Sunday, April 15, 2012

A new dream in Belfast's historic Titanic Quarter

The Titanic was called the “ship of dreams”. A hundred years after it sank, a church in the Belfast dock where the great ship was built has a new dream for a boat that will bring people together and give them new life.
by Charlene Winkel
Saturday, April 14, 2012

According to Reverend Chris Bennett everyone needs a “BHAG“. That is a "Big Hairy Audacious Goal“. The vicar's BHAG is to buy an old boat and launch a church on the same dock where the Titanic was constructed.

When thinking of Belfast one of the first associations is the “The Troubles“. The other, in this centenary year, is the tragedy of the Titanic built by the city’s men in what is today known as the Titanic Quarters. The sinking of the White Star Line’s prized ship on its maiden voyage a hundred years ago and strife in the name of religion have indeed cast long shadows over this down-to-earth city.

However, Belfast is changing and it is the Titanic Quarters which have undergone the greatest change, transforming from a post-industrial area to what Rev Chris calls "the heart of the new Belfast”.

As chaplain to the Titanic Quarters, he plays a major role in this new development. Together with representatives from other mainstream churches in Northern Ireland, he founded The Dock. The dream of the church group is to buy an old boat based in the Titanic Quarter and revamp it into a community hub and cafe for the whole community. The idea of a chaplaincy centre based on a boat goes along with the idea of creating a space for chaplains to meet and connect in a neutral setting that does not resemble a church building from any denomination. the rest


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