Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Ken Good, has commended the team responsible for delivering a highly successful UK City of Culture programme in 2013.
He made his comments during his Presidential Address at the Diocesan Synod in Clooney Hall in Londonderry on Wednesday, October 23.
“A wide-ranging and imaginative selection of shows, performances, projects, conferences and other events, which the Culture Company has coordinated has brought about a further enhancement of the city’s image and profile,” he said, paying particular tribute to Ms Shona McCarthy.
“Shona McCarthy and her team deserve much credit for drawing up such a successful programme,” he said.
Speaking of the City of Culture Year Bishop Good noted how churches had played their part.
“This included the distribution of a copy of Luke’s Gospel to all 37,000 households in the city, the St Columba Heritage Trail, the Columba Canticles, the Big Weave project and the Bright Brand New Day event, to mention but some of the church initiatives”.
To show that churches are committed to all ages, in November 200 A-Level RE students from across the city will be taking part in an exploration of Faith and Culture, an event planned and delivered by the churches.
Bishop Good commended the contribution that the city of Londonderry has made to the wider good. He told Synod members how he had invited the House of Bishops here during the UK City of Culture year, for one of their residential conferences.
At that event a few weeks ago he said they were greatly impressed with how the city had given a lead in finding a way forward in contentious issues.
He also commended those in leadership positions in the Loyal Orders, residents groups, the police, the business community, and the churches for the “patient and careful way in which they have shown courage in finding a way forward in dealing with parades and the approach adopted in this city might serve as an encouragement and an inspiration to other places”.
He told members of the Synod how he had invited the House of Bishops here during the City of Culture year, for one of their residential conferences.
“They came a few weeks ago and were greatly impressed with what they saw and learnt here. One of the issues we focused on was how this city has given a lead in finding a way forward in contentious issues,” Bishop Good said.
He also referred to the ground-breaking decision by the House of Bishops to appoint St Augustine’s Rector, Rev Pat Storey, as Bishop, making her the first female Bishop to be appointed in the Church of Ireland.
Rev Storey will be consecrated as the first woman Bishop in the Church of Ireland on November 30.
In congratulating her Bishop Good took the opportunity to present her with her Episcopal Ring, as a gift from the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe. He also paid warm tribute to her service in the diocese and in the city of Londonderry.
The Diocesan Synod took place in Clooney Hall in Londonderry on Wednesday 23 October.