Over 15 individuals - staff and volunteers - along with teams in local congregations, were honoured for their commitment to putting their faith into action in the dedicated service of others. Six members of staff were also recognised for twenty years service, receiving a Bible as a gift from the Moderator.
Lindsay Conway, Secretary to the Council for Social Witness explained that the awards were open to all full, or part-time staff, volunteers of the Council and congregations.
“Our church, like so many other organisations, have hundreds of ‘unsung heroes’ - individuals who up and down the island of Ireland give tirelessly of themselves to make life, a bit more tolerable and a little happier for hundreds, if not thousands of people,” he said.
“As the Apostle James writes, “...faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” As a Church, we have long been making our mark on a broken society by helping people in need.”
The Council for Social Witness has overall management responsibility for the Church’s 17 homes and centres in 14 locations across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Its staff and volunteers provide services to people and the community through residential, respite and day care for the elderly and people with physical and learning disabilities, ex-offenders and those overcoming substance abuse.
Presbyterian Moderator, Rt. Rev. Dr. Frank Sellar presented the awards and spoke warmly of both winners and runners up. “On meeting King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba famously said: “I did not believe the reports until I came and my eyes had seen it. And behold the half was not told me”.
“The same could be said concerning the people and projects associated with the Council for Social Witness, which I’ve been privileged as Moderator to see this year. As far as I am concerned all these caring projects, staff and volunteers alike, linked to the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, are winners and I thank you warmly in Jesus’ name and heartily congratulate you all.”
The Moderator, Dr. Sellar, with all of the winners of the 2016 Social Witness Recognition Awards