His new parish may be just a few miles down the road but moving still feels like a very big step for the Rev Malcolm Kingston.
Malcolm, who is rector of Kilmore and St Saviour’s, will be swapping his small but active country parish of around 240 homes for an urban one of 600 when he takes up the position of rector of St Mark’s, Armagh.
The father-of-three has been in his current post for almost seven years and while he is looking forward to a new challenge, he is not relishing the farewells.
His final Sunday services will be this weekend while a Service of Institution will be held in St Mark’s, Armagh, next Friday, April 4 at 7pm.
He said, “It has been a great seven years. The people have been very generous, very open and very supportive. As a minister you go through a lot with families, sometimes very emotional occasions, and you become attached to them.”
Before moving to Kilmore and St Saviour’s, Malcolm was curate in St Mark’s, Portadown, for three years, “so I feel I’ve really been here for 10 years” he added.
Originally from Enniskillen, Malcolm graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a BSc Hons degree in Geography followed by an MSc in Environmental Engineering, before taking up a job with a civil engineering firm.
However, while he enjoyed the job he knew “within weeks” that it was never going to be long-term career and increasingly felt called to the Ministry.
Before entering the Church of Ireland Theological College in Dublin, he and Claire, a physics teacher, who had met during their university days, married.
They have three children, Matthew (9), Isaac (6) and Susanna (3), all of whom are looking forward to the institution next week.
The service will be led by the Archbishop, the Most Rev Richard Clarke, and among the clergy taking part will be Canon Mark Russell, Malcolm’s friend and best man.
In attendance will be Malcolm’s parents Trevor and Ethel, brothers Rodney and Craig, sister Stephanie, nephew, nieces and family.