The rector of Lisburn Cathedral, Canon Sam Wright, returned to his childhood roots by spending a day manning the till in a local grocery shop.
Sam grew up living above his father’s shop in Bangor and as a teenager he would have helped out working on the tills in the business.
Rowan Black, Managing Director Greens Foodfare, and store manager David Thompson arranged Sam’s return to retail during a week of community engagement by members and staff of Lisburn Cathedral.
Greens’ staff member Maureen Wilson trained Sam for his day in the business and ensured his practices were updated. The last time Sam worked in retail the only methods of payment were cash and cheques so credit cards, cashback and charge accounts were a whole new realm for him.
Sam said afterwards: “I am very grateful to all in Greens who facilitated my involvement and made the experience very enjoyable. I am very keen that businesses in Lisburn know that we appreciate them and that as a church we are supporting and praying for them.”
Alongside the rector’s work in Greens, Cathedral members made hundreds of buns for those working in local businesses and these were then delivered by the clergy and a team of helpers.
“The message that went with the buns was that we simply want businesses to be blessed by the God as they strive to flourish in the current difficult economic environment,” Sam said.
The gift of buns was frequently received with surprise and delight by those working in the centre of the City. “Whilst this was a small gesture, we hope it communicated that we are interested in the wellbeing of the individuals who provide the services from which we benefit,” the rector added.
A further aspect of the community engagement week was video interviews carried out by the Rev Simon Genoe, curate, and some of the Cathedral congregation. Simon asked those in the centre of Lisburn to give their views on Lisburn, on where they find community, on Jesus and on the church. Those interviewed were very open in giving their thoughts and opinions on these subjects. The Cathedral hopes this will help its members to understand the views of those in the city and how they can contribute to building community.
The Bible verse at the heart of the vision of Lisburn Cathedral is to ‘pray for the peace and prosperity of the city were I (God) sent you’ – Jeremiah 29:7.
It was this verse that inspired the Cathedral’s staff and members to engage with the community and businesses in Lisburn as part of its ongoing vision for contributing to the well being of the City were God has placed them.