Farewell service for Dean Bond

The Parish of St. Patrick, Broughshane recently held a Farewell Service for Dean Bond. The Service of Thanksgiving was held on Sunday, 10th January 2016 as The Very Revd. John F.A. Bond, Dean of Connor and Rector in St Patrick’s Broughshane gave his farewell address to a packed congregation after almost 17 years of ministry in the village.

Farewell Service For Dean Bond
The Very Rev. John Bond, Dean of Connor, addresses the congregation at St. Patrick’s for the final time before his retirement

Ordained in 1967 for the curacy of St. Paul, Lisburn, he served as curate of Finaghy – St. Polycarp’s, from 1970-1977. He became rector of the Parish of Ballynure & Ballyeast0n (Ballyclare) prior to his appointment to the Parish of Skerry, Rathcavan & Newtowncrommelin (Broughshane). He was appointed Dean of Connor in 2001.
Dean Bond has been a member of General Synod since 1978 and has served on many committees and held different positions in the Church of Ireland. During his ministry an extension was added to St. John’s, Ballyclare, and an extension to St. Patrick’s Parish Hall in Broughshane.
In his farewell address, the Dean said it had been a privilege to minister and serve in the various parishes over the years and to visit people in their homes. He was humbled by the dignity, resilience and sheer bravery of so many of you in your own personal Calvary situation. He paid tribute to the Wardens, Youth Leaders, Sunday School Teachers, Select Vestry, Organist and Choir and those behind the scenes who laboured sacrificially and contributed so much to the Church. He asked the congregation to ‘remember our Curate, Revd. Adrian Halligan, a loyal and dear friend who now shoulders added responsibility, and the Parochial Nominators as they set about the appointment of a new Rector’.

Farewell service for Dean Bond - with the select vestry
Dean Bond with members of the Select Vestry at St. Patrick’s Parish Church, Broughshane.

He reminded the packed Church and overflow in the Parish Hall that the Church is not about me or you, it is about God, the creator of Heaven and earth. Sadly, we live in a day when many people think too little of God and too much about themselves. The Church must be a place of welcome for all regardless of creed, class, colour or gender orientation. The Church must be open too, otherwise we are in danger of becoming a holy huddle or cosy clique on our terms and that has nothing to do with Christianity”.
Jesus never gave up on anybody and was always ready to forgive, to renew, to re-shape our lives and build us up in the strength of God Father. Dean Bond said, “I have always believed that the best evangelism is warmth and friendship and showing a genuine interest in people”.
The Dean concluded by saying, “I have been privileged to be part of your lives as your Rector and Joyce and our family thank you all for your kindness, support, prayers and Christian love.

The Service of Holy Communion was conducted by the Revd. Adrian Halligan, Curate, assisted by Mr Allan Bond, Diocesan Reader (Son), and friend from College days The Revd. Canon David Jardine SSF, Divine Healing Ministry. Special Anthems were sung by the Church Choir and Youth Choir.
Presentations were made at the Farewell Service for Dean Bond and his wife Mrs Joyce Bond by the Parish Hon. Secretary, Mrs Megan Nelson and Mr Richard Reade, Sunday School Co-ordinator Miss Lindsay Williamson, Mrs Wendy Halligan St. Patrick’s Mothers’ Union Chairperson, and also by representatives from the community. Tributes were paid to the Dean for his pastoral care, compassion, friendship and dedicated ministry and also to Joyce for her outstanding work in the Parish over the years. She is Vice-President of Connor Mothers’ Union and President of Women’s Link.
The Dean and Mrs Bond replied suitably and thanked everyone present for their gifts and generous thoughts.
The Dean officially retires on 31st January.

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