As an exciting part of the Zacchaeus Outreach Project, which is a Church of Ireland/Church Army initiative within the Armagh Diocesan area working with members of local marching bands, a new bus is to be inaugurated on 6 March 2012.
The bus will act like a mobile café, allowing volunteers to travel to and be available at band parades and band meetings, where band members can find informal opportunities on the bus to talk about faith and issues affecting everyday life as well as get practical support and advice. The official dedication of the bus will be performed by the Archbishop of Armagh, The Most Revd Alan Harper, OBE, in the presence of the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone, Mr Peter Acheson, and representatives of various agencies including the Ulster Bands Association and the Ulster Scots Agency. It will take place from 7.00-7.30 p.m. in the grounds of Killyman Parish, where there will also be stalls from a wide range of organisations in the parish hall and a number of flute, accordion and silver bands playing over the course of the evening from 7.30-9.30 p.m. A recording of the history of a local band which the project has produced will also be shown on the night.
Speaking ahead of the event, Archbishop Harper said, ‘I am very pleased to support this new venture by the Zacchaeus Outreach Project, working with bands so directly. It is always most effective to work with and listen to people “where they are at”, so this café-on-wheels is an innovative approach to really being there for people. I commend everyone who has been involved in making it happen, not least Sr Valerie Thom, the diocesan evangelist, who has shown personal dedication in getting it going and I feel sure it will lead to meaningful engagement and further valuable work .’
The Project is supported by the Church of Ireland Priorities Fund, the Church Army, churches in the Armagh Diocese and the Armagh Diocese itself, and is co-ordinated by Church Army Sister and Diocesan Evangelist Valerie Thom.
For further information on the event, please contact Valerie on M. 07736644051. Photographers are very welcome to attend the dedication at 7.00 p.m.
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