Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



World Leprosy Day Service in Lisburn Cathedral

Colin Ferguson National Director of TLM NIWorld Leprosy Day is on Sunday 28th January 2007 and the main World Leprosy Day Service for TLM Northern Ireland will be held in Lisburn Cathedral on Sunday afternoon at 3.30 pm. The Rev Canon Sam Wright, Rector of Lisburn Cathedral, will conduct the service and the preacher will be Mr Colin Ferguson, National Director TLM NI who will speak on the work and witness of the Leprosy Mission Northern Ireland.

For more than 50 years, on the last Sunday of January, thousands of people across the globe have stopped to remember those who suffer the horrendous effects of leprosy. The Leprosy Mission encourages individuals, churches and community groups to observe World Leprosy Day through spoken word, story and video. Many people still think of leprosy as an ancient disease that has been eradicated many years ago. But every year, more than 400,000 children, women and men discover they have leprosy. For many centuries, leprosy stigmatized those affected because there was no cure. Those who had the disease had to live with the disabilities that are so common in leprosy ? they simply had no choice. All they could hope for is a kind and compassionate friend who would take pity on them. But in 1982 the cure for leprosy was discovered. Today leprosy can be fully cured and, when diagnosed early in the cycle of the disease, the patient will be completely normal. This is truly a miracle! Yet leprosy continues to grow in areas of desperate poverty where people have not yet heard that leprosy can be cured or they are too poor to seek medical help.

World Leprosy Day helps to focus on the need of the very poorest of all people ? those affected by leprosy. It helps to tell the story to people who simply do not know that leprosy still exists. It also helps raise funds in Northern Ireland so that those with leprosy can be treated and cared for. This is a good news story that we can?t help but share with people in Northern Ireland.

The Leprosy Mission National Office is located in Lagan House, Lisburn (just behind the Lisburn Christian Fellowship Church on the Queens Road). Under its National Director - Colin Ferguson and Deputy Director - the Rev Tom Robinson, the function of the National Office is to raise the awareness about leprosy, provide prayer support, and raise funds in Northern Ireland. They invite you to join in the celebration of the World Leprosy Day at Lisburn Cathedral next Sunday afternoon as together; we work towards a world without leprosy!