Photographer John Kelly was out and about capturing different activities taking place in the Lisburn area over the Easter period, and you can view his pictures in our gallery below.
These included Lisburn’s Cathedral’s fourth annual ‘Big Church Serve,’ a fun Day at Christ Church Parish, the Good Friday Walks of Witness in Lisburn City and Lambeg, a dawn service in the city centre and Big Story World at Lisburn Cathedral.
The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, spent some time at Lisburn Cathedral over Easter, and attended the Walk of Witness and an Easter Ice Cream Sundae family service.
The theme of the Cathedral’s ‘Big Church Serve, which ran from April 12-15, was ‘Big Story World.’ Over the four days, the Dean of Connor, the Very Rev Sam Wright (Lisburn Cathedral Rector) joined around 150 of his parishioners in putting on high visibility vests and demonstrating their care for the people of Lisburn through community events and practical service.
These included a football cage, street cleaning, giveaways and a climbing wall. In the Hillhall Estate, a marquee was erected to host a pamper club, a kids’ club and a team of volunteers cleaned up local gardens. A Maundy Thursday was held in the Marquee in Hillhall.
As part of ‘Big Church Serve,’ the Cathedral building became a ‘Big Story World.’ Gareth Campbell (Lisburn Cathedral Youth Worker) said: “Big Story World involved transforming our Cathedral into an interactive, fun exhibition bringing favourite stories and fairy tales to life. “
The event was free of charge, and literally hundreds of families enjoyed crafts, games and activities that told Bible stories from creation through to revelation using famous books and tales. These included Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, the Wizard of Oz, Narnia, Toy Story and the Hungry Caterpillar.
On the Saturday afternoon, the Cathedral welcomed special guests including Snow White, Buzz Lightyear and the characters from Oz, and children were invited to dress up as their own favourite characters to join in the fun.
‘Big Story World concluded with the ‘Easter Ice Cream Sundae’ family service on Easter Sunday at which the speaker was the Bishop of Connor.
The Cathedral said: “The aim of ‘Big Church Serve’ is to bring out the ‘God colours’ in Lisburn and Hillhall by sharing the greatest story ever, the message of Easter, of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin and his offer of new life for all who trust in him as saviour.”
The annual Good Friday carrying of the cross walk of witness was held in Lisburn on Good Friday. The procession gathered at the lower end of Bow Street at 12.30pm and made its way along Bow Street to Market Square for a short act of worship led by some Lisburn City Centre Clergy.
The Rt Rev Dr Frank Sellar (Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland) and the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy (Bishop of Connor) took part in the procession.
Those who gathered for worship following the walk of witness were welcomed by the chairman of Lisburn City Centre Ministers’ Fellowship, the Rev Mervyn Ewing (Minister of Seymour Street Methodist Church). Members of a praise group from Seymour Street Methodist Church led the singing of the hymns, and Lynne McAllister sang a solo.
Bishop Alan was among those who did a Scripture reading. Prayers for the city of Lisburn were led by Pastor George Hilary (Lisburn Christian Fellowship) and the closing prayer was led by the Rev Dr Allen Sleith (Hillsborough Presbyterian Church.
Lambeg Churches also held a Good Friday carrying of the cross walk of witness on Good Friday. The procession commenced at Derryvolgie Parish Church at 10.30am and made its way to Harmony Hill Presbyterian Church then St Colman’s Roman Catholic Church where refreshments were served.
A short time of reflection was held in each church. Speaking of the annual event, the Rev Stephen McElhinney (Derryvolgie Parish) said: “Our main focus today is the ‘Cross’ and the walk of witness is all about remembering the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for our sins.”
On Easter Sunday morning, a number of Lisburn city centre churches united for a Dawn Service at the bandstand in Wallace Park at 6.30am. The service was led by the Rev Michael Davidson (Minister of Railway Street Presbyterian Church) and the address was given by Mr Jamie Maguire (Assistant Minister of Railway Street Presbyterian Church). Musicians from Railway Street led the Easter celebration praise. The service was followed by breakfast in Railway Street Presbyterian Church Hall.
Report by John Kelly, whose photo gallery appears below.