There’s a sort of rule that I don’t allow the various bits of my life past and present to collide here – but I’ll make an exception in this case.
Back to Portadown yesterday for the opening of the new Parish Centre at Seagoe. It was a wonderful day for the Parish and great to meet people with whom Alison and I shared so much. These things take a long time – this project has been 15 years in thinking, planning and praying. My successor Terence and I looked at each other in mutual admiration – him at the effort which we all put in to getting the plans agreed in my time; me at his ability to find £1.3m and the energy to get it built. Why so long? Paradigm shift, of course. This is the move from Church Hall as a place for recreation and friendship for the members of an existing church community to something quite different .. a building for mission, facing outwards to the community, equipped for hospitality and learning, directly linked to the church and with a new worship space at its heart. One other thing. The 15 years happened to coincide with some of the most difficult years of community tension in Portadown – and yesterday this bit of the Church of Ireland community made a very positive statement about its future with representatives of church and community there to share it and the Roman Catholic Bishop on the platform. And this is what I said