Congratulations to Glenavy parishioner Gillian Steele, whose stunning picture of St Aidan’s Parish Church in the snow scooped the top prize in the Church of Ireland Gazette December photography competition.
Gillian, for whom photography is a much enjoyed hobby, said she was surprised and delighted to hear her photograph is appearing on the cover of the Gazette’s December issue.
“I sent three photos of the church in the snow, one of them has footprints leading to the church,” she recalled. It is this photo that was selected as the winning entry.
Gillian says that, like her late father, she has always had a love of photography. She recalls childhood holidays in places like the Copeland Islands and Rathlin, in her company of her family, with her dad bird watching and capturing images of the scenery.
“When Dad died a couple of years ago, I got his camera. It is lovely to capture any moment in time. I live just a mile and a half from St Aidan’s, and when snow falls in the church grounds there is nowhere like it.”
Gillian is married to David, who is on the Glenavy Select Vestry and is glebewarden, and they have four daughters, all with a keen interest in photography.
“We live on a dairy farm, and with four daughters and two jobs I don’t have a lot of time for photography,” said Gillian. “But I particularly love taking pictures of Middle Church, Ballinderry, there is just something about it. No matter where you stand in a church graveyard, the light change and no picture is ever the same.”
Six generations of the Steel family have been confirmed in Glenavy Parish, where Gillian and David play an active role. Both Gillian and Glenavy Parish will receive a prize of £90 from the competition sponsors.