David Ford joined Prison Service staff and their families yesterday at the annual carol service held to support relatives of deceased officers.
The St Anne’s Cathedral event is organised each year by the NI Prison Service Central Benevolent Fund (CBF), which also helps injured and ill officers.
Thanking the CBF for the invitation, the Justice Minister said: “It is once again an honour and a privilege for me to join with the Prison Service family in such a sacred and serene setting.
“The annual carol service is a key date in the Prison Service calendar and I thank the organisers and all who participated in today’s ceremony. The musicians, choir and soloist all helped to make it a truly wonderful occasion.
“The Central Benevolent Fund performs a vital work on behalf of the widows of deceased officers as well as retired and serving staff. I extend my best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to them and their families.”
The annual carol service is now in its 15th year following the success of the first event in 1999.
This year it was based on the nine lessons of Christmas and was conducted by the Very Reverend John Mann, the Dean of St Anne’s.
The soloist for the service was Jamaican-born Clover Watts, with the music performed by Murley Silver Band, Omagh and the choir of King’s Park Primary School from Lurgan.