The celebrations marking the 250th anniversary of Cappagh Parish Church, near Omagh, would become part of parish folklore for decades to come, the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe told parishioners on Sunday evening. The Rt Rev Ken Good was speaking at a Service of Celebration during which the church was re-hallowed following an extensive restoration project.
“It is a job well done,” Bishop Good told the congregation. “The building, we trust, has been secured for another 250 years.” He said people had “worked for weeks, maybe months,” preparing for the ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ Flower Festival and for the 250th anniversary celebration.
“Finding Prince William’s – the Duke of Cambridge’s - wedding tunic [which is on display over the four days of the festival] was a stroke of genius,” Bishop Good said, “wherever it came from.”
Cappagh Church had been decorated extensively for the occasion. The Bishop remarked that it had been the first time he had seen flowers inside the church and right round the graveyard at a church flower festival. He congratulated all those who had worked so hard to make the church look so well.
Bishop Good said many in the parish must have been exhausted after the effort they had put in. He thanked the Rector, Rev Canon Derek Quinn, and his team, for their leadership and direction. And he acknowledged the work of the diocesan architect, Caroline Dixon, the building contractors, and the many others involved in what he called “this remarkable project. It seems hardly a stone has been left unturned.”
Bishop Good urged the congregation to ask themselves what the Lord was saying to them this weekend “through the [building] project, through the flowers, through the evidence of his work, because I think he does want to speak to all of us.” And the Bishop urged them to “tell that, speak it. A personal word of testimony will work wonders, will bring blessing to people, and it will be good for you, too.”
“This has been a successful weekend in every respect,” Bishop Good said, “the building, the flower festival, the teas, the breakfast, the services, financially. What I am saying tonight is, we want it to be spiritually successful, too: that something spiritual happens in our hearts, in our response to God, in our discipleship, in what we say to others about him. So, allow the Lord to speak and then you speak to others about him.”
Opening Sunday evening’s service, the Rector said he doubted whether – in its 250 years – Cappagh Parish Church had ever had two Bishop Kens visiting in one day. Canon Quinn thanked all in the parish and from right across the community who had helped with the anniversary celebrations.
Among those in church for the service was the Parish Priest of Drumquin, Father Kevin Mullan. During the service, prayers were said for those suffering as a result of the flooding in the Philippines, and North and South Carolina.
Afterwards, the congregation enjoyed refreshments in the marquee which had been erected in the church car park.