ireland rector welcomed in Castlecomer

New Church of Ireland rector welcomed  in Castlecomer

The Reverend Edna Wakely

The Reverend Edna Wakely was instituted as rector of the Church of Ireland’s Castlecomer Union of Parishes at a special service in St Mary’s Church, Castlecomer on Friday night last, July 3rd, 2020.

Edna comes to Castlecomer from Limerick City Parish in the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe where she has been Curate’s Assistant since 2014.                    

She succeeds the Reverend Patrick Burke who was rector of Castlecomer for seven years.

From Omagh in County Tyrone originally and a qualified music teacher and organist Edna spent most of her adult life in South Africa with her husband Robin but relocated to Dublin in 2001 when her husband began training for full-time ordained ministry.  Widowed in 2008, Edna commenced training for ordained ministry herself in 2009.

The preacher at the service of institution on Friday night was Edna’s former rector, the Dean of Limerick, the Very Reverend Niall Sloane. The Dean told the congregation in St Mary’s Church that their new rector’s gifts will become evident very quickly, listing among them her musical ability, pastoral qualities, unique powers of administering to the elderly and her careful planning and preparation of the liturgy.

Bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory, the Right Reverend Michael Burrows, warmly welcomed the new rector to the parish and the diocese and ending the service, described the occasion as ‘an extraordinarily historic one’ because it took place after the end of Covid -19 lockdown and the closure of church buildings for over four months.

“While conviviality after the service will not be possible,” he said, “this service nevertheless has been a very joyful occasion.”

Following the liturgy, Monsignor Michael Ryan, parish priest of Castlecomer, speaking on behalf of the parish of Castlecomer and clergy colleagues in the wider community, said that there has always been a great spirit of Christian friendship in Castlecomer and prayed that Edna’s ministry would be a fruitful one and that she will be very happy there.

Ken Wilson, speaking on behalf of parishioners welcomed the new rector also.

“You are our first lady rector. We hope you will have many happy years among us. May God grant you every blessing on your journey with us as together we start a new chapter in this place,” he said.

As well as friends and some clergy colleagues Edna’s two daughters Jenny and Joanna also attended the service along with her son-in-law, Darren and grandchildren Robyn and Kyle.

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