Portrush ‘giver’ makes history at St Anne’s Cathedral

The Dean of Belfast leads new Lay Canon Robert Kay to his designated seat during the service of installation in St Annes Cathedral. INCR 04-702-CON
The Dean of Belfast leads new Lay Canon Robert Kay to his designated seat during the service of installation in St Annes Cathedral. INCR 04-702-CON

History was made in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, on Sunday (January 15) when Portrush man Robert Kay was one of two Lay Canons to be installed.

The appointment of Lay Canons to Church of Ireland Cathedrals only became possible in 2010.

The Very Rev John Mann, Dean of Belfast, and Robert Kay at the service of installation of Lay Canons at St Annes Cathedral. INCR 04-701-CON.

The Very Rev John Mann, Dean of Belfast, and Robert Kay at the service of installation of Lay Canons at St Annes Cathedral. INCR 04-701-CON.

The Constitution allows St Anne’s Cathedral to appoint up to three Lay Canons from Connor Diocese and up to three from Down & Dromore Diocese.

Mr Kay, a member of Agherton Parish, Portstewart, and Myrtle Kerr, from Rostrevor, are the first to be appointed.

At the service in St Anne’s Mrs Kerr and Mr Kay were presented by the Archdeacons of Down and Belfast respectively. After the reading of the Mandate by the Cathedral Registrar, the Dean of Belfast the Very Rev John Mann, led each new Canon to their designated seat.

Mr Kay served as Lay Honorary Secretary of Connor Diocese for 30 years.

Dean Mann said: “Robert Kay has been integral and vital to the Diocese of Connor and the RCB (Representative Church Body) for a long time.  We have been at many a meeting together, and he and his wife Carol were with us on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which was an amazing experience.”

At the service Mr Kay was introduced by the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, who described him as a “giver”.

He said Mr Kay served faithfully as Lay Honorary Secretary of the Diocese of Connor for more than 30 years. He also served on the RCB (the governing body of the Church of Ireland), the RCB Executive and was until very recently chair of the plans committee of the RCB.

The Bishop said: “You have used your professional expertise as your service to others and this was indeed your ministry and example for us all. You have served parishes, the Diocese and the Church of Ireland with humility, grace and humour.”

Bishop Abernethy said he was delighted Mr Kay’s ministry had been recognised by his appointment as a Lay Canon of St Anne’s.