CIMS Outing June 2006

With an earlier start than usual 61 members travelled by car and bus to catch the 10am ferry from Ballycastle to Rathlin. The boat was filled to capacity with passengers seated on plastic chairs on the car deck. Fortunately the sea was smooth and and the crossing was pleasant except for a small shower which started before we reached Rathlin
On arrival we went straight to the recently refurbished Manor House (which belongs to the National Trust ) for coffee and scones.
We then proceeded to St Thomas’ Church, which last year was rededicated after major restoration, for our service of Holy Communion celebrated by Bishop Alan Harper.
The former Archdeacon of Dalriada, the Revd Jack Patterson, who had been instrumental in the lobbying and applying for funding for the restoration, told us some of the history of the Church and island. The first Christian Church on Rathlin had been established by St Comgall, Abbott of Bangor in 580 AD, but the present church dates from 1722 and was rebuilt in 1822

After lunch of soup and sandwiches in the Manor House most of the members availed of the island bus to visit the RSPB bird sanctuary at the West lighthouse.
Soon it was time to return to Ballycastle on the ferry.
Our coach was waiting to bring us to the Royal Court hotel overlooking the White Rocks at Portrush were we had an excellent buffet meal.

 All members enjoyed the outing, for Rathlin had seemed so pleasant in the afternoon sunshine.