‘Sacred Harmony’ from Northern Ireland

Monday November 7th 2022

‘Sacred Harmony’ presenters Simon Lole (left) and John Mann, former Dean of Belfast, pictured when filming at Corrymeela.

The Christian TV Broadcaster TBNUK was filming in Northern Ireland recently, with the familiar face of the Very Rev John Mann, former Dean of Belfast, among the presenters.

Five half-hour programmes under TBNUK’s Sacred Harmony series of broadcasts, which highlights Christian music through the centuries, will be aired during November and December. These can be found on Freeview Channel 66, Sky Channel 582 or online at TBNUK. 

The lead presenter is Simon Lole, former Director of Music at Salisbury Cathedral, and a regular contributor to BBC Songs of Praise

Simon conducts a choir of local singers, the Ulster Consort, in a variety of Christian music styles.  All the choir pieces were recorded in St Molua’s Church, Stormont.

Dean John Mann is co-presenting ‘Sacred Harmony’ from Northern Ireland.

Dean Mann, who earlier this year retired having been team rector of the Parish of Swanage with Studland in the South of England after leaving St Anne’s Cathedral in 2017, appears chatting with Simon and other participants, and contributing a meditation at the end of each programme.

The five programmes are individually themed.  The first is on St Patrick and features an interview with the Dean of Down, Henry Hull at Down Cathedral, as well as Simon and John chatting at Saul Church, and it includes some familiar music.  It is to be broadcast on Tuesday November 15 at 10pm, and repeated on Wednesday November 16 at 5.30pm and Sunday November 20 at 12.30pm

The programmes continue on Belfast, the following week, with the same pattern of times of broadcast. Simon and John then visit Corrymeela for a programme on Reconciliation and Derry/Londonderry is the setting for their programme on Hope the Future, when the presenters meet Bishop Andrew Forster and visit iconic places in the city. The fifth programme leads into Advent and Christmas. 

Although Connor Diocese is not specifically featured in the series, some of the filming was done in the diocese, with shots across Belfast from Black Mountain. Simon did some presentation in Writers’ Square, with St Anne’s Cathedral in the background, and John chats with Simon in St Peter’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in the city, where one of John’s meditations was recorded.

Filming at Corrymeela, near Ballycastle.

When visiting Corrymeela, the beautiful Connor shoreline was filmed, including the Giant’s Causeway. The Focolare House, setting for an interview, is in the parish of St John’s, Malone, and those involved in the filming stayed at the Dunadry Hotel, Templepatrick.

All the programmes will be available on catch up, and while the programmes are geared to a largely UK mainland audience, they should be very enjoyable as the scenery of Northern Ireland is shown in all its beauty, and a wide range of our Christian music is explored.

You will find further information in the TBNUK Newsletter.

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