Welcome to our website! Whether you are a regular member, occasional visitor or just simply curious, we hope you will find information here that will be interesting and relevant. Perhaps you are planning a trip to Northern Ireland. We would strongly advise making beautiful County Fermanagh part of your itinerary. During the summer our four-century-old church is open to visitors every day and it would be even nicer if you could attend one of our services. We'd love to meet you!
The Dean Writes:
Dear Parishioners and Friends around the world,
Forty days after Easter comes Ascension Day. These are the forty days during which the risen Christ appeared again
and again to His disciples, following His death and resurrection. (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; and John 20.) The Gospel
accounts give us little of Christ’s teachings and deeds during those forty days. Jesus was seen by numerous of His disciples:
on the road to Emmaus, by the Sea of Galilee, and in houses. He strengthened and encouraged His disciples, and at last opened their eyes to all that the Scriptures had promised about the Messiah. Jesus also told them that as the Father had sent Him, He was now going to send them - to all corners of the earth, as His witnesses.
Surely the most tender, moving ‘farewell’ in history took place on Ascension Day. St Luke records the story with great poignancy:
‘When Jesus had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, He lifted up His hands - and blessed them.’ (Luke 24:50)
As Christmas began the story of Jesus’ life on earth, so Ascension Day completes it, with His return to His Father in heaven. Jesus’ last act on earth was to bless His disciples. He and they had a bond as close as could be: they had just lived through three tumultuous years of public ministry and miracles – persecution and death – and resurrection! Just as we part from our nearest and dearest by still looking at them with love and memories in our eyes, so exactly did Jesus:
‘While He was blessing them, He left them and was taken up into heaven.’ (Luke 24:50-1)
He was not forsaking them, but merely going on ahead to a kingdom which would also be theirs one day:
‘I am ascending to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God...’ (John 20:17)
The disciples were surely the most favoured folk in history. Imagine being one of the last few people on earth to be face to face with Jesus, and have Him look on you with love. No wonder then that Luke goes on:
‘they worshipped Him - and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.’ (Luke 24:52, 53)
No wonder they praised God. They knew they would see Jesus again one day!
‘I am going to prepare a place for you... I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.’ (John 14:2, 3)
In the meantime, Jesus had work for them to do: to take the Gospel to every nation on earth.
‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’ (Matthew: 28: 19,20)
When the disciples first heard this it must have been very daunting. Yet Jesus gave them very clear instructions how they were to go about it. He did not allow them to just go off and do so immediately, He told them to wait. Jesus said:
‘But you shall receive Power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth’. (Acts 1:8)
In other words, Jesus himself would enable them to fulfill the Great Commission by giving them the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit shapes the Church as an institution and ourselves as individuals. The Holy Spirit will teach us to love God and neighbour, and He will reward us by giving us a life worth living. That life may not be easy or trouble-free, but it will be worth living and in doing so may we be faithful and effective followers!
You may be very interested to see photos from Rev. Olie's installation service - they are now live on the 2018 album as is the photograph of the confirmation candidates on Sunday 27th May (click here) - scroll down to the bottom of the page.
And if you missed Morning Service on BBC Radio Ulster on 6th May, you can listen to it by clicking HERE
(This audio file works well on smart phones; on PCs it streams best with Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge - it is slow to load with Microsoft Explorer)