The BBC’s Countryfile team spent a full day filming in the Killen, Killeter and Aghyaran districts this week, in preparation for an episode which will be aired on Sunday 17th June.
The programme-makers focused on the efforts of local churches to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of renowned hymn-writer, Cecil Frances Alexander, and to share her story.
Church members in the area have already completed the ‘Bright and Beautiful Big Spring Clean’ and later this year will be combining to form the Bright and Beautiful Community Choir. But Countryfile was particularly interested in the community gardens project.
Four gardens have been created in the four churches in Killeter, each drawing inspiration from one of Mrs Alexander’s hymns: Once in Royal David's City at St Patrick's, Aghyaran; Jesus calls us O'er the Tumult at Aghyaran Methodist, Church; There is a Green Hill Far Away at Maghenageeragh Presbyterian Church; and All Things Bright and Beautiful at St Bestius, Church of Ireland, Killeter. The four are linked by a walking trail.
As well as telling the story of Cecil Frances Alexander, the Community Garden Walking Trail also shares the story of her saviour, Jesus Christ, from Bethlehem, Galilee and Jerusalem, and to Heaven. The Rector of the Derg and Termonamongan parishes, Rev Peter Ferguson, says, “This has been a real community coming-together effort, with all resources and skills being donated and provided by local businesses and people, as well as a donation from our District Council.”
The photograph above shows Rev Ferguson (third left) with representatives of the other local churches: Rev Robert Orr (Presbyterian, second left); Fr John Gilmore (Roman Catholic, second from right) and Rev Sam Livingstone (Methodist, far right).