Belfast Telegraph

Sadness at passing of NI minister who made his mark in Scotland

By Alf McCreary

The Reverend Ian McIlroy, minister of the Presbyterian High Kirk in Stranraer, has died suddenly in Scotland at the age of 62.

Ian McIlroy was born and brought up in Northern Ireland and was once a member of the Railway Street congregation in Lisburn.

He was a student at Queen’s University in Belfast from 1987 to 1990.

He graduated with BSc Honours in philosophy and psychology.

He then studied for a Bachelor of Divinity at St Andrews University from 1992, and graduated in 1994.

When he decided to become a Presbyterian minister, he carried on his studies at Union College in Belfast under the care of the Presbytery of Dromore.

He later decided to follow his ministry in Scotland, and was ordained by the Presbytery of Wigtown and Stranraer.

He served in the parishes of Kirkmaiden linked with Stoneykirk from 1996 to 2006.

He was then the minister at Kinnaird linked with Longforgan for three years from 2006.

In 2009 he accepted a call to the High Kirk in Stranraer.

The church was founded in 1842 and it celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1992.

The High Kirk in Stranraer is known as “The Church on the Hill with the Community at its Heart”.

It has a wide range of church groups, and holds Sunday services at 11am, with a warm welcome to all visitors, including tourists.

The minister’s funeral service is being held next Tuesday in the High Kirk Stranraer at noon, followed by interment at the local Glebe Cemetery.

Reverend McIlroy is survived by his wife Maureen, by his grown-up children Timothy and Lynsey, daughter-in-law Lauren and grandson Lucas.

A Church of Scotland spokeswoman said: “The Reverend McIlroy was well-liked in the community and had pastoral gifts that were much appreciated by his congregation.

“He was involved in a variety of activities such as school chaplaincy and children’s clubs.

“He also did a great deal of very good outreach work  for the church and the community.”

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