The fortnight in pictures

High time y’all had some nice pics to go with all the events and excitements of the last few weeks, since the launch of the Dock Business Plan.  On the night of the launch I have to confess I was too busy/excited/hopped-up on stress to remember to take many photos – any at all in fact, except this lonely specimen, taken before the guests started to arrive, of the tables awaiting the distinguished guests and the gourmet food…

What I do have are lots of pictures of the Business Plan.  (And, as you can see from the middle pic, lots of Business Plans – nearly 1000 to be precise, all currently living in the VW Campervan while I try to figure out where to store them…)  I couldn’t be more pleased with the way the BP has turned out – or with the impact it has made even in the few weeks since its launch – emails, phone calls, letters, new contacts, offers of support – even (as you can see) a few missives on very fancy headed paper…

The Business Plan was launched amidst all the excitement of the Maritime Heritage weekend, and if you haven’t already seen the vid (why not?! Click here), these pictures hopefully give some flavour…  lovely to see all the life and bustle around the TQ – a true living embodiment of the vision of all those concept pictures from a few years ago.

That weekend was also a fabulous backdrop for Dock Walking – allowing us to visit the evocative interior of the Drawing Office, walk on a pirate ship, and watch an aerial display of stunt flying.  (When was the last time that happened at your church, eh?!)

More outdoor-church experiences last week – it was great to be back with the friendly crowd from St Oliver Plunkett’s parish in West Belfast to join them for Mass at the Rock, deep in the woods above the Glen Road.  You might remember I was there for the first time (and indeed for my first-ever Mass) last year, and it was powerful once again to worship in the open air in that forest clearing, which had been used to hold Mass in secret when the country was deeply, fatally divided, and is now being used to hold Mass in a time of ever-greater unity and understanding.  Powerful stuff.

Last week, as you’ll know if you follow the Dock feed on Facebook, there was some apprehension that we had managed to choose a day of thunderous weather to hold the ARC BBQ.  I’ll admit that even my optimistic heart had a few qualms when I saw the storm clouds above the apartments…  (as well as getting to see how they clean their windows – it’s done by bungee-jumpers, who knew!)

But in the end all was well, we got the only clear 2-hour stretch of sunshine in the whole day.  Optimism wins again!!