Cleric’s collarette to go on display at museum

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A former senior clergyman - and Orangeman – has been remembered at a recent memorial event in Belfast.

Cyril Elliott served as Lord Bishop of Connor between 1956 and 1969, and is believed to be the last member of the Institution to hold to such a high-ranking position within the Church of Ireland.

The former Orange chaplain, who passed away in 1977, like many of his fellow brethren, also served with distinction with the 36th Ulster Division at the Battle of the Somme.

At a special service at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, regalia belonging to Bishop Elliott was presented to the Museum of Orange Heritage by members of his former lodge, Botanic Temperance LOL 1119.

A wreath was also laid in memory of the 36th Ulster Division and the other Irish Divisions involved in the First World War.

The Orange collarette was received by museum curator, Dr Jonathan Mattison.

He said: “This collarette is a very significant item to be donated for public display. Bishop Elliott was obviously someone who was extremely proud of his Christian faith and cultural heritage, demonstrated through his active membership of the Orange Institution.

“On behalf of the Museum of Orange Heritage, I would express our gratitude to Botanic Temperance LOL 1119 for its kind donation, and to St Anne’s Cathedral for facilitating the event.”

Botanic Temperance LOL is the oldest lodge in Sandy Row District and was one of the original six foundation lodges of the District lodge in south Belfast.

The short act of divine worship was led by the Rev William Hoey.

Rev Elliott previously served as a chaplain to the forces, and was twice mentioned in dispatches for performing duties under heavy shell fire. He also held the Somme medal.

Following his service on the front line, Rev Elliott was appointed the Dean of Down before serving as Dean of Belfast at St Anne’s in 1945. The Orangeman was consecrated as Lord Bishop of Connor in Lisburn Cathedral, serving for 14 years, prior to his retirement aged 78.

At his funeral, the then Primate Archbishop Simms said Bishop Elliott had followed “the great and highly valued tradition of a person to person ministry and had lived to a remarkable degree in the lives of others”.

Bishop Elliott’s collarette will feature as part of ‘The Lily and the Poppy’ exhibition, which officially opens next week at the Institution's headquarters.