The Rector of All Saints Clooney, Rev David McBeth, has been appointed a Canon of St Columb’s Cathedral and Rural Dean for Derry, in both cases succeeding Rev Paul Whittaker who retired last weekend.

The new Canon shared the news with his parishioners on Sunday morning. He described the news as “a thrill” not just for himself but for his family and said he was “blown away” when Bishop Andrew told him about the appointments.

“In 2016, I was honoured to be awarded a British Empire Medal in the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honours,” Rev McBeth said, “but the news of these appointments surpasses even that. I’ve been in the diocese all my life and this is the highlight of my ministry.

“My favourite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11: ‘I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to hurt you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ I’ve tried to follow God’s plan and he’s certainly blessed me for the future. I see my future ministry as doing the best I possibly can to serve Him and fulfil my calling in ordained ministry.

“I’m relatively well known in the Diocese,” Canon McBeth said, “and I feel that as Rural Dean I’ll be able to bring something to parishes that are experiencing vacancies. So, I look forward to the challenge and really hope that I will be a blessing to people.”

A date has yet to be arranged for the Service of Installation at the cathedral but the two appointments take effect immediately.