A special Service of Introduction was held in St Paul’s Church, Piltown on Friday night, August 30th to welcome the Reverend Vicki Lynch as priest-in-charge of Fiddown Union of Parishes. She succeeds the Reverend Melissa Jeffers who retired last year.
Speaking at the service The Right Reverend Michael Burrows, Bishop of Cashel, Ferns & Ossory, warmly welcomed the new priest-in-charge and her family and after speaking about the wisdom and enrichment she will bring to the parish he thanked everyone who had helped organise the service and looked after the union of parishes during the vacancy.
The preacher was The Right Reverend Trevor Williams, former Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, who had ordained Vicki and in whose diocese she had worked in the past.
“This service marks a very special moment in the life of Fiddown union of parishes,” he said. “This new phase of ministry here provides an opportunity to reflect about who we are (as church), what we’re about and where we’re going. It is also the latest step in Vicki’s journey as she seeks in her own life to try and follow what it means to follow Jesus Christ.”
Vicki is originally from Cumbria in North West England, she and her husband, Steve, have lived in Ireland since 1995 and have four children – Andrew, Patrick, Anna and Nicole. They also recently became grandparents for the first time.
She was ordained in 2009 and was Youth and Community Development Officer for the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe as well as assistant priest in the west Clare parish of Drumcliffe Union with Kilnasoolagh until 2012. She then moved into Methodist ministry and was stationed in Christ Church, in Limerick United Methodist and Presbyterian, an inner city multi-cultural congregation where she has been involved with the outreach Central Buildings Community Project for the past seven years.
A fan of dogs and the outdoors, she is very much looking forward to coming back to part-time rural ministry and joining the Fiddown community where she will also begin her doctoral research into chaplaincy to the farming/rural community. She holds an MA in Consultancy and Leadership for Mission and Ministry.
Vicki was greeted at the end of the service by parishioner Ron Dool and representatives of the wider civic and ecumenical community who all wished her a joyful and fulfilling time in Fiddown. These included the Reverend Paul Waldron PP on behalf of the Roman Catholic community and Robert Dowley, chairperson of Iverk Show. The Reverend Paul Maxwell of the Methodist Church also wished her every blessing.
Thanking everyone for their good wishes, Vicki spoke of how change can be challenging but also exciting.
“Within that change, there will be constants, of course, like sharing the Eucharist and cups of tea and conversation but this is the exciting bit; the rest of what happens is a mystery. We really don’t know what God is going to do with us together here and that’s how I see church. It’s about curiosity, it’s about discovery and doing that together so I really look forward to that journey with you all, with great anticipation and with gratitude already for how I have been welcomed.”