The official opening of CMS Ireland’s new premises in Dargan Road, Belfast, on September 6 signals the launch of a new phase in the organisation’s missionary work.
Speaking at the opening of CMS Ireland House, The Most Rev Alan Harper, Archbishop of Armagh, paid tribute to the work of the Society.
“CMS Ireland's new vision has been galvanized by the move into new premises and the Society will play a vital role in enabling the Church in the 21st Century to look in and look out,” he said. “CMS Ireland is integral to the life of the Church in Ireland and the move is a huge encouragement".
The new building will play an important role as the Society embarks on a bold new strategy for the next five years. The Archbishop, assuring the staff and directors of the Society, said: "The whole of the Church will be praying for you."
CMS Ireland's new Director of Mission, Ian Smith, said this was a "day of looking forward" and that in the future he hoped that CMS Ireland would continue to be ‘a blessing to the nations.’ He emphasised that, at its core, CMS Ireland was a "mission agency – not just an aid or development agency" and that meant taking the message of Jesus seriously – in word and deed.
Guests at the opening included the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, Bishop of Connor, the Very Reverend Houston McKelvey, Dean of Belfast, and UTV presenter Paul Clark – all long-standing supporters of the work of CMS Ireland.
Speaking after the ceremony, Mr Smith said: "September 2007 is an important month in the life of CMS Ireland. In many ways it signifies a new beginning in our work with the Church in Ireland and our partners around the World. The upcoming mbrace event at the end of the month will explore that in more detail but today is a tremendously significant step for us."
For more information on the work of CMS Ireland please visit www.cmsireland.org.