Council hosts church service as part of its NI centenary celebrations

May 12, 2021

On Sunday 9th May, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council partnered with members of Lisburn City Centre Ministers’ Fellowship to host an Interdenominational Service in Lisburn Cathedral. 

The service, part of the council’s programme to mark the centennial year of Northern Ireland, was led by The Very Rev Sam Wright, Rev John Brackenridge, Father Dermot McCaughan, Rev Alan Craig, Pastor Brian Agnew and Archdeacon Paul Dundas.  Pupils from Lagan College, Lisnagarvey High School and Wallace High School contributed to the service alongside the Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell and The Rt. Hon. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP.

Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Nicholas Trimble, speaking about the service, said: “I am delighted that we were able to have this service as a way for everyone from every background to celebrate and commemorate our Centenary together. Northern Ireland has had a troubled birth and childhood, however today in 2021 we are a lot more politically settled than we were 100 years ago.

“It is my hope that this interdenominational service of reflection will encourage all of us to focus our minds and our hearts on what we can do to help make Northern Ireland a place that is welcoming to people from every background or persuasion for the next 100 years. We have already come so far in strengthening our bonds between different communities and establishing peace in our country and I hope that our children and young people will continue that good work in the years ahead.”

The Very Rev Sam Wright, Dean of Connor and Rector of Lisburn Cathedral, added: “One hundred years after the formation of Northern Ireland, we were honoured to host an interdenominational service in Lisburn Cathedral to pray for reconciliation and for God to be glorified in our land.

“Over the past year of the pandemic the Lisburn churches have come together to offer help and support through a wide range of initiatives for the community, including through Lisburn Foodbank, Christians Against Poverty Debt Advice and by supporting agencies such as St Vincent de Paul and the Simon Community. It was therefore fitting for five Lisburn Clergy from across the denominations to lead our worship on Sunday 9th May 2021 as we marked the centenary of Northern Ireland and as “In Christ we Journey Together". The Northern Ireland born author, C.S. Lewis describes his encounter with Christ as being “Surprised by Joy”. It is our prayer that like C.S. Lewis, everyone in our land will be “Surprised by Joy”, and look to the future with faith, hope and love.

“The Lisburn City Centre Ministers’ Fellowship are grateful to have received the invitation from our Mayor, Councillor Nicholas Trimble and the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council to host this interdenominational service for all members of our community.”

Last night’s service was live streamed to allow everyone to take part as numbers were restricted in line with government guidance.  Distinguished guests who joined members of the council included: the Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mr David McCorkell; High Sheriff, Mrs Sue Pinkerton; Lord and Lady Trimble; The Rt. Hon. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP and Robbie Butler MLA.