At a Service of Holy Communion on Sunday 2 Februrary (The Presentation of Christ) Bishop Harold dedicated the new Chapel of Healing in the north transcept of Donaghadee Parish Church. The building has undergone a major renewal and restoration and the Chapel of Healing was the final phase of the project.
At Donaghadee Parish the ministry of healing is a valued part of parish life. Started by former rector, Revd Canon J C Swenarton, the weekly service is a focus for ministry to those who are ill in the community.
Each week around 30 people meet to pray for those in need and the new side chapel will provide a home for this ministry and also a place for individual prayer after worship services on Sunday.
At the entrance to the Chapel are two large glass screens which sperate the chapel from the nave. One depicts the Decent from the Cross and the other Christ in Glory, with the Tree of Life and River of Life. The artwork reminds us that pain, suffering and death are transformed into healing and victory through Christ.
Lisburn artist Tony Davidson, who specialises in church art, drew the artwork for the screens based on themes given to him by the rector. The glass was made by Daedelian Glass of Fleetwood, England. They are a combination of painted, sandblasted and fused glass; the glass is very tactile, creating a stunning visual impact.
Within the Chapel is a “Place of the Scriptures” again in glass and an Ambrey for Holy Oil. The Communion Table is square in design and has a lightness that draws the eye to a cross at the centre of the Table.
Bishop Harold encouraged the congregation in their ministry, as he unfolded the story of the Presentation in the Temple, reminding them of the harsh reality of “the sword that pierces the heart” along with the vision, faith and perseverance of Simeon and Anna. During the service many came to the Chapel of Healing to receive Holy Communion and to be anointed.