A celebration was held in the Parish of Ballyrashane on Friday July 3 to mark the official opening and rededication of Glebe Hall after extensive renovations.
Present were parishioners and friends from the community including representatives from cultural groups and clubs and local industry.
The hall was rededicated by the former Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland and Metropolitan, the Rt Rev the Lord Eames who spoke very movingly of the great opportunity that the hall now provides to bring people together and said he hopes it will indeed make a difference to the lives of people in the parish and community to embrace heritage and bring hope.
During the evening the rector, the Rev Amanda Adams, thanked all those who had supported the hall refurbishment project from within the parish and wider community. She paid tribute to the help and financial assistance the parish received from the Big Lottery Fund who had supported the project’s potential to provide a safe, secure and environmentally friendly space for fellowship and creativity in a very rural setting.
Amanda spoke of the 190 year history of the building and how, although its use had changed over time, its purpose had remained constant in that it always in some way enabled the parish to answer God’s call to be good stewards of his creation.
She said she hoped the provision of a generous energy efficiency grant meant that the refurbished hall could make great strides within the community in terms of relationships while leaving very small footprints on the earth in terms of the environment.
The rector also thanked a number of people who had given freely of their time and expertise, and particular thanks was extended to Mr William Oliver of Exorna Kitchens Ltd who had donated a new kitchen entirely free of charge.
Mr Oliver, a member of Castlerock Parish, was characteristically modest in accepting the gratitude of the whole parish and expressed the hope that kitchen would serve well in helping to provide a welcome and hospitality for all who used the hall.
This aspiration was certainly met during the evening which ended with a delightful supper provided by the ladies of Ballyrashane Parish followed by an equally wonderful and uplifting musical treat served up by Mr Russell Ramage, an extremely gifted accordionist and Ballyrashane parishioner.