New chief for Presbyterian Church
A Londonderry-based minister has been chosen to lead the Presbyterian Church in Ireland in the year Derry hosts the UK City of Culture.
The Reverend Rob Craig was elected moderator of the church at a vote.
As moderator, the 58-year-old married father of two will chair the church's annual general assembly when it meets in Derry this summer for the first time in 80 years.
Of 19 presbyteries that voted for moderator across Ireland, he was nominated by 17.
"Personally I am deeply humbled and honoured to be elected Moderator and am delighted for the congregations and members within the Presbytery of Derry and Strabane and west of the Bann in general for whom this a clear sign of support from the wider Presbyterian Church," he said.
The minister at Londonderry's Kilfennan Presbyterian Church will take up office in June in succession to incumbent Dr Roy Patton.
Rev John Dickinson, minister of the Carnmoney congregation in north Belfast, received the remaining two nominations in the selection process.
Dr Craig, who was born in Magherafelt, has been minister of the Kilfennan congregation since 1994.
"At Kilfennan we think of ourselves as a church in the community, Presbyterian in our practice, but where we hope to be salt and light to people from all backgrounds," he said.
Dr Craig is married to Karen with two daughters Rachel and Hannah.