St Columb’s Cathedral has been formally twinned with the Guildhall Church of St Lawrence Jewry in London.
Among those to attend the historic event held on Sunday, during Choral Evensong, were members from The Honourable the Irish Society, headed by the new Deputy Governor Roger Chadwick, who is also the treasurer of the Church of St Lawrence Jewry. Rev Canon David Parrott, Guild Vicar, was also in attendance for the service on Sunday, and was hosted for the visit here by the Dean of Derry, Very Rev Dr William Morton. To mark the occasion, Canon Parrott, who is also Chaplain to the Corporation of the City of London, was asked to give the sermon.
Describing the twinning as “a marvellous event”, the Dean of Derry said the twinning had a very large degree of significance for the City of Londonderry and for St Columb’s Cathedral.
“When you think about it, the respective roles of each church are very similar and it is, therefore, quite appropriate that St Columb’s and St Lawrence Jewry are twinned, because they are both in the city centre, there is a distinct civic role and special occasions are launched from both venues, which in our case involved the launch of the Lighting Strategy, and many different civic occasions where you have civic and public representatives present. These types of events and services are held in each of these churches.
“I think that, in terms of all that has been achieved, and continues to be achieved by The Honourable The Irish Society and also by us in widening our horizons about how we do things in terms of the wider church, that it is an enormously healthy development that we are linked in this way with the church in London.
The dignitaries were formally welcomed to the Cathedral by the Dean of Derry and both clergymen and the members of The Honourable The Irish Society performed the official launch.
Speaking after the event, the Dean of Derry, Dr Morton, said: “It will mean next year, possibly in the Spring, that I would maybe go to London and preach in their church. So, it is going to be a very two-way reciprocal process.
“I am really thrilled about the twinning and the prospect of preaching in St Lawrence Jewry, I think it is a wonderful idea, as is the idea of taking the Cathedral Choir over to London and vice versa.
“The Honourable The Irish Society, of course, celebrated 400 years back in 2013 and we had a special service here involving all denominations and when you think about it, in 2013 we were celebrating the arrival of The Promise Chalice and 400 years since The Honourable The Irish pioneered the building of the Cathedral.
“So Sunday was a further consolidation, or, indeed, a re-consolidation of that link with them,” the Dean said.