Glorious day to celebrate 150 years

Exactly 150 years, right down to the very hour, after the consecration of our church building, on July 8th, 1868, the church was full again with an attendance of more than 275 people  to celebrate this significant milestone. It was very much a parish family celebration, with the second-longest-serving rector, the Ven Gordon Linney, returning to be celebrant and a former parishoner, the Very Rev Gregory Dunstan, Dean of Armagh, coming back as preacher. It was a particularly apt occasion to have him there as he, in a former life, had landscaped the church grounds – a setting which everybody could enjoy during the garden party after the service.
 Parishoners, neighbours and  local church and community representatives were all welcomed by the Rector to the service, for which the organist and director of music, Nathan Barrett, had composed a special Communion setting for the choir to sing. Straight afterwards, a commemorative tree was planted in the church grounds by Holly Kelly, a granddaughter of much-missed parishoner Deirdre Moppett who had been involved in the early stages of the planning of our 150th anniversary commemorations before her death last August.
 There was a great buzz at the all-age party afterwards, for which Linda Gunning led the catering with great panache and clockwork efficiency. Thanks to all those in the organising team and also the helpers roped in for the day. We’re hoping that at the 200th anniversary, some of those children attending last weekend will recall the sunny Sunday, 50 years ago, that they went to church, there was an ice-cream van handing out cones and everybody seemed happy!