Sunday, 3 June 2012

Cathedral Service


I attended the Diamond Jubilee service at Belfast Cathedral this morning. Isn't it interesting how one tends always to see the same faces at such gatherings.

A member of the cathedral choir told me that the conspicuous absence of boy choristers (a mere one) was a "work in progress", owing to a mass defection some time ago, I gather.

Who did I notice? Well, of course the Lord-Lieutenant of Belfast, Dame Mary Peters, representing The Queen; the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress; the Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP; the Rt Hon Peter Robinson MLA; a good number of DLs, including Colonel Hogg, Dawson Stelfox and Mrs Jay-O'Boyle.

A bevy of military figures, wearing uniform, including a brigadier and a naval Commander.

Several divines, viz. the Bishop of Connor; the RC Bishop of Down and Connor; Bishop Darling; the Moderator of the Presbyterian Assembly; the Methodist President; the Rev Houston McKelvey, former Dean of Belfast.

The Readings by Dame Mary and Mr Paterson were particularly impressive.

The presence of the media, including a mobile cameraman and sound assistant wandering along the nave, appeared a bit obtrusive.

I chatted briefly afterwards to Dawson Stelfox and Sir Nigel Hamilton, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Belfast, came over and joined us for a minute.

The Dean, the Very Rev John Mann, chatted to me for a while and told me he'd sent a letter of sympathy to my aunt, re my uncle's passing recently.

Afterwards, a reception with jubilee cakes and buns was given inside the Great West Porch, where dignitaries mingled. I was most grateful to the cathedral and all who provided refreshments.

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