South Belfast Churches Lent Programme 2008 on the Theme

 "Faith in Public Life"


held in St Brigid's Derryvolgie Halls Tuesdays 12 February to 4 March 2008

    Lent Programme Audience 2008  
  Dame Nuala O'Loan introducing His Excellency Francis Campbell (UK Ambassador to the Holy See)  
  The Lent programme got off to a good start when a packed audience of about 450 heard His Excellency Francis Campbell  (UK Ambassador to the Holy See) speak about the relationship between Religion and Democracy. In the latter half of the 20th Century Religion was said to be dying and was certainly not a subject necessary for diplomats to study. On the one hand religion was involved in most of the conflicts in recent years and influenced the lives of many leaders, on the other hand religious adherents have campaigned for the relief of poverty and participated in humanitarian works. They have urged governments to support the Millennium Goals. The Roman Catholic aid agencies are second only in size to the United Nations. He said it was essential for the UK government to have diplomatic relationships with the Vatican as priests throughout the world, through involvement with communities at grass root level, often know what is happening politically before governments would know.   Opening prayers  
H.E. Francis Campbell's address Canon Mann conducting the
Opening and Closing prayers
At the second meeting Sir Desmond Rea, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, talked about Faith and Hope. Our Lord went out into a dangerous environment when he entered Jerusalem.  Public service takes a person of Faith outside their usual comfort zone. Sir Desmond Rea
Sir Desmond Rea's address
  Sir Desmond Rea

At the third meeting Professor Norma Dawson introduced the Rt Hon Lord Chief Justice Paul Girvan (Lord Justice of Appeal)who took for his talk the words from the book of Isaiah "Bringing Justice to the Nations". His talk was a Journey through Christian Faith with particular reference to Justice and Injustice. He outlined the writers of all denominations and of other faiths that he has found valuable. Our lives of faith are a journey which is not a nomadic or aimless wondering across the shifting sands of an uncharted desert of relativism or unprincipled pragmatism but a journey towards a destination, to a House built on firm foundations.


Professor Norma Dawson and Sir Paul Girvan Sir Paul Girvan's address
  In the fourth and final session Dame Mary Uprichard introduced Dame Ingrid Allen (Professor of Pathology at QUB) who spoke about Faith in Medicine. She compared the situation when she started out in Medicine with that of today, where patients, public and hospital chaplains have increasing influence in a more holistic approach to the care of patients. Opening and closing worship was conducted by the Revd Alex Wimberly (McCracken Memorial).
Revd Alexander Wimberly, Dame Ingrid Allen and Dame Mary Uprichard  Dame Ingrid Allen's address