Photo above – Sharon McVeigh and Dean Hull with the award at the Cathedral

Down Cathedral has an award–winning welcome

Down Cathedral’s Welcome Ministry has received special recognition from CIE Tours International at their awards ceremony in Dublin.

The awards, which are presented based on feedback from over 25,000 CIE customers surveyed throughout the year, are reserved for those CIE tour partners whose feedback was at or above a 92% customer satisfaction rating.

Dean Henry Hull and Cathedral Administrator Sharon McVeigh collected the award at a ceremony in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. The Cathedral was one of only seven locations in Ulster to receive a merit award, and finds itself in the company of destinations such as Hillsborough Castle and the Giant’s Causeway.

Responding to the news of the award, The Very Revd Henry Hull, Dean of Down, said: “Welcome is at the heart of our ministry here in Down Cathedral. Over 50,000 people visit the Cathedral each year – many arrive as tourists, but we hope that they leave as pilgrims. The Cathedral Community has had hospitality at its centre for centuries, since the foundation of a Benedictine Abbey on the site over 800 years ago. We work hard to make sure that welcome is extended today to everyone who arrives through the doors and we pray regularly for those who do visit us.

“I am delighted that our efforts have been recognised with this award. Great credit must go to Sharon, Janet and Sonia on the staff team as well as the many volunteers who support them in this welcome ministry.”
Find out more about visiting Down Cathedral on their website:
[ www.downcathedral.org ]

Open day at Belfast Bible College

You are invited to come and visit Belfast Bible College on Tuesday, 11th February. The College state, “Experience our classes, join with our community, and meet our Admissions team who will be able to answer your questions.

“The information session begins at 10.15 – if you would like to stay for a free lunch please let us know in advance.”

There will be staff available to advise throughout the day, who will also give regular tours of the campus.

10:15 – Information session
10:40 – Tour of campus
11:10 – Sit in on a lecture or ask our admissions staff questions about our courses.
12:00 – Join with students and staff in Chapel for worship
13:00 – Lunch

The College welcomes visits from:

1. Any Potential Students including sixth formers making university choices, people looking for training for ministry, and those in ministry looking for professional development.
2. Those looking for a flexible, accessible course: such as Evening Classes & Women’s Study Fellowship.
3. Those who advise and influence including teachers, parents, careers advisors, ministers and ministry leaders.

If you have any further questions or would like to sign-up to reserve your place please complete the booking form. If you would like directions to the college please click here –
[ https://www.belfastbiblecollege.com/contact ]
Glenburn House, Glenburn Road South, Dunmurry, Belfast, BT17 9JP

Bible Society of Ireland annual Bedell Boyle Lecture tonight

“Living the Gospel in the Ecological Emergency” by Dr Lorna Gold, Laudato Sì project manager for Trócaire.

Tonight, Thursday 6 Feb at 7.30 pm. Loyola Institute, TCD, No need to book; just come along.

Climate change at Clonsilla and Castleknock

2020 is a make or break year for the planet when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. On Sunday, Christian Aid Ireland’s Church and Community Officer Dee Huddleston spoke in St Mary’s Church in Clonsilla and St. Brigid’s Church in Castleknock about the climate crisis and how Christian Aid is working to help some of the world’s poorest communities to adapt to its worst affects.

Dee shared the personal story of Christian Aid’s Rev. Bob Kikuyu about how a changing climate is causing the crops on his parent’s farm to fail and how this has impacted their lives. Dee also spoke about how Christian Aid and our local partner ADSE are helping communities in Eastern Kenya to adapt to drought and poor rains by building earth and sand dams which provide them with access to much needed water that they use to grow crops and feed their families.

The service in St. Brigid’s Church was conducted by Canon Paul Houston and Lay Reader Stella Obe. To keep up to date on Christian Aid Ireland’s work to tackle the climate crisis in Kenya, please see its Lent and Easter Appeal page [[] https://www.christianaid.ie/ ]

Big Connor Contest

Engage Connor Youth’s annual diocesan sports tournament is fast approaching! This year the competition will be held in Ramoan Parish Halls, Ballycastle on Saturday February 8 from 3.00 to 7.00 pm.

There will be a range of sports and activities as well as some tasty snacks, and dinner is provided. The event is free to attend, and all young people aged 11-18 are invited. Teams should be made up of five young people, but parishes are allowed subs or, if less than five attending, groups can be joined . For further information, please contact Christina on
[ christinabaillie@connordiocese.org. ]

Domestic Violence Seminar

The Derry & Raphoe Diocesan Board of Social Responsibility is holding a seminar about domestic violence entitled ‘Love Shouldn’t Hurt’.

The meeting will be addressed by the Director of Foyle Women’s Aid, Ms Marie Brown MBE. The seminar will address themes such as spotting the hidden signs of domestic violence; removing the stigma; offering practical support; helping children; and how the Church can help.

The event will take place in the Diocesan Centre in London Street on Monday 9th March, 7.30-9.30pm.

Sunday’s Armagh Organ recital

The first organ recital of the new decade will be given by Eoin Cassidy on Sunday 9 February 2020 in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh at 4.15pm.

Eoin is a student at St Colman’s College, Newry and his organ teacher is Mr James Murphy. Currently Eoin is working for his Grade 8 in Organ, having already gained a DipABRSM in Trumpet Performance and a Grade 8 in Piano and Singing. He took up the organ when a student at St Colman’s and hopes to study music at university.

Speaking of his interest in music, Eoin said, “I enjoy music as a hobby, and am a member of the Ulster Youth Chamber Choir, the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland and the South Ulster Youth Orchestra (SUYO). Recently I toured with the SUYO in Belgium and played the organ in St Martin’s Cathedral, Ypres.

As part of his programme for his Armagh recital, Eoin has chosen Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C Major. He explained the reason for this choice, “I selected this piece to open my recital as it demands attention from the onset, due to the building chords in the hands above the steps, jumps and leaps in the pedal line, which triumphantly returns to close the Prelude. The Fugue starts off understated but quickly begins to accumulate musical ideas which are developed through sequence, repetition and imitation, as expected in any of Bach works! It too is brought to a climatic end with rich chords utilising the full organ, which I find most enjoyable to perform.”

Eoin will also play works by Bridge, Pietro Yon, Thalben-Ball and Mathias. An example of one of the selected works is Bridge’s Adagio in E Major and Eoin said, “What better way to contrast Bach than the slow and extraordinary work by Frank Bridge. Bridge earned a scholarship which allowed him to study with Stanford and he quickly grew to become an acclaimed violinist and composer. This work demands the most legato playing and great control of the organ to grow from pianissimo to fortissimo seamlessly, whilst maintaining an underlying bi-tonality between E major and G Major. I feel that this piece would be too beautiful not to play on the magnificent organ in St. Patrick’s.”

New bishop for the Diocese of Jerusalem

The Dean of St George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem, Hosam Naoum, has been elected coadjutor bishop for the Diocese of Jerusalem. The election, which took place last Thursday (30 January) is subject to ratification from the Central Synod of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. Plans are being made for Dean Hosam’s consecration during a service at St George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem in the Spring, following provincial ratification.

The bishop coadjutor will work alongside Archbishop Suheil Dawani until his retirement in 2021; he will then be installed as the new Anglican Episcopal Archbishop in Jerusalem.

The Diocese of Jerusalem serves Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. It has 28 congregations and more than 30 charitable institutions, including two major hospitals, several clinics and rehabilitation centres, and over a dozen schools.

Dean Hosam represents the Province of Jerusalem and Middle East on the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) and is a member of the ACC’s Standing Committee.

God in creation