New Kilkeel rector 'passionate for people to enjoy their faith'

Barbara Boyd


Barbara Boyd


A FRESH chapter has begun for Christ Church, Kilkeel with the installation of a new rector.

Rev Alison (Ali) Calvin, who hails from Mullaghbrack, County Armagh has taken up the post at the Newry Street-based church.

Rev Calvin was the rector of Killeshandra (County Cavan) in Kilmore diocese for almost 11 years before taking up her new position in Kilkeel.

She said it was “an honour” to have been appointed to Christ Church, but was also sad to be leaving the parish and people of Killeshandra after over a decade.

Rev Calvin was a former language teacher at Markethill High School before she followed the path of Christ.

Rev Alison Calvin, who has been appointed the new rector of Christ Church Kilkeel, replacing the Rev Ken McGrath, who had been the church’s minister from 2009 to 2018

“I knew from a very young age that I wanted to do some kind of work for the Lord,” she said. “I took part in a missionary trip in France and moved to England for Bible college before teaching there for four years.

“It was a clear call from God when talking with Him as a young child and it has been a bit of a journey, but a real privilege to get here.”

Rev Calvin said she is now looking forward to getting to know the people of Mourne after her service of institution on Thursday, 13 February, which was led by Bishop Ken Clarke.

She added: “I holidayed in Cranfield as a child and I am excited with what the church is doing and how God wants to work in the area.

“My institution was a super night. There was a full church and it was lovely to see so many people there and also a warm and welcoming community and it really felt like there was a lot of support.

“I am so grateful to the Christ Church committee who completed a refurbishment of the rectory and have done a lot of work for me coming.

“Thank you to the committee for the service and also to the people from Killeshandra who brought a bus down for the institution service and also to family and friends too.”

Rev Calvin enjoys meeting up with friends for coffee or lunch in her spare time and also reading and going for walks, which is also her prayer time.

She is now looking forward to getting to know the Mourne area better and spreading God’s Word to those she meets.

Rev Alison Calvin pictured with Retired Bishop Rt Rev Ken Clarke and the Bishop of Down and Dromore the Rt Rev David Alexander McClay

She continued: “You do take your time at the beginning and see what is happening with the church.

“However, my main aim and passion is to help people of all ages find their faith and that they come to know the Lord and I especially want to reach out to young people in the area.

“I am looking forward to forming the same kind of relationship with the people of Mourne as I did with Killeshandra.

“I am passionate to see people enjoy their faith and it's a joy and a privilege to serve God's people.”

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