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Val Rogers to retire after a decade as rector in Westport


STEPPING DOWN Reverand Val Rogers.

Anton McNulty

After almost a decade as the Rector of the Aughaval parish in Westport, Reverend Val Rogers will perform his final service this Sunday before he retires from the position.
The annual Harvest Thanksgiving in the Holy Trinity Church at 11.30am on Sunday will be the Sligo-native’s final service in Westport having taken up the role in late 2009. Aughaval was the first parish in Ireland he served in when he returned from Australia with his wife Josie, and he told The Mayo News that it was ‘time to move on’.
“I hoped to do ten years when I came back from Australia. I am two months short of ten years in Westport. I am in my 70s and I plan to move on and give someone else a go,” he said.
The Aughaval parish also takes in Achill, Castlebar and Turlough and Val’s affable approach to ministry was well-received by all sections of the community. He explained one of the highlights of his time in the region was the memorial and healing service in St Thomas’ Church in Achill to mark the 190 unmarked graves of those who are buried in the five Achill Mission churchyards and graveyards.
“We had the two bishops of Tuam, the Church of Ireland bishop Patrick Rooke and Archbishop Michael Neary who prayed for everyone buried in the graveyard and in Achill and heal the hurt of the past,” he explained.
While he will be shortly retiring, Val and Josie will continue to live in the community having bought a house near Newport.
“I am delighted and grateful that we will be able to stay around. I am a Sligo man originally but no place is as good for the heart as west Mayo,” he said.
The process of finding his replacement will begin when he leaves and is likely to take up to four months.