On Monday evening, 26th July 2021, Jennifer McLernon, Chairperson of Ballymena Church Members Forum, welcomed a group of members and friends to an evening in the ‘Garden Village’ of Broughshane. This was the first ‘in-person’ meeting of Forum members since Christmas 2019.
At their assembly point in the Community Centre car park, Sandy Wilson of Broughshane Development Association, gave the group some background to the building of a strong and vibrant community over several decades and for which Broughshane is renowned. Sandy emphasised the importance of individuals pooling their various skills and experience, supporting each other in inclusive intergenerational and cross-community ways. He also attributed their success to the strong Christian faith to which he and many of the Association held.
Sandy then led the group on a very interesting and enjoyable walk along Knockan Road, past the children’s playpark and on to the Riverside Walk to the Wildfowl Ponds. On the way he stopped to answer questions and point out the work done by various teams of volunteers affiliated to the Development Association. Trevor joined Sandy to guide the walkers through the Wildfowl enclosure after which they made their way to Houston’s Mill for light refreshments provided by members of the Forum Committee and the Development Association. When everyone was seated Canon Stuart Lloyd prayed a blessing, giving thanks to God for all that we enjoy.
Fed and rested, the walkers resumed the road guided by Sandy around the Mill site and then along Main Street back to the Community Centre. They stopped to admire some of the inspirational street art and ingenuous ways by which physical and psychological walls had been removed and replaced by beautiful planting and lighting schemes and communal seating.
Before the walkers dispersed, Jennifer thanked Sandy for his enthusiastic leadership throughout the evening. There was no doubt that everyone was going home inspired and happy.
You can find out more about Ballymena Church Members Forum on their website.