Reverend Canon William Patrick Hewitt Institution at St. Mary’s Collegiate Church


United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Welcome Reverend Canon William Patrick Hewitt to the Parish of Youghal
Denise FitzGerald Reports | Photo: Michael Hussey Email:

The magnificent medieval Collegiate Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in Youghal was the beautiful and very appropriate setting for the Institution by the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, The Right Reverend Paul Colton, of The Reverend Canon William Patrick Hewitt as Incumbent of Youghal Union of Church of Ireland Parishes on Tuesday, June 8th last.   On an evening that was blessed with beautiful sunshine and warmth, people came from all over the County of Cork, including a huge contingent from the West Cork area, and gathered in the grounds of the Collegiate Church,  where all were welcomed, before entering to be part of a wonderful ceremony.

Rev'd Canon Patrick Hewitt with Right Rev'd Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross outside St. Mary's Collegiate Church, Youghal

Canon Patrick Hewitt is the son of missionary parents.  He was born in Pakistan and grew up there until it was time for him to enter preparatory school in Belfast, after which he  went to a secondary school for the sons of missionaries in London.   Having trained as a teacher, Canon Hewitt met his wife, Lorna, and following four years of teaching he trained for the Ministry at Lincoln Theological college before serving as curate in the Diocese of Carlisle and then as Vicar in two parishes.   Their family of four daughters are  now grown up and settled in various professions and countries.

Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley, Rev'd Canon Patrick Hewitt, Right Rev'd Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Mayor of Youghal Sandra McLellan outside St. Mary's Collegiate Church, Youghal

Back in 1996 Canon Hewitt was delighted to accept the Irish Parish of Fanlobbus based in Dunmanway in West Cork and, as he told the East Cork Journal, he felt he had ‘come home’.  After eleven very happy years there, he and Lorna moved to Bandon in 2007 where his Ministry was large and busy and where they met some wonderful parishioners and friends.

Institution of the Rev’d Canon Patrick Hewitt at St. Mary's Collegiate Church, Youghal

And now, in 2010 Canon Patrick Hewitt and his wife, Lorna, have arrived in Youghal to commence the next part of their lives, and this is the first time they have entered a new Parish without one or more of their daughters.
Canon Patrick Hewitt is a man of the people.  “Coming to a new Parish”, he said, “is a sharp learning curve”, but one which both he and Lorna are looking forward to.   His vision for his new Parish is one of pastoral care, getting to know the people and, most importantly, hearing their stories.  “People”, he said “all have their stories and this is what makes each person who they are.  Getting to know them is by listening to their own unique stories and this, he said, he will be hoping to do over the next months.  Home visits and pastoral care are very important, he continued, and  I am looking forward to talking with the people, one to one,  and finding out their needs and the needs of the parish.”

Institution of the Rev’d Canon Patrick Hewitt at St. Mary's Collegiate Church, Youghal

But Patrick Hewitt also has his own story and on Sunday last he told this story to his new parishioners at a moving service, to normal Sunday morning congregations in Youghal and Castlemartyr.  Asked how a member of clergy in the Church of Ireland is given a new parish, Canon Hewitt explained that a Board of Nomination from the Diocese meet with the Bishop and look for a person appropriate for the particular needs of a Parish.  They then nominate that person to the Bishop.   A nominee does not have to accept a new Parish but in this instance, Canon Hewitt and his wife, Lorna, were absolutely delighted to accept their new Parish, although both were sad to leave their very good friends and neighbours in Bandon and West Cork.
Pomp and Ceremony would not, perhaps, be a correct description for the proceedings on Tuesday night last in Youghal.  But they would be very close.   It was certainly what one would call ’an occasion’ but it was much, much more than that.   It commenced with a three group procession from the back of the church, up the aisle to the magnificent and imposing altar.   First in the procession were the Clerks Choral in their long, black cloaks, followed by the Diocesan Lay Readers dressed in Blue and White and finally by the Diocesan Clergy robed in their vestments.  Bishop Colton, though solemn, was obviously delighted with the proceedings and the procession was one of dignity and joy, which was accompanied by voices raised in glorious songs of praise.
During a Service which lasted approximately an hour, the new Rector of Youghal was handed a key as Bishop Colton said “Patrick, receive this key and let the doors of this place be open to all people”.   A sentiment which goes back to Patrick Hewitt’s vision for his new Ministry – to be open and available to all people”.
Welcome to your new home, Canon Patrick Hewitt and Lorna.  We wish you both every happiness and peace with your new ‘family’ in the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.

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