On Monday 15th October the Reverend Sandra Pragnell will hold her final service as Church of Ireland Rector for the Dundalk Group of Parishes in St Nicholas’ (the Green) Church, Dundalk, before moving to Limerick later this month.
Rev. Sandra, who is originally from the Southampton, England, has been Rector here since May 2005.
Her cross-border parochial group includes Dundalk, Heynestown Union, Ballymascanlan and Rathcor (Carlingford) Union, and Creggan.
During her seven and a half years of ministry here she has also served a Chaplain at DKIT and Louth hospital, and has become an integral part of the religious community. Sandra has been living in Ireland since 1994 and trained at the Theological College in Dublin from 1998-2001. Ordained in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, she spent 4 years as Curate in the Parishes of Castleknock and Mulhuddart with Clonsilla and also studied at All Hallows College, gaining an MA in Pastoral Leadership.
She has also been studying at Milltown Institute for a Doctorate in Ministry, Sandra also serves on the Liturgical Advisory Committee; led pastoral training in Theological Reflection for NSM ordinands at the Church of Ireland Training College, from 2004-2008. She chaired the Archbishop of Dublin’s Working Group on combating racism and co-authored the report “Welcoming Angels”.
From 2011 she has been a member of General Synod and of the Inter-Faith working Group of the General Synod’s Commission on Christian Unity and Dialogue. Sandra notes her special areas of interest in Ministry as Collaborative Ministry, Liturgy and Music, Ecumenism, Mission and Justice. She has been involved in supporting Asylum seekers and was a founder member of Friends of Sabeel (Ireland), an ecumenical grassroots biblically-based theology movement among Palestinian Christians in East Jerusalem. Sandra writes of herself:
“Originally from the south of England, I have been in Ireland since 1994 and trained at the Theological College (as it then was) in Dublin from 1998-2001.
“As I had been opposed to the ordination of women for years, and never wanted to set foot in Ireland, I know for sure that God has a sense of humour. Ordained in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, I spent 4 years as Curate in the Parishes of Castleknock and Mulhuddart with Clonsilla where I learned so much that has helped me. During that time I also studied at All Hallows College, gaining an MA (1st class) in Pastoral Leadership, with a thesis on Spirituality and the Older Person.
“I also enjoyed being a Priest Vicar at Christ Church Cathedral at that time. Since moving in May 2005 to the cross-border parochial group of Dundalk, Heynestown Union, Ballymascanlan and Rathcor (Carlingford) Union, and Creggan, I have been studying at Milltown Institute for a Doctorate in Ministry, and am now desperately trying to complete the thesis. My immediate family are in Scotland and England, and my mother Beryl (who grew up in Jersey) usually comes to stay with me three or four times a year. At present, I share my home with my spaniel Toby, two cats, 5 ducks, and over a dozen chickens. Holidays are important: most of my friends are in London, so visits there are vital for keeping up with people; and this is the first year in ages that I have not been back to Jerusalem. The Old City is my favourite place on earth. And I know how important it is for our Christian brothers and sisters in the Holy Land to feel that the rest of the church world-wide remembers and supports them. Other interests (when time permits!) include cooking and entertaining, and researching the family tree (though the Scottish and Breton branches are hard to unravel)”. Sandra will be installed as Dean of Limerick and Rector of Limerick City Parish at St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick 24th October at which the preacher will be The Most Reverend Alan Harper, Archbishop of Armagh. Her farewell service of Evensong in Dundalk will be on Monday 15th October at 7.30pm in St Nicholas’, Dundalk, followed by a reception and presentation in the Wellington Hall. A large congregation of parishioners, clergy and friends and representatives from throughout the local community is expected, in recognition of Rev Sandra’s ministry and impressive service to the wider community throughout her time in Dundalk.