I grew up in Newtownabbey and as a family we worshipped in St John’s, Whitehouse. I was a member of the Boys’ Brigade, and the organisation played an important part in my young life as it let me meet new friends but, most importantly, it introduced me to the Gospels and the teaching of Christ.
As a young lad, I had my heart set on joining the Army, so aged 17, I signed up for a life in the military, serving with the Royal Irish Rangers. After serving my time, I returned home and was married to Karen. I began working as a financial consultant, and completed my Financial Planning Certificate of the Chartered Insurance Institute in London. I worked in this sector for several years, but I missed army life, so in 2008, I re-enlisted into the Army Reserve, serving with the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment.
Throughout my life, I have always had this voice in my head calling me to Christ which I ignored until I could no longer do so. I had a strong vocation to share my faith with others, I gave my life to Christ to let him choose the path I would take. Through the support of my friends, family, clergy and my local church, I began to explore my faith more deeply. After a meeting with the then Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, and the Diocesan Director of Ordinands, the Rev Canon Will Murphy, I began my vocational journey.”
I completed the Church of Ireland Foundation Course which led me on the journey to study for my Master’s Degree in Theology at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute. My journey of faith has been a fantastic experience so far with the help and support of my wife Karen; my placement church rectors; the lecturers and students at the Theological Institute in Dublin; and my work colleagues, who have travelled with me over the years, supporting me through the ups and downs on my journey to Ordained Ministry. I thank you all for your support.
I am excited to be serving my Deacon Internship at The United Parish of Christ Church and St John’s alongside the Rev Jonny Campbell-Smyth. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone, getting my sleeves rolled up and getting stuck in to further the Kingdom of God.