To mark the 150th Anniversary of Christ Church, Kilmore, we have asked some past rectors to share a biographical sketch of their life, ministry, and memories at Kilmore & Inch to accompany our ‘wall of past rectors‘.

I was ordained on 21st June, 1987 for the curacy of St Patrick’s, Ballymacarrett in East Belfast.  It was a time of learning how to be a minister.  After a couple of years I moved to a second Curacy in the Parish of St Mark, Dundela.  There I learned more about being a minister and broadened the range of my experiences.

On the 1st April 1993, the day after my 31st birthday, I was instituted, in Inch Parish Church, as rector of the Grouped Parishes of Kilmore and Inch.  I was young (ish), keen, enthusiastic and just a little bit scared.  They say that your first Parish as Rector is a bit like your first love, something that you will never forget; something that will always hold a special place in your heart.

When I was being interviewed as a potential Rector for the Parish one of the Nominators (Col Don Shearer) told me that he felt the Parish was a training Parish for young Rectors and expected that I would be there for 4-5 years before being moved to a bigger Parish.  It was my privilege to be Rector of Kilmore and Inch for over 9 years.  I learned a lot, and those years have shaped my further ministry.  I am so grateful for the people I met and the influence they had on me.

While in Kilmore and Inch, when my son was old enough and began to play, I took up rugby coaching at Ballynahinch.  I kept it up for some 13 years and then took up refereeing.  In the last year, whilst refereeing rugby matches, I have recognised a couple of players, from Ballynahinch RFC, that I baptised.  Makes me feel very old!

In 2002 I was approached to become Rector of Whitehead and Islandmagee.  After much prayer and thought, and with a little bit of a heavy heart to be leaving such wonderful people, I accepted the nomination.  In 2006 I was appointed as Rural Dean of Carrickfergus, covering from Carrickfergus all the way up the coast to Cushendun.  In 2016 I was made a Canon of St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast.

No matter what the future holds, I know that a bit of my heart never left Kilmore and Inch, and never will.

Revd Mark Taylor.

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