First Confirmation Service for new Bishop

Tuesday September 18th 2007

The Rt Revd Alan Abernethy, newly enthroned Bishop of Connor, officiated at his first Confirmation Service in St Matthew's Church in the upper Shankill Road area of Belfast on Sunday September 16.

There were eight candidates, all of whom were adults, three from St Matthew's and five from St Andrew's Glencairn.

Bishop Alan at the Confirmation Service in St Matthew's.One of the St Andrew's candidates had been baptised by immersion on the previous Sunday, which was also a "first" for the Glencairn church.

In his address, the Bishop referred to the old meanings of personal names. He suggested that "Alan" is given the meaning "handsome" in some dictionaries! He spoke of two ‘lovely’ names that relate to confirmation – "Grace" and "Joy". A  Christian receives unconditional Grace from God and experiences a deep Joy in his or her life, the Bishop said.

There was the usual parish bunfight afterwards in St Matthew's church hall.

Photo by the Rev Ken Houston.

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