The Dock - A Titanic Experience  
  Revd Chris Bennett  

On Wed 7 March members of the Mothers' Union and Men's Society were enthralled when Revd Chris Bennett spoke about the exciting new opportunities for mission in the new Parish based on the developing Titanic Quarter.

This area steeped in history from Belfast's industrial past, once the scene of the Harland & Wolff's major shipbuilding activities, then a desolate wasteland, is now being developed as a new mixed commercial, residential, entertainment and educational area. The Odyssey arena, the Public Record Office, the Belfast Metropolitan College, the Titanic Signature building, the Northern Ireland Science Park, hotel and apartment blocks - buildings already completed.

Chris said he was given this as a blank sheet to create a presence for the church in the area. The majority of people living in the area had no connection with a church. He started "meet the neighbour events" for those living in apartments and this has led to taking out a "meanwhile lease" on a vacant shop unit to create a meeting place (coffee and couches). This has been named the Dock.

Each Sunday afternoon wet or dry he goes on a walk - an opportunity for those there to walk and talk.

As the Dock is only on a temporary lease he is seeking out a permanent place and is hoping that will be in the form of a boat, possibly an old lightship. That would be an ideal meeting place symbolising a light shining in the darkness.

Chris' obvious enthusiasm  rubbed off on all those present. This is a project which tries out what the church needs to do in other areas of our city which are ripe for mission. Let's hope it turns out an outstanding success.