I’m a proper minister!

I am, honest – here’s a picture of me with a collar and everything!  (gosh, haven’t seen that in a while…)

Good news for Dock-world today: I’ve been appointed as the part-time minister of St Clement’s church in Templemore Avenue, just a stone’s throw away from the Titanic Quarter (you can even see the cranes from the door of the church!)  The appointment was announced in St Clements on Sunday (reports of people weeping and running for the exits are greatly exaggerated) and will come into effect in May.

Why is this good news for Dock-world, I hear you cry?  Am I deserting the Titanic Quarter?  Not a bit of it… part of my role from the very beginning of The Dock has been to find a viable long-term part-time post which would be a solid foundation and support for the more experimental, ‘out-there’ work in the TQ.  If you’ve been around The Dock for a while you’ll remember that for the first year of its existence I did something similar, filling in as temporary minister in Carrowdore and Millisle parish during their vacancy; last year, my tour-guiding with Titanic Walking Tours was a different (and fabulously stretching and challenging) way to make ends meet while The Dock project made its way forward.

The great news about St Clements is that it has come along at exactly the right time: The Dock is entering a whole new era.  Over the next few weeks I’m hoping to be able to break news which has been long-in-the-making, has involved loads of behind-the-scenes work by many fantastic people, and which will take the whole project to another level.  Once that all happens, there’s no turning back: The Dock Is Out There.  It’s no longer a guy wandering the TQ asking people if they’ll share a coffee and a brainstorm for the future of church in the TQ.  We’ll be living out the dreams and visions that emerged during those coffee-fuelled (and, we pray, Spirit-inspired!) early days.

My work with St Clements will be a great, reliable foundation-stone under it all.  And it’ll be great fun too – I’ve visited the place a few times as guest preacher, and they’re lovely! – and being right there in East Belfast there are all sorts of shipyard connections, families with tales to tell.  I can’t wait to bring all the St Clementians (hmm, might have to think of a new name) to see all that’s happening in the TQ – and to find new ways for the TQ gang to make the return trip as well.

Exciting times!

9 thoughts on “I’m a proper minister!”

  1. Chris, wonderful news. A great adjunct to all you do and great links for both areas of ministry. Thanks for the talk last week, sorry I wasn’t there but we’ll have to catch up as you ‘ll be neighbours!

  2. Its all happening Chris. Sounds busy ….but then you do busy very well. Invite us all to the inauguration please. It is my prayer that St Clements will resource TQ with a lovely partnership of workers and prayer warriors. enjoy

  3. Hi Rev. Bennett as a member of St Clements I am really looking forward to having you as our part time rector, I see a very exciting time ahead for St. Clements and I am really looking forward to the links we will forge with the Titanic Quarter. May God Bless you and your wife in your time ahead with us. Helen

  4. Delighted to hear your good news! No better man for the job. We admire your enthusiasm and dedication, and wish you and Susan God’s blessing in this extended role.

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