On Sunday 9th December a memorable community carol service, in aid of Cancer Focus, was held jointly between St Macartin's Church of Ireland Cathedral and St Michael's Roman Catholic Church in Enniskillen.
The carol service commenced in Saint Macartin’s Cathedral and then midway during the service the choirs, clergy and congregation processed the short distance across the town's Church Street to Saint Michael’s Church for the second half of the service. In a sense the pathway Her Majesty The Queen journeyed by crossing the road earlier in the year, was further cemented in a most significant way with over 400 people doing likewise.
Many became rather emotional as all joined in the singing of ‘Away in a Manger’ continuously until all the congregation had made their way from one church to the other. It was a truly spectacular occasion, with Christian voices proclaiming the good news in a continuous link across the street, with ‘Away in a Manger’ resounding in St Michael's and St Macartin's and on the street simultaneously, accompanied by the organists in both churches at the one time.
This no doubt gave witness to the unity in Christ in a very public and powerful way and shows a sign of hope amidst all the street violence that has flared up in recent days in Northern Ireland. The Very Revd Kenneth Hall, Dean and Rector of St Macartin's Cathedral, and the Very Revd Canon Peter O'Reilly, Parish Priest of St Michael's, led the service and presented almost £1,000 to Cancer Focus, the proceeds from the service.
The readings were read by parishioners from both churches. The choirs of St Macartin's Cathedral and St Michael's Church led the singing. Jayne Haslett directed the choir of St Macartin's and the organist was Glenn Moore, whilst the organist and choir director in St Michael's was Helen Hamill. The Church of Ireland Bishop of Clogher, the Rt Revd John McDowell, the Revd Precentor Noel Regan, and the Revd Alistair Warke, Diocesan Curate, were also in attendance.
Revd A Warke Dean K Hall Bishop of Clogher Canon P O'Reilly Precentor N Regan
The crucifer and choir members leading the procession
The Dean and Bishop leading the congregation across to St Michael's Church