The parishioners of Desertmartin and Termoneeny learned on Sunday 12th December that a new rector had been appointed for their parishes. Rev Philip Benson – a Bangor man – will be instituted on Friday 25th February, and will succeed Rev Mike Dornan who retired in October 2020.

The appointment was announced at this morning’s services in St Comgall’s Church in Desertmartin and St Conlus’ Church in Termoneeny, as well as in Rev Benson’s current parish, Kilwaughter and Cairncastle with All Saints in Larne.

The new rector was ordained a deacon in September 2014, serving his internship in the Grouped Parishes of Finaghy and Upper Malone. Following his ordination as a priest, in September 2015, he became curate in Larne and Inver with Glynn and Raloo. Philip is married to Carolyn, and they have one daughter, Hannah.

Rev Benson grew up attending Carnalea Methodist Church. He was educated at RBAI and Queen’s University, Belfast where he studied Theology. Prior to ministry, he was employed as a full-time youth worker and worked for Goldsmiths Jewellers. His interests include football, movies, music and history.