Dromore Methodist minister, the Rev Colin Gracie, is off to pastures new at the end of this month.
Mr Gracie, currently also minister of Priesthill (Zion) Methodist Church, will in July take up a new role as minister of Finaghy Methodist Church and Superintendent of the Finaghy Methodist Circuit.
Previously minister of Birr, Athlone and Tullamore, Mr Gracie came to Dromore and Priesthill in July 2008, succeeding the Rev Robert Wallace. He in turn will be succeeded by the Rev John Corrie.
In an interview for ‘The Light’ (Lisburn and Dromore Methodist Circuit magazine) Mr Gracie said he had seen a growing confidence in the Dromore church as it had taken forward community outreach with other churches in the town. “The new hall has brought about a significant boost to the life of the church and its ability to reach out to the people of the town,” he said. “It was also significant that when a much loved person in the community died, the Methodist Church offered their Hall for the overflow from the Catholic Church, an act that was appreciated by the local community.
“We were able to do the same again for Dromore Cathedral when they were not able to use their hall for a funeral.
“We have made many friends in Dromore and Priesthill who we will keep up with even though no I’m longer their minister.”
Colin appreciated the practical support of his wife Anita, who took a lead in various events, mainly in Dromore.
“I often think of Anita as my ‘secret weapon’,” he said. “Her wisdom has prevented me from making more mistakes than I have. She has never been afraid to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in with some over-ambitious plan that I had come up with.
“Having a family to come home to each night is a precious thing and she, along with Eleanor and Alex, has kept my feet on the ground.”
Mr Gracie said of his move: “The move for us to Finaghy works out well for the family as Eleanor can remain at Wallace High School and although Alex will need to attend Dromore Central Primary for a year, we hope he will be able to join his sister in the future.
“Finaghy and Seymour Hill will have their own challenges, but I look forward to taking on the challenges of moving God’s work forward.
“We will be leaving behind the infamous ‘Tree House’ in our garden, built from leftover pieces of timber from the reconstruction work, but it is appropriate as the children have grown out of the tree house so we all need to move on to the next stage in our lives.”