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Lord Molyneaux praised by rector after leaving £50k to church

By Chris McCullough

Published 23/05/2016

‘Generous blessing’: Jim Molyneaux
‘Generous blessing’: Jim Molyneaux

The rector of the church attended by the late Lord Molyneaux has said the £50,000 he left in his will for St Catherine's Parish Church "is a real generous blessing".

The former Ulster Unionist leader was the only male member of the choir in St Catherine's in Killead, where he grew up on the family poultry farm.

Baptised as an Anglican there, James Henry Molyneaux would later lead the Ulster Unionist Party for almost 20 years.

A former MP for Lagan Valley and South Antrim, he later became a life peer and was granted the title Baron Molyneaux of Killead.

The church once held a surprise tea party for Lord Molyneaux in 2010 to help celebrate the former MP's 90th birthday.

St Catherine's rector, Rev William Orr, said he was not surprised when the news of the money came through and that it was "in Jim's nature to be so generous".

Rev Orr said: "Lord Molyneaux was a distinguished and faithful member of St Catherine's Parish Church. For him to leave the church this money in his will is a real generous blessing.

"I am not surprised he bequeathed the money to the church as it was the nature of the man."

Lord Molyneaux, who never married, passed away at the age of 94 on March 9, 2015, but the details of his final will have just emerged.

His entire estate, valued at £897,402, was mostly left to his extended family including his sister-in-law Agnes who received his house and garden at Ballynadrentagh Road in Crumlin.

Nothing was left to Christopher Luke, the gay unionist activist who claimed he and Lord Molyneaux had a close relationship. Other beneficiaries of his will include four nieces who live in Tasmania, Australia, each receiving £5,000.

The rest of his estate is to be divided between Agnes, his nephew Stephen James Molyneaux, another nephew Ian Molyneaux and niece Janice Lloyd.

Belfast Telegraph

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