Ballycastle bid fond farewell to ministers

AFTER a decade at the Holy Trinity Church, Ballycastle, Rev David Palmer and his wife Lorna are heading to pastures new.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2010, 1:55 pm

The Church of Ireland rector, who has been in Ballycastle since 2000, is moving to the Diocese of Down and Dromore to the Parishes of Magherally and Annaclone, near Banbridge.

Originally from London, the Palmers have made a valuable contribution to the local community.

David, together with Rev. Eddie Dorrans and Rev.Fr.Watson set up the Ballycastle Churches Action Group.They then formed a committee from members of the Churches, and this committee achieved funding to set up a project to help people in the Ballycastle area.

Thus, the Good Morning Ballycastle programme was set up, and, under the guidance of its Co-ordinator, Kate Elliott, volunteers contact elderly, or single people, each morning to make sure that they are well, and perhaps to remind some of them to take their medication etc.

Over the years, Mr. Palmer has been involved in other community activities. With the clergy of the other main Churches he led the prayers and the worship at the Carol Services each Christmas in the Diamond and Services for Christian Unity, Womens' World Day of Prayer and Christian Aid alternating between the three Churches each year - and, of course, there was always a cup of tea,afterwards!

Also, David was on the Board of Governors of Ballycastle High School, and of the Integrated Primary School. These are just a few instances of David`s involvement in the life of the wider community in Ballycastle.

In her presentation speech at Sunday evening's Service, Jean Frayne, Rector`s Church Warden highlighted a number of ways in which David will be remembered in his own Parish of Ramoan.

She said how his Sermons were always excellent and had an individual message for every one in the congregation. Jean mentioned the Alpha Courses which Mr. Palmer had introduced some years ago, and said how the faith of so many had been strengthened by this work.

Also, Jean spoke of the great comfort and support given by David when Parishioners asked for his help in times of illness or bereavement or need.

The Church Warden then spoke of the effect that Mrs Lorna Palmer, as organist and musical director of the Parish, had had upon the Praise and Worship within the Church life and the community.

Her talent as a musician was exceptional and limitless, Jean said, and was second to none.

With the members of her own choir, and members of the other local Church choirs, Lorna had put on two very successful concerts in her time in Ramoan, and had produced three CD's from these concerts and from the joined choirs Carol Services.

As a legacy, Jean said that Lorna was leaving the choir a deeper love and understanding of music, and especially, sacred music.

On behalf of the Parishioners of Ramoan, Ezekiel McMullan, the Peoples' Church Warden, presented David and Lorna with a McLarnon water colour of Holy Trinity Church, a photograph of the robed choir, and a cheque.

The Church Secretary, Olive McMullan, presented Lorna with a bouquet of flowers.

On behalf of the Parishiones, Jean wished David and Lorna both well in their new Parish, and prayed that God would be with them to direct and guide them in doing His work.

Taking two weeks holiday before the move, Rev Palmer and his wife attended their final service on Sunday, 13th.June, where they were thanked and praised for all their work over the past 10 years.

A farewell service was also held last Sunday for Rev Eddie Dorran, the minister of Ballycastle Presbyterian Church. He too began his work in Ballycastle in 2000 and is retiring to complete voluntary missionary work in Africa.