REVEREND Sandra Pragnell has taken up her new ministry as Dean of Limerick, and Rector of Limerick City Parish following a ceremony in St Mary’s Cathedral in the city this Wednesday night.
To date, there have been 61 Deans of Limerick since the building of St Mary’s Cathedral in 1168. Rev Pragnell is the first woman in the history of the cathedral to be appointed dean.
Originally from the south of England, Rev Pragnell has been in Ireland since 1994. Rev Pragnell was in a cross boarder group of parishes based in Dundalk, North Louth and South Armagh prior to her appointment to Limerick.
“My seven and a half years there were perhaps some of the happiest years of my life - I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wasn’t expecting to leave but this is a new challenge in a way,” said Rev Pragnell.
Although she has only been in Limerick one week – she is residing at the Deanery in Castletroy - Rev Pragnell says the local people have been “very welcoming”.
“I have made myself at home but I don’t know the area at all. I have lots to explore and lots to learn,” said Rev Pragnell who loves animals, walking in the countryside and entertaining friends.
Speaking prior to Wednesday evening’s ceremony, Rev Pragnell said she was “very much looking forward to it”.
“I’m going to enjoy it. It is a very special occasion,” she said. Bishop Trevor Williams installed the Revd Sandra Pragnell as Dean of Limerick and Rector of Limerick City Parish. The preacher was the Rt Rev Alan Harper, recently retired Archbishop of Armagh.
Since her ordination in 2001, Rev Pragnell has gained an MA in Pastoral Leadership specialising on ‘Spirituality and the Older Person: an ecumenical case study of two west Dublin parishes’. At present she is studying for a Doctorate in Ministry at Milltown Institute in Dublin.
Rev Pragnell notes her special areas of interest in ministry as collaborative ministry, liturgy and music, ecumenism, mission and justice.
She has been involved in supporting asylum seekers and was a founder member of Friends of Sabeel (Ireland), an ecumenical grassroots, biblically-based theology movement among Palestinian Christians in East Jerusalem.