Mark Dowds guest speaker at May Lunch? Let’s Connect

Mark Dowds guest speaker at May Lunch? Let’s Connect

Lunch? Let’s Connect returns to Belfast Cathedral on Thursday May 3 with guest speaker Mark Dowds.

Mark has earned a name for his ability to motivate others to get ‘unstuck’ – to innovate in old spaces and displace established industries in the name of relevance. He is co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Trōv, the on-demand app which is revolutionising the insurance industry.

Partnering with AXA in the UK and Suncorp in Australia, Trōv has won $85m in funding and plans a US rollout very soon.

Mark is an exciting, interesting and challenging entrepreneur. Whether he’s empowering audiences around the world or taking some time off with endurance running and cycling, Mark does nothing by half measures. He is a speaker who will bring a fresh perspective to life.

Lunch? Let’s Connect  brings together people from different businesses and backgrounds, at one very different business networking event.

To book, please register online at where you can also order your food. Your online order will be confirmation of your attendance.

Former Dean John Mann receives Lambeth Cross

Former Dean John Mann receives Lambeth Cross

Former Dean of Belfast, the Rev John Mann, has been awarded The Lambeth Cross by the Archbishop of Canterbury for his ecumenical work in Belfast.

The Most Rev Justin Welby presented the Cross to John at a ceremony in Lambeth Palace, London, on April 6.

John was Dean of Belfast from 2011 until he left in September 2017 to take up the post of team rector of the Parish of Swanage with Studland. He was accompanied to the ceremony in Lambeth Place by his wife Helen.

The Award Citation reads as follows:

The Lambeth Cross which has been awarded to former Dean of Belfast John Mann.

The Very Reverend John Mann – The Lambeth Cross for Ecumenism, for courageous and visionary leadership which affirmed diversity, fostered healing and made Belfast Cathedral a place of welcome as a sacred, civic space at the heart of a divided city.

  • John Mann’s six-year tenure as Dean of Belfast was marked by building relationships and fostering a sense of community within the regular congregation. In 2017 he installed the first Roman Catholic priest as an ecumenical canon, alongside previously installed Presbyterian and Methodist ministers. The Choir School initiative was his vision, in partnership with three north Belfast schools (one Protestant, one Catholic and one integrated). The cathedral music department takes responsibility for teaching music in the schools and identifies boys and girls who are then trained to sing the services in the choirs of the cathedral. They attend practice in the context of an after-school homework club. Belfast Cathedral became a focus for civic events and as a sacred civic space benefited from the patience, grace and leadership of John Mann. He worked tirelessly with other religious leaders in the city and made a profound contribution to the civic understanding and acceptance of the concept of a Cathedral Quarter, ensuring that the cathedral remains at its heart. In his last three years there were congregations of between 800 and 1000 for Evensong and Compline on Culture Night and thousands more visited the cathedral. Guided tours and school visits became regular daily features, so too the daily offices. Over his tenure as dean John Mann raised over a million pounds for local charities through his pre-Christmas (Black Santa) sit-out for charity. In February 2017, at the Good Samaritan Service, the Dean distributed £230,000 – the largest sum raised to date, passing the target by some £30,000.

Christians from Africa, the Far East and the UK were among the recipients of the 2018 Lambeth Awards presented by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Awards, launched by Archbishop Welby in 2016, recognise outstanding service in different fields, including those of the Archbishop’s ministry priorities of prayer and the Religious life; reconciliation and peacebuilding; and evangelism and witness.

To learn more about this year’s Awards, visit

The Rev John Mann, former Dean of Belfast, left, with the Archbishop of Canterbury and Mrs Helen Mann.