Our good friend and brother in Christ, Jack Watson, who with great devotion has lovingly served as Verger and Caretaker in the cathedral for 55 years has decided to retire. Many parishioners will doubtless wish to mark Jack’s years of outstanding service. It is therefore proposed to make a presentation to him at morning service on Sunday 4th March.
Lenten Project - Mission Focus: Mothers’ Union Overseas Fund
One of the aims of Mothers’ Union is ‘to help those whose family life has met with adversity.’ The Mothers’ Union Relief Fund is founded upon this principle. It enables grassroots Mothers’ Union members to be a source of hope in their local communities when emergencies strike, wherever they find themselves in the world. When an emergency situation suddenly destabilises family life - either natural disaster or man-made conflict - local Mothers’ Union groups can receive a grant from the Relief Fund which helps them provide support to meet the most urgent needs facing communities. Grants are sent quickly to equip the local Mothers’ Union to respond as fast as possible to meet these needs, using local resources. By equipping our members to respond right at the heart of the affected region, we are often one of the first agencies to deliver effective relief.
Mothers’ Union works with communities that are vulnerable to either conflict or climate change to prepare for potential disasters. In South Sudan, prior to the outbreak of conflict in 2013, the Mothers’ Union and the Church were trained in disaster preparedness. When the conflict broke out, many congregations on the Ethiopian border mobilised their members and together, they walked to Ethiopia to safety. In Tanzania, the Mothers’ Union in 2015 in the Diocese of Tarime helped families create kitchen gardens to ensure that families can survive through drought periods. The Dioceses in the Central belt of Tanzania are exploring how to compensate for the lack of rainfall that leads to poor crop growth and famine.
In many area the Mothers’ Union acts as the health service, the social service and as the education service. It has trained project workers in many spheres! This Lenten Season we as the Parish of Enniskillen are going to support this vital work.
Please take a Lenten Box and return it during Holy Week.
‘Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.’ (2nd Corinthians 9:7)
Parishioners will be aware that the roof of the cathedral, which is a Grade A listed building, has been giving rise to problems in recent years. There is the very obvious damage to the plasterwork in the south west corner of the nave beside the Pokrich stone, which has been caused by ingress of rain water. Slates are constantly falling off which may allow rain water to enter the roof space. Falling slates also give rise to serious health and safety risks which may cause personal injury. In stormy conditions, the slates can be observed moving on the roof. A preliminary survey has been carried out which has confirmed the worst fears. Major expenditure will be required on the roof. A recent investigation has indicated a woodworm infestation which may require the replacement of some of the roof timbers.
The last major expenditure on the cathedral roof was in 1960 when a re-roofing project was undertaken. It is not surprising therefore that, after a period of 57 years, major works are once again required. This will be an expensive project which will involve elaborate scaffolding. Slates will have to be removed and stored carefully, damaged timber will need replacement, other timbers will require treatment, and insulation will need to be upgraded. Slates will then have to be replaced using durable nails. The opportunity will also be taken to replace damaged stonework and faulty gutters, downpipes and lead valleys. It is most likely that internal redecoration of the cathedral will be required when the roof project is complete.
It is difficult to estimate the cost of the work at this stage other than to say that it will be substantial. Professionals will need to be employed to carry out detailed surveys and prepare specifications for the work to be undertaken. Only then will it be possible to estimate costs accurately.
The possibility of obtaining grant aid or other financial support will be explored fully. If grant aid is obtainable, then the procedures laid down by the funding bodies will have to be followed rigidly. In the meantime, we can be sure that substantial financial support from parishioners will be needed to enable the essential work on the cathedral roof to be carried out. A major effort will be required to raise the necessary funds for this vital work. Women’s World Day of Prayer
This year the service is themed “All God’s Creation Is Very Good” and will be held in St Macartin’s Cathedral on Friday 2nd March at 7.30pm, conducted by Rev Olie Downey.
All women are welcome to attend!
The Cathedral Men‘s LIFE Group
This newly formed organisation had its first meeting in the form of a Harvest Supper in Saddlers Restaurant on Thursday 5th October. Those attending gave a warm welcome to the speaker, our former curate Rev Rob Clements. The next meeting was on Thursday 9th November when the main speaker was Brigadier John Graham (Rtd.), his subject being "Life & Faith in War", Sam Morrow delivered a presentation about the cathedral's early history and Ewan Richmond spoke about his faith.
Our hope is to regularly bring together all the men of the parish for an evening of fellowship, activities, and a guest speaker. For further information, contact Gordon Jackson, Karl Saunders, Ewan Richmond or David Graham.
The programme up till the summer is as follows: (This may change due to the cancellation of the December meeting - watch this space.)
8th March: The Bible comes to Life
12th April: Rev. David Cupples
17th May: Rev. Andrew Quill
21st June: Bishop John McDowell and Monsignor Peter O'Reilly (7pm @ The Kestrel)
.... the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart [1 Samuel 14]
Old Pound Coins
The old one pound coin has gone out of circulation. Many of you will still have some in your pockets or purses! The bank will still accept, them but rather than make a trip there, you could if you wish, donate them to the Cathedral Fabric Fund. A glass jar is available in the Cathedral Porch to make your donation which will be very much appreciated. Crèche
The Crèche Room is available during Sunday Services to any parents or guardians of small children. We love having babies and toddlers in the Cathedral with us, but we understand that at times you might prefer to use the Crèche Room, at the top of the stairs from the back porch. We are interested to know it there would be demand for a Crèche Service during the l l.00am Sunday Service. This would operate on a rota basis, allowing adults with children below Sunday Lights age (primary school age) to leave little ones in the care of designated crèche leaders.
If this service would make it easier for you to worship with us on Sunday mornings, please express your interest by emailing Rev Chris on firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Curatage on 66228059.
Holy Land Pilgrimage
Would you like to walk where Jesus walked and see the places we read about in church each Sunday? We are gauging interest in the Parish in a one-week Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in November 2018. The itinerary would include Nazareth and Bethlehem, associated with Jesus' birth and childhood, as well as other spots around the Sea of Galilee where our Lord ministered. Then, a few days in and around Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, including the Mount of Olives, Temple area, and the Via Dolorosa from Gethsemane towards the site of Christ's trial, crucifixion, burial and resurrection.
A pilgrimage can bring the Bible to life and be an exciting opportunity for renewal within a parish.
The cost will be around £1895 per person. This includes flights to Tel Aviv, all internal transfers and travel by coach, full board, tour guides, entrance fees to sites, and gratuities. Late November is a comfortable time to travel in the region, not too hot and not too busy, and gives us time to get saving.
If interested, please email Rev Chris at email@example.com. If there is enough interest, we will arrange for an information evening.
The Car Park
An extended car park, accommodating an additional 30 cars, is an extremely valuable addition in the island town of Enniskillen where parking space is at a premium. Access to the car park is limited to those who are authorised to use it - otherwise it would become a free public car park. Entry and exit from the car park is controlled by barriers. The access barrier is activated by car users who possess an activation fob. The issue of these fobs is being carefully controlled and is only be available to parishioners and others authorised by the select vestry. There is be a £25 charge (£250 for non-members) for each fob (renewable yearly) which not only reflects its cost but also includes an allowance to cover anticipated maintenance. The car park barriers are open for all regular church services, including weddings and funerals. It is also open in the evenings to accommodate the many organisations which use the facilities for evening events.
Cathedral Garden of Remembrance
With the increased number of people choosing cremation, St Macartin’s Cathedral needed to make provision for the burial of ashes in the Cathedral grounds. A Garden of Remembrance at the back of the Cathedral has been created and was dedicated by the Bishop on Sunday 17th September after the morning service. You can see a memorial stone there on which will be engraved names of committals and also a summer seat for relatives to have a private and quiet area in which to remember. This may be of particular interest to certain parishioners who may be willing to help finance this project. It may also be of interest to former Cathedral parishioners who have moved away from the area (maybe overseas and large cities where cremations are more common) and may want the Cathedral grounds to be the resting place for their ashes. Please make this widely known and donations would be gratefully received towards this project - ‘The Cathedral Garden of Remembrance Fund'.
Thursday Morning Services
We hold these services generally every week throughout the year (30ish minutes), followed by a cup of tea/coffee and rather sinful biscuits! There are now up to 30-40 attending each week. We are encouraging parishioners who may be in Enniskillen shopping on Thursday mornings to drop in for this short service - a mid- week pause and praise with God!
Family Care Adoption Services is presently seeking to recruit adoptive families for babies and young children. For a free information pack, please contact it on 028 71368592 or 028 90691133, Monday to Friday 9am-1pm, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations in lieu of flowers
The Church can benefit greatly from donations made in lieu of flowers at the time of a death or the anniversary of a death. Please keep this in mind, and we acknowledge with grateful thanks all who have contributed in this way in the past.
Bible Reading Notes
Copies of Our Daily Bread (Bible Reading Notes) are available free of charge at the back of the church. Please take one and you will find an order form included so that you can order them direct by post to your own home. These will make the reading of the Bible easy, enjoyable, interesting and even relevant to every day life.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119
Presentation editions of the Church Hymnal are an ideal gift for confirmations or for special seasons in the Church calendar, including Christmas. Bound in soft burgundy leather cover and with gilded pages, it contains over 700 hymns - but the light pages ensure that the book itself is not overly bulky. The edition is now on sale for the reduced price of £10 until next Easter. It is an offer not to be missed!
This is our adult formation group. it is a relaxed, cafe-style night where we can get to know each other a bit better and explore our Christian faith. Some Pilgrim members like to speak a lot, and some prefer to sip coffee and listen. Some are reasonably sure about things and others are still thinking. The format is open and welcoming, and every opinion is respected. There is space for people at all stages of their Christian journey. Last year, we had two groups (Established and New). These two groups combined from September, and will meet twice a month on the first and third Tuesdays from 7.30-9.00pm in the Devenish Room.
Dates in February are Tuesday 6th and Tuesday 20th. As we will be starting a new booklet this month, it’s the perfect time to return if you haven’t been in a while, or to start for the first time.
This takes place each Wednesday evening in the Cathedral commencing at 7.30pm. Practices will resume on Wednesday 6th September following the summer recess. New choir members are most welcome, currently tenor or bass singers would be particularly encouraged to consider joining. Please contact Glenn or Jayne.
SUNDAY SCHOOL ('SUNDAY LIGHTS' - FORMING FAITH IN CHILDREN)
All children are asked to attend church with their families. Sunday School begins in church at 11.00am, then continues in the Cathedral Hall from around 11.20.
Messy Church is one of our key ministries to children and families. Messy Church does "just what it says on the tin". lt's Church, so we meet together and worship God through Bible stories and songs. And it's messy! There‘s always glue and glitter, food and fun. Messy Church is open to all children of primary school age (but younger children are also welcome) and their parents and guardians. The rule is: no child without an adult, and no adult without a child.
Even if you’ve never been before, even if you or your children aren't parishioners of the Cathedral, you are very welcome to join us. Messy Church takes place on the third Thursday of each month . However, this will require more helpers!
Could you help with:
Music and singing
Crafts and activities
Basic food preparation and serving
If so, please e-mail Rev Chris at email@example.com. If you have special requirements such as accessibility and would like to let us know beforehand, Rev Chris is your man!
On 21st December, we had a special Christmas Messy Church. In order to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, we made Him cards and presents, and then walked by candlelight from the hall up the steps to the cathedral. The organist and choir were there to help us sing a few carols, and the chancel step had been recreated as a Nativity scene complete with hay. (We were relieved that the ‘sheep poo’ was really just dried dates!) We heard the Christmas story, and then returned to the Cathedral Halls for party games and food. Santa dropped by with an early Christmas gift for the children, including a copy of ‘The Greatest Journey’.
Messy Church took a break in January, and is back on February 22nd from 4-6pm) note date change). Our theme is Messy Valentine’s - God’s love.
The programme for the rest of this school year is:
Feb. 15th - Messy Valentine’s Day
Mar. 17th - Messy St. Patrick’s
Apr. 19th - Messy Earth Day
May 17th - Messy Ascension
June 21st - Messy Sports Day & BBQ
Fewer than a dozen parish churches in Northern lreland have towers with peals of eight or more bells where campanologists can exercise their skill. Enniskillen is one of these, and the peal of ten bells is rung in changes each Sunday and on special occasions. Practice takes place Thursdays 7.00-8.00pm and new ringers will be warmly welcomed to send out the call to worship on Sunday!
Crèche facilities are available during the main Sunday morning service. Parents of babies and children who are not of Sunday School age are welcome to leave their little ones in the Parish crèche and be confident in the knowledge that they will be safe and well looked after by a team of volunteers who have been trained under the Church of Ireland‘s Safeguarding Trust Policy. If you can help with the crèche, on a rota basis, please put your name on the list in the porch.
Tuesday Club (for our members over the age of sixty). Dean Hall opened the November meeting with a reading from Psalm 121 and prayer. A warm welcome was extended to dietitian Claire Holmes who gave a most interesting and informative talk, with the aid of slides on the importance of ’Healthy Eating’, outlining foods and vegetables necessary to maintain the 5B’s-Blood, Brain, Bones, Bowels and Belly. This was followed by a question and answer session. Afternoon tea brought a most enjoyable afternoon to a close. The next meeting was on Tuesday 30th January. The speaker was Andrew Humphreys who gave advice on “General Water Use.”
Members attended the 60+ Christmas Party in December. We are grateful to all who arranged the evening.
The next meeting is on 27th February when Alan Crooks will give a talk on “Policing and Community Safety.”
All enquiries about Tuesday Club (including transport), please, to Eleanor Lynn (66324603).
This meets on Wednesday mornings from 10.30am to 12.00 noon and Wednesday evenings 7.30 - 10.00pm. The club is in Section C of the Church League and now we are back in our refurbished hall we are appealing for NEW MEMBERS to join in the fun and fellowship of bowls.
Scouts and Guides
Sadly, due to lack of leaders, the Scout Troop is defunct. Beaver and Cub sections meet on Mondays at 6.30pm.
Mondays: Cubs: 6.30pm - 7.45pm; Beavers: 6.30pm - 7.45pm;
Tuesdays: Rainbows: 6.30pm - 7.30pm; Brownies: 6.30pm - 7.45pm; Guides: 6.30pm - 7.45pm
The Cathedral Youth Club, 'Saturday Night Live' meets from 7.00-9.00pm in the Cathedral Hall for Year 7 upwards. For more information contact Ronnie Carson: firstname.lastname@example.org or by text to 07872900852. Youth Fellowship
This meets from 9pm till 10.30pm on Saturday nights and is for year 10 upwards. Its emphasis is securely on faith-building.
Twenty of our young people continue to prepare for Confirmation this spring. As we get into February, we start work on our portfolios - a folder containing evidence of what we’ve learned along the way. This portfolio will contain work sheets, posters, project work and other evidence that each candidate is ready to be confirmed. So when the Bishop asks the Cathedral clergy during the service ‘Have these persons been carefully prepared in their understanding of the Christian faith?’, we can look at the portfolios as evidence and answer ‘I believe they have.’
Classes run in February on Monday 5th and Monday 12th, from 6.30-7.30 pm in the Upper Room, Cathedral Halls. We take off Monday 19th for Half-term, and on Monday 26th we have Xplore (see below).
Xplore is a relaxed, café-style venue for young people in Years 10-12. We want the young people of St Macartin’s to feel they belong to the wider church family, to know that they are valued, and to have a safe space to ask questions about faith as a teenager and young adult. We meet in the Upper Room (youth wing) of the Cathedral Halls.
Xplore … When I Grow Up! How do I know what God’s plan is for my life? Which subjects should I pick? Are there some jobs Christians shouldn’t do? What if I fail? I’m so confused!!!
Young people in Years 9+ are invited to Xplore on 26th February, 6.30-8.30 in the Upper Room.
As well as the usual snacks and games, we are going to Xplore … When I Grow Up! A short Christian introduction to choosing school subjects and careers, and generally finding our place in the wider world.
Feel free to bring a friend. It’s especially fun to catch up with the Confirmation Class of 2017! If you have any questions, or to let us know about special requirements (dietary, accessibility), email Rev Chris at email@example.com.
Xplore Movies - 7.00pm - 9.00pm (as arranged)
Mothers' Union: Christian care for families.
Mothers' Union is an international Christian charity that seeks to support families of all faiths and none through practical outreach, prayer and advocating family friendly policies within both government and public life. By supporting marriage and family life, especially through times of adversity, we tackle the most urgent needs, challenging relationships and communities. Our members are not all mothers, or even all women, but are single, married, parents, grandparents or young adults who are just beginning to express their social conscience. For all 4.1 million members in 83 countries, what Mothers' Union provides is a network through which they can serve Christ in their own community through prayer, financial support and actively working at grassroots level. In St Macartin’s we aim to have a warm welcome for all and endeavour to assist in the work of the Church both in Enniskillen and overseas. We support the work of Messy Church and see this as a vital outreach to young families in our community! Please come and join us.
Members attended the first meeting of 2018 on Monday 8th January 2018. A service of Holy Communion was celebrated by Dean Hall. The AGM followed, with Dean Hall presiding. The annual reports were presented by the Hon Secretary Sally Masterson, Hon Treasurer Eleanor Lynn and Overseas Representative Jenifer Johnston. All officers were re-elected as follows - Stephanie Hamilton Branch Leader/Enrolling member, Sally Masterson Hon Secretary, Valerie Thompson Assistant Secretary, Eleanor Lynn Hon Treasurer, and Jenifer Johnston Overseas Representative. Committee - Avril Kee, Estelle Latimer, Hazel Hunter, Margaret Owens, Myrtle Irvine, Joyce Stewart and Stephanie Hall. The Dean and Branch Leader Stephanie Hamilton spoke on mental health and advised everyone to communicate and support each other. The meeting closed with the Mothers' Union prayer. The next meeting was on Monday 12th Februarywith “All Sorts” of Activity.
Please continue with your generous donations of knitted items for the neonatal unit, S.W.A.H. Also knitted blankets and twiddle blankets for the nursing homes, patterns available from the Branch secretary, Sally Masterson. There is a special appeal for trauma teddies as stocks are low.
Our branch was represented at Autumn Council in Dromore on 26th October. Rev Andrew Quill gave a moving sermon encouraging outreach in even the smallest way using our God-given talents. The evening concluded with the Mothers' Union prayer.
The New Year meeting was a service of Holy Communion, celebrated by Dean Hall on Monday 8th January and was followed by the AGM.
A date for your diary, Prayer Breakfast on3rd March 2018. Parish Visiting
Can you help us? The Clergy and Diocesan Pastoral Assistant are always around the parish making visits but they may not be in the right place at the right time. If you are unwell, feeling neglected or just lonely, please ring Beth in the office and one of the clergy will be delighted to call. If you know of someone who would value a clerical visit or if a parishioner has had a close bereavement please also inform Beth in the office. It is not recommended that you tell one of the clergy at the Cathedral door on a Sunday morning for there is every possibility they could forget in the midst of shaking hands with 300 people! A little written note handed to them is a safer option.
If you or a member of your family are admitted to any hospital including the South West Acute Hospital, and you would like a visit can you please inform the Cathedral Office or a member of the clergy? Do not rely on the hospital system to inform the clergy as this may not happen. This month for example a parishioner was four weeks in a Belfast hospital and five weeks in the South West Acute Hospital before her name appeared on a hospital list and the clergy were alerted of her hospitalisation! The clergy may well be on the same ward visiting other parishioners and not be aware of a parishioner in another room!