‘From Firm Roots to Witness’ is the title of a colourful festival of flowers held at Clooney Hall Methodist Church over the weekend, in celebration of 150 years of Christian ministry.
Running from Friday to Sunday, the festival was open to the public from 10am to 4pm on Friday and Saturday, and from 2pm to 6.30pm on Sunday, with an auction of floral arrangements taking place on Saturday.
A short Opening Service took place on Friday Morning, at which the nine exhibits were dedicated. The topics included interpretations on Creation, Prophecy of the Messiah, the Calling of the First Disciples, Resurrection, Healing, Children, The Evidence of Love and Teaching.
Welcoming visitors to the festival, the Minister, Rev Peter Murray, said the theme was about “connecting with our heritage and our future”.
“We are looking back 150 years to 1862 when the first Clooney Hall was opened for worship on this site. We are also looking to what new things we may need to be doing to meet the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of our community.
“The Methodist people of this city have always bee folk who place an equal emphasis on the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus and on living it out, particularly in caring for those most in need,” he said.
In addition to the festival, a Craft Fair took place on Saturday and the weekend also included special services of celebration to mark the church’s 150th anniversary.
Among the visitors to the fair was Charlie the Monkey who spent an hour at the event amusing everyone around him.
The first anniversary service was at 11.15am on Sunday, when the guest of honour was Rev Donald Kerr, Secretary of the Methodist Church in Ireland.
The hymns were ‘Angel voices, ever singing’ followed by ‘Jesus is Lord!’ and ‘The Church of Christ in every age’, and the Choir sang the anthem ‘Come people of the risen King’. The Scripture reading was taken from 1 Thessalonians 2: 1to 8.
Later on Sunday the sermon for the evening Anniversary Service at 6.15pm was given by Rev Murray, and a key feature of the service was the songs of worship by the Glengormley Methodist Youth Choir, from Belfast, who were accompanied by Jack Audley.