The Parish of Donagheady (Donemana) is to get a new incumbent later this year. Rev Capt Richard Beadle has been appointed to succeed Rev Dr Robin Stockitt, who retired almost a year ago.

The news was shared this morning with worshippers at St James Church in Donemana and parishioners in the Manorhamilton Group of Parishes, in the Diocese of Kilmore, which Rev Beadle has been overseeing as Bishop’s Curate since his ordination in September 2017.

Rev Beadle has been an active Church Army Officer since 1998 and before being commissioned had worked in the Employment Service in the UK. His work as a Church Army evangelist took him to parishes in Nelson, East Lancashire; St. Matthew’s on Belfast’s Woodvale Road; and the rural Swanlinbar-Kildallon Group of Parishes in the Diocese of Kilmore.

“I am excited that my family and I will be coming to Donemana,” Rev Beadle says. “Exploring Donemana with the nominators has been a privilege and blessing, and we have clearly sensed God’s hand. We pray God will use our gifts fully to make a lasting contribution as we seek to share the wonderful news of Christ. We greatly look forward to getting to know our new parish and diocese.”

Moments such as this can be bitter-sweet for clergy. “After 14 years,” Richard says, “leaving Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh Diocese is not easy, yet we are enormously grateful for our time and friends there.”

Richard, and his wife Pauline, will now be making preparations for their move to the Church of Ireland’s northernmost diocese. Pauline is a midwife by profession. She loves cooking and her happy place could be any kitchen. The couple have three children: Ruth, who is at Lancaster University, and twins Alicia and Asher who are studying for A-levels in England.

When time allows, Rev Richard indulges his passions for tennis and nature photography – he was interviewed on BBC Radio Ulster recently about the plight of the curlew – and he describes himself as “a rare Crystal Palace fan”. A date has still to be arranged for the new Rector’s Service of Institution.