Our new Rector Revd Jonathan (Jon) Connell was instituted on 14 August in St Andrew’s church at a service conducted by the Right Reverend Ian Paton, Bishop of St Andrew’s, Dunkeld and Dunblane.
During the service, Jon was presented by symbols of his ministry by members of St Andrew’s and our linked church St Mary’s Aberfoyle. These included a cross, Bible, oil of healing, bread and wine and the keys of the churches.
As the pandemic lockdown restrictions had been eased a few days previously, we were delighted to welcome representatives from the Kirk, St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church and the Baptist Fellowship in Callander.
Jon and his wife Fiona and two daughters are living in the newly refurbished rectory in Aberfoyle. The rectory number is (01877) 382887.
Rev Canon Alison Peden reads the licence
Bishop Ian congratulates Jon
Vestry member George Willis of St Mary's makes a presentation
Bread and Wine
Jon was born in Canada and raised at Fort McMurray in northern Alberta. Since July 2017 he has been Priest-in-Charge of the Pembroke Family of Churches in Bermuda which consists of four very different congregations with varying needs and styles.
He has a BA in Art and Design from the University of Alberta and a BTh from Wycliffe Hall in Oxford which included placements at Jesus College Chaplaincy and St Andrew’s Church. During his time in Oxford he was also coached Queen’s College Women’s VIIIs and the University Women’s Boat Club.
Jon and Fiona attended a traditional high Anglican church where they regularly sang Merbecke’s 1550 setting of the Lord’s Supper which was very different from the style they found at St Aldate’s when Fiona found a position at that charismatic church. This range of style has brought an appreciation of both high and low traditions and they appreciate traditional and more modern services.
Jon and Fiona returned to Canada to be close to their families when their elder daughter was born. Initially Jon worked in the secular field combined with part-time ministry work until he was ordained in 2009. He held a number of church posts in Edmonton culminating with the appointment as Rector of the Parish of the Good Shepherd before the family moved to Bermuda in 2017 with their two daughters, now aged 14 and 16.
Fiona, who is very involved in Jon’s ecclesiastical life, was born in Canada after her parents emigrated in the 1960s. Her roots are very much in Scotland and apart from her mother, who is still in Canada, Fiona’s family is mostly based here and in northern England. The Connells were last in Scotland in 2019 when they spent time with Fiona’s grandmother in Brora. Fiona is a Highland dance teacher and judge and both daughters are interested in various forms of the performing arts.
While life in Bermuda is idyllic Fiona and Jon have long wished to return to ministry and life in the UK and they are looking forward with much anticipation and excitement to settling in this part of the world.
Away from ecclesiastical life the family likes to entertain and among other things Jon enjoys renovation projects and gardening and looks forward to the challenge of a garden in a very different climate from both Alberta and Bermuda. They are also looking forward to cycling in the forest and exploring the area.