A SPECIAL service of thanksgiving was held in 1986 in Shankill Parish Church to mark the 40th anniversary of Dean Norman Lockhart’s ordination.
It was a special occasion not only for the Dean but also for everyone in the Parish of Shankill where he had spent the previous 17 of those 40 years,
Preacher at the service was the Right Reverend Dr Gordon McMullan, Bishop of Down and Dromore, and following the service a presentation was made to Dean Lockhart in the Parochial Hall.
His pastoral career began in 1946 when he was ordained in St Mary’s Church on Belfast’s Crumlin Road by Bishop King Irwin, then Bishop of Connor.
His first appointment, as curate, was to St Mary’s Magdalene’s, Donegall Pass, Belfast.
Following this he became a curate in Knockbreda.
In 1954 came what he always regarded as one of his most challenging appointments - to Killaney and Carryduff where he was charged with the task of establishing a new parish.
In October 1962 Mr Lockhart became the Rector of St Donard’s in Belfast.
His long association with Lurgan began in 1970 when he was appointed Rector of Shankill. His 17 years in Shankill had been happy, fruitful ones and the Dean was looking forward to continuing to work in the parish.