"It's a Long Way to Tipperary"  

Revd Rod Smyth was ordained to the Diaconate by Bishop Alan Abernethy in St Anne's Cathedral Belfast on Sunday 15 September 2013 to serve as a Deacon-Intern in St John's for his final year at the Theological Institute.

Rod settled in quickly and made an immediate impression. Towards the end of this period the Select Vestry agreed to support a Curate Assistant and the process of finding a curate began. By June 2014 all interviews were complete and we received confirmation that Rod would be staying with us. He was appointed as a Curate Assistant in St John's for a period of three years, the first time an Intern Deacon had continued in a parish as a Curate Assistant). He was ordained to the Priesthood in St John's by Bishop Alan Abernethy on 7 September 2014.

Revd Rod Smyth with Canon Robert Jones

Over the next two years Rod continued to adhere himself to the parishioners and life of the parish. Musically gifted he played an important role in finding an organist to succeed the late Dr Donald Davison as well as taking an active part in the choir and musical life of the parish.

His gifts also included an emphasis on the liturgy and worship of the church. His preparation for worship and his sermons was meticulous. For Rod his worship, preaching and teaching was central to the life of the parish.

In late August it was announced that Rod had been appointed as rector of the Nenagh Union of parishes. He preached his farewell address in St John's on Sunday 11 September 2016.

Afterwards in the hall a presentation was made to Rod by our Churchwardens Anne Twadell and Myrtle Johnston.

  Rod's final sermon in St John's  
Rod was instituted by the Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, the Rt Revd Ken Kearon, as Rector of the Nenagh Union of Parishes on Friday 16 September 2016 in St Mary's Nenagh. It was a full church and very joyous occasion for both the diocese and the Nenagh Union. Canon Robert Jones preached a sermon both challenging and deeply focused on Rod. He took the readings for Holy Cross Day noting that the Cross was central to our Christian faith, all of our rituals speak of the Cross and there is no way in which we can think of ministry and mission except through an reflection on the Cross. The Cross is therefore central to any understanding of what it is to be a priest and a Rector. It is also true to say that God works through the ordinary and everyday. This is something deeply linked to the Incarnation and therefore to the Cross. Canon Jones encouraged Rod to reflect the reality of the Cross in his ministry, in words of Edward Pusey "Think nothing too little; seek for the Cross in the daily incidents of life; look for the Cross in everything" Presentatio by Anne Twadell and Myrtle Johnston