Added on 14/11/2013
Jill Hamilton has taken up the post of Children’s Project Development Officer with Connor Diocese.
Jill grew up in Portadown, where she was a parishioner at St Mark’s. She has a degree in Applied Economics from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown, and a PGCE in Secondary Education.
After graduating Jill volunteered with SAMS (South American Mission Society) in Paraguay, and it was in neighbouring Uruguay she met her husband Geoff, now Development Officer with SAMS.
“I had done some short term mission work with Operation Mobilisation in Europe and with Scripture Union in Zimbabwe. I really had a heart for going out and doing something overseas,” Jill said.
Jill returned home after more than three years in Paraguay, and worked as a primary school teacher. She and Geoff lived in Co Londonderry for seven years and during this time Jill taught at Belmont House Special School where she specialised in working with children with autism.
When the couple moved back to Lurgan, Jill worked with the autism unit at the Southern Education and Library Board, and most recently has been working in administration with SAMS.
Looking forward to her new role with Connor Diocese, Jill said: “One of my goals is to set up localised training for volunteers in children’s ministry in our parishes. I also want to develop resources and ensure people can easily access these
“Initially I am hoping to make contact with clergy and with volunteers and youth leaders across the diocese. I want to establish what people’s needs are and to tailor training and advise on resources to suit these needs.
“I also want to explore with parishes the development of different kinds of children’s ministry such as homework clubs and breakfast clubs and other ways of doing children’s ministry in a creative and fun way.
Jill said she considers children’s ministry to be vital in the church. “It is a great way of linking to people in the community who may not engage in church, and is an outreach opportunity to get parents and families into church in a non–threatening way
“I hope to help parishes to provide a child centred approach, where children find learning interesting and fun, and where they feel involved, important and valued.”
The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jill to facilitate children’s ministry, something we have said for some time is a very high priority for the diocese. I am sure she will be a gift to us all.”
For further information please contact:
Connor Diocesan Communications Officer