Flute band rector in move to prestigious Portadown parish

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A Co Antrim Church of Ireland rector who introduced a flute band dimension to his church is moving to Portadown to oversee the large, highly prestigious St Mark’s parish in the centre of the Co Armagh borough.

Rathfriland man the Rev William Orr attached a flute band to his St Jude’s Parish Church in Muckamore outside Antrim in a bid to encourage more young men into the habit of regular church-going.

The initiative has borne fruit and, last summer, William, once a flautist in Pride of Hill band, Rathfriland, took the Muckamore lads to Paraguay in South America for church mission work in a local village and they all found it a very meaningful exercise.

“We have eight flautists and four drummers who play at church, youth organisation and Orange and Black services. Our Christian outreach is also extended at loyalist band parades,” said the Rev Orr.

His installation in St Mark’s, Portadown takes place on September 15 and he says he is really looking forward to the challenge of a move to a parish with 700 families. In South Antrim, the Rev Orr has ministered to three churches - St Jude’s, Muckamore, St Catherine’s, Killead and Gartree at Langford Lodge outside Crumlin.