Archive for December, 2008

Hermon Praises Fire Officers

“I was absolutely aghast when I received a text message at teatime last Thursday with four words that chilled my heart: it said ‘Bangor West Church ablaze’. The very image of that beautiful church - distinguished by its unusual shape and dramatic stained glass - being on fire prompted me to go immediately to the scene to offer what help I could in such distressing circumstances.  I must say the local fire officers were absolutely brilliant in extinguishing the fire so very quickly and containing the damage to the building.  Their sheer professionalism and calmness, while tackling the blaze, earned them enormous praise and gratitude. 

The damage to the Church is, nevertheless, particularly upsetting for the Reverend Charles McMullen and his congregation especially when they were preparing to celebrate Christ’s birth.  I was so sorry the joy and hope of Christmas had been for them overshadowed by the smoke and charred embers of the roof.  However, knowing the strength and loyalty of Charles’s ‘flock’ at Bangor West Presbyterian, I haven’t the slightest doubt that they will rally around and have their Church restored to its former beauty in no time at all.”

December 16th, 2008

MP Pays Tribute to Colin Angus

“I was terribly shocked when I heard of Colin’s sudden death in ghastly circumstances early on Saturday morning, and dreaded having to tell our two boys the awful news.  It’s been a horrible year with too much sadness and grief, and so losing a friend like Colin Angus was very painful for us all.  We as a family first came to know him 12 years ago, when our two Airedales were puppies and needed to be both trained and groomed.  Colin was the right man for the job, but he was so much more besides. 

Every project, whether it was fundraising or PR or whatever, Colin embraced with great enthusiasm and energy.  His zest for life and the sheer warmth of his personality were amongst his most endearing qualities, and are ones for which he will long be remembered.  Even now, I can still visualise his broad smile and ‘hear’ the excited tone of his voice as he chatted – and he certainly liked to chat – about some new project he had undertaken. 

It just feels very cruel indeed that death has snatched Colin away far too soon from his devoted and loving family, and from his many friends.  The sad reality is that we will not see his like again, and I’m profoundly sorry he wasn’t spared to us for much, much longer.”

December 15th, 2008

MP ‘Distressed’ at Church Vandalism

“I was very distressed indeed to hear the news that Groomsport Parish Church had been attacked by vandals in the early hours of Monday morning.  This is a beautiful church much beloved by the Reverend Duncan Pollock, his parishioners and all those associated with it. 

That such an attack happened as the church community had been celebrating the beginning of Advent – the beginning of the Christian year and when we celebrate the arrival of light into a dark world – makes it particularly iniquitous.   

Yesterday afternoon (Monday) I visited the Church and was very shocked by the extent of the damage to this sacred place.  If anyone has seen suspicious activity in or around the Church over the weekend, I would urge them please to contact the local police.”

December 2nd, 2008