A SPECIAL service has welcomed a new Associate Priest to the parish of Ashbourne
The Rev Canon Geraldine Pond led the service to welcome the Rev Carollyn McDonald to the Ashbourne Group of Churches on Sunday at St Oswald’s Church.
Rev McDonald was licensed by the Bishop of Repton, the Rt Rev Humphrey Southern, who also gave the blessing and preached the sermon.
Lessons were read by Alistair Barbour, a chorister at St Oswald’s and Donna Daws, a former churchwarden at All Saint’s Church in Sawley near Long Eaton, where Rev McDonald served her curacy.
More than 300 people attended the service, including representatives from the parishes served by the Ashbourne Group of Churches.
Congregation members from St Oswald’s, St John’s at Ashbourne, St Mary’s at Mappleton, St Mary and Barlock’s at Norbury, Holy Trinity at Clifton, and St Peter’s at Snelston all gathered to formally welcome the newest addition to the group of churches.
Ashbourne town mayor, Councillor Steve Bull and mayoress, Councillor Sue Bull, were among those to welcome the Rev McDonald, who led the prayers of intercession during the service.
Organist and director of music for the choir at St Oswald’s, Michael Hall, conducted the choir who sang Stanford’s Beati Quorum Via.
The Rev McDonald was born in America, and moved to England when she was just five.
Since then she has moved more than 20 times, with her recent move to Meynell Rise, Ashbourne being her 26th home.
A former businesswoman working in human resources, the Rev McDonald’s call to ministry came when she attended church at Mickleover.
She was ordained Deacon at Derby Cathedral in 2009.
A year later, she came to St Oswald’s Church for the first time as she was ordained Priest at Ashbourne in 2010 by the Bishop of Derby, the Rt Rev Alastair Redfern.
The mother of two grown-up children, Louise and Robert, the Rev McDonald enjoys cooking and walking her white terrier, Scamp.
Schoolchildren at St Oswald’s Infant School had made a special picture of daffodils to welcome the Rev McDonald, which was presented at the service along with a basket of flowers from St Oswald’s flower arranging group.
The Rev McDonald said: “I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone.”