The ninth and final Vision Strategy Rural Deanery meeting took place in St Nicholas Parish Hall, Belfast, on September 26 and was attended by representatives of parishes from the South Belfast Rural Deanery.
The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, spoke about the
importance of engaging with the
communities in which our parishes are based, and explored the many and dramatic changes in culture over just a few decades.
Roy Totten of the Connor Vision Strategy group outlined the background to the strategy, and highlighted some of the key findings of a survey of parishes in the diocese.
The Ven Barry Dodds, Archdeacon of Belfast, gave a presentation of some examples of best practice already happening in parishes across Connor. Following refreshments, all parishes had an opportunity to break up into workshops to discuss some questions raised by the Vision Strategy group.
Meetings for clergy have also been held on an archdeaconry basis – in Agherton on September 13 (Dalriada) and Antrim on September 20 (Connor) with the final archdeaconry meeting in St Peter’s, Antrim Road (Belfast) taking place on October 2. These have been addressed by Connor’s parish development officer Trevor Douglas.
Photos by the Rev Elizabeth Hannah.