Eleanor works as a Deaconess in Wellington Presbyterian Church in Ballymena, a role she has held since 2001.
The vast majority of her work revolves around pastoral care but she also helps lead a coffee bar ministry and is co-ordinator of the prayer ministry. She is involved in leading the women's Bible study and takes church services each month.
Eleanor grew up in east Belfast and Carrickfergus. At 17 she joined the RUC and served with them for 14 years, leaving in 1991 to study at Capernwray Hall, Lancashire. She first worked as a Deaconess in First Holywood Presbyterian from 1995 until 2001. Her home congregation is Stormont Presbyterian.
2016 has been a really good year - difficult at times, painful at times and challenging at times, but still a really good year. It began with me being on a sabbatical for seven weeks and the theme I chose was prayer. My sabbatical studies were based around the following resources:
Lord teach me to pray in 28 days by Kay Arthur
When God's people pray by Jim Cymbala, pastor of Brooklyn Tabernacle
When God prayed by Don Wilton
I also attended the Hillsong Colour Conference at Wembley Arena where 10,000 women gathered to worship and to learn. It was a life-changing time for me and one that has flowed over into every aspect of my life, both work and personal.
Wellington continues to grow numerically but, more importantly, people are coming to faith or are growing in their faith. In September, we undertook to do the Biblica study series which is reading through the New Testament, no chapters, no verses. It has had a big impact on our people and the women in the bible study that I lead, whilst very unsure at the start, grew to love it. It has been brilliant to listen to people talk about the scriptures and what God had been saying to them through His Word.
The pastoral care work continues to grow and, at times, has been very difficult, but it is amazing to see God at work in the lives of people even when they don’t see it or recognise it.
I am blessed to serve in a team that works well together under the leadership of Rev. Alistair Bates, who has pushed us to work hard on our own spiritual growth. Two young men are now with us full-time, namely Jonathon Boyd, a student for the ministry, and Peter McClelland, our youth and community worker. We also have the maturity of Ken Simpson who cares for our senior members.
Thank you so much for your prayers through this year which have strengthened me through difficult times and enable me to carry out the work to which God has called me.