It has been a MASSIVE week in Dock-World. All of a sudden, long-planned hopes are exploding into life – so this blog post contains not one, not two, but THREE Revelations in the life of Dock – any one of which on its own might well be the most exciting thing to happen all year – but when all three of them happen within a few days…! Even my usually plentiful superlatives are exhausted.
Yesterday, 14th April 2011, was a red-letter day: as well as being the 99th anniversary of Titanic hitting the iceberg (not an omen, honest) it was the first meeting of the Dock Board of Directors (sadly minus Michelle, who was stranded in Dubrovnik – which has to count as one of the more impressive excuses I’ve ever heard!) This group – a year in the making! – allows ‘The Dock’ to be constituted as a limited company – and as the Board includes people from all sorts of denominational backgrounds, the company genuinely is the ‘Shared Medley’ that we’ve been hoping and praying towards from the start. It’s this company that can now start fundraising for The Dock Boat – and they do so from the solid basis of a professional, diverse and exciting core team of Directors at the helm. Which means that The Dock is no longer a dream, or a hope, or a concept, or a bright idea in my head – The Dock Exists!
Today, 15th April 2011, as well as being the 99th anniversary of the Titanic sinking (not an omen, honest) was my first day as a Titanic Walking Tour Guide (as you can spot from the snazzy uniform). I loved it! You’ve heard me extol the virtues of Colin’s walking tours many times on this website – well now I get to be part of showing visitors around this incredible part of Belfast, into evocative old nooks and crannies like the Drawing Office and the Pump House, and out into the huge, breathtaking vistas of the slipways and the Thompson Dock.
In case you’re wondering why a Chaplain should be tramping around leading Walking Tours, part of the Dock project has always been to keep looking out for creative ways to part-fund the post of Chaplain to the Titanic Quarter. You’ll remember that last year I was providing some clergy cover in Carrowdore and Millisle on that basis – and this is the latest idea – with the added benefit that I love walking, I love the Titanic Quarter, I love meeting new people and I love wearing the snazzy red jacket!
Speaking of Chaplains:
Sunday 17th April is the next big date for your diary. It’s the day when I truly, genuinely stop being all by myself in the Titanic Quarter and welcome another Chaplain onto the team – which will hopefully continue to grow and diversify from here. So come along to the Dock Walk at 3:33pm at the Odyssey Streat and meet Karen – who, as well as being the minister of Sydenham Methodist church, will now also be a Chaplain to the Titanic Quarter and part of the Shared Medley team of people living out the hope, love and unity of the Christian faith in the TQ.