A blarney-free St Patrick’s Day message

I reckon St Patrick’s Day is worth celebrating.

I’m just back from the St Patrick’s Day pilgrimage at Downpatrick – a highly recommended day out if you ever get the chance!  After sharing a service of Holy Communion at Saul (the church built on the site of Patrick’s first Christian community in Ireland), a great big rag-tag bunch of people, of all ages and nationalities, walked the 3-mile stretch into Downpatrick for a festival service and Irish Stew, accompanied by bagpipes, prayers (not at the same time obviously) and lots of good chat.

St Patrick is a name which keeps cropping up around the TQ.  One CoffeeStormer called the Titanic Quarter ‘the best blank page the church has had in Ireland since Patrick stepped off the boat’!   Certainly it’s an inspiring thought to realise that Patrick landed on Ireland with no team or structure or church-planting manual.  His success in sharing faith is also a good point of unity for us today – no matter what denomination you come from, all of us in this country trace our faith back to Patrick.

So it’s kinda appropriate that on my way home this afternoon I stopped off in Saul to film the final ‘instalment’ of a little series of videos setting forth the vision for the Dock.  I have the exciting opportunity to show the vids to some church leaders down in the TQ tomorrow afternoon, and after that they’ll be up on the website over the next few days.  I guess the videos – and the vision they describe – are the culmination of the weeks of coffeestorming, dreaming, praying, planning and hoping that have been taking place since Christmas.  I hope you find them as exciting as I do…

But as I’m putting the finishing touches to the edits tonight, in the meantime I’ll leave you with a video of a prayer for St Patrick’s Day.  The camerawork and the editing are a bit rough – this was the first vid I made with my new kit last Autumn so there are a few rookie mistakes! – but the words (part of St Patrick’s Breastplate) are just the most profound, stirring prayer ever prayed.