Prayers & Remembrance in Enniskillen

12.11.2023 | Moderator, Church in Society, Church Life, Congregational News, Commemorations

Presbyterian Moderator, Right Reverend Dr Sam Mawhinney, took part in the Royal British Legion’s Act of Remembrance at Enniskillen’s Cenotaph this morning saying that it was “an honour to take part, and a poignant and humbling experience.”

The rain sodden outdoor service was led by the Dean of St Macartin’s Cathedral, the Very Rev Kenneth Hall, during which Dr Mawhinney read one of the prayers. The Service took place on the 36th anniversary of the Enniskillen Bomb, which claimed the lives of 12 people who had gathered for the same service on Remembrance Sunday 1987. The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Chris Heaton-Harris MP, the new Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Jon Boutcher, and the United States’ Consul General, James Applegate, were among those who laid wreaths during the service.

Speaking afterwards, Dr Mawhinney said that it had been “an honour to take part, and a poignant and humbling experience, as we remembered the servicemen and women who gave their lives here in Northern Ireland, in both World Wars and other conflicts, along with the 12 members of the local community, killed so unnecessarily, at this service 36 years ago.”

The Moderator then went on to Enniskillen Presbyterian Church, not far from the war memorial, where he had been invited to preach. It was the last engagement of his week-long pastoral tour of PCI’s Presbytery of Omagh, which takes in West Tyrone and all of County Fermanagh.

“We received a really warm welcome, which was in stark contrast to the cold and very wet weather outside. For Karen and me it was a real joy to meet folk who had been so well pastored by David Cupples, whose 30-plus year ministry is still missed since he retired. But they are looking forward to the future, and the appointment of a new minister in due course. It was also a pleasure to spend time with my colleague Rev Gunther Andrich, minister of Irvinestown, Pettigo and Tempo Presbyterian Churches, who is looking after the congregation until a new minister is appointed.”

The Moderator, who is minister of Adelaide Road Presbyterian Church in Dublin, continued, “At this particular time, we remembered those who had gone before us in the service of their country and on that tragic day in 1987. During our time together I spoke about lament and God’s desire for His people to bring their pain and heartache, fears and worries, difficulties and concerns about the world around them, and their lives, to Him in prayer. We praise Him for His goodness and loving character, and for His Son Jesus, who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine. It was a busy week seeing the good work that is being done by the Church across the Presbytery in His name, and a privilege to end it in Enniskillen.”

Photo: The elders of Enniskillen Presbyterian Church with the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Dr Sam Mawhinney, (sixth from right) who preached at the church's Remembrance Sunday Service with his wife Karen and Rev Gunther Andrich. The the congregation's Clerk of the Kirk Session, Kate Doherty, is next to Mr Andrich.

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