New rector resigned former post over flag burning

February 28th, 2016 10:55 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Kingsley Sutton who was recently appointed Rector in Kilgarriffe.(Photo courtesy Belfast Telegraph)

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A RECTOR who resigned his position in Newry last October having burned two Royal British Legion flags, has been appointed the new rector of Kilgarriffe Union of Parishes in West Cork.

Reverend Kingsley Sutton hit the headlines in the North last year when he resigned his position after he removed two Royal British Legion flags that were hanging in St Patrick’s and St Mary’s churches in Newry, and burned them. 

Reverend Sutton subsequently apologised for his actions at the time and expressed his regret for the damage he had caused and offered his resignation to his superiors. He did explain that his actions were to try and ‘make a break from the past’ and that he wanted the churches to be ‘accessible to all people’.

Dr Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross confirmed that Reverend Sutton had been appointed by the Board of Nomination for the position in Kilgarriffe.

‘Reverend Kingsley Sutton did indeed resign as Rector of St Patrick’s and St Mary’s in Newry, which he had served in for the previous 13 years,’ Bishop Colton told The Southern Star.

‘The incident was widely reported at the time, as was his own very abject and deeply felt apology and the parishioners in Newry have kindly permitted him to continue to reside in the Rectory since then, while he has been searching for something new.’

‘Following the usual recruitment process, Reverend Kingsley Sutton was selected and last week I went personally to the Select Vestry (the local church committee) in Kilgariffe to announce the appointment. It is a very good parish with encouraging and supportive parishioners, and I know that they will give the Reverend Kingsley Sutton the help he needs in making this fresh start, and that they will care too for his wife and five children in their new surroundings in West Cork,’ added Dr Colton. 

The Service of Institution will take place on Tuesday April 19th in Kilgarriffe Parish Church.

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