On the Feast of the Epiphany 6th January 2021 during an online service from St. Finbarre’s Cathedral Reverend Meurig Williams was instituted to the incumbency of Mallow Union of Parishes.
Meurig Williams was born in Bangor, North Wales, where his father was a Baptist minister and grew up in a Welsh-speaking home. After studying modern languages at the University of Aberystwyth, including a year in Bordeaux, he was a teacher in a secondary school near Cardiff for four years.
He returned to the University of Wales to study theology and trained for ordination at Westcott House, Cambridge. He was ordained in Bangor Cathedral in 1992 and served a curacy in the port town of Holyhead.
He subsequently served as Incumbent of Pwllheli, a market town in rural North-West Wales; and then became an Incumbent in Cardiff. He returned to Bangor as Archdeacon in 2005. In 2011 he moved to become Commissary tonthe Bishop in Europe – a role which he combined with being Archdeacon of North-West Europe (serving Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) before his current appointment as Archdeacon of France in 2016. There he had oversight of 83 congregations across France, many of which serve scattered, rural populations.
Meurig has been involved in fostering strong ecumenical relationships throughout his ministry, and is currently involved in discussions between the Church of England and the French Protestant churches. He also has good working relationships with the Roman Catholic Church in France and, as a fluent French-speaking Anglican, has contributed to various ecumenical conferences, including at the Catholic Institute in Paris.
The office of Reader is an ancient one which goes back to the early Church. Over the centuries it has been revived on a number of occasions and in 1907 the General Synod requested the bishops to institute the office into the Church of Ireland – in 1909 this came into effect. The Diocesan Reader is licenced to lead Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, the Service of the Word and to preach.
Avril Gubbins Having done a three year preparatory course, Avril was licenced as a Diocesan Reader in 2003. She lives in Doneraile Parish with her husband, Pat, who is a Dairy Farmer. Her family, the Evans family, have lived in this area since 1694 and have been very active both in the church and the wider community. Avril’s father, a keen campanologist, was instrumental in keeping the Doneraile Bells going throughout his lifetime. Avril sees her ministry, while serving within the Church of Ireland, essentially as reaching out to anyone in need.
Emmanuel Adebisi is our other Lay Reader. Originally from Nigeria he has lived in Mallow with his wife, Maryanne and their family of two girls and a boy. He was commissioned as a Diocesan Lay Reader in November 2013.
Lay Liturgical Assistants
Lay Liturgical Assistants – formerly known in the Diocese as Parish Readers (as opposed to Diocesan Readers) – are recognised leaders within their own parish communities. They are given permission by the Bishop, following a short period of training, to lead Mattins and Evening Prayer or a Service of the Word, in parishes which have so many churches that it would not be possible otherwise to gather the people for worship in every church on every Sunday. They are not permitted to preach.
Susan Buckley is a Lay Liturgical Assistant. She takes services once a month in St Mary’s Castletownroche where she is also the organist.