from St Anne's

Dr Janet Unsworth appointed new Methodist Ecumenical Canon at St Anne’s

Belfast Cathedral - Dr Janet Unsworth appointed new Methodist Ecumenical Canon at St Anne’s

We are very pleased to announce that the Reverend Dr Janet Unsworth has been chosen to be the next Methodist Ecumenical Canon in the Cathedral Chapter of St Anne’s, Belfast.

Janet is currently Director of the Ministries Team of the Methodist Church in Ireland, and is based at Edgehill House, the Methodist Churche’s administrative centre in South Belfast. As Director of Ministries, Janet has responsibility for the leadership and oversight of ordained and lay ministries in the Methodist Church. She is also responsibility for developing the policies and processes of governance for ministry in the Methodist Church in Ireland.

Janet studied at Oxford University.  On graduating, she taught History and Religious Education at a school in London. She returned home to take up the post of Children’s Ministry Co-ordinator for the Methodist Church in Ireland. After undertaking formation training, Janet was ordained as a Methodist minister in 2001 and served as Superintendent of the Newry and Bessbrook Methodist Circuit. She was appointed Director of Studies at Edgehill Theological College in 2009, and became Principal in 2017.

In addition to her various roles within the Methodist Church, Janet has also served on national and international Methodist and Ecumenical bodies. She is a longstanding member of the Covenant Council. This Council has forged ever closer links between the Church of Ireland and Methodist Churches, so that interchangeability of ministries is now possible. Janet currently serves as Secretary to the Council.

Janet and her family have been members of the Church of the Resurrection Chaplaincy church at Queen’s University, one of the first Church of Ireland congregations to embrace shared ministry between the Church of Ireland and Methodist Churches. Janet’s husband John is currently the chair of the Board of Trustees of the Church of Ireland / Methodist Chaplaincy at Queen’s. Janet herself is also the current Chair of the Board of Governors of Methodist College, Belfast, and recently guided the Board through the complex process of appointing a new Principal for Methody. Janet is mum to two young adults, each currently studying at university.

With her extensive background in ecumencial partnership with the Church of Ireland, and her wide set of academic and organisational skills, Janet made an obvious candidate to be the new Methodist Ecumenical Canon of Belfast Cathedral.

On accepting her appointment Janet said that she is delighted to have been asked to undertake this role at St Anne’s, and is very much looking forward to contributing to the life of the Cathedral in this way. The Dean added “Janet not only brings a wealth of experience in church and academic partnerships between the Methodist Church and the Church of Ireland, but she also brings a warmth of personality and an enthusiasm to share in the life of St Anne’s Cathedral. I very much look forward to welcoming Janet to the Chapter of Belfast Cathedral.” “I also look forward to sharing cold winter days with her on the steps of the Cathedral, as she takes up the Canon’s role in assisting with the annual Black Santa Sitout in the days before Christmas”

The Service of Installation for Janet Unsworth will be held at 3.30pm on Sunday afternoon 28th April, 2024. The preacher will be the Reverend Dr Heather Morris, General Secretary of the Methodist Church in Ireland, and Ecumenical of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh. All are warmly invited to share this Service of Installation.