Men’s Breakfast 18 November 2023

[L – R] Rev Graham Hare, St Columba’s Parish Church, Rev Ian Ellis, Bishop of Clogher, Mr Sean Fitzgerald

Our Speaker, the Bishop of Clogher, the Rev Ian Ellis brought us something of his background and a word of encouragement.  Bishop Ian on leaving school was uncertain as to his future path and signed up for a computer-based course at Queens University knowing that there was a developing need for computer skills.  After the first term he knew that this was not for him and so switched course to Physics for his degree.

From this he went into teaching the subject for a number of years.  Sitting in church one morning a letter was read to the congregation encouraging men to consider applying for “the ministry”. Ian felt this was God speaking to him and so he applied and after initial studies was placed as a Curate in St Marks in Armagh for 2.5 years.  After later serving in Loughgall, then the church’s Education Office working with other denominations including proposed legislation, he was moved to parish ministry at Rossorry Parish outside Enniskillen.

He really enjoyed parish work but was later asked to allow his name to go forward for the vacancy of Bishop of Clogher – which he did thinking he was just making up numbers and was greatly surprised to find that he was to be the new Bishop.   Rev Ian outlined something of his role as Bishop with a need to lead and get on with everyone including people of other religions. He discovered that as Bishop he had to develop financial and human resources skills which he found were necessary for the role.

In closing he brought us a word of encouragement sharing a verse that has always been special to him. Psalm 61.2 “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I”.  Bishop Ian encouraged us to have a sense of vision as to what God was calling us to do – and not to think lightly of what we can do in God’s service.