Finaghy native and newly installed Methodist minister for Priesthill and Dromore, the Rev John Corrie, is excited, he says, to be serving in the area.
Succeeding the Rev Colin Gracie in the Lisburn and Dromore Methodist Circuit, with responsibility for Dromore and Priesthill churches, Mr Corrie was formally welcomed at a service at Dromore Methodist Church on Sunday evening.
Raised in the Finaghy area, Mr Corrie is no stranger to Dromore, having visited school friends there during his teenage years.
Sunday’s welcoming service was conducted by Down District Superintendent, the Rev Andrew Kingston; also participating were Circuit Steward Ivan Barr from Trinity Methodist and Circuit Superintendent the Rev Mervyn Ewing.
Mr Kingston extended a welcome and support for Mr Corrie and his wife Jan, who serves as a local preacher and is starting on the circuit in her own right, as of November.
Mr Corrie in turn thanked everyone for their welcome.
“I have experienced such a warmth of welcome already,” he said, “such as in the way everyone has made it very easy for me to move into the manse.”
Mr Corrie went on to emphasise the importance of offering and accepting a welcome and challenged those in the congregation to take a few minutes to speak to the people around them.
“The service was well attended with ministers and members from other congregations in the town present, along with members from both Dromore, Priesthill and the other churches in the circuit there,” he later said.
He was particularly pleased to see friends all the way from Lincolnshire.
A supper afterwards gave opportunity for colleagues and members of the congregations to spend time with Mr Corrie and his wife.
Keen to work closely with sister churches in the area, Mr Corrie said: “This is something I am keen to do and I would love to get to know other Christian congregations in the town.”
Mr Corrie formerly attended Wallace High School and graduated from Stranmillis College with a BEd from Queens University.
He moved to England where he taught in schools for children with severe learning difficulties, before retiring from education due to ill-health.
When running a small gardening business he felt a call to the ministry.
After serving five years in Lincolnshire he transferred to the Irish Connexion and was stationed in the Donegal, Ballintra and Inver Circuit.
He and his wife Jan have two adult children who now live in Southampton.