A NEW Deacon was ordained on Sunday in St Columb’s Cathedral.
Rev Arthur Burns will now serve in Glendermott Parish Church as a non-stipended minister.
The ordination was performed by the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rt Rev Ken Good, and the service of communion afterwards was conducted the Dean, Very Rev William Morton.
The son of Esther Burns, of Glenside Road, and the late Robert Burns, Rev Burns, prior to his ordination, was a life-long member of Christ Church on the Cityside.
A past pupil of Christ Church and Ldondonderry Technical College, where he graduated with a Senior Technical certificate, Rev Burns spent three years working as a sewing machine technician before joining the Royal Air Force in 1971 at the age of 20. He was demobbed after five years and afterwards held a variety of ‘security posts’ including becoming a civilian search officer stationed at the City’s famous gates.
In later years he had worked as a psychiatric nurse and began studying theology in 1989.
“I felt God calling me to serve him and at that point I trained as a Diocesan Reader and was commissioned in June 1993.
“At the same time I was working in Gransha as a psychiatric nurse, and I decided to retire from that at the age of 55 in 2006 and then sought ordination for ministry. I went down to Dublin for selection in 2008 to the Church of Ireland Theological College in Dublin, and I was accepted for the training by the Bishop,” he said.
After a period of placement in St Augustine’s Church, Rev Burns learned he would be serving as Deacon in Glendermott and said he was “excited” by the prospect of the curacy.
“I had to go and get my clerical shirts, robes and preaching scarf and I am feeling excited about it all. It is quite strange wearing my uniform and I remember last Sunday I was helping out at the service at Glendermott and I was thinking ‘This is the last time I will be helping at a service wearing a collar and tie, from this Sunday on it will be a ‘back-to-front’ collar and I will be wearing clerical shirts when I am helping’,” he said.
Rev Burns is married to Norma, and among his hobbies when he has time he enjoys fishing.