After almost 13 years leading worship in the Church of Ireland Tullamore Union of Parish churches in Tullamore, Clara, Tyrrellspass and Rahan, Rev Canon Gerald Field will bid farewell to his parishioners at a united service in St Catherine’s in Tullamore this Sunday.
The much-loved rector and his wife Lucy will move to Cashel in early February, while Canon Field will be instituted as Dean of Cashel Cathedral and rector of its four attached churches on February 23.
The process of finding a successor for Canon Field in the Tullamore Union of Parishes won’t begin until after that date, and is expected to take some three months.
Sunday’s 11.30am service will feature hymns chosen by Canon Field himself, including the fitting “Go Forth and Tell” as well as the ironic “Will You Come and Follow Me?”. It will be followed by a light lunch in the Charleville Centre.
Speaking to the Offaly Independent this week Canon Field admitted to having mixed feelings about leaving. “It is quite a wrench,” he said, before adding that it’s probably the right time for somebody new to come to this parish and take it on to the next stage.
“I suppose in many ways my leaving message is one of gratitude,” Canon Field said, adding that his parishioners have been “tremendously welcoming”.
“Twelve and a half years ago this guy turns up from the UK with a wife and kids, having never before been in Ireland and never before in the Church of Ireland,” he described. “They were very welcoming, very supportive, and really helpful in making that transition.”
Canon Field also complimented the parish team in place, and all that has been achieved including the addition of a new school and parish centre during his tenure.
Canon Field was originally approached about his new post last October, with official confirmation coming some weeks later. The move will be just his second in Ireland, after coming to Tullamore from the Diocese of Carlisle in the UK.