St Katharine’s Parish, Dunlambert Park, Belfast, celebrated 50 years in the present church building with a Service of Thanksgiving on November 26.
Celebrations continued afterwards with a meal at which an anniversary cake was cut by the rector, the Rev William J Taggart and St Katharines’ oldest parishioner, Mrs Jean McKnight, who was celebrating her 100th birthday the following day.
As a gift, Jean was presented a gift of a Book of Memories with insertions from the rector, the Bishops of Connor and Down and Dromore , as well as her many friends.
The preacher at the Thanksgiving Service was the Bishop of Down and Dromore, the Right Reverend H C Miller, a son of the parish. In his address the Bishop recalled memories of growing up in the parish under the ministry of Canon Tom Beacom and how he had a great affection for this church. He spoke about how church going had changed in the past 50 years and he reminded the congregation that they are the living stones of today’s church and that the Church of Jesus Christ would never fail and that God will never cease to build His Church.
As part of their thanksgiving the rector and people of St. Katharine’s hve raised more than £3,000 to build a church in Lote Uno, Northern Argentina, a village devastated by flooding.
Lote Uno, which literally translated means 'plot number one', is a community of some 30 extended Wichi families. The total number of members is about 250 indigenous people and 90 of those are active in the church.
However small, the group of believers in Lote Uno runs a range of ministries: the Young People's Fellowship meets on Saturday evening, they run a Sunday School for little ones during the Sunday service and once a week the women get together for prayer and Bible study. Each week day morning a dozen church members meet together to look at a chapter of God's Word following a Scripture Union reading programme, to sing a hymn and to dedicate the day in prayer.
As a parish St. Katharine’s feels it a privilege that in this their celebration year they are able to build another church for a worshipping community.
The Select Vestry also organised two follow-up anniversary events, both centred around 'Mission'. The first, on December 3 had the theme 'Moving Forward under God – Individually' and the second, on December 10, has the theme 'Moving Forward under God – Together'.