Many will have watched the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29 – but there were some in Connor Diocese who did more than just tune in!
The Rev Derek Kerr, rector of Drummaul, Duneane and Ballyscullion, made the journey to London for a first hand sight of the Royal couple and viewers of BBC’s Newsline programme will have seen him interviewed on the day as he celebrated along with the thousands of others who lined the route. Derek is on his way home and we hope to catch up with him about his experiences when he makes it back to Randalstown.
A number of people from Belfast actually took part in the wedding ceremonies, and two of them trained for their roles in Belfast Cathedral.
One was Nigel Harris, the Dean’s Verger, who held the same position when he was in Belfast.
David Martin, a Past Chorister of Belfast and former student of music at MCB and Exeter University, sang in the choir at the wedding service. As well as his post at the Abbey, his professional career takes him to perform internationally. His parents, Alan and Dorothy are members of Belfast Cathedral.
Another ex-MCB music student, Ian Keightley a most competent organist, is head of Music at Westminster School where the choristers of the Abbey are pupils. Ian’s parents are members of St Nicholas’ Parish, Belfast.
Another Ulsterman who was present was The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. In a message to his church members he said it would be a great privilege to attend the Royal Wedding. “Every wedding is a moment of hope and trust as people commit themselves to one another and to the unknown future. I hope that all who gather to watch the pageantry of Friday’s event will remember to hold in their prayers William and Kate – two young people who face exceptional challenges and calls to service in their lives.”
Meanwhile, the bellringers of St Patrick’s Parish Church, Ballymena, may not have made it to the Abbey, but they are always delighted to have an excuse to ring their bells and Friday April 29 was no exception!
Bells were rung in towers all over the UK to celebrate the wedding of Prince William and the lovely Kate, and among them were the bells of St Patrick’s.
The team who rang for the happy occasion were Sam Letters (Tower Captain), Colin Watt, Adam Service, Ivan Stacey, Jayne Service, Alastair Marrs, Alex McKay and Chancellor S. Lloyd (pictured left to right).