Dear Friends,

On 6th February, Her Majesty the Queen became the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth. A special 4 day bank holiday is being marked with events to celebrate this significant landmark from Thursday 2nd June – Sunday 5th June.

We hope to celebrate in church with a special all-age Family Service on Sunday 5th June, which is Pentecost Sunday. On that Sunday we are inviting parishioners to come to the service at 11am and bring a picnic for yourself and your household which we will share together on the lawn after the service (weather permitting).

If the weather is inclement, we will relocate to the church halls. We hope to send each household in the parish an invitation to that service
and picnic and each household will also receive a specially commissioned book of photographs and prayers called “Our Faithful Queen” to celebrate this unique occasion. After the past few years we are very excited about being able to gather together in person to celebrate this special weekend in the life of our nation.

The Queen has always been a wonderful ambassador for the Christian Faith speaking very openly about how important it is in her own life. Faith has sustained her through difficult times both in her own personal life and indeed in the life of the nation and the Commonwealth where often she has spoken words of hope and encouragement in times of crisis and adversity. We hope you will be able to join us on the day, Sunday 5th June.

There are a couple of other special events coming up in the month of June which we wanted to make people aware of.

On Sunday 26th June, our Sunday School prize-giving will take place where we take the opportunity to honour our children who have been learning about faith on Sundays throughout the year. We also take that opportunity to thank all our teachers who have worked with dedication and commitment to pass on the faith to the next generation. On that particular Sunday, we are hoping to have another all-age Family Service so we would love to see you there.

On Thursday 30th June at 7.30pm we look forward to welcoming Bishop David to a Service of Confirmation. We ask you to pray for Oliver, Robyn, Finn, Patricia and 3 candidates from St. Columba’s, Knock who will be confirmed that evening. It is always a significant and special occasion for the candidates and their families and for the life of any congregation so we hope many will come to support those who are taking this important step of faith.

As this magazine goes to print we have been awaiting news about the processing of visas for our Ukrainian family. It has been a slow process but we are hopeful that progress has been made in recent weeks and we are grateful for the intervention of local MLAs and Bishop David to progress this matter. We hope it won’t be long until we can welcome this family who have been through so much and we continue to pray for Evgan, Caterina, Inna, Alina and Arina and for their safe passage to Northern Ireland and that they would feel welcomed and supported in every way as they settle into a new land and a new culture.

Recently BBC Newsline did an interview at the church highlighting the delays in the visa process not just for this family but for many families and the faith groups and community groups who are trying to support them and get them here.

Normally in June we take the opportunity to wish those who are doing exams well. Exams are often accompanied by a rise in temperatures and pleasant weather conditions which make study that bit more challenging but we invite you to pray for those who are preparing for important exams in schools and universities. Some will be preparing to finish schools and move from primary to second level education and others will be preparing for the transition from second to third level education so we wish all our parishioners well in their academic endeavours.

Could I also say a huge thank you to those who have been helping to keep the grounds tidy on a monthly basis and the members of the
St. Finnian’s Hedge project who have been gardening and learning new skills while combining forces to set off the church grounds so beautifully at this time of year.

Thank you to all our volunteers and groups who have done so much to facilitate meeting together after these difficult years. It has been so good to see people mixing and mingling and enjoying one another’s company again in services and organisations during this past number of months.

With very best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Pierce (Rector)

Telephone 02890 793822