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Special service and lunch at St Mark’s, Ballymacash

Guest speaker - the Rev Keith Scott pictured with Ann Armstrong and Tom Ellison - St Mark’s Mission Panel, following a special service and lunch in St Mark’s on Sunday 17th September.

The guest speakers at morning worship in St. Mark’s Parish Church, Ballymacash on Sunday 17th September were the Rev Keith Scott and Miss Sheila Jennings.  Mr Scott, who was also guest speaker at the morning Sunday School prior to the 11.00am service, spoke of his childhood days living in Downpatrick and his many visits to Tyrella beach explaining that his nearest beach in Zambia is 1000 miles away.  Using a computer slide presentation he spoke of life in Zambia and how that some of the children live on the streets and have nobody to look after them.  He also showed pictures of a typical house - made of mud brick with a tin roof and no electricity - such a difference from the luxury we take for granted here.  Explaining that the congregation would soon be having lunch in the church hall, he showed the children a typical lunch in Zambia - caterpillars.

The Rev Keith Scott, a missionary with Church Missionary Ireland is a teacher at the Anglican Seminary of St. John the Evangelist in Kitwe, Zambia.  Keith teaches Systematic Theology, New Testament and Homiletics and his wife Lynn teaches Homelics, English and Study Skills.  Keith also carries out pastoral work in the township of Chambishi.  Just over a year ago he spent a weekend at St. Mark’s and preached at two services and also conducted a seminar about his work in Kitwe.  Following his visit, St. Mark’s has made two significant responses.  During Lent, the Sunday School children took part in the ‘Broken Butterfly’ project which focussed on Northern Zambia and the children had an opportunity to learn about conditions in the country and responded financially by giving over £600 towards education, training and evangelism schemes.  St. Mark’s also made a contribution towards the provision of a much-needed water tower at St. John’s Seminary.

Sheila Jennings, who has been a parishioner of St. Mark’s for 5 years, spends the winter months in Port Elizabeth in South Africa.  During her travels in South Africa Sheila made contact on behalf of the Parish with Sinikithemba project at St. Augustine Church, Grahamstown, which provides meals and counselling for around 40 people suffering from HIV.  The Rector, the Rev Mluleki Mize, and a group of Mothers’ Union members largely drive the project, which receives gifts in kind from a number of local shops as ingredients for the meals provided, but they are always short of funds. 

After the morning services, a lunch was served in the Parochial Hall and proceeds were given to the two African projects.