The Rev Canon Raymond Stewart has been appointed Dean of St Columb’s Cathedral, Londonderry, and Rector of the Parish of Templemore in succession to the Very Rev Dr William Morton.
The appointment was announced to members of Canon Stewart’s current parishes, Tamlaght O’Crilly Upper and Lower, and to parishioners at St Columb’s Cathedral in Londonderry, at recent services.
As a Canon of St Columb’s for over a decade, during which he served as Chapter Clerk, the new Dean will already be a familiar face to many of his new parishioners. He has been a Rural Dean in the Diocese of Derry since December 1989.
Canon Stewart said he will be sad to leave Tamlaght O’Crilly Upper and Lower, where he has had 13 rewarding years as Rector. However he was looking forward to returning to the Cathedral where he was first ordained for ministry in June 1979.
“I am not going to go in “all guns blazing”, Canon Stewart said of his new appointment. “During my time as Chapter Clerk I liaised quite a bit with Dean Morton. We’re people of the same temperament, so Cathedral life and worship will remain very much as it has done.
“It will be a big challenge – by far the biggest parish I will ever have been involved with – but I am looking forward to it immensely.”
The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rt Rev Ken Good, has congratulated Canon Stewart on his appointment as Dean and is looking forward to working with the new Dean in the months and years ahead.
“On behalf of the Diocese, I wish to thank Raymond and his wife Patricia for their generous witness in Tamlaght O’Crilly Upper and Lower,” Bishop Good said. “I know that the parishioners of Templemore will offer the new Dean their prayers and support. Raymond will bring a wide range of gifts to this new position. I wish him well in this new phase in his life and ministry.”
Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton has welcomed the appointment of Rev Canon Stewart.
He said: “I welcome the appointment of Rev Canon Raymond Stewart to St Columbs Cathedral in the historic city of Londonderry. I look forward to working with him in his new role and I know that he will ensure that the excellent work and leadership of his predecessor the Very Rev Dr William Morton is continued.”
Canon Stewart succeeds Dr William Morton who served as Dean of St Columb’s for 19 years, until his installation as Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin ten weeks ago. Canon Stewart and his wife Patricia have one daughter, Dione.
The new Dean is a native of Mountmellick in the Dioceses of Meath and Kildare, where the Most Rev Pat Storey is Bishop. A date will be announced soon for Canon Stewart’s Service of Installation.