St. Cedma’s Church of Ireland in Larne has welcomed training curate Heather Cooke.
Mrs Cooke, from Carnmoney, took early retirement from teaching at Mossgrove Primary, in Glengormley, to pursue a vocation to the ministry.
Previously, she had trained as a lay reader for the Connor Diocese but was inspired to make the switch after being invited to lead a service at Mallusk’s Church of Ireland which was aimed at attracting young families back to church.
Heather is now in her first year of part-time study at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute in Dublin and will be a non-stipendiary minister at St. Cedma’s until Easter.
Mrs Cooke said: “I have loved my time at St. Cedma’s. Everyone has been very helpful. So far, I have been received very positively.
“Everyone has been very encouraging especially the women in the church.”
She joked that after remarking on her sore feet there were a few curious glances at her red high heels from female members of the congregation.
However, she says that her main aim is passing on the message of the Gospel.
“I feel I have a calling, certainly to preach. If churchesworked together, we would have more of an impact.”