The Rt Rev Hilary Luate Adebe, Bishop of the Diocese of Yei in southern Sudan, Africa, had the opportunity to make his first snowball during a 10 day visit to Northern Ireland.
Days earlier the Bishop was in his hometown of Yei basking in temperatures of 34 degrees. A plane journey and several days later he was cooling off on Shane’s Hill, Co Antrim, where temperatures just about reached one degree.
One of the highlights of his visit was the Entrhonement Service for the new Archishop of Armagh, the Most Rev Alan Harper, in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, on March 16.
As Bishop of one of Connor’s link dioceses, Bishop Hilary has already established a close relationship with the new Primate, and had the opportunity to meet with him in private after the Enthronment.
Bishop Hilary’s schedule included meetings with staff at the Church Mission Society Ireland (CMSI) in Belfast and Connor Diocesan Council for Mission, and visits to Belfast Bible College and the Irish School of Ecumenics.
He visited the Restorative Justice Programme and the Cornerstone Reconciliation Community and also travelled to a number of Connor parishes including Ardoyne in north Belfast, St Michael’s on the Shankill Road and Agherton in Portstewart, and participated in services in Cairncastle, in Larne, and at Queen’s University, Belfast.
Bishop Hilary leaves Northern Ireland on March 24 and flies home to Sudan on March 26.
Archdeacon Stephen Forde, who hosted Bishop Yei during his visit, said: “Although you can read about the situation in a place like Sudan, it is not until you actually meet someone who lives their daily life there that you begin to understand the harsh realities they have survived and the deep faith that carries them through every day.
“I hope as many people as possible took the opportunity to meet and welcome this man of faith, whose life has been shaped by the challenges of modern Africa.”
The link between Yei and Connor was formalised at the last Connor Diocesan Synod in October, and in January this year when the Archdeacon of Dalriada, the Ven Stephen Forde, travelled to Sudan to join delegates at the three-day Yei Diocesan Synod.
Visit our Photo Gallery for more pictures of Bishop Hilary's visit.