New visitor experience at Belfast Cathedral ‘a wonderful introduction to iconic building’
Visitors and tourists to St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, will now be able to enjoy a new and enhanced experience, as a result of the recent launch of a high-quality audio tour and guide booklet to help guide tourists around the building and share in its history.
The Dean of Belfast, the Very Revd John Mann, described the initiative as “a wonderful introduction to one of our iconic buildings, its beautiful art work and its place in the history of the city of Belfast” and urged that the guide “be listened to, even by those who believe that they know St Anne’s well”.
A bright new welcome desk will be the visitor’s first stopping point inside St Anne’s, alongside an expanded cathedral shop. Three new part-time jobs have been created at the reception desk and in the shop.
The Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission, now in its third phase, over the years has undertaken the consideration of major themes: Ministry, the Eucharist, Authority, Ethics, Marian doctrine, Salvation, Church as Communion. At its last meeting, according to its communiqué issued on 22nd May following the Commission’s meeting in Durban, ARCIC-III decided that it was going to consider the Church in its regional expression, with a preliminary text to be brought to the next meeting of the Commission, in April of next year in Italy. The regional is an interesting perspective, moving outside the traditional theme of the Church as both local and universal.
The communiqué also recalled how the mandate for this third phase of ARCIC was to explore “the Church as Communion, local and universal, and how in communion the local and universal Church come to discern right ethical teaching”. Clearly the introduction of the concept of the ‘regional Church’ is seen as an important dimension to this overall endeavour.
The extent to which such a perspective as ‘regional’ is an appropriate ecclesiological category remains to be seen, but clearly regionalism is relevant at least from a cultural point of view. Perhaps the regional is the ‘new local’, given the rise of regional identities. However, if Anglicans view the diocese as the local Church, despite the claims of the parish to that designation, the regional is best seen as beyond the national. For us in Ireland, and from the perspective of a global communion, the region is, surely, Europe. Indeed, the ecumenical movement’s structures favour such a definition: the Conference of European Churches stands structurally between the national and the global (from Ireland/Britain and Ireland to Europe to World).
In fact, there has been speculation that the Lambeth Conference might give way to regional gatherings of bishops, although the danger here is that a regional gathering could lose sight of the global. The regional cannot replace the global and, to that extent, the local/universal relationship is perhaps what really matters. That said, ARCIC-III’s deliberations – under the joint Chairs, the Most Revd Sir David Moxon (Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See) and the Most Revd Bernard Longley (Archbishop of Birmingham) – on the regional Church will be interesting.
The journey of ARCIC has been long and not trouble-free. None of the topics has been an easy one on which to reach ecumenical consensus.
Nonetheless, the task of theological dialogue remains important because the unity of the Church can only be helped forward by the greatest possible consensus, within permissible diversity. However, the limits of such diversity of thinking could themselves be the subject of deeper dialogue and such a study could clarify just how much more work on the major themes is, in fact, required.
- Trinity College Dublin Chapel Choir visits Frankfurt
- Cork city’s historic Shandon clock to be repaired
- Entries sought for WWI short story competition
- Lord Eames to speak at St Anne’s healing service
- St Multose National School, Kinsale, extension opened
- Diocese of Glendalough parish celebrates roof restoration work
- Diocese of Dromore institution
- Cycle fun ride to raise funds for Swaziland water project
- Hundreds to attend July gathering in NI underlining unity among Christians
- Musings – Alison Rooke – A quiet mind
- Insight – ‘A life-changing experience’ Karen Bushby writes about the recent visit of Canon George Irwin – rector of Ballymacash, Lisburn, Diocese of Connor, and chairman of Lisburn Christian Aid – as part of a Christian Aid Ireland team to Zimbabwe to see some of the projects which Christian Aid supports in the country.
- S. Sudan bishop: ‘Bad governance is the real reason for the conflict’
- Anglican bishops in dialogue
- Site survey in Israel may indicate location of New Testament Bethsaida
- New Presbyterian Moderator stresses ‘service and outreach’
- Methodist Church considers NI situation
- St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, receives over €150,000 funding