A group of volunteer stewards from St Anne’s Cathedral travelled to Londonderry for the day on Thursday September 7, accompanied by the Rev Janice Elsdon of the Cathedral clergy team, and Helen Graham, Visitor Services Manager.
It was a cold and wet day, but, as steward Shirley Grey writes, everyone gathered on the train and enjoyed laughter, chat and banter despite the early hour.
It was also a good opportunity for the stewards to get to know each other better and to be introduced to Helen who only took up this new post at St Anne’s two weeks earlier.
Arriving in Londonderry the group had a short walk on the famous walls en route to St Columb’s Cathedral. A comprehensive and informative tour of the Cathedral was given by Billy and Ian, and the Dean of Derry, the Very Rev Raymond Stewart, was also there to greet them.
The group was shown the window to commemorate Mrs Cecil Francis Alexander, the great hymn writer, plus the original locks of the city gates that were closed to keep King James II’s army out just prior to the siege of 1689. The Cathedral also contains the chalice and patten given to the city in 1613, prior to the Cathedral being built between 1628-1633.
The visitors had a great view of the city over the River Foyle, as St Columb’s sits at the highest part of the walled city.
They headed back into the rain and into the Mother’s Union building beside the Cathedral for a fabulous lunch provided by Caroline, Avril, Margaret and Geraldine, before some free time for retail therapy, sightseeing or a walk on the walls.
In the early afternoon, the group was met by Garvin who gave a super tour of the walls and told the story of this historic city.
There was just enough time to walk over The Peace Bridge which was opened in 2011 at a cost of £14million, before the group caught the train home with happy memories of a great day out!
Thanks to Rev Janice and Mike Johnston for organising it all. You can view a full album of photographs taken by Mike by following this link.