Controversial church seeks new minister

The Right Reverend Harold Miller, Bishop of Down and Dromore with Rev Alan Kilpatrick at his installation as rector of Knocknamuckley Parish Church
The Right Reverend Harold Miller, Bishop of Down and Dromore with Rev Alan Kilpatrick at his installation as rector of Knocknamuckley Parish Church
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A church, which hit the headlines after a row over a former minister and part of the congregation last year, has advertised for a new rector.

St Matthias in Knocknamuckley was split over the teachings of Rev Alan Kilpatrick, an evangelical preacher.

The Bishop of Down and Dromore Harold Millar intervened last April after Rev Kilpatrick banned a Royal Black Preceptory church service and the Women’s Group from holding meetings in the church hall.

Parishioners also raised concerns about associations with the controversial American Bethel Church after details emerged of Bethel missioners hosting a service at Knocknamuckley.

However despite the criticism Rev Kilpatrick insisted: “I am a Church of Ireland clergyman and I preach about the Kingdom of God.

In May last year Rev Kilpatrick stepped down and the church was split into two congregations ­­ - one remained in St Matthias, and a new missional congregation was set up in nearby Craigavon. Though there had been cover at St Matthias the post has been vacant.

The job advertisement reads: “This parish seeks to keep God’s Word at the centre of church life and reach out with the Gospel to the wider community. It is truly inter-generational, and places a particular focus on young people and young families. There is a very committed congregation, which includes an enthusiastic leadership.”