EastEr GrEEtinGs by jianglifang

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									CONGREGATIONAL MAGAZINE OF MAY STREET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, BELFAST
VOL 99 NO 2                   Web site: www.maystreetchurch.co.uk                           ApriL 2007
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Minister Emeritus:                 The rev James Barnes, 3 Onslow Drive, Bangor BT19 7HQ Tel 9145-2461
Minister:                           The rev Keith Drury, 26 Castlehill Farm, Belfast BT5 7GU Tel 9079-9628
Pastoral Care:                     The rev Niall Bayly, 81 Dunluce Avenue, Belfast BT9 7AW Tel 9066-8732
Session Clerk :                          Arthur Acheson, 56 Quarry road, Belfast BT4 2NQ Tel 9076-0691
Secretary and Editor :                robin Morton, 13 Sharman Gardens, Belfast BT9 5GE Tel 9066-0381
Treasurer :                            roy Williamson, 7 Winston Gardens, Belfast BT5 6HZ Tel 9065-9598
Church Officer:                          Debbie Lindores, 27 Woodvale Gardens, Belfast 13 Tel 9020-1733
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                 SOUL FOOD!                            coffee to get the best that is on offer, even down
                                                       to its presentation.
   While sitting back on the white leather settee
in the basement and sipping a rather fine layered         pillars, wooden beams, exposed brickwork,
latte macchiato coffee from a tall glass, the          wooden flooring, large wall mounted TV, bespoke
interviewer from one of our local newspapers           counters, coffee machines, hot chocolate
asked this question. “Would you consider yourself      machines are all replete with quality leather seating
a radical?” What a strange question i thought. He      – maybe that’s not what you expect in church, but
smiled when i replied: “A radical? All i am doing is   why not? Why can a church not be as professional
drinking coffee, listening to music and preaching      or as comfortable as the café next door?
sermons – not exactly radical in church terms!”           A big thanks is due to everyone who has worked
   Yet without question Urban Soul, May Street’s       so hard on the basement café, which opened for
newly transformed basement has caused quite            the Economic Forum on March 1. i could write
a stir. Music magazines, online magazines,             down all the names but they are too many, but
newspapers and radio have all shown a great            for those who have laboured, brushed, cleaned,
interest in what we are doing. Why is that? What       organised work and together lugged away all the
is so dramatic about, coffee, music and sermons?       tonnage which we had managed to store from
Maybe the reason is this, hidden beneath an            years past – a big thanks. Now we have a high
old historical and very grand sanctuary is a café      quality space and environment suitable for work,
second to none in Belfast. it is not what people       mission, church and a variety of other meetings.
expect. Nor do they expect church to have a café       in fact we have had a number of churches send
open on Thursday evenings, nor do they expect          representatives to check out the Urban Soul café to
live music, nor do they expect when they order a       try and get ideas for projects they may undertake




                         EastEr GrEEtinGs
in their building projects. As one man said who               of the reports, Arthur Acheson made two
walked in off the street, Starbucks would kill for            presentations on behalf of the committee and
space like this, however, hopefully murder isn’t on           congregation. The first was a cheque to Mr Drury
their agenda and we will keep full possession of              and his fiancee Deborah Egerton, to mark their
our café.                                                     forthcoming wedding on Saturday April 7. He
                                                              wished them well for their big day and for their
   The interesting thing is how many people we
                                                              married life. Mr Drury expressed thanks.
have been able to share Christ with since the café
opened. When they ask why do we want to do this,                The second was the presentation of a book to
it allows us to unfold the bigger gospel message,             roy Williamson to thank him for the contribution
which is more than Jesus trying to save people out            he had made to May Street during his seven-
of this world into some spiritual heavenly world.             year stint as honorary treasurer. r Williamson
instead it is about Christ bringing his kingdom to            expressed thanks.
this world. His gospel is to make all things new,
                                                                 Auditor: Geoff Hill indicated that he wished to
even this earth itself, for we are told that the New
                                                              stand down after serving for seven years as auditor.
Jerusalem will come from the heavens to a new
                                                              He said that under new rules, the auditor should
earth. That means God wants his kingdom life to
                                                              be a qualified accountant. G Hill was thanked for
permeate all aspects of our living. As we open on
                                                              his contribution and it was agreed that filling the
a Thursday night in Belfast city centre we seek to
                                                              vacancy should be referred to the committee.
renew the city culturally and socially, all part of our
message and one which should not be forgotten                    Outreach report: Mr Drury reported that the
or ignored in favour of the better known aspect of            Thursday lunchtime service continued to go well,
the gospel which is renewing people spiritually. All          and that recently he had noticed more young
are part of God’s plan and his will – and therefore           people attending. The prayer meeting at Tuesday
our mission as his church on earth.                           lunchtime and the Communion service on
                                                              Wednesday lunchtime were attracting a small but
   Urban Soul is open 5.30pm – 9.30pm on
                                                              steady attendance. Those who were attending
Thursday evenings. Why not come along, why not
                                                              were keen to become more involved in the work of
bring a friend. You will be made very welcome.
                                                              May Street, and wished to know where they could
                                      KEiTH DrUrY             help. Mr Drury said work on the renovation of the
                                                              basement was continuing apace, and the opening
                                                              of the facility would give the outreach work more
      ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING                                 scope, and there were plans to hold regular jazz or
   report of the annual business meeting of May               soul clubs on Thursday evenings in Urban Soul, as
Street presbyterian Church, held in the lecture hall          the basement coffee bar was being christened.
on February 26, 2007.                                           Mr Drury reported that various outside bodies
  The rev Keith Drury presided, and 28 members                were continuing to provide funding for the outreach
were present. Attendance and apologies were                   work, which he said was much appreciated. Three
noted in the attendance register.     Mr Drury                delegates from redeemer Church in New York
welcomed everyone and opened the meeting with                 were due to visit May Street later in the week.
prayer.                                                         The pCi’s Board of Mission was also monitoring
  Minutes: The minutes of the 2006 ABM, which                 events closely, and the first three-year review of
had been circulated, were agreed and adopted.                 the outreach initiative was due to be carried out
                                                              shortly by the board and by the presbytery of
   Reports: Annual reports, which are published               South Belfast.
in this issue of The Greeting, were presented on
behalf of the Kirk Session, the Congregational                   Pastoral report: The rev Niall Bayly said
Committee, the Weekly Freewill Offering and the               he much appreciated being invited to give the
Finance Committee. Mr Drury thanked all the                   meeting an update on the work in which he was
officer-bearers for their work, and commended                 involved on behalf of May Street. He said he had
them for their reports. Arthur Fannin proposed the            been carrying out pastoral duties for four years and
adoption of the reports, and this was seconded by             he valued the opportunity to pay visits to various
Frank Boyd and agreed.                                        members of the congregation. He said he had been
                                                              particularly impressed by the dignity and deep
  Gift presentations: Following the presentation              spirituality displayed by those who had passed on

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3
during the past year. He said it was obvious that            That being all the business, Mr Drury closed the
their Christian faith and their membership of May          meeting with prayer. Supper was then served by
Street meant a great deal to them. Mr Bayly said           the ladies of the congregation.
those who were in their senior years often inspired
him, and he found their witness helpful.
                                                                          KIRK SESSION
   Even though he had been in the ministry for
42 years, he said he still found he had much to               Kirk Session met during the year immediately
learn and felt he was learning all the time from his       following the regular Congregational Committee
engagement with the people of May Street.                  meetings and prior to each Communion Service.
    Mr Bayly said his aim was to call at least once          We give thanks for our Minister, rev Keith Drury,
a month on all those on the May Street visiting            and for the vision of our congregation and our
list, and he had managed to keep to that. in one           associates who are facing change without fear.
nursing home, he said, he found the lady he was               May Street is working in the sure knowledge
visiting habitually sat in an alcove with some             that without change there would have been no
friends, and when they were praying together,              history to write about this church.
all her friends participated. So he felt he was
ministering to more people than he had expected.              Without change there will be no future, but with
Mr Bayly paid tribute to those in the congregation         change we can make dramatic progress as we ask
who also made it their business to visit the shut-         for God’s continuing guidance.
ins on a regular basis.
                                                              During the past three years, the building has
  Mr Bayly praised Mr Drury for the leadership             come alive with new people and new activities. it
he was giving and said the support of the                  is good that you only have to go away for a week’s
congregation was of paramount importance.                  holiday to know that there will be something new
The May Street congregation, he said, deserved             at May Street when you get back.
encouragement for the work it was undertaking in
                                                              it may be a café or a new name for that café, or
the city centre.
                                                           jazz in the café!
   Mr Drury thanked Mr Bayly for his remarks and
                                                             it may be that new small Communion Service
paid tribute to him for the role he was fulfilling.
                                                           on Wednesday at lunch time.
He also took the opportunity to thank support
executives Chris Hewitt and Adam Harbinson for               it may be a new worker, more music, the
the contribution they were making. Mr Drury said           announcement of an economic forum or a new
it was a privilege to serve in a congregation which        publication, poster or banner.
was willing to embrace change. May Street, he
                                                              Congregational Committee’s annual report
said was seen by the Board of Mission as being
                                                           shows 148 items dealt with during the year – not
a role model for other congregations which were
                                                           just one new thing while you’re off for a few days
having to confront change.
                                                           but almost three a week!
   Congregational       organisations:     reports
                                                              This is why in May Street we need teamwork.
were then presented on behalf of the Thursday
                                                           Every one of us has special skills, great ideas,
Outreach, the Youth Church, the Choir, the Tuesday
                                                           important things to say and do. Channelling our
Circle and the peace Agent. These reports are also
                                                           energy into a visionary future for the place we
published in this issue of The Greeting.
                                                           are in and the people with whom we connect is
  Any other business: in response to r                     our role and our mission. it is how we do our job.
Williamson, Mr Drury said the plan for the                 Teamwork connects us together and connects our
Thursday evening musical sessions in Urban Soul            work to God’s work.
were still at an embryonic stage. He said the idea
                                                             So, “Change” and “Teamwork”. Can we cope?
was to attract people to May Street and to use the
                                                           Of course we can.
music as a medium for faith. it was expected that
the music would vary from jazz to blues and that              All working together, we represent a tremendous
access would be by means of the lecture hall front         resource here in Belfast. Our connections to the
door. The club would open from 5.30pm to 9.30pm            outside world are not tenuous – they are real,
and a short service would take place during the            warm, sincere – and recognised as such by those
evening.                                                   whom we meet in all the varied and unpredictable

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circumstances of city centre life.                         as part of an overall commercial arrangement, an
                                                           annual costed development opportunity payment
  The year has not been without sadness at the
                                                           to May Street presbyterian Church by Barnabas
deaths of several much loved church members:
                                                           Ventures/Mizpah properties from the date upon
  Marie McKee on May 22.                                   which a planning application was submitted
                                                           until the date upon which the development was
  Annette Hill on September 20.                            commenced.
  ruth Austin on October 14.                                  On this basis our trustees, Arthur Acheson,
  Hugh Sloan on December 23.                               Barry Bell and Alan Gourley, carried the process
                                                           forward and after negotiations lasting several
  and just last week, Audrey Hanna on February             months, a development agreement was signed in
19.                                                        September. This enabled the developers to apply
   We have also welcomed new members through               for planning permission, and when the notice duly
birth and baptism as well as through affiliation and       appeared in the Belfast Telegraph on November 3,
attendance at church activities on Sundays and             it was to spark something of a public debate.
during the working week.                                      The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society and
  May Street senses a time of renewal.                     Belfast Civic Trust are among the groups which
                                                           are objecting and we respect their right so to do.
   Members and friends are here to work together           But May Street members and various supporters
to carry on this renewal, to dwell not only on a           have defended the proposal, pointing out that
glorious past, but on the marvellous present,              actually the design looks pretty good, and that
to envision a shared future and to give prayerful          the proposed encasing of the building would
support for that vision – with its constant changes        protect the fabric of our 1829 building. A healthy
and its continuing teamwork – by which our                 debate ensued, and we were flavour of the month
mission will progress.                                     for a while in the Belfast Telegraph’s widely read
   in conclusion, thanks are due to every person           Writeback column. The May Street development
who comes to May Street, once or regularly,                received widespread coverage, not just in the
silently or with much to say, sing or play, with or        local media but in private Eye, the London satirical
without money or resources, needing help or able           magazine and in London-based propertyWeek to
to help, each in God’s presence.                           boot. How many presbyterian congregations can
                                                           claim such a feather in their hat? Let’s hope they
  We pray for His blessing on our work.                    are right when they say there is no such thing as
                               ArTHUr ACHESON              bad publicity!
                                  Clerk of Session            From a May Street point of view, the plain
                                                           truth is that our building is not fit for purpose at
                                                           present. Our heating system is unreliable, as we
   CONGREGATIONAL COMMITTEE                                all know, and our electrics are prone to go on the
   First of all, the facts and figures. During the         blink. it is only by dint of the excellent efforts of
past year, the committee showed commendable                Alan McCrum, our buildings committee convenor,
restraint, and managed to reduce the total number          and his team of helpers, that we have kept the
of items under discussion from 183 last year to a          lights on. The development will provide us with
mere 148 this time round. But even so, we covered          a sanctuary much better equipped for the 21st
a good deal of ground at seven full meetings and           century, with disabled access, modern toilets, lifts
10 impromptu gatherings, and i should like to              and effective heating. it will enable the church to
thank all committee members for their valuable             expand its activities and intensify its outreach to
input.                                                     the city centre. So let us hope that the planning
                                                           Service gives us the green light and enables us to
  As in the previous year, our preoccupation               go up in the world – and reach out further into the
during 2006 was with the Barnabas Ventures/                community.
Mizpah properties £36m development proposal at
May Street. The die was cast on March 20 when                But as well as looking up and branching out, we
an extraordinary meeting of the congregation               have also been delving deep. The committee has
was held. As you may remember, the meeting                 authorised expenditure on the refurbishment of
authorised the May Street trustees to negotiate,           our basement, which has been lying unused since

                                                       5
the demise of the Oasis youth training scheme. As            most importantly of all, he has managed to keep us
i outlined in my report last year, this has turned out       out of the red. Many small companies do not enjoy
to be a major project but bit by bit the project has         the financial expertise which roy has provided
been taking shape.                                           for May Street presbyterian Church. We will miss
                                                             his contribution as treasurer but understand his
   indeed, i am pleased to confirm that after
                                                             decision to step down, but i should like to take
a hectic few weeks, the basement café which
                                                             this opportunity to record our appreciation to roy.
rejoices in the name of Urban Soul is due to be
                                                             His decision leaves committee with a vacancy and
officially opened this Thursday. The occasion
                                                             i would invite anyone who would like to fill the post
will be the inaugural meeting of the May Street
                                                             to make themselves known.
economic forum and on Thursday evening the
basement will be swinging for the first of our                  i should also like to record the committee’s
weekly jazz sessions. Let’s hope both morning                appreciation to Geoff Hill who has advised us that
and evening events are equally harmonious.                   in tandem with roy’s decision, he wishes to stand
                                                             down as auditor after seven years. We appreciate
   The Economic Forum will help open new doors
                                                             the expertise which Geoff has brought to the
and will promote the church to a wider audience.
                                                             job and are much impressed by the way he has
The forum is intended to be a series of meetings
                                                             been able to keep tabs on roy – no easy job. We
at which various economic options for the future
                                                             are pleased that Geoff is to continue to serve on
of Northern ireland will be discussed. This
                                                             the committee but at this stage i should like to
venture will help cement links with the business
                                                             thank him for the contribution he has made in his
community and will remind everyone that God has
                                                             capacity as auditor.
a role to play beyond the confines of church on a
Sunday. And who knows, we might even come up                    While change is taking place within the building
with some useful recommendations for the new                 and on committee, a new order has also taken
Assembly.                                                    effect immediately outside our premises. New
                                                             parking regulations took effect in November and
   Looking further ahead, the basement will provide
                                                             the so-called redcoats are now a familiar sight on
an alternative venue to the lecture hall once that
                                                             the streets of the city. parking controls have been
part of our existing building is demolished as part
                                                             tightened up in order to reduce congestion and
of the Barnabas Ventures development. And given
                                                             while this is laudable, the new controls placed a
the ambience which the basement boasts, with its
                                                             question-mark over our understanding with the
brick walls and cosy atmosphere, it should prove
                                                             previous traffic wardens who allowed members
attractive to outside groups.
                                                             working in the church to park in Little May Street.
   As members of the congregation know, we
                                                                Thanks to contacts made through the Clarence
bade farewell in June to our church officer,
                                                             Court Community Outreach, May Street has been
roberta Jordan, who had decided it was time
                                                             granted a temporary reprieve so that regular
for pastures new. We were sorry to lose roberta,
                                                             workers can park at the rear of the building in
who had endeared herself to the congregation,
                                                             Little May Street. We realise this is not a long-
but we respected her decision. After a couple of
                                                             term solution, but are grateful to all concerned
months of waiting, wondering and praying, we
                                                             at the DrD for facilitating us. Negotiations aimed
were blessed by the arrival among us of Debbie
                                                             at producing an accommodation with which all
Lindores, who took over as church officer at the
                                                             parties can live are continuing.
start of September. Debbie has impressed all with
her friendliness, diligence and dedication to May               Within May Street we now have wi-fi capability
Street.                                                      which to those of us not of a technical mind
                                                             means that laptops can be used in most parts of
   We are also facing change on the committee
                                                             the building without having to trail wires from the
because roy Williamson has intimated his desire
                                                             phone connection. This is a step forward which
to stand down as treasurer, after seven busy years
                                                             is particularly beneficial to our community support
in post. We owe a debt of gratitude to roy for his
                                                             executive Adam Harbinson, who was appointed
wise financial stewardship and for the meticulous
                                                             on a sub-contract basis in January. He can update
way in which he has overseen our accounts. He has
                                                             the website from his laptop, ensuring that this
computerised the entire operation and the financial
                                                             vital channel of communication is kept bang up to
projections with which he regularly presents us
                                                             date.
have greatly assisted the work of committee. And

                                                         6
    i am pleased to report that the website now
features The Greeting, boosting our circulation
immeasurably. The church magazine is now in its
99th year and still helping to keep members and
friends abreast of what is happening at May Street.
My thanks to my faithful contributors, to Dormans
the printers and to Elizabeth Doran, who handles
collection and distribution of the magazine.
   publicity, of course, comes in many forms and
May Street old boy Colin McKeown has again
been of great assistance to us in our Marketing
May Street campaign. Colin, who is director of
Blue Design, has brought his expertise to bear in                Wilson clan: Wilson clan: Celebrating the baptism of
the publication of fliers and production of banners,         Anna Terri Wilson in May Street on February 25 are (from
all of which help to highlight our presence to the           left) Carole Gregg, Moira Burns, Julie Wilson, Jenny
outside world. Already, there is evidence that               Wilson, Stephen Wilson, Kathie Wilson, Nell Wilson and
the publicity is helping attract more people to the          Valerie Condy.
sanctuary café run at lunchtimes by our mission              from various critics of the Barnabas Ventures
support executive, Chris Hewitt. And if you are              development.
down in town any Monday to Thursday, why not
drop in? You won’t get a better cup of coffee or a              Less publicly, May Street has been pleased to
warmer welcome anywhere in the city centre.                  assist the presbyterian Church’s Embrace charity,
                                                             which is carrying out such valuable work in
   Also on the committee’s radar is the May Street           meeting the needs of people who find themselves
Manse at Castlehill Farm in Castlereagh, which               homeless, often through no fault of their own,
still requires some final fitting out. This was a task       homeless. Embrace’s role is to help those who
we have been putting off since the Manse was                 fall through the existing support network and end
acquired, but with the Minister’s nuptials up and            up sleeping in doorways in the city centre. May
coming in April, it is now taking on a new urgency.          Street’s role is to provide them with a command
All the work may not be completed in time for the            centre and safe storage for the blankets and other
wedding, but we hope that the so-called Manse                items which their teams of volunteers give out on
makeover will be completed soon thereafter. On               chilly winter nights.
behalf of the committee, i should like to wish
Keith and Deborah health, happiness and God’s                    in October May Street was the setting for a
blessing in their new life together.                         concert by the popular entertainment troupe,
                                                             Gaslight. More than 250 people attended the
   Outreach at May Street takes many forms,                  concert, and the redoubtable May Street catering
which the committee is pleased to support. The               corps managed to serve supper to them all. it
Georgian Christmas event celebrated its third year           was an enjoyable evening, and one which raised
of operation in December and this time round                 more than £3,000 for church funds. Well done to
was enlivened by the participation of choirs from            all those involved in the organisation and catering.
five schools, drawn from both the controlled and
maintained sectors, i am pleased to say. The                    May Street was even more packed on
schools brought their own support groups in the              Christmas Day when the members of Orangefield
form of parents and grandparents, which helped               presbyterian Church joined us for our morning
swell the crowd. We benefited from funding from              service. Orangefield Church is at present
the City Hall’s Celebrate Belfast fund and from              closed for renovations and the congregation’s
the police Service, and we are indebted to both              usual worship venue of Church House was not
our sponsors. Without their support, the event               available on December 25. We were delighted to
would have been a pale shadow of itself. Not only            accommodate them and an estimated 400 people
is the Georgian Christmas good fun in which to               worshipped together. A big contrast with the usual
participate, but it gives us all a chance to show            Christmas morning service in May Street!
off our church and to tell the public what is going            As constituent congregations of the presbyterian
on behind its doors. This year the publicity was             Church in ireland, Orangefield and May Street
particularly beneficial, coming as it did at a time          belong to the same family. But while we enjoyed
when we were suffering a bit of an onslaught
                                                         7
worshipping with our friends from Orangefield and           for Harvest Thanksgiving and one pink envelope
look forward to doing so again, their visit was a           for World Development, all of which speak their
reminder of the different – and complementary –             own messages of need. My final appeal to our
roles which are fulfilled by suburban and city centre       generosity is for the Flower Fund. There are two
churches. They reach out to young families and              green envelopes for this poorly supported fund.
provide a social hub, while our role is to engage           We all enjoy the beautiful flower arrangements
with the city centre and our neighbours. We both            every Sunday. For this we must thank Kathleen
seek to provide a witness in our own way. it was            rea. So a very real thank you to Kathleen for her
great to interact with Orangefield but it reaffirmed        devotion to this beautification of the sanctuary and
for me the validity of our role in the city centre.         also to patricia Bertenshaw who seems to come
                                                            at dead of night to nurture the flowering pots at
   May Street has survived the rigours of the past
                                                            the entrance columns.
40 years in part by the efforts of the congregation
but surely there is more to it than that. We have              To roy Williamson as he retires from the
been placed in the centre of the city for a greater         position of honorary treasurer. i found him to be
purpose and are set potentially for one of the most         a very enterprising and tolerant “taskmaster”. His
exciting periods in the church’s distinguished              financial reports are always worth listening to and i
history.                                                    shall miss his guiding hand.
   it is no coincidence that as Keith Drury has                A final last word of thanks to the late Hugh Sloan
observed, we are one of just two congregations in           with whom i worked on the finance committee for
that weighty tome, presbyterians in ireland, which          many years. His quiet dignity and easy grasp of
are looking to the future, not the past. Although           financial affairs blended well with the many gifts
we are few in number, we embrace the future with            that he brought to his life of devotion to May street
confidence. And at such a crucial point in the              and his wonderful qualities as an elder.
May Street story, we will need to maximise our
                                                                                                  BArrY BELL
potential. in closing i will paraphrase president
Kennedy’s famous remark of 1961: Ask not what
our church can do for us, but what we can do for                       FINANCE COMMITTEE
our church.
                                                              Treasurer’s report – accounts for the year
                                 rOBiN MOrTON               ended December 31, 2006.
                          Congregational Secretary
                                                               SUMMARy: The opening balance of cash
                                                            / bank was £49,976; this increased during the
     WEEKLy FREEWILL OFFERING                               year by surpluses in the General and Fabric Fund
                                                            Accounts of £13,527 and £13,183; thus - with a
  There was a very small increase of £225 over
                                                            total surplus of £28,170 - the year end balance
the previous year. This sum of £24,614 is a long
                                                            was £78,147, of which £36,645 was ring-fenced
way short of our hoped total of £30,000.
                                                            pCi grant money for the personnel costs (plus an
  Sadly our WFO list grows smaller but our                  element of the set-up costs) of the City Centre
expenses rise and the fabric of the building requires       Mission (sometimes known as Lightwell). Our
constant maintenance. it is therefore appropriate           total annual receipts amounted to £121,367, with
that we keep our giving under review to sustain this        payments amounting to £93,197.
important aspect of our congregational survival.
                                                               RECEIPTS: Weekly Freewill Offering receipts
   As we are now in the “misty unknown” whilst our          increased from £24,390 to £24,614 with the
planning permission is being sought it would be             number of family contributors falling from 65 to
easy to overlook the other areas of steady giving           62. Sabbath collection fell from £3,231 to £2,558.
which we should keep before us for consideration            investment income (including bank interest)
and generosity.                                             increased from £2,092 to £2,114. United Appeal
                                                            donations amounted to £1,290, being only 50%
   Our WFO envelope pack contains a white
                                                            of the target of £2,575 set by Church House -
envelope for monthly donation to the Fabric Fund.
                                                            but we paid the full target, as usual. Fabric Fund
please do not ignore these, even the price of a
                                                            receipts amounted to £15,463, reflecting generous
daily newspaper once a month can make a big
                                                            donations from Thursday Outreach, Tuesday
difference. There are two green envelopes for the
                                                            Circle, personal subscriptions, including the kind
twice yearly United Appeal and one pink envelope
                                                        8
donation of £750 from Catherine Torney, as a result           made as a result of our organist, Colin Johnston,
of that sum having been given to her by her friends           having provided his services free of charge, again,
in May Street in celebration of her 90th birthday,            Alan McCrum’s continuing efforts at keeping our
and three of the on-going monthly £1,000 stage                facilities in good order paid dividends at a time
payments from Mizpah properties as agreed in the              when we are particularly careful on the expenditure
development negotiations.                                     front given the possibility of the new development,
                                                              through Barnabas Ventures/Mizpah properties’
   The tax refund of £14,184 related to Gift Aid
                                                              proposals, which are now at the planning
for the two tax years ended April 5, 2006 (against
                                                              application stage.
which we paid out £1,599 due to third parties). Gift
Aid, if utilised by all contributors, provided that the         repair works amounted to £2,220 and was
rules are met, would lead to a further income for             spent in the following areas:
the church, without any impact on the givers, of
                                                                Gulley/manhole clearance              £117
up to £2,080.
                                                                Boiler repairs/servicing              £620
   income from the Youth Church fell substantially,             Lighting repairs                      £533
reflecting the diminution of this activity. The Use             Electrical work and painting          £45
of Halls income increased marginally upon that                  Velux window repairs and
of the previous year, the figure being £5,793 as                roofspace flooring                    £820
opposed to £5,199, with those parties contributing              Cleaning materials                    £85
for the use of our facilities during the year being:
                                                                 Basement refurbishment continues – and a total
Boys Brigade Organisations, Weight Watchers, Ni
                                                              of £9,070 was spent during the year, the details
Hospice, Womens World Day of prayer, irish Co-
                                                              being:
operative Womens Group, presbyterian Ministers
Wives, Vineyard, Basement prayer Group, Opera                   Electrical work                       £2,159
North (Leeds), DB O’Callaghan (Da Vinci Lectures),              Joinery work                          £2,964
NiHE, Grand Opera House, Ni Leukaemia research                  painting                              £657
Fund, Board of Mission pCi and the BBC.                         reclamation                           £1,700
                                                                Skip hire                             £120
   restoration Fund receipts amounted to £8,823
                                                                General labour & materials            £530
from the following sources:
                                                                Asbestos removal                      £940
  Thursday Outreach                    £5,000
                                                                 Equipment purchased during the year amounted
  Tuesday Circle                       £350
                                                              to £2,755 being:
  Gaslight Concert                     £2,673
  Donation from Speaking Event         £200                     Four heaters                          £99
  Christmas Service with                                        Freezer                               £300
  Orangefield pres Church              £600                     Dishwasher                            £1,892
  Lightwell receipts amounted to       £50,512                  Vacuum cleaner                        £279
  (for details see the Lightwell section below).                Leaf blower                           £35
                                                                Lamps                                 £150
   PAyMENTS: We managed to reduce our
insurance premiums again in 2006, after the 13%                  Lightwell payment during the year amounted
reduction in 2005, to a total premium of £8,122               to £24,678 (for details see the Lightwell Section
– albeit the premium remains expensive, reflecting            below).
both the correct valuation of the church premises
and the uses to which we put them. The rent, rates,              GIVING TO OTHERS: A most important aspect
insurance and water charge increased from £8,618              of church finances is that of the level of our giving
to £9,020 reflecting the above insurance reduction            to others. in the last year, we distributed a total of
and an erroneous demand related to the Manse                  £4,798 to others,the beneficiaries being:
rates (for the second year in a row) – against which            United Appeal                         £2,575
we are still endeavouring to recover the due 50%.               World Development                     £910
Light and Heat costs increased dramatically from                Leprosy Mission                       £300
£4,329 to £ 9,020, reflecting the weekday opening               presbyterian Orphans Society          £250
of the church for most of the calendar year.                    Friendship House                      £250
  As in previous years, members’ expertise                      Earl Haig                             £77
was put to good use, with internal savings being                UDr Benevolent Fund                   £77

                                                          9
  Cooke Memorial prize                 £50                   most professional and helpful. Clive Gilmour, Gift
  The Simon Community                                        Aid secretary, resigned his post during 2006.
  (Georgian Evening)                   £309                  Sincere thanks are due to Barry Bell, Clive Gilmour,
                                                             Arthur Acheson and Geoff Hill, whose advice and
  in memory of our much loved and ever faithful
                                                             assistance were most welcome throughout the
member and friend, Annette Hill, who died in
                                                             year.
September, a considerable donation was sent to
the Belfast City Hospital by Thursday Outreach,                 We all look forward to the opening of the
Tuesday Circle, the choir and by many individuals            basement in the near future and anticipate, with
within the congregation.                                     interest, new developments in this important area
                                                             of May Street’s work.
  INVESTMENTS: investments stand at a notional
valuation of £26,000.                                                                        rOY WiLLiAMSON
                                                                                                    Treasurer.
   LIGHTWELL: Lightwell receipts in the year 2006
were £50,512 against payments of £24,678. The
second instalment of the pCi Grant towards set-                           TUESDAy CIRCLE
up and personnel costs was received in December
2006, amounting to £30,000. Donations and                       This has been a sad year for the Tuesday
Grants from Third parties amounted to £19,612                Circle, because on September 20 our president
with Mustard Seed Foundation contributing £5,285             Annette Hill passed away. She had been an active
(being the $10,000 second year contribution),                member since the first meeting in 1968, having
major contributions being received from: TBF                 served in an official position on many occasions.
Thompson at £5,000, the McClure Trust at £1,000,             Her last time with us was the AGM last year when
other donations and congregational contributions             we had a pleasant time together and, typical
totalling £1,920 and Lightwell envelopes bringing            of Annette’s generous nature, she presented
in £6,407. These sums, together with £900 income             a token of gratitude to Joanne Sims who had
received from sales at the Coffee Dock, add up to            been performing the president’s duties. We have
a total of £ 50,512 in receipts for the year.                expressed our condolences to Geoff and Wendy.
                                                             Joanne Sims has agreed to act as president for
   Lightwell’s total payments amounted to                    another year.
£24,678 involving costs associated with further
set-up costs of £2,362 (being primarily those of a             This year as usual we have had a variety of
marketing nature, such as web site development,              speakers:
photography and various banners), lighting at                  September – cancelled (Annette’s death).
£150, personnel Costs of £11,520 (paid through
the pCi grant), consumables for the Coffee Dock                October – Cook-in with Joanne Sims and her
at £1,068, miscellaneous items totalling £508 and                    mum, patricia McCrossan.
refurbishment works in the basement of £9,070
                                                               November – Fiona Cromie, Travel is Fun.
(see analysis above). At the end of the year, the
pCi grant account stood at £36,645.                            January – Sybil Lewis and her friend Francess
                                                                      – Cycle expedition.
   THURSDAy OUTREACH: in September, it was
decided to incorporate the accounts of Thursday                February – Canon Bell: Beekeeping.
Outreach into the accounts of the Church, as
                                                               March – AGM at Spa Golf Club.
the work undertaken by the outreach team was
considered to be essentially that of the Church as it           Our catering has continued, mostly during the
represents the mainstay of May Street presbyterian           early summer months. We have had groups from
Church in the city centre. The first full year of            Lisburn, Larne, islandmagee, a Sugar Craft outing,
financial integration will be in 2007 and allowance          and groups from the Housing Executive and
for the normal distribution of surplus funds to              Saintfield road presbyterian Church. Sometimes it
Charities and to the Church will be adhered to by            is hard to recruit helpers for our group so we would
the financial team within the Church.                        welcome anyone who can lend a hand. We have
                                                             had inquiries for this year already and our advert
   FINALLy: it is with regret that we recall the
                                                             will appear in the presbyterian Herald next month.
death of Hugh Sloan during the year; he had been
the covenant secretary in the early stages of my                We would like to thank our members for their
involvement as honorary treasurer and was always             loyalty during the year and once again extend a

                                                        10
warm welcome to anyone who would like to join              last May. Our good wishes also go to Sheila
us on the fourth Tuesday of each month.                    Johnston, who is currently in Strathearn Court
                                                           Nursing Home in Belfast.
  We continue in our prayers to remember
members who cannot join us any more – Sheila                  it is with sadness and yet thankfulness for her life
Johnston and Dorrie Morton.                                that i record the death of Annette Hill in September.
                                                           Annette was a long standing member of the
                               ENA KirKpATriCK
                                                           choir and faithfully attended Sunday by Sunday.
                                       Secretary
                                                           She died peacefully at Belfast City Hospital on
                                                           September 20 after having been ill for a relatively
                                                           short period. She was a great friend to each of us
                  DEADLINE                                 and contributed in so many ways to the life of May
                                                           Street congregation, and she is sadly missed.
      The deadline for all contributions to the
      next issue of the Greeting is Sunday                    in closing i would like to renew my annual appeal
                       June 3                              for new members to join our ranks. We would be
                                                           delighted to welcome new voices, male or female,
                                                           into the choir. indeed, now that he is standing
                                                           down as treasurer, and has plenty of spare time
                 THE CHOIR                                 on his hands, this could be roy Williamson’s big
                                                           opportunity. roy, forget the bank notes and hit the
   Although choir numbers are small, we are                musical notes!
continuing to provide special praise items at
services which are always highlights in the church                                          VALEriE MOrTON
calendar. Throughout the year we have been able                                                     Secretary
to fulfil this role on palm Sunday, Easter Day, the
Harvest Service in October, remembrance Day in
November and at the Carol Service in December.                            yOUTH CHURCH
   We remain deeply indebted to our own member                This year has seen a couple of changes in the
Colin Johnston, who keeps us in tune Sunday by             running of Sunday School. i was finding that not
Sunday. Colin has filled the breach following the          every Sunday suited everyone and that there
retirement of our previous organist, Wilf Lewis, in        would be some Sundays when maybe only one
October 2005. Since then, he has provided the              child would be out. i began to feel that the children
music for our Sunday services and we say a big             were not getting to feel like a family in church as
thank you to him for this important contribution to        i believe they should. There was no real feeling of
the life of May Street.                                    us being ‘together’ and ‘learning together’. So,
                                                           with the help from Chrissie a new schedule has
   Thanks also go to patricia Bertenshaw who               been created.
kindly joins our ranks on special occasions and to
ruby Fannin, who joined on a temporary basis but              There will be an organised Youth Church every
has now become, i am glad to say, a permanent              other week with either Chrissie or me, and the
member. ruby and patricia, we really appreciate            weeks in between, parents can take their children
your support.                                              up to the parlour where toys are available. Well, so
                                                           far so good! it seems to be working and we are all
   Co Antrim was the destination for the annual            happy.
choir outing this year. it took place on Saturday
June 10, a day when the sun shone and the scenery             Our members are enjoying all the different
could not have looked better. The company was              activities. My thanks to William, Harry, Sophie,
convivial and despite being so far from home,              Craig, Andrew, Christopher, Sophie-Lee, Ben and
i am pleased to report that we did not run short           Justin who have all attended this year. i’m looking
of provisions. We started off with morning coffee          forward to including Anna in my report next year.
at Drumadoon House, Cloughmills, had lunch                 Thanks for you continued support and finds for
at Creative Gardens and then enjoyed a superb              our resources.
dinner at Manor Lodge, Glenariff.                                                                JULiE WiLSON
  Congratulations go to former choir member                                                      Superintendent
Catherine Torney who celebrated her 90th birthday

                                                      11
               PEACE AGENT                                 the church’s newly refurbished basement. The
                                                           basement, which was originally used for Boys’
  Can i start by thanking everyone who supported           Brigade meetings, has been revamped and now
me during the year. it has been a successful year          boasts a stylish coffee bar, a flat screen television,
that has seen several events.                              soft furnishings and low lighting. The café, which
  On Saturday September 16 a trip to the                   now rejoices in its new title of Urban Soul, is also
Benedictine Monastery in rostrevor took place.             the venue for the weekly jazz sessions, which also
About 70 people, including 16 from May Street,             began on the evening of March 1.
made the trip which gave us great insight to the              The Economic Forum was officially opened by
daily life and Christian work of a monastery.              the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor pat McCarthy,
   On Sunday November 12, Belmont presbyterian             who commended the church for its initiative. He
Church held a rememberance Day evening                     said he was confident that the entrepreneurial
service. Once again this involved May Street, St.          zeal which had helped build Belfast into a great
Malachy’s, Fitzroy and St George’s churches.               industrial power could be rekindled. Mr McCarthy
The service was centred around a peace-making              said Solomon had recognised the importance of
theme involving music and dramas. The evening,             having a vision and said it was great to see that
like the trip to rostrevor, allowed good fellowship        May Street Church was looking to the future.
between the churches.                                         The rev Keith Drury thanked Mr McCarthy for
   October 27 saw the Chapel Fields Fold                   carrying out the official opening, and welcomed
Hallowe’en party while on December 20 the                  him and the other guests to the event. Among
annual cross-community carol service took place            those who were present were leading figures in
in Clarence Court. My thanks go to Lorna Spiers            business, public sector and commerce, members
and her team from DrD/DoE for organising both              of the city centre business community, interested
these events.                                              observers and a number of members of May Street
                                                           midweek and Sunday congregations.
   i apologise for my non-attendance at the Annual
Business Meeting but unfortunately, a clash of                Mr Drury said that for too long, the church had
dates means that Gordon Kirkpatrick and i are              not had anything to say about the economy. May
attending another peace-making event with the              Street found itself in the heart of the city wanted
usual four other churches as we take a tour through        to contribute to the growth of that city. May
Belfast City Hall. it’s a shame that more from May         Street Church has been built on land belonging
Street could not have attended this but there will         to the family of Henry Joy McCracken, one of
be plenty more planned through the year.                   the founders of the United irishmen movement.
                                                           The United irishmen had wanted to redevelop the
                               STEpHEN WiLSON              economy and now May Street was rising to the
                                    peace Agent            challenge.
                                                              Mr Drury said that in the Bible, God wanted to
     CONGREGATIONAL REGISTER                               return everything to a perfect state and therefore
                                                           the commission of the church was to seek to
                   Baptism:                                revitalise all areas. That, in essence was why
   February 25 - Anna Terri Wilson, daughter of            May Street had decided to launch the economic
   Stephen and Kathie Wilson, 68 Gortin park,              forum.
                   Belfast 5.
                                                              raymond Sexton, chief executive of Tangible
                    Death                                  Technologies in Dublin, who was joint convenor of
 February 19 – Audrey Hanna, formerly of Gortin            the Economic Forum, then opened the discussion
                 park, Belfast.                            by saying that the church had a legitimate interest
      Blessed are those that die in the Lord               in the economy. He said there were numerous
                                                           examples of how churchmen had got involved
                                                           in struggles to better society, ranging from the
   MAy STREET ECONOMIC FORUM                               presbyterian clerics who were leading lights in the
                                                           United irishmen to Fr Murphy, who had striven for
  More than 30 people attended the opening                 economic relief for impoverished parishioners.
session of the May Street Economic Forum which
was held on the morning of Thursday March 1 in               Mr Sexton recalled Northern ireland’s great

                                                      12
industrial past and said that in 1938, Northern
ireland people had been seven times more
productive than their counterparts in the republic.
if the province had been an economic powerhouse
in the past, it could be so again in the future.
   Mr Sexton then posed a number of questions,
ranging from whether a rising tide could lift all
boats, including the Titanic, to what the present
generation could see if they stood on the shoulders
of their industrial/engineering forefathers. A wide-
ranging discussion ensued.
   At the conclusion of a vibrant 90-minute
discussion, Mr Sexton drew the various strands
together. He said the three themes for the future
which had emerged were the importance of
                                                               Meeting of minds: Chatting after the Economic
selling, education and self-esteem. There was
                                                            Forum are (from left) Gerry McGinn. permanent secretary,
general agreement that the Economic Forum was               Department of Regional Development, Thursday service
a worthwhile initiative and that a further meeting          regular David McAuley and the Rev Keith Drury, minister
should be held in six weeks’ time.                          of May Street.
   The date for the next meeting has now been
fixed. it will take place at 11am on Thursday April
26. All welcome.
                                  rOBiN MOrTON




   OPENING OF ECONOMIC FORUM
        At May Street presbyterian Church
                       On
       Thursday 1 March 2007 at 10.45 am
           Speech by The Lord Mayor                            Making a point: May Street Thursday service regular
            Councillor pat McCarthy                         Trevor Strain (right) has a discussion with May Street
                                                            clerk of session Arthur Acheson (centre) and Maurice
   it’s only a matter of a few months since i last          Patterson (left) from Invest NI.
visited May Street presbyterian as you celebrated
the Christmas season with an element of nostalgia.          force to be reckoned with around the world. We
Today, we find ourselves here again, not looking to         had a great sense of purpose then, and i believe
the Georgian past of the city this time, but to the         we can have this again in the future.
future.                                                        Since we’re in a church, it’s appropriate to
   i’m delighted to be back here particularly               remember isaiah’s reminder to “look to the rock
because of the nature of this event.            Any         from which you were hewn”. if the rock from which
organisation or individual that has the best                the people of Belfast were cut is that impressive
interests of Belfast at heart is of interest to me,         foundation of industry and creativity, then it’s my
particularly if the focus is our city’s future.             hope that this generation will be “chips of the old
                                                            block”.
   in Belfast, our forefathers were people of
industry, and of vision. Our craftsmen, engineers             i believe we can do it again. in fact, i know we
and thinkers helped to make Belfast an economic             can – we’ve already started.


                                                       13
                                                                vision. Sadly, more than a few only pay lip service
                                                                to those dreams, when what’s needed are those
                                                                who share their vision, and enthuse others to be
                                                                part of it.
                                                                   i hope this forum will prove to be a place where
                                                                the dreams are discussed…. refined… and
                                                                followed through. i hope a vision for the future will
                                                                emerge that will give us a hope for the future, and
                                                                a purpose.
                                                                   So for the part you’ll play today in making that a
                                                                reality – thank you.
                                                                   And now, without further ado, it gives me great
                                                                pleasure to declare the May Street Economic
                                                                Forum, officially open.
   Familiar faces: The Lord Mayor, Councillor Pat                                  COUNCiLLOr pAT McCArTHY
McCarthy (left) with Denis Moloney, solicitor before the
start of the May Street Economic Forum in the basement
café.                                                                           COLLECTORS
   We don’t have to go far to see the results of                  Apr:      Kathleen rea, Gordon Kirkpatrick,
planning and building for the future. Without                               Frank Boyd, Valerie Condy, Ed Hill,
vision, we wouldn’t have so many revitalised areas                          Geoff Hill.
of Belfast, from the Gas Works to Custom House
                                                                  May:      Kathleen rea, Gordon Kirkpatrick,
Square and beyond.
                                                                            robin Morton, Jenny Wilson,
                                                                            Arthur Acheson, Arthur Fannin.

                                                                  June:     Kathleen rea, Gordon Kirkpatrick,
                                                                            Alan McCrum, Barry Bell,
                                                                            robin Hewitt, Clive Gilmour.


                                                                          THURSDAy OUTREACH
                                                                  Thanks to the leadership of our Minister the
                                                                services each week have taken place with the
                                                                centre of the church continuing to be well filled.
                                                                This is reflected also in an increasing number of
                                                                regular visitors having lunch.
                                                                   The death of Annette Hill, who had been
                                                                responsible for so much of the ordering, preparing,
                                                                making and presentation of the meals, resulted
   Deep discussion: Roy Adair (left), chief executive of        in an re-organisation of the work in the church
Belfast Harbour Commissioners, in dialogue with Frank           kitchen.
Bryan, chairman of the Institute of Directors. Pictures
by Mark Finlay.                                                    When the Thursday Opening of the church
                                                                started in 1989 under the Ministry of the late
                                                                rev. Kenneth Weir, the refreshments consisted of
   Solomon was a wise man… he recognised                        home made scones and tea prepared by Sheila
the importance of having a “vision”. He said                    Johnston and Muriel Nelson. These were served
“Without a vision, the people perish”. Now, in my               to a comparatively small number of visitors.
understanding, a vision is an ability to imagine how
things could be – to see the future we could have.                 The following year Annette introduced the
                                                                lunches and, thanks to the support of the ladies
  There are many dreamers, those who have a                     of the congregation, they were a great success.

                                                           14
The amount of effort put in by Annette for the                             URBAN UPDATE
following 15 successive years is probably only
fully understood by those serving in the kitchen               Work began last week on an £80m leisure and
during that time.                                           residential development in the heart of Belfast’s
                                                            Cathedral Quarter. Up to 800 jobs are being
   Because of her illness Annette was unable to             created by the St Anne’s Square scheme, which
carry on during the past year. We give our thanks           will include 103 apartments, offices, shops and a
to Jean McCrum and Ena Kirkpatrick who have                 car park.
continued to organise the lunches so efficiently.
                                                              A 169-bedroom hotel and an elaborate public
   Wilfred Lewis has moved from May Street and              square form the centre-piece of the plans. Alistair
in recording our thanks to Wilfie for his long and          Kennedy, of Kennedy Group, the construction
valuable musical contribution to our Thursday               company, said: “Our aim is to create a continental
Outreach, we express our thanks to Charles                  cafe society and niche retail offering around the
Maginnes for playing the organ on Thursdays.                new piazza and provide an opportunity for people
   Thanks to proceeds from lunches and retiring             to work, live and relax within a newly created
offerings the following allocations have been made          Belfast neighbourhood.”
during the year: £5000 to our church and £700 to               The plans complement the £14m re-
charities. We thank everyone who had helped in              development of the Old Museum Arts Centre’s
any way to this possible.                                   new theatre and plans for a new spire for the
                                    SAM NELSON              Cathedral. The blueprint includes 30,000 sq ft of
                                                            ground floor retail and catering units, 20,000 sq ft
                                                            of offices and a multi-storey car park with space
                  BABy FACE                                 for 550 vehicles. Northern ireland’s first Encore-
                                                            brand hotel by ramada includes conference
                                                            suites, bars and restaurants.
                                                               The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor pat
                                                            McCarthy, said: “This is further evidence of the
                                                            increasing confidence Belfast has in itself and its
                                                            position as the fastest growing city in Europe. With
                                                            Victoria Square almost completed, work started in
                                                            Titanic Quarter and now St Anne’s Square, and
                                                            many other new developments, including the new
                                                            city centre open space programme only around
                                                            the corner, this is an extremely exciting time for
                                                            Belfast- a city building for its future, and its place
                                                            on the global map.”
                                                               Meanwhile, it was announced in March that
                                                            plans are afoot to turn Windsor House, the tallest
                                                            building in Belfast, from an office block into luxury
  Media star: The photo of Sophie Booker from the           apartments. County Cavan building firm Elliotts
Belfast Telegraph.
                                                            has bought the building on Bedford Street for
   There was a familiar face among all the tiny tots        around £30m and plans to convert it into upmarket
in the Baby Face of the Year contest run by the             flats.
Belfast Telegraph and Cow & Gate, the baby foods               The 23-storey block currently comprises
company. it was none other that Sophie Booker, 2            government offices, including the parades
year old daughter of Janet and Alan, and looking            Commission and the British-irish Joint Secretariat
very cute she was too in the paper on March 8.              as well as the European Commission. At 80m,
The event is open to all children under three years         the building has been the highest office block
of age of March 1 and the winner of this, the 10th          anywhere in ireland for decades, but there are
annual competition, are due to be announced                 plans for buildings over 100m in both Belfast and
shortly.                                                    Dublin.
                                                              Elliotts will have to obtain planning permission

                                                       15
for a residential redevelopment of Windsor House.               out to women and children in the Sandy row
University of Ulster housing expert paddy Gray                  area. please continue to pray that through all the
said: “Certainly you will find that plenty of people            activities many would experience Christ’s love
want to live in the city centre as Belfast grows in             touching their lives. remember, too, Eunice Moore
popularity.                                                     and Menita Cheesman, who co-ordinate the work
                                                                so faithfully.”
    “You will find that those apartments in the city
business district will hold their prices very well,
it is a very good location and there is obviously                        DEMOCRATIC PROCESS
demand for people to live in the city centre. it is a
trend across the UK and in Dublin, where you have                  May Street played its part in the Assembly
developments in areas like the Temple Bar and                   elections on Wednesday March 7. The Electoral
many apartments have been sold at the Dublin                    Office took over the May Street lecture hall in
docklands. There is more confidence coming into                 the days leading up to polling day and used the
Belfast.”                                                       premises to assemble all the ballot boxes for the
                                                                Belfast area. The boxes were scrutinised and
   Meanwhile Barnabas Ventures, the Belfast-                    prepared for checked over before being taken
based property development company behind                       away for delivery to the various polling stations.
the £36m proposal to make May Street Church
the centrepiece of a high-rise scheme, is awaiting
the verdict of the Government’s planning Service.                                BB SERVICE
plans were submitted last September for the
impressive scheme, which involves integrating the                  Once again, May Street served as the venue for
church as the cornerstone of a mixed-use civic                  the annual service of the Belfast Boys’ Brigade,
‘24-hour’ environment which includes apartments,                which this year was held on Sunday March 25. The
offices, exhibition facilities and a visitor attraction.        officers and boys took part in a parade through the
                                                                city centre in sunny weather before the service at
   At present, Barnabas is nearing completion of                May Street.
a £12m development in Cathedral Quarter which
will see the creation of a mixed use scheme with
33 apartments for Belfast improved Housing to be                             NEW TREASURER
targeted towards key-workers in the city centre
– the first apartments in Cathedral Quarter. Five                   As members of the congregation who attended
ground floor units fronting onto Hill Street and                the ABM on February 26 will be aware, roy
Talbot Street are a key part of the regeneration                Wil1iamson has stood down as treasurer of May
scheme and these will accommodate a restaurant,                 Street after seven years of faithful service. Our
a convenience store, a jewellers and the new                    thanks to roy for the contribution he made to the
Northern ireland War Memorial centre. The War                   efficient running of the church. roy’s decision left
Memorial is moving from its existing building in                a vacancy on committee but we are delighted to
Waring Street and will be both a visitor attraction             report that the post of treasurer has now been
and educational resource centre.                                filled by Andrew Acheson, son of our clerk of
                                                                session, Arthur Acheson. At the congregational
                                    rOBiN MOrTON                committee’s meeting on March 26 Andrew
                                                                Acheson was duly co-opted onto the committee to
                                                                serve as treasurer. We are most grateful to Andrew
             FRIENDSHIP HOUSE                                   for taking on this important position and wish him
   A letter of thanks to May Street Church                      success and God’s blessing in his new role.
has been received from Caroline Hawthorne,                         Still vacant, however, is the post of auditor,
presbyterian Women’s Association general                        which Geoff Hill relinquished at the ABM, having
secretary. Ms Hawthorne wrote to thank members                  also served us diligently for the past seven years.
of the congregation for their generous response                 Anyone who would like to hear more details of
on Gift Day in December to the Friendship House                 what the job entails should make themselves
Christmas Appeal.                                               known to any member of committee. We pray that
   She wrote: “The purpose of Friendship House                  a suitable candidate will soon come forward for
is to ‘offer friendship in the name of Jesus’ and               this vital role.
we value your partnership as we seek to reach                                                     rOBiN MOrTON

                                                           16
          COMMITTEE MEETING                                 sponsorship for this important publication. The
                                                            booklet has been compiled in an easy to read style
  A meeting of the Congregational Committee will            and excellently presented with the use of graphics
be held at 7.30pm on Monday May 31, followed                and photographs.
by a meeting of Kirk Session.

                                                                       RECyCLED MATERIAL
           COMMUNION DATES
                                                                Thanks to the good offices of Thursday regular
   Dates for Communion services at May Street for           phllip McKee, some of the bulky surplus material
this year are: Sunday April 29, Sunday June 24 and          from the May Street basement has been passed
Sunday October 21. The Harvest Thanksgiving                 on to Adullam Christian Church which is currently
service is set for Sunday October 14.                       equipping its new premises at Weavers Court in the
                                                            Sandy row area of Belfast. We were delighted to
                                                            see our old tables, chairs, timber and other items
          MISS AUDREy HANNA                                 going to help the work of pastor paul Burns whose
   it is with regret that we record the death of            church focuses on the needs of homeless people,
Audrey Hanna, a lifelong member of May Street               battered wives and husbands and those in need
presbyterian Church. Miss Hanna, who had                    of re-housing. The church operates from premises
suffered a period of illness, died on February 19.          leased on a rent-free basis from Weavers Court,
By profession, she had been a domestic science              whose executive is Councillor Tom Ekin, a former
teacher in Belfast and later became a schools               Lord Mayor of Belfast. At present the church is
inspector in the subject and advisor for the Belfast        fitting out a computer suite, a craft centre and a
Education Board.                                            kitchen, using materials which have been donated
                                                            by the public. The recycling exercise gave May
    At a service of thanksgiving for her life which         Street more space while giving Adullam a helping
was held in May Street on February 26, the rev              hand. Adullam, incidentally, takes its name from
Keith Drury referred to a letter of reference which         the cave in which David hid when Saul was
Miss Hanna had been given in 1942 by the then               searching for him.
minister of May Street, Dr Wylie Blue. in the
reference, Dr Blue said he had known her all her
life and that was “of a pleasing disposition and                          WEDDING BELLS
an attractive personality”, and that whatever she
did, she would undertake with “conscientious                   Saturday April 7 promises to be a red letter day
interest”.                                                  in the history of May Street because it will mark
                                                            the wedding of our minister, the rev Keith Drury,
   Mr Drury described Miss Hanna as a woman of              to his fiancée Deborah Egerton. The wedding is
“exemplary moral character and integrity” who had           due to take place at 1pm and is to be conducted
wide-ranging interests. Beyond work, Miss Hanna             by the rev Derek McKelvey, minister of Fisherwick
was a keen golfer, rising to become lady captain            presbyterian Church. The organist will be Charles
of Mahee Golf Club near Comber. She was also                Maginnes, who plays at May Street Thursday
a keen singer and was a member of Newtownards               services, while May Street elder robin Hewitt will
Choral Society.                                             be playing the piano. plans are also in hand for
   The sympathy of the congregation is extended             a special praise item to be presented by violinist
to Miss Hanna’s relatives and friends.                      Heather Bixler, a member of our sister church
                                                            redeemer presbyterian in New York, who is over in
                                                            ireland at the time. Heather is something of a star in
        MAy STREET BROCHURE                                 musical circles, having played with celebrity artistes
                                                            Shania Twain and Maria Carey. Also taking part in
   Not only does May Street now have a web                  the service will be two harpists from Strathearn
site but we also have a new brochure specifically           School, where Deborah teaches. The service will
designed to be given to visitors to our sanctuary.          be open to all members and friends of May Street
The brochure has been written by the rev Keith              so please make a date in your diary and plan to
Drury and designed by Colin McKeown of Blue                 be there for Keith and Deborah’s big day. We wish
Design. Thanks also go to Brendan Jones of                  them health and happiness and God’s blessing in
Mizpah properties who has kindly provided                   their married life together.

                                                       17
            THANK yOU LETTER                                   Barry Bell who then remits to TLM. The last £100
                                                               was given in February 2007 and the previous £100
   The following letter arrived in the form of a scroll        in June 2006. This is less than we did previously.
at the May Street committee meeting on March 26.               Also, the last £100 was only possible in February
it was also read out to the congregation by clerk              because one of the regular contributors gave £60
of session Arthur Acheson at the Sunday service                extra.
on April 2.
                                                                  if anyone else would like to contribute to this
  To the committee and members of May Street                   valuable work then cheques, banknotes or coins
presbyterian Church:                                           will be much appreciated.
   Deborah and i would like to express our most                                                 VALEriE CONDY
sincere appreciation of the gift given to us by
the congregational committee of £500 to mark
our forthcoming marriage, a very generous sum                        PASSIONATE ABOUT RUGBy
indeed.
                                                                  Many thanks to all the members of the
   it is a pleasure ministering at May Street and              congregation who supported William Booker by
one which we trust together we may discharge as                collecting the passionate About rugby tokens
servants within God’s kingdom as we look towards               from the Belfast Telegraph over the last number
new days of proclaiming God’s message within                   of weeks. William collected a grand total of 374
this city of ours.                                             tokens, which was a super contribution to the
   These are exciting times as we hear of the                  CiYMS mini rugby effort. The tokens have now
many building projects around our city and its very            all been submitted, and as a result, Ci should be
rapid expansion. if it pleases God, may it be that             receiving some new rugby equipment for the mini
together we will find within our resources the ability         rugby teams very soon. Your support is much
to offer to this city the greatest gift we know, the           appreciated.
promise of a great wedding feast in heaven.                                                      JANET BOOKEr
  Until that time, we look forward to you joining
with us at ours on April 7 in May Street presbyterian                             FOR ME
Church.
                                                                              Amid a rabble cry,
  in Christ and with thanks                                                  Under an eastern sky,
                                 Keith and Deborah.                         A Man went forth to die
                                                                                  FOr ME.
                                                                       Thorn-crowned His blessed head,
          THE LEPROSy MISSION
                                                                        Blood stained His every tread,
   Every two minutes someone is diagnosed with                             Cross-laden on He sped,
leprosy and tens of millions of people worldwide                                   FOr ME.
are affected by the disease. in their fight against
                                                                      pierced through His hands and feet,
this disabling disease TLM personnel regard
                                                                         Thee hours o’er Him did beat
prayer as their most important tool and so they
                                                                         Fierce rays of noon-tide heat,
ask us for this.
                                                                                   FOr ME.
   They also need financial resources for the
                                                                        Thus were You all made mine,
drugs which can completely cure people of the
                                                                         Lord, make me wholly Thine,
disease and for the rehabilitation of people who
                                                                        Give grace and strength divine
are left with nerve damage in hands/feet or have
                                                                                   TO ME!
had to lose limbs. in May Street we help here
too. There are eight ladies and one gentleman                           in thought and word and deed,
in our congregation who regularly contribute and                        Your will to do, oh! lead my feet
to them, many thanks. Thanks also to those who                               E’en though they bleed
have generously supported the work for many                                         TO YOU.
years but for whom it is now more difficult.
  When i have £100 in contributions i pass this to

                                                          18
              WHAT OF THAT                                      Since e’er it was begun.
           Dark! Well, what of that?                     “Tis finished !” was your glorious cry,
Did you fondly dream the Sun would never set?             While earth was wrapped in gloom;
Do you fear to lose your way? take courage yet!            The Temple veil was rent in twain,
  Just learn to walk in faith and not by sight,               And death had met its doom,
  Your steps will guided be, and guided right.            ‘Tis finished, yes, ‘tis finished, Lord!
                                                                     Eternal life is mine
          Lonely? and what of that?                          Because to Calvary you did go
   Some must be lonely. ‘Tis not given to all                       in sacrifice sublime.
    To feel a heart responsive rise and fall,
     To blend another life in to their own;                 Unto a dying sin-cursed world
   Work may be done in loneliness; work on!                   New life that day you gave,
                                                            And saving others on the tree,
            No help? no, it’s not so!                        Yourself you could not save.
 Though human help be far, your God is nigh,                You yielded up your life, but lo,
Who feeds the ravens, hears His children’s cry;             Death could not hold you prey,
 He’s near you, wherever your footsteps roam,               You burst apart its cruel bands,
And He will guide you, light you, help you home.               And rose to reign for aye.
                                                               The Lord of life and light,
                                                             You rose, Eternal life to give
                                                           To all who by dark Calvary’s way
                                                              Will come to You, and live.


                                                                THREE CROSSES
                                                            Three Crosses on a lonely hill,
                                                                 A thief on either side,
                                                          And, in between, the Son of God...
                                                           How wide the gulf ...how wide!
   HIMSELF HE COULD NOT SAVE
                                                        Yet, one thief spanned it with the words,
          in vision now i seem to see                          “Oh, Lord, remember me”
         Mount Calvary dark and lone;                     The other scoffed, and turned aside
     And Christ, my Saviour, on the tree,                           To a lost eternity.
               in agony unknown.
        i see the angry, jeering throng,                      Forsaken is the hilltop now,
          i hear them mock and rave,                           And all the Crosses gone,
    “Others He saved, but see Him there –                    But in believing hearts of men
             Himself He cannot save                            The centre Cross lives on.
     Ah, Lord, how true, how true indeed!                  And still, as when these sentinels
           if you would set me free                        First met earth’s wondering view,
        From the eternal curse of sin,                     The presence of the Lord divides
                its awful penalty,                             Upon which side are you?
      Yourself, you could not save; alas,
                                                              poems contributed by Elizabeth Doran
             The bitter cup of woe,
    Must needs be drained unto the dregs,
       And you through death must go.
       i see you hanging on that Cross,
            And low my heart is laid,
     To think my sin helped nail you there;
          My ransom there was paid.
    From Heaven’s throne to Calvary’s tree,
            One purpose led you on
         To bear the sin of all the world

                                                   19
                                                         reproduced from the News
                                                              Letter, March 19




                      Jazz
                     - now
                     that’s
               real soul music
  The basement of one of Belfast’s oldest                                                            hopes will be eye-opening and life-affirming.
churches may scent like an unlikely v lace for
                                                    By PHIL CROSSEy
a jazz club.                                        ARTS EDITOR                                        “Belfast people tend to struggle with a
                                                                                                     sense of belonging, we struggle with identity
 But as the Rev Keith Drury of May                  conventional wisdom that church involves         and self-expression,” he said.
Presbyterian Church explained, the whole            being barked at from a pulpit.
notion was “sweetly subversive”.                                                                       But, aside from all the existential questions,
                                                      “I was first introduced to jazz In New York.
                                                                                                     he’s aiming for “a place where people can
  The Urban Soul jazz night which runs              There it’s the dominant musical genre.” he
                                                                                                     chill out”,
from 5.30pm-9.5Opm on Thursdays, aims to            said.
provide an oasis of calm in Belfast’s bustling                                                         “What we will not do is force people to
                                                      As such it’s a way of connecting with
city centre.                                        people, as Keith says the church should be       convert, we don’t try to push Presbyterianism,”
                                                    embracing rather than ignoring the culture       Keith said.
  “We were thinking about a club featuring
traditional music and contemporary music            around it.
                                                                                                       While there are obvious religious overtones,
then we realised jazz is a mixture of both,”          But it hasn’t always been an easy process.     this Jazz night is for everyone.
he said.                                            He’s had as many people saying he would
                                                    ruin the jazz by mixing It with preaching,         And the 10 minutes of social commentary
   “Jazz doesn’t require a six-piece band, it                                                        at the end are designed to be thought-
doesn’t dominate, you can sit and talk While        and others arguing he’d ruin the preaching by
                                                    adding the jazz.                                 provoking rather than Mission support,
it’s playing in the background.”                                                                     according to executive Adam Harbinson, who
  Downstairs in this austere building is a            What he’s aiming for is a night that           is coorganiser of the night.
room that is every inch the traditional jazz        combines elements of both.
                                                                                                       He said; “We wanted to create a space
club.                                                 The idea has been in development for two       where people could drop in, read newspapers,
  It may not have the smell of alcohol or the       years: “The driving concept was that church      chat and hear great music”
stench of cigarette smoke, but this cosy space      had become like a library - somewhere were
is like a continental cafe, with its dark corners   people would go get their ticket stamped and       Rather than being a departure from what a
and comfortable sofas.                              that would be it.”                               church should do, he said the idea of getting
                                                                                                     people together to talk about issues was the
  “I don’t think the notion of a jazz club and        But Keith is promoting a more interactive      central focus of religion,
the notion of a church are far removed at all”      experience that is more about individuals
Keith added.                                        communicating rather than being preached          “To me, this is church,” he said.
                                                    to.
  For him, it’s a new way of reaching out to                                                           • Urban Soul takes place in May Street
people, a “soft interface between church and          Along with the jazz, there will also be        Presbyterian Church, Belfast, each Thursday
contemporary culture,” which challenges the         discussion And debate in a way that Keith        from 5.30-9.30pm

                                                                         20

								
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