by Conor Kane
From one ministry to another, former Green Party leader Trevor Sargent completed his latest journey in life on Saturday evening at Christ Church Cathedral in Waterford city and took the first steps on his next journey as a newly-ordained priest.
Surrounded by family members, friends, colleagues from his days in education and politics, and his new parishioners and colleagues in the Church of Ireland, the Rev Trevor Sargent did not stray far from the principles which first led him into public life as he vowed to make tackling issues such as homelessness and climate change part of his service.
“Homelessness is ultimately a mirror to our society: unfortunately as a society, as long as we tolerate homelessness it’s a reflection on our politics, which needs to be thought about very seriously,” he said after the ordination ceremony, adding that climate change is also a “key issue” for all churches.
Hundreds gathered in the medieval cathedral for the two-hour ordination, which was led by the Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory, Rev Michael Burrows, assisted by many clergy from across the country, including the registrar Canon Ruth Elmes and the Dean of Christ Church Maria Jansson.
Newly-ordained priest Trevor Sargent at Christ Church Cathedral in Waterford pic.twitter.com/UwW5ikuunT
— Conor Kane (@Conorkane1974) September 8, 2018
Among the attendance were the Rev Sargent’s wife, Áine Neville, parents Mildred and Harry, brother Derek, as well as friends such as the leader of the Green Party, Eamon Ryan, and former TDs John Gormley and Dan Boyle. A number of local politicians, including the Mayor of Waterford Cllr Joe Kelly, were also present.
Much of the ceremony was conducted in Irish, reflecting the former TD and school principal’s love of the language and he said afterwards that he would be introducing a regular Irish-language service at Christ Church. He will serve at four parishes, Waterford , Tramore, Annestown and Dunmore East.
(main picture Rev Trevor Sargent and Bishop Michael Burrows)