Around 400 people gathered in St Columb’s Cathedral in Londonderry on August 31 for the ordination of Catherine Simpson.
A third year student with the Theological Institute in Dubli, Catherine will spend this year as a deacon intern with Rev Colin Welsh in Castledawson.
Alongside completing her studies, she will write a dissertation and assist in all areas of ministry.
Catherine was joined at her ordination by her parents Samuel and Vida, sister Sarah, extended family and many friends and there was a strong representation from her home church of Portglenone and St Colmanells, Ahoghill, and many well wishers from the diocese of Derry and Raphoe.
The Rev Gary Millar (Rector of Ahoghill and Portglenone), Bishop Pat Storey (Bishop of Meath and Kildare), Samuel Simpson (father) and Alan Williamson (friend) undertook the role of sponsors during the service as they had played a key role in encouraging and supporting Catherine to make this decision.
Rev Colin Welsh (Castledawson), Ven Barry Dodds (retired Archdeacon of Belfast) and Sarah Simpson (sister) read the Bible passages, and the preacher was Rev Diane Matchett (Rector of Castlerock) who challenged those present that the service was a reminder that everyone had a role to play in the Body of Christ, not just clergy.
Over the last 12 years Catherine has been a teacher in Lisburn, Ballymena and most recently McKinney Primary School in Dundrod where she was vice principal.