Canon Kelly Hall in the Waterside was the venue on Friday night for a tribute concert in honour of Canon Derek Creighton, who is retiring as Rector of Glendermott Parish Church.
Among those who turned out to share the evening were Parishioners, friends and fellow clergy and during the evening several presentations and speeches were made.
Cannon Creighton began his ministerial vocation in August 1979, when he went to Lesotho in Southern Africa, where he was a youth worker for five years before returning to Ireland in 1984.
It was in 1985 that he began training for ordination in Dublin and was ordained in St Anne’s Cathedral Belfast in 1988. At that stage Derek became curate assistant in Christ Church Parish, Lisburn and in June 1991 he went on to be instituted as Rector of Drumclamph and Clare, Langfield Upper and Lower.
In August 2000 Cannon Creighton was instituted as Rector of Glendermott Parish and, after almost 16 years is now preparing to leave due to his retirement.
Cannon Creighton gave outstanding leadership and commitment both spiritually and otherwise during his time at Glendermott and Newbuildings. It is entirely due to this leadership and vision that so much was achieved during his time in Glendermott Parish.
Canon Creighton will be particularly remembered for his pastoral visits, especially to the sick at home or in hospital, which were especially appreciated.
His sermons were delivered in a sincere, straightforward and touching manner which was easily followed, understood and appreciated by the congregation and he presented a clear challenge to the message of the gospel, the claims of Jesus Christ for full commitment and at the same time providing words of hope and comfort for those in distress.
Almost 200 parishioners enjoyed a very entertaining concert on Friday night in celebration of Canon Creighton’s service.
The contributors included the Hamilton flute band, items staged by the Sunday school, Kool Kids and music by Rev David McBeth, Alive and Kicking line dancers and the parish choir.
All the participants and helpers were thanked sincerely for their contribution.
The parish also appreciated the contribution to Parish life of Mrs Creighton, who worked tirelessly for years in the parish office and was known for her very caring and friendly manner.
She was also very much involved in the Ladies Guild, church choir and much more.
Cannon Creighton acknowledged the presentations and speeches and emphasised how much Margaret and he had enjoyed their time at Glendermott and Newbuildings.
He said much had happened in the parish in their time and they valued and appreciated the help, support and love of everyone and said they would take wonderful thoughts and memories with them as they moved on from ministry in Glendermott.
The Cannon also acknowledged that his ministry was not a solo act but a partnership with Margaret and everyone in the Parish would wholeheartedly agree.
Cannon Creighton’s last sermon will be on Sunday, May 1, which will also be his last day on duty.
It is the parishioners’ wish and prayers that the Cannon, Margaret and family have a long, happy, healthy and God blessed retirement.
A quote from one of the speakers seems very appropriate at this point: “I chose to work for the Lord for his retirement package is eternal”.