New minister announced for troubled Down parish
A new rector is to be appointed to the troubled church at Knocknamuckley in Co Down.
Reverend Geoffrey Haugh is to take over, according to the Church of Ireland website.
St Matthias Church, Knocknamuckley, hit the headlines in 2015 after a new rector ignited an unholy row over his style of ministry - with some of the congregation supporting his more modern style of worship, while others preferred a more traditional approach.
The trouble escalated as the congregation divided in reaction to the teaching adopted by their rector, the Rev Alan Kilpatrick, who is associated with the Bethel Church of Supernatural Ministries. Bishop of Down and Dromore Harold Miller intervened personally in the dispute.
The row at the small rural church eventually ended with the Rev Kilpatrick leaving and the congregation splitting in two.
Yesterday, as Christian communities around the world celebrated Easter Sunday, Bishop Miller announced that the Rev Haugh, curate of Holywood Parish in the Diocese of Down, had been appointed as incumbent of the Parish of Knocknamuckley.
Rev Haugh studied in Dublin and is married with four daughters.
In 2015 he was a signatory to an open letter reaffirming the Church of Ireland's opposition to same-sex marriage, written in the context of the Republic's 2015 referendum on the issue.
The letter criticised two Church of Ireland bishops who had said they would support the referendum proposal to permit same-sex marriages in the Republic.
The Date of Rev Haugh's institution at Knocknamuckley is still to be announced.