Canon Samuel Barton: a people person who ministered tirelessly to those in need
Canon Sam Barton, who died recently, was a well-known member of the Church of Ireland and spent the greater part of his ministry in the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe. He was 69.
Samuel David Barton was born in Belfast and educated at Royal Belfast Academical Institution. He was brought up in Twaddell Avenue and was the youngest of three brothers – Michael, the eldest, became a canon in the Church, and his other brother Ed became a sculptor.
After leaving school, Sam worked for the NFU Insurance Department, but he decided to become a minister, and was ordained in 1984.
He served in several parishes, including Ballywillan, Aghadowey and Kilrea, as well as Fahan Upper and Lower. He became a canon of St Eunan's Cathedral in Raphoe and was a member of the Diocesan Council and General Synod.
Bishop of Derry and Raphoe the Rt Reverend Ken Good expressed the shock felt at Rev Barton's death.
He said: " Sam was much-loved, not only by his people in the Fahan group of parishes, but also by the wider community.
"He had a remarkable rapport with people, and was well-known and respected for his active engagement in community life."
At his funeral, the former Archdeacon of Derry Don McClean described him as a "people person".
"He visited the sick in hospital and at home, and those living in nursing homes. He ministered tirelessly to those in need, and did not spare himself in his resolve to put others first," he said.
Canon Barton is survived by wife Sandra and son Niall, and by his wider family and friends.