New Rector is instituted at St. Patrick’s

The Ven Stephen Forde, Archdeacon of Dalriada,  Rev Mark McConnell,   the Rev David Ferguson, Bishop of Connor the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy,  Rev John McClure and Rev Canon William Taggart, Connor Registrar. (Submitted Picture).

The Ven Stephen Forde, Archdeacon of Dalriada, Rev Mark McConnell, the Rev David Ferguson, Bishop of Connor the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, Rev John McClure and Rev Canon William Taggart, Connor Registrar. (Submitted Picture).

Rev Mark McConnell has been instituted Rector of the Parish of Ballymena and Ballyclug at a special service in St Patrick’s Parish Church, Castle Street.

Rev McConnell was rector of the Parish of Ballynure and Ballyeaston when his appointment to Ballymena was announced in February.

High Sheriff of County Antrim James Perry (left) introduces the Rev Mark McConnell, who has been instituted Rector of Ballymena in St Patricks Parish Church, to the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim Steven Montgomery (right). (Submitted Picture).

High Sheriff of County Antrim James Perry (left) introduces the Rev Mark McConnell, who has been instituted Rector of Ballymena in St Patricks Parish Church, to the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim Steven Montgomery (right). (Submitted Picture).

A native of Lisburn, Mark worked for the Civil Service before studying theology at Oak Hill Church of England Training College in north London. He was employed for a year as a church worker in the parish of St James’ in Muswell Hill, and after his ordination he served a three year curacy in Christ Church Parish, Bedford, returning to Northern Ireland to serve a second curacy in Bangor Parish Church, Co Down.

Mark’s first incumbency was as rector in Killyleagh, Co Down, and he was appointed rector of Ballynure and Ballyeaston in 1999. He is married to Cherith and the couple has three children, Daniel, Matthew and Erin.

Mark succeeds the Rev Canon Stuart Lloyd who retired from the Parish of Ballymena and Ballyclug last November after some 27 years’ service.

Bishop Alan Abernethy introduces Rev Mark McConnell to the tower captain Sam Letters before the service of institution for Rev McConnell at St Patrick's Parish Church, Ballymena. (Submitted Picture).

Bishop Alan Abernethy introduces Rev Mark McConnell to the tower captain Sam Letters before the service of institution for Rev McConnell at St Patrick's Parish Church, Ballymena. (Submitted Picture).