Parishes urged to show their creative side

Around 70 people attended Tuesday evening’s diocesan-wide Creative Ministry seminar at Glendermott Parish Hall, organised by the Board of Mission and Unity.

Clergy and lay members from parishes across the diocese – from Castledawson to Dungloe – took part in the two-hour long event, which was led by the chairman of the Board of Mission and Unity, Rev Canon Paul Hoey.

The seminar showcased examples of pioneering ministry in parishes in Dublin, Newtownards and Sligo, as well as a new model of youth outreach in our own Stranorlar Group.

Canon Hoey gave a detailed presentation about the challenges facing the modern Church of Ireland, including falling attendances, ageing congregations and clergy, and wider societal changes such as a fall in Sunday observance.

Those present also listened to a video message from Ven. Andrew Forster endorsing the Creative Ministry event. The Bishop-designate encouraged those in attendance to see the challenges facing the Church as opportunities to reach out to people who see the Church as irrelevant or faith as peripheral. “As followers in Jesus we see faith as absolutely central to what we do and relevant to what we do. I think today is about seeing how we can reach out to people on the periphery and bring them into the family of God.”