The Rev Malcolm Ferry, rector of Agherton Parish, and the Rev Nigel Kirkpatrick, rector of the Grouped Parishes of Kilroot and Templecorran, will be sharing worship together over the internet this Sunday, May 3.
The service will build on the work of both rectors – who are good friends – to engage with their congregations during this time when the church buildings are closed.
Over the past few Sundays, Agherton Parish has used the opportunity to have online Children’s Services, and last week broadcast a Mothers’ Union Service. For this members of the congregation recorded various parts of the service, and these were brought together by Malcolm.
Nigel has been broadcasting live on the Sunday morning using a special online liturgy which is followed by parishioners at home.
The joint service on Sunday May 3 sees contributions from readers of all ages and both church musicians. Malcolm will preside at Holy Communion and Nigel will preach.
“This is an opportunity to acknowledge that we are one in Christ body and in sharing together we are a support and comfort,” Malcolm said.
“This has given an opportunity for those who would never usually go to the front of the church to lead worship to be involved, as they are happy to make the recording at their own homes for inclusion in the podcast.
“While social distancing measures are in place, this is an attempt for congregations to be together and worship in the name of Christ. Although we are scattered as worshipping community, we remember that we are one in our Lord Jesus Christ and the worship of the Church continues through the medium of the internet.”
Malcolm said the familiar voices and the offering of worship is not meant to be faultless recording; rather this was ‘worship from the heart of each church.’ He added that it was hoped that a new friendship will grow between the parishes, not only now, but in the future.
The prayers will include special prayers for Connor Bishop-designate George Davison, and also for the new Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev John McDowell, who was in the same year as Nigel and Malcolm at Theological College.