We are delighted to say that a spring issue of the diocesan magazine Connor Connections will be in parishes in time for Easter Sunday.
Featuring bright, colourful spring flowers on the cover, the magazine is packed with stories of hope and encouragement, sharing articles about the work being done by clergy, parishes and individuals in this time of pandemic.
Particularly moving are the accounts of three hospital chaplains who have been at the forefront of the battle to care for those who have required hospital care since Covid-19 reached us more than a year ago. Archdeacon Stephen McBride, the Rev Rosie Morton and Sanna Mallon speak openly about the challenges they have faced.
Supporting those who have lost loved ones, and paying tribute to those lost lives, is the aim of Belfast Cathedral’s Lives Reflected project. Launched last November, you can read about the thinking behind this poignant project.
Life in the global Church continues and we thank the Rev Keith Scott and his wife Lyn for speaking to Connor Connections about their many years spent as CMSI mission partners working in the St John’s Anglican Seminary in Zambia. The couple returned home to Northern Ireland at Christmas, and now wait to see where God calls them next.
Connor has had a partnership with the Diocese of Yei in South Sudan since 2007, and so the name Bishop Hilary will be familiar to many. The bishop retired at the start of this year after leading his diocese for more than 16 years – years that experienced war and, briefly, peace. With the formation of a new coalition government in South Sudan, hopes are again high for a peaceful future. Bishop Hilary writes exclusively for Connor Connections about the strong link with Connor Diocese. Three people who know him well – Dean Stephen Forde (Belfast Cathedral), Frank Dobbs from Agherton Parish, and Dean John Bond, retired Dean of Connor, share their memories of the Bishop of Yei.
There are messages of hope from our bishop, the Rt Rev George Davison, and from Connor Mothers’ Union President Sally Cotter, while Diocesan Youth Officer Christina Baillie has a special message for young people.
Other features include an interview with talented musician and composer, 17-year-old Aidan MacLean, a chorister at St Polycarp’s; a visit to the new Community Garden in Glencairn; a feature on some exciting outreach work going on in the Parish of St Paul and St Barnabas, Tiger’s Bay; and an update on the annual Organ Scholarships.
We share tributes to the late Dean Brian Moller and the late Canon Hugh Hopkins.
This is the first Connor Connections to appear in print since last March – the summer and autumn issues were shared online only and can still be accessed from the Connor website.
Please make sure you pick up your Connor Connections when you return to church, and feel free to lift a copy for someone you know who may prefer not to return to in-person worship just yet.