Special guests light up All Saints’ anniversary festival

Rev Robert Jones. INLT 35-627-CON
Rev Robert Jones. INLT 35-627-CON

Three very special guests are due to return to All Saints’, Linn Road, this weekend to speak at the church’s 50th anniversary flower festival.

Former rector of St Patrick’s with All Saints’, Rev Robert Jones is speaking at the Service of Dedication on Friday, August 31 at 2pm.

A native of Co Carlow, Robert served in the parish from 1994-98 before becoming Dean of Clonmanoise and Incumbent of Trim, in the Diocese of Meath. Then earlier this year he moved north once again to become Rector of St John’s, Malone.

He and his wife Alison - who comes from Millbrook - are fondly remembered in the parish, and it is considered a joy to welcome him back on this happy occasion.

Then on Sunday morning. the Most Revd Alan Harper OBE, BA, Archbishop of Armagh, will speak and officiate at the festival communion service at 10.30am.

The Archbishop last visited the parish on his first Sunday in office back in 2007 when he re-dedicated St Patrick’s Church, Cairncastle after a major renovation project. More recently he preached at Enniskillen Cathedral when the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a special ecumenical service in honour of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

Music at this Sunday’s service will be provided by Victor Haslett, who has been organist at All Saints’ for the last 47 years, with help from St Cedma’s Music Group, led by Rod Baine.

The rector of St Cedma’s, the Ven Stephen Forde, will also be present signifying the partnership between the two parishes.

Please note that worshippers St Patrick’s, Cairncastle are also invited to attend as there is no service in their own church this Sunday.

At 5pm on Sunday, the festival finale will be a special celebration service with music from the Larne Concert Choir, conducted by John Dooris.

The preacher on this occasion will be the present Bishop of Connor - the Right Rev Alan Abernethy – who has written very honestly about the struggles of faith in his recent book, “Shadows on the Journey”.

These services will compliment the main attraction – a floral extravaganza of 22 different displays under the artistic direction of former Larne florist Mrs Jean Robinson.

Taking the theme, ‘For all the Saints’, each display will depict the life of a different saint from Bible times and church history.

While viewing the flowers, visitors will be able to enjoy music provided by 20 different choirs, groups and solo musicians. In addition, a range of delicious refreshments will be available in the hall, where work from the Loose Thread Quilters group will also be on display, together with film, photographs and memorabilia from the parish archive.

Opening times for the event will be: Friday, August 31: 2-6pm; Saturday, September: 10am-6pm; Sunday, September 2: 2pm-5pm, with special anniversary services on the Sunday at 10.30am and 5pm.

Everyone is welcome to attend, but groups are asked to book in advance by contacting Austin Heatley on 2827 9355 or email allsaintsflowers@gmail.com.