The sinking of the ferry the Princess Victoria with the loss of 135 lives in 1953 was recalled by the Dean of Belfast during a service broadcast on Sunday January 31 on BBC Radio 4 and Radio Ulster.
Morning service was led by Dean’s Vicar, the Rev Canon Mark Niblock, and the preacher was Dean Stephen Forde.
The theme of the Service was ‘Belfast, a City Shaped by the Sea.’ It featured some wonderful music from four socially distance sopranos, singing in the Cathedral under the direction of Matthew Owens, with Jack Wilson on the organ. Gillian McGaughey, Diocesan Reader, and the Rev Colin Hall-Thompson, Chaplain to the Mission to Seafarers at Belfast Port, also took part.
Welcoming those who tuned in for the service, Dean Forde spoke of ‘the enormity of suffering caused by the pandemic with the tragic news this week that over 100,000 people have died in the United Kingdom.’
He emphasised that the people of Belfast, like elsewhere in the UK, are living under the restrictions imposed by current lockdown regulations.
“Belfast is a port city and the cathedral parish area extends to the Port of Belfast. Since the beginning of January, many news reports have featured Belfast Port as ferry companies, lorry drivers and customs officials, have all adapted to the new Brexit regulations across the Irish Sea, just as others face similar challenges in ports around our county,” the Dean said.
“Belfast is a city shaped by the sea. Today, in our service from this cathedral, and in the midst of this current pandemic, we remember before God, all who work to keep our lives supplied and safe.”
You can listen into Sunday’s Service on BBC Radio 4.
The text of Dean Forde’s full sermon can be downloaded HERE.