Added on 05/12/2012
A Service of Re–opening and Rededication was held in Lisburn Cathedral on Sunday 2 December 2012.
The preacher at the special service was the Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy who dedicated the building. The cathedral was full to capacity, and guests and parishioners were welcomed by the rector, the Rev Canon Sam Wright.
Lisburn Ladies Harmony Choir performed two sets during the service, adding to the atmosphere of thanksgiving and celebration.
The historic building in the heart of the city has been subject to a series of renovation and refurbishment works in recent years. Phase one of the works to the exterior of the Cathedral building was completed two years ago.
The phase two works were all internal and included rewiring, new lighting, new seating, a coffee area, new audio visual provision, carpeting and redecoration.
These were completed last week and the building re–opened for use on the day of the rededication.
Canon Wright paid tribute to the Select Vestry for its leadership and vision, in particular Glebewardens Paul Duggan and John Humes. The experts on the sound and vision team – Martin Lester, Des Henry and David Lamont, had created first class visuals and sound, Canon Wright said.
The project architect was Des Cairns and the main contractor was Annvale Construction Ltd. The total cost of both the exterior and interior renovation phases of the building works was £800,000.
‘As there were problems with the defective electrical installation and numerous issues with regard to the internal finishes and Health & Safety problems, the vestry decided not only to work hard at restoration and solving of the apparent problems but also to allow the building to be flexible and able to be used in different ways, which would allow more people to come in, feel welcome and comfortable, and to experience God and be part of a church family,’ said Canon Wright.
‘Like all historic buildings the cathedral has great cultural significance, it embodies a great many things to many people, the aim was to carry out the work in such a way as to enhance the heritage elements and yet provide modern safe and adaptable facilities.’
Now the main door opens into a welcoming new oak and glass porch. New lighting has been installed and the stairwell decorated. The doors into the nave have been refurbished and upgraded for fire safety, and the new coffee area has a newly sanded and polished floor.
A new planar glass screen provides subtle separation from this area to the main part of the nave. Careful consideration has been made to install these items without damaging the historic elements.
In the main part of the newly carpeted nave, the new sound, vision and lighting control desk is located just inside the glass screen. Video cameras will assist all those on the gallery and to the sides to have a good view of proceedings and well as providing sound and vision to the Church Hall. The gallery has large plasma screens at high level. The new chairs can be clipped together to or stacked.
‘With a new fire alarm, new emergency lighting, and upgraded doors the refurbished building will be a much safer and brighter place to have services and other events,’ added Canon Wright.
During Sunday’s service, and Act of Commissioning was held for mission teams to serve in Lisburn and in Yei Diocese, South Sudan.
John O’Neill, Karen Webb, Amy Webb and Aimee Jess were commissioned to work as a Church Army Mission Team with Lisburn Cathedral. Alan Abernethy, Karen Bushby, Judith Cairns, Frank Dobbs, Stephen Forde, David Gough, Andrew Sweeney and Sam Wright were commissioned to work as a Church Mission Society Ireland team in partnership with the Diocese of Yei, South Sudan.
Members of both teams were presented for commissioning by Rev Simon Genoe (Curate) and commissioned by the Dean of Connor, the Very Rev John Bond.
The Mayor of Lisburn Alderman William Leathem congratulated the Select Vestry and all involved in the work of restoration and also commended the musical contributions by the Cathedral Choir and Lisburn Ladies Harmony Choir.
The Vision verse given to the Cathedral is Jeremiah 27:9 ‘Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.’
In a further step to open wide the doors to the community on Monday December 3 the Cathedral was again packed for the reopening concert featuring The Leading Ladies.
After a magnificent evening of fine music and fun Canon Wright said: ‘We were so blessed to have been able to have musicians and singers of such a high calibre to perform on this historic occasion for the reopening. Our curate, Simon Genoe, also performed with his band and they too were a roaring success. I want to say a big thank you to all who have made this such a memorable and delightful few days.’
At the Service of Re–opening and Rededication of Lisburn Cathedral are, from left: Mrs Joyce Bond, Dean John Bond, Alderman William Leatham, Mayor of Lisburn, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, Bishop of Connor, Mrs Liz Abernethy; Canon Sam Wright, Mrs Paula Wright, the Rev Simon Genoe and Mrs Zara Genoe.
For further information please contact:
Connor Diocesan Communications Officer