Order of St John honours Down cleric

Canon Jim Sims (above) of Down Diocese has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of St John of Jerusalem.

The order incorporates the work of St John Ambulance Services in Northern Ireland and Jim has been one of their chaplains for a number of years.

Jim’s name was submitted by Viscount Alan Brookeborough KG who is Knight Commander of the Order to Her Majesty the Queen, Sovereign Head of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.

He was invested in Hillsborough Castle and received the insignia of the Order, the Maltese Cross – an eight pointed cross with the gold royal beasts (lion and unicorn)

The Order of St John is a royal order of chivalry first constituted by royal charter from Queen Victoria in 1888. Its work follows the twin mottos of Pro Fide and Pro Utilitate Hominum (for the Faith and in the Service of Humanity).

It is a Christian Order, founded on Christian principles and motivated by Christian ideals. The Order provides first aid, care and support in 42 countries around the world.

Prayer Spaces in Schools

7:30pm Tuesday 31st March – St. Macartin’s Cathedral Hall, Enniskillen

A prayer space is usually a classroom-sized area that has been transformed, for a few days or a week, with a range of activities that allow children and young people to explore Christian prayer in a safe and creative way. They encourage personal reflection on issues such as forgiveness, injustice, gratitude, big questions, identity and stillness. Schools and churches work together to help facilitate prayer spaces and since 2007 there have been over 4,000 prayer spaces in more than 30 nations across the globe.

Prayer spaces are typically run by a suitably trained team from a local church or organisation, as a service to the school. In some schools, teachers bring their students for a subject-lesson in the prayer space. In others, students are invited to visit the prayer space voluntarily, during their breaks and lunchtimes and maybe after the school day has finished. Alternatively, churches can host the prayer space and invite schools to come along.

To find out more, come along to the Cathedral Halls on Tuesday 31st March where Hannah O’Neill from Prayer Spaces in Schools N.I. will be answering the questions:

• What is a Prayer Space?
• How do you run a Prayer Space?

She will bring along some prayer resources and tell stories from her own experience of setting up and facilitating school prayer spaces. The evening is suitable for teachers, Sunday school and youth leaders, and anyone with an interest in prayer and Christian youth and children’s work.

Begining at 7:30, but refreshments will be available from 7pm.

For more information visit [ https://www.prayerspacesinschools.com/ ]or contact Karl Saunders – [ k.saunders@btinternet.com ]

Pop–up All Age Service

Photo above: Nick Harding, along with Revd Captain Scott McDonald and Revd Adrian Dorrian (Team Vicars in LAMP) and some of the children and young people at the Pop Up All Age Service.

Hollymount Church recently hosted a special Pop–up All Age Service in the Lecale Area Mission Partnership (LAMP) with guest speaker Nick Harding.

Nick is no stranger to the diocese and has worked for over thirty years in children’s ministry in the Church of England and recently in a freelance capacity.

‘Pop–up’ children’s ministry helps to meet the challenge of ‘gathering’ in a wide geographical area stretching from Downpatrick to Strangford, Ardglass, Tyrella and Seaforde in South Down. Revd Adrian Dorrian, Team Vicar with responsibility for Youth and Children’s Ministry in LAMP, explained:

“We have events like pancake parties and holiday bible clubs throughout the year that give our young people and children a chance to gather, but it is difficult to make these accessible to everyone in LAMP at the same time. With some lateral thinking we came up with the idea of running a series of smaller pop–up kids programmes around LAMP. We ran two pop–up bible club nights before Christmas in Clough and Strangford, and another is planned for Bright. This was our first pop–up all age service. We paused our various Sunday Schools for the week and invited children from across the churches to come and hear Nick, and more importantly, to hear about Jesus and his call to all his people to be salt and light in the world.

“We were delighted with the event – and I am certain this will not be our last Pop–up All Age Service.”

Annual Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture

The guest speaker at the 2020 Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture on March 24 will be the Rev Canon Vaughan Roberts (above), rector of St Ebbe’s Church, Oxford, on the topic: ‘Fractured Church, Broken World’.

He will be addressing the issue of Christian witness to a world which is hindered by a Church that is equally as fragmented. The lecture takes place in All Saints’ Parish Church, University Street, Belfast.

The Clive West Memorial Trust was established in 2016 to remember and celebrate the ministry of Canon Clive West, former rector of the parish of All Saints’, Belfast, (1984–2000) and a canon of St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast.

Amongst its aims is the financial support of those in theological education and training for service of the Church in Ireland. In its short life span, it has raised close to £43,000 and supported six individuals with modest bursaries in their preparation for a lifetime of ministry, to serve churches in Ireland.

The Trust also runs an annual lecture, and since being launched in 2016, the lectures have been attended by more than 500 people, ranging in age and background.

The lecture on Tuesday March 24 begins at 7.30pm in All Saints’ Church. It will be introduced by the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, the Rt Rev Andrew Forster. When an ordinand, Bishop Forster undertook a student placement in All Saints’ Church with Canon West.

Everyone is welcome to attend and booking is not necessary.

C of I Children’s Ministry Lent & Easter Newsletter

The Church of Ireland Children’s Ministry Network’s Lent and Easter Newsletter is now available. This includes an all–age talk, a Lent countdown, craft and multi–media ideas, song suggestions, and resources relating to care for creation.

Please feel free to check this out for your parish and share it with anyone who would find it helpful as Lent and Easter approach!

God in creation

Flooding along the River Roe at Limavady yesterday