Minister is to retire

THE Rev Jim Lamont from Dunfanaghy plans to bring down the curtain on his 36 years of full-time ministry in harmonious style.

Mr Lamont, who is set to retire at the end of May as minister of Dunfanaghy and Carriagart Presbyterian Churches, is organising a farewell gospel concert in Letterkenny.

The concert, An Evening of Gospel Music, takes place at An Grianan Theatre on Friday May 29 at 8pm. It will feature a wide variety of artistes, with Mr Lamont acting as compere.

Already on the bill are local singers Kathy O'Hara, Dianne Leckey and Helen Lyttle, along with The Regent Quartet and the Donegal Presbyterian Choir.

Mr Lamont, who has been minister in Dunfanaghy and Carrigart for the past 10 years, is well known in the county as a presenter on Highland Radio of the Thought for the Day and Travelling with God programmes. He also presented seven broadcast services from Dunfanaghy each year.

Over the past decade, Mr Lamont has also served as the Presbyterian chaplain to Donegal Hospice and to Letterkenny Hospital.

The concert is a fundraiser for Donegal Hospice, with which Mr Lamont intends to retain his association in retirement.

He said: "It will be a wrench to terminate my years of active ministry but given that I will be 70 at the start of June, it is time to make the break.

"My 10 years of witness in Co Donegal have proved to be a most rewarding climax to my ministry. I much appreciate the encouragement I have received from throughout the local community.

"There is a unique quality of life in Donegal and I have been enriched by my time here. I am particularly heartened by the community spirit which is still so abundant here."

Mr Lamont, who with his wife Anne will retire to Castlerock, has over the years held a number of fund-raising concerts for Donegal Hospice.

He has also helped to support the work of Donegal Hospice by publishing two books containing the scripts of his popular "Thought for the Day" broadcasts on Highland Radio.

The first book, "Highland Inspiration" raised €35,000 for the hospice, while the second book, "Highland Reflections", is expected to raise a similar amount. It is currently on sale in local bookshops.

The book, which was published last year, has already been much acclaimed by readers in Co Donegal and in Northern Ireland, and numerous readers have contacted Mr Lamont to tell him how the book had helped them at times of particular difficulty.

Tickets for the concert are priced at €15/€10 and are available from the box office at An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny. Tjhe box office telephone number is 07491 20777.