The Revd Lesley Robinson was instituted as rector of St John the Baptist in Clontarf by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, on Friday 20th September. The service took place in Mount Temple Comprehensive School as the Parish church is out of action for the work on the roof.
A large crowd of parishioners gathered to give a warm welcome to our new rector. We were joined by Lesley’s family, friends and well wishers from her former parish in Roscrea, representatives of our neighbouring churches and public representatives.
The address was given by the Revd Dr Tom Corbett, parish priest of the Roscrea Cluster of Parishes. He said it would be Lesley’s task to unveil the Gospel and let its light penetrate into the core of parish life in Clontarf. Speaking about ministry, servanthood and service, Fr Corbett said ministry was not always easy and joked that “people can be a pain in the neck”. However, he said the joy of ministry was to be found in the joy of God and said that Lesley could be trusted to lead people in this way.
Speaking after the service, church warden John Davis thanked the Archbishop and the board, principal and students of Mount Temple Comprehensive School for enabling the service to take place there. He paid tribute to the select vestry and his fellow church warden Jeanne Colvin for the huge efforts they put into organising the service.
Representing our neighbours in St John The Baptist on the Clontarf Road, the neighbouring Roman, Fr Martin Hogan welcomed Lesley and highlighted the many ecumenical activities that take place in Clontarf throughout the year.
Archbishop Jackson thanked everyone for coming to the school for the service and the school for allowing the service to take place there which showed that God’s presence was everywhere, not just in churches. He said members of the parish had done wonderful work and thanked organist John Rowden and the choir for ‘translocating to this place to enable worship with glory and delight’. He also thanked the rural dean, Canon Robert Deane, for the work he had done in the parish during the vacancy.
Addressing the congregation, Lesley commended the parish and the institution committee for the hours of work they had put into planning the evening. She told representatives of other churches present that she was looking forward to working with them to build up the community of God.
She offered words of encouragement to the parish and acknowledged that our road recently traveled had been one of pain and uncertainty but she said she knew God would ensure that better times were ahead. She asked those present to continue to pray for her as she embarked on her new ministry.
Lesley (45) is a native of County Offaly. She was ordained in 2002 and served in the Clonfert and Birr Groups of Parishes as an auxiliary minister before becoming Priest in Charge of the Roscrea Group of Parishes in 2004, all in the Dioceses of Killaloe. She completed the transfer to the stipendiary ministry in 2011. She is very experienced in the area of youth ministry and is currently chairperson of the United Diocesan Youth Council of Limerick & Killaloe. The Ministry of Healing is also among her areas of particular interest and experience.