THE Bishop of Connor Rt Rev Alan Abernethy negotiated icy roads from Belfast in order to preside at the united confirmation service in All Saints’, Craigyhill.
The special Palm Sunday service was led by Roger Thompson, Rector of St Patrick’s with All Saints, with help from visiting clergy Ven. Stephen Forde and Revd Jim Caldwell, Larne & Inver, with music provided by Victor Haslett, organist and the St Cedma’s music group, led by Roderick Bain.
A total of 11 young people and adults were confirmed, drawn from four local congregations – All Saints’, Craigyhill, St Cedma’s, Larne, St John’s, Glynn and St Patrick’s, Cairncastle – and a congregation of over 100 braved the elements to come and support them.
Despite the cold weather, the worshippers soon warmed up waving palm crosses as they sang “Rejoice! Rejoice! Christ is in you!” in recognition of Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
In his address, Bishop Alan showed his customary good humour, calling upon the 11 candidates for confirmation – together with the whole church – to be “donkeys for Jesus”, being prepared to carry Him into the community.
“This will be challenging at time involving hard choices such as forgiveness when people hurt us, lending without being paid back and giving possessions away when we have more than we need,” he said.
“Sometimes being open about our faith will risk misunderstanding, indifference or even rejection – being ridiculed as a donkey in the sense of not being cool”, he added.
After the service, the whole congregation enjoyed fellowship over a cup of tea in the hall.
Roger Thompson, rector of the parish, commented, “I really enjoyed today’s event – it’s so encouraging to see the candidates confirming their commitment to Jesus.
“It was also a particular pleasure to be able to celebrate Palm Sunday with friends from four local congregations, when had we been meeting separately the elements might well have dampened our enthusiasm.”