First Presbyterian Church (Non-Subscribing), Newry
Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland

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Rev. Keith Parke

Rev. Keith Parke

The Rev. Keith Parke was ordained and installed as our minister in a service held in our church on 7 September 2019. Three weeks later - on 28 September 2019 - he was installed as minister of our sister church in Warrenpoint.

Born in 1976, the Rev. Parke is a native of Kilkeel and grew up on the Ballinran Road. His parents are John and Lil (Elizabeth) and he is the youngest of six children. He grew up attending Kilkeel Presbyterian Church and, after his education locally in Brackenagh West Primary School and Kilkeel High School, he went on to study Hotel Management in Newry.

Keith married his wife Andrea in 2006, upon which the newly married couple made their home in Banbridge, before moving to Dromore in 2012. At this time Keith attended Gilford Presbyterian Church and he completed a BA in Theology in Belfast Bible College between 2010 and 2014.

In October 2016 Keith formally became a student for the ministry in the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Antrim in January 2019 and received calls from both our congregation in Newry and our sister congregation in Warrenpoint in June 2019.

Rev. Norman Hutton

Rev. Norman Hutton

The Rev. Norman Hutton retired from the full-time ministry at the end of August 2018, but remained involved in our congregation in the role of minister-in-charge until the ordination and installation of the Rev. Keith Parke on 7 September 2019.

The Rev. Hutton was ordained and installed as the minister of both Newry and Warrenpoint on 7 November 1997. The service of ordination and installation was held in our church here in Newry. The Rev. Hutton was subsequently installed as minister of Banbridge in 2001 and since then he has faithfully served all three congregations.

The Rev. Hutton was born in 1943 and is a native of Markethill, Co Armagh. During his childhood his family moved to Warrenpoint, Co Down, and he received his second-level education at Newry Grammar School (now Newry High School) from 1955 to 1961.

Upon leaving school Norman embarked on a career in business, in which he soon graduated to senior management positions. He moved from Warrenpoint to England in 1965, and returned to Northern Ireland in 1968 to live in Magherafelt, Co Londonderry. Since 1981 he has lived in Banbridge, Co Down.

Norman married Doris Hanna in our church in Newry in 1966. Norman's family religious background had been in the Church of Ireland and the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, but Doris was a member of our own congregation. Thus was Norman introduced to the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland. Norman and Doris have four children, all of whom were baptised in this church.

In 1992 Norman took his first service as a lay preacher and three years later he commenced his studies for ministry in the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland. These studies were undertaken in Belfast Bible College and Queen's University Belfast. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Bangor in May 1997 and, six months later, was ordained and installed as our minister.

The Rev. Hutton served a two year term as Moderator of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland from June 2003 to June 2005. In addition to executing his duties as Moderator in a most praiseworthy fashion, the Rt Rev. Hutton also raised a lot of money to support a housing project in El Salvador, which was sponsored by Christian Aid Ireland. He also travelled to El Salvador and Honduras to directly experience for himself the situation in that part of the world, and to see the work being carried out there with the support of Christian Aid Ireland.

Norman has also served as Clerk of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland.

The first commandment is this: "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." The second is this: "You must love your neighbour as yourself." No other commandment is greater than these.

Mark 12:29-31

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

2 Corinthians 3:17b