What on Earth is happening to the Dock Chaplains?

Sunday Nights at The Dock… This Sunday (1st February) at 6pm… all will be revealed!

chaplainsThe team of Dock Chaplains has been a reasonably stable entity ever since it formed in the early days of The Dock… six of us from six different church backgrounds, united by the adventure of Life in the Titanic Quarter and all happy to chat with anyone and everyone over a cuppa in Dock Cafe.

8513284498_62973a939d_zBut 2015 is our year of change… one of us, Finian, is moving on to a new post in Dublin – although his moving date has been postponed by a few weeks so all our lamenting and wailing last week was a bit premature!  It gives us a chance to say a proper farewell to him at this Sunday night’s service.

And then… not one, not two, but three of us are starting new businesses or embarking on crazy ideas in the coming weeks.  For all of us, that will mean leaving a life of  being responsible for a local parish church.  But for all of us, it doesn’t mean leaving The Dock or stepping down from being a Dock Chaplain.  But the means of providing our ‘daily bread’ is going to look very different.

photoSo I’d love you to come and hear all about our crazy ideas at the service on Sunday night.  You’ve already had some hints that there will be trams, flying objects and honesty boxes involved.  (But thankfully not at the same time – a Flying Tram paid for by an Honesty Box does not sound like a sensible business investment.  Although, there’s an idea…)

SN-a1And of course as always there will be worship, coffee, time to chill and time to pray, all safe and snug in our beloved cosy cafe.  Our wild creative ideas, we believe, are rooted in a wild creative God and we want to give thanks – particularly for the especially mad idea (coming up on three years ago now) that an Honesty Box Cafe might ever be a success!  What were we thinking?!

See you there!

All change

At around this time of year I used to go out with a video camera and a blank diary and film a little ‘Day in the Life of Titanic Quarter’ as a way of noticing the changes year by year – a little bit like this:

One sign of how much things have changed since my last Day in the Life vid is that the very idea of a free day with a blank diary is now a distant memory! – so, apologies, the little video diaries haven’t happened (yet) for 2015.

But one change I have DEFINITELY noticed – recently I was sorting through some old photos and I found a few pictures of the ARC apartments in November 2009, just as The Dock project was born.

Little could I ever have guessed when these photos were taken – and I wouldn’t have believed it if you’d told me – that the retail areas under construction in these pics would one day become a thriving hub of life and laughter, wee chats, work outings, birthday parties, knitting circles, cycling clubs, book groups, quiet moments, and all the beautiful messy joy of life that we experience in our wonderful blessed cafe every day:

Much as those videos were great for celebrating the physical changes, the new buildings and developments and sweeping visionary architecture, it’s the personal stories that we’re celebrating now.  New faces, friendships, connections and communities – growing not just year by year but day by day.

Something BIGGG is coming… (but it’s wee)

Something new and amazing has been slow-cooking on my back-burner for nearly a year now.  Something BIGGG – for me personally, something that starts a whole new chapter in my life and work.

photoIronically, it is also something wee.  That’s its name in fact – it’s called The Wee Tram.

But what is it exactly?  What kind of tram? Why is it Wee? Was it involved in some sort of bizarre industrial accident with a shrink-ray? Well, in time-honoured, incredibly-annoying tradition, I’m going to leave you (mostly) on tenterhooks for now – there’s just two things you can do:

1.  Please spread the word – the Wee Tram is looking for drivers.  They need to have a full Category D (i.e. coach) driving licence, so not everyone can apply – but if you know anyone who is suitably qualified and is looking for work, please pass this message on – we’d love to recruit a fantastic team of drivers for this exciting new venture
Screenshot 2015-01-21 20.55.36

SN-a12. Make a date to be at Sunday Nights at The Dock on Sunday 1st Feb, 6pm.  We’re calling it ‘What On Earth Is Happening To The Dock Chaplains?’, because you’ll be hearing not just from me but also two other Dock Chaplains who are embarking on wonderful crazy ideas.  As well as trams which may or may not be Wee, there will be an Honesty Box in an unexpected place, and an Unidentified Flying Object will be identified.  That’s all I’m saying for now.

IMG_0904And also, in complete and profound contravention of my previous blog, there will be Finian!  (His move to Dublin has been postponed by a few weeks.  So we want all our leaving pressies back).  So we’ll have a chance to say farewell (again!) as we also hear about some of the other chaplains’ exciting new adventures.

Mysteriously exciting times!