A service of Holy Communion took place Lisburn Cathedral on Tuesday June 9 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Chapter of St Saviour, Lisburn Cathedral. This was followed by a celebration Chapter dinner in Malone Golf Club.
The Chapter of St Saviour comprises the Dean of Connor, the Very Rev John Bond; the Archdeacon of Connor, the Ven Dr Stephen McBride, vicar of Antrim; the Archdeacon of Dalriada, the Ven Stephen Forde, rector of Larne; Canon Stuart Lloyd, rector of St Patrick’s, Ballymena; Canon Percy Walker, rector of St Mary’s with Holy Redeemer, Belfast; Canon George Irwin, rector of Ballymacash; Canon William Bell rector of Eglantine; Canon George Graham, rector of Dunluce; Canon Earnest Harris, rector of Ballinderry; and Canon Sam Wright, rector of Lisburn Cathedral.
Former Chapter members were among the many guests at the service.
On the Saturday prior to the dinner Chapter members had walked more than 12 miles from St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, to Lisburn Cathedral, raising in excess of £5,000 for the new school in Mongo in Connor’s link diocese of Yei, Southern Sudan.
Preacher at the service on the Tuesday evening was the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy. He based his sermon on an antique telescope, looking at the three parts of this old family heirloom.
The first part he likened to the 400th anniversary of the Cathedral Chapter. “So many people have served faithfully in the chapter, cathedral and diocese for 400 years,” he said.
The service took place on St Columba’s Day, and as the second part of the telescope the Bishop referred to St Columba and his connection with Iona. “St Columba was an amazing man who discipled people and prepared them for mission and ministry,” he said.
In the third part of his sermon Bishop Alan spoke on the statement in John’s gospel ‘That we may see Jesus.’ “Looking back through all these different periods that is where our roots are and we pray that each and every person may see Jesus,” he said.
Referring afterwards to the 400th anniversary celebrations for the Chapter of St Saviour, Bishop Abernethy said: “It is amazing to realise that Christian witness and worship have been going on in this place for so long and so many have served here, and that this witness and ministry still go on each and every generation.
“In celebrating the past we give hope for the future.”
Photos by John Kelly.