The vision for The Dock is simply this: to be the Chaplaincy sofa. To be the hub where the community meets the ministry of the churches, in an informal, inclusive, but intentionally spiritual setting.
The informal faith community regularly meets up on a Sunday afternoon, grabs a takeaway coffee at the Odyssey (to keep their hands warm!) and walks around the Titanic Quarter area reflecting, praying and talking to people they meet. There's a growing community of people building, working, living and visiting TQ.
This afternoon between 4pm and 7pm, if you're in the area, you'll find Chris and Harvey the VW campervan parked near the Kit sculpture (at the base of the apartments out behind the Odyssey Arena), handing out "steaming mugs of mulled wine (tipsy and non-tipsy versions)" and nibbles alongside his “deckchair cafe” in one of the shop units at the Abercorn basin.
While (Rev) Chris Bennett has a Church of Ireland background, the Dock is deliberately non-denominational.
"I’ve tried not to rush to plant a church on an existing model, or to do what is familiar or recognisable. Instead I began a process of meeting with people working in the Titanic Quarter, and those from elsewhere in the city who had an interest in the area. They joined me for coffee in the Odyssey Arena or in the Pump House Cafe at the Titanic Dock, and we brainstormed the ideas, hopes, values and purposes that the church could pursue in the Titanic Quarter. We called the process CoffeeStorming ...
Shared Future is not just a politically-correct buzzword. As we’ve talked over coffee I’ve come to understand just how deeply it is the longing and desire of so many people in this nation – to move on from decades of division and sectarianism, a time when Northern Ireland was world-famous only for violence, to build a future we truly can share and be proud of.
And so in the Titanic Quarter, this neutral ground – which one person described to me as ‘the best blank page the church has had in Ireland since St Patrick stepped off the boat’ – it’s our challenge and a core value of the Dock to find out what it means to share the ministry in this place."
Ultimately, the Dock have a vision of creating a chaplaincy space within a boat moored in the area.