Get out your shiny new 2014 diaries…

untitled-5727Happy New Year’s Eve Eve!

You’ve hopefully heard by now that a very exciting event is happening at The Dock for the first few days of January – 3 days and nights of 24-7 prayer.

2013-12-22 15.52.41It all starts at midnight on New Year’s Eve on the Titanic slipways, and continues in Dock Cafe until the morning of 4th January – when the baton will pass to St Patrick’s parish on the Newtownards Road – who will pass it on to St Clements on Templemore Ave – and so on for the whole of 2014!  For the whole year, every minute of every week of every month, someone, somewhere in Northern Ireland will be praying.

2013-12-28 19.18.10Have a look at your diary for the first few days of 2014 and SIGN UP NOW!

You can sign in for an hour (or more – as long as you’d like!) at the online rota here.

You can sign in at the same time as someone else (plenty of room for everyone!) or fill in one of those empty spaces…

BTt8KMyCEAA3tSuThere will be loads to keep you occupied for however long you spend in The Dock… every corner of the cafe is being used for (at the last count) 25 prayer stations, involving everything from dumbbells to donkeys, pebbles to plasters, bins to bookmarks… you’ll have to get involved to find out more!

What a fantastic way to start 2014… What are you waiting for?!

Wishes, walks, arbours and turkey toasties

A few little updates from the days of turkey toasties (that lovely pause between Christmas and New Year’s Eve):

First up, tomorrow (Sunday) there will be a Titanic Pilgrimage Walk – meet at 2pm in atrium entrance area of Titanic Belfast if you’d like to walk the footprint of Titanic one more time before the end of 2013…

Also tomorrow, you’ll get a chance to hear Dock on the radio (sort of).  The Radio Ulster Sunday Morning Service at 10:15am involves me, some of my favourite music, and a few Titanic stories with a twist…

The days of turkey toasties haven’t involved chilled-out relaxation for everybody – Wesley and his worker elves have been hard at work every day since Boxing Day adding a fab new feature to the Dock Prayer Garden – a wooden arbour looking out over the Titanic Quarter.  It’ll be a quiet spot to draw aside for private prayer – and will be officially opened as part of our New Year’s Eve celebrations and the start of our 3 days of 24-7 prayer (speaking of which, have you signed up yet?)

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For those of you hitting the sales – if you’re looking for a good excuse to spend your Christmas book tokens (everyone always gets book tokens – don’t they?), you might like to stock up on the titles for the next season of Dock Book Group – and prepare to spend loads of time spent lost in a good book (and then ripping it to shreds afterwards in the book group discussion) in 2014!

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And finally – a little Christmas message from Jorge!  You remember him (we’ll certainly never forget him in The Dock) – the artist behind the Wish land art beside SS Nomadic.  The satellite picture of Wish is in the final 5 to win Satellite Image of the Year – and your vote can help!  Click here to make a crazy Cuban-American artist very happy.

wish belfast face of little girl 4

God rest ye merry Dockers

We’ve poured our last cuppa of 2013!

Closed christmas

And what a perfect weekend to go out on – a magical day of 110-percent proof Christmassyness with Lindsay’s Christmas Crooners singing to a packed cafe on Saturday:

And a Dock Walk through the TQ on Sunday on a heart-stoppingly beautiful winter afternoon:

The Bishop cordially invites you…

An invitation from Bishop Harold to join us in the TQ on New Year’s Eve for the start of the year of 24-7 Prayer:

I’m getting really excited about our 3 days of 24-7 prayer in The Dock at the start of 2014 – filling the whole cafe with prayer stations, thought-provoking areas, creative ideas and imaginative ways of engaging in prayer.

You’re welcome to join in at any time between midnight on New Year’s Eve and 10am on 4th January – but I’d love to see a few more names appearing on our online sign-up rota, so we know that every minute of our stint at the start of this great initiative will be covered.

You don’t need to be an expert, or an Anglican, or a deeply experienced pray-er to sign up… just someone who is willing to spend a bit of time in quiet in an empty cafe with God.  After a busy Christmas and New Year… sounds like bliss.

A Titanic Toilet

IMG_4630Hard to believe now, but Dock Cafe survived for nearly a year without a little room – just a map of where to find the nearest facilities in the hotel around the corner.  For the original Dock Volunteers, “I’m just checking in to the Premier Inn” will always have a special secret meaning.

It’s almost exactly a year since everything changed with the arrival of a completely unexpected Christmas present.  A group of workmen who had been lunch-time regulars arrived one day with a very unusual donation to the Honesty Box: some porcelain, plasterboard, a sink, a tap, even a water heater.

Because this wasn’t going to be any old toilet. It was going to be the most beloved, welcomed, rapturously received toilet in the history of public conveniences.  It was going to be… A Titanic Toilet.