This weekend, parishioners of Mossley will celebrate their 50th anniversary with special services of thanksgiving attended by the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev George Davison.
Mossley Parish was formally created on Sunday May 30 1971, following the establishment of a new worshipping community in Newtownabbey in 1967. The Rev Leslie Forsythe was the first rector and the 1970s saw remarkable growth within the parish.
When Mr Forsythe moved to Antrim Parish in 1980, he was succeed by the Rev Hugh Hopkins, and then in 1986 by the Rev Neil Cutciliffe. The current rector, the Rev Peter Jones, was instituted in 2017.
During the past 50 years, Mossley Parish has been blessed through the ministries of eight curates, and a significant number of parishioners have responded to the call of God into ordained or lay ministries.
A vast array of parochial organisations has developed, and a strong sense of community has always been at the heart of Mossley Parish.
Peter said: “Just before the Covid-19 pandemic, we had a wide range of plans made to celebrate our 50th anniversary. Many of these have been placed on hold until the autumn when, we hope and pray, that the easing of restrictions may enable us to acknowledge this significant year in the life of our parish in a more complete way.”
The celebrations will officially begin this Sunday, 50 years to the day Mossley Parish came into being. Bishop George will be present for two thanksgiving services. “We are delighted to see many parishioners join with us for in-church worship and there will also be an online service which is available on our website,” Peter said.
“In the year ahead, we hope to gather for an anniversary dinner in a local hotel, further develop our Christian mission and ministry in new and innovative ways and continue to reach out into our local community. We look forward to welcoming Streetreach back to Mossley in July 2022.”