Celebration at Guildhall as Bishop Ken Good steps down from office
There was a standing ovation for Bishop Ken Good and his wife Mary at the end of Saturday evening’s Songs of Praise Event, ‘To God Be the Glory’, in the Guildhall as he retired as Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry & Raphoe.
Clergy and parishioners from throughout the diocese gathered to give thanks for Bishop Ken and Mary and for their ministry in both church and community.
Bishop Good announced back in November 2018 that he would be retiring in May after almost 17 years in office.
The celebration at the Guildhall – which was hosted by Paul Clark from UTV – was the penultimate public event of the Goods’ joint ministry.
The new Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Colr. Michaela Boyle and her husband, Paul, were among those in the congregation. Also present were Lord-Lieutenant, Dr Angela Garvey and her husband Gerard; the Bishop of Derry, Dr. Donal McKeown and the former Methodist President Rev. Peter Murray.
The Guildhall event was a significant family occasion for Bishop Ken and Mary, with their three children all present, many of their grandchildren plus two of the Bishop’s brothers.
For many in the audience, the highlights were the couple’s two separate interviews when they joined the host on stage to talk about their time in the diocese.
There was a strong musical element to the evening. The audience enjoyed a number of rousing performances by soloists Joanna Higgins and Margaret Keys and joined the choirs of St. Eugene’s and St Columb’s cathedrals and the Altnagelvin Hospital choir, in singing a number of hymns chosen by the Goods of their personal significance.
The evening ended with Paul Clark evoking Matthew’s Gospel to congratulate Bishop Ken, telling him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
The last event of the Bishop’s ministry was an Ascension Day Service of Holy Communion at Royal and Prior Comprehensive School, in Raphoe, on Thursday evening.
Commenting on his retirement, Bishop Good, who was consecrated on June 11, 2002, said: “I feel blessed to have been called to serve in such a great diocese as Derry and Raphoe. I have met so many memorable people and enjoyed so many wonderful experiences that it will be a wrench to retire.”