Graham Spence, soon to be an intern deacon in our parish, explains:
After ordination to the Diaconate on Sunday, 8 September in St Donard’s Church, Belfast, my wife Barbara and I look forward to joining the Church family in Magheralin and Dollingstown for the next stage of my training. I feel blessed to be on this amazing journey and wish to record my sincere appreciation to the Rector, Canon Gareth Harron, for agreeing to take on the additional work of overseeing a trainee for several months. I will greatly benefit from that supervision and I pray that in return, I will be able to contribute something positive to the ongoing life and witness of the parish.
I grew up on the family dairy farm located at Dunkirk Road, Waringstown. As a family we belonged to Knocknamuckley Parish. It was there as a young person that I came under the influence of godly clergy, Sunday School Teachers, Boys Brigade Officers and Youth Fellowship Leaders and came to faith during a Boys’ Brigade camp. In later years I served in the parish as a Sunday School Teacher, Youth Fellowship Leader, Churchwarden and Parochial Nominator.
I joined the Department of Agriculture in 1976 and spent 35 very rewarding years in a number of rolls. In 1990 I married Barbara and we set up home in Hillsborough and joined the local parish. The following year I was licensed to serve as a Diocesan Lay Reader. From 2005 until 2010, I studied part-time at Queens University and graduated Bachelor of Theology in the summer of 2010. Since September 2011 I have been training full-time for ordained ministry in Dublin.
I am deeply grateful for the support of family and many others who have given me a firm Christian foundation on which to build further. We are all called to be disciples of Jesus and for me ordination is part of being obedient to that call. Please pray that I fulfil, with God’s help, the promises I make on 8 September.
As Graham mentions above, we need to be committed to praying for him and for Barbara as they adjust to this next phase of their journey in ministry. We also need to make them feel very welcome among us. You are welcome to support Graham by attending his ordination at St Donard’s church on the 8th September. If you would like to come but need transport then please contact the parish office.