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

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News - 2014

Dec Nov Oct Sep Aug Jul Jun May Apr Mar Feb Jan


The Annual General Meeting of the congregation was held on Wednesday, 5th March, in the Warnock Hall. The various reports were duly presented and agreed by all. The Office-bearers were congratulated on another "good year" in the life of the congregation. Mrs Muriel Hanna stood down as Honorary Secretary after 11 years of sterling service and Mrs Florence Berry was elected to fill the vacancy.

During the Rev and Mrs Huttonís absence on holiday, the service on Sunday, 23rd March, was conducted by Mr Sam Agnew. Sam is always a very welcome guest in Newry.

On Mothering Sunday, the children of the Sunday School presented all the ladies in the congregation with a Motherís Day card.

The Easter Coffee Morning on Saturday, 12th April, was poorly supported and, as a result, the income suffered accordingly.

There was an average attendance for our Good Friday Service of Meditation conducted by the Rev Hutton, with special music by the choir. After the service everyone proceeded to the Warnock Hall for refreshments supplied by the ladies.

The following Sunday, being Easter Day, the Rev Hutton delivered an appropriate address, the choir once again provided special music and every child received an Easter egg.

As usual, our Spring Communion Service was held on the first Sunday in May and the attendance was on par with previous years. Mr David Hanna and Mr William Hanna assisted the Rev Hutton in the distribution of bread and wine.

On Saturday, 10th May, the church resounded to the sound of bagpipe music as a piper from Scotland welcomed guests to the wedding of Miss Ruth Berry and Mr Kevin Black. Many of the visitors from Scotland wore kilts for the occasion.

The Ladiesí Guild Visitorsí Night was held on Monday, 12th May, in the Warnock Hall. The Guest Speaker was the Rev Rosalind Taggart, who gave a light-hearted address on her transition from a civil servant to Minister of our Templepatrick Church. As usual, Rosalind rounded off her address with a funny story. A beautiful supper was served by the ladies at the end of the evening. Mrs Doris Hutton and Mrs Daryl Hempkin have renewed their Certificates in Food Safety and Catering.

The Sunday School Exhibition took place in our Ballyclare Church. Once again, the Newry Sunday School received one of the special awards Ė the James Meneely Award for the best Arts and Crafts entry. All the entries were on display on Childrenís Day, the theme of which was "The Creation". The service was conducted by Jake McMurray with other members of the Sunday School either reading the appropriate passages from the Book of Genesis or leading in prayer. As Childrenís Day was also Fatherís Day, all the men were given a special pencil from the children. The Sunday School year ended on Saturday, 21st June, with a Sponsored Walk and Barbecue in Gosford Forest Park in Markethill.

Several of our ladies were prize-winners at the Newry Show for their floral exhibits and displays.

This year the Church Trip was to Harrogate, staying at the Cairn Hotel. Unfortunately, on the way to the hotel on Monday, 21st July, the coach broke down outside Newtownstewart in Scotland, with the result that the party didnít get checked into the hotel until around midnight. Everyone put Mondayís mishap behind them and enjoyed a dayís sightseeing and shopping on Tuesday. Many of the group visited Bettyís Teashop to partake of her famed teas and cakes. Wednesday was spent touring the Dales with a break for lunch in Skipton. York was the destination for our trip on Thursday. After visiting the local Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery outside Harrogate, we travelled to the cathedral city of Ripon and on to the picturesque town of Thirsk. All too soon, it was time to catch the ferry home.

To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, Newry Orange, Black and Apprentice Boys organised a special service in our church on Sunday, 3rd August. After laying a wreath at the War Memorial outside the Town Hall, the parade proceeded to the church, led by Hunter Moore Memorial Flute Band. The Rev Hutton used the text "Blessed are the Peacemakers" for his address and special music was provided by Mrs Madge McNelis and the Choir.

As autumn approaches, so do our Harvest Thanksgiving Services on Sunday, 28th September. The choir has commenced rehearsals for these special services at 11:30 a.m. (Rev Hutton) and 6:00 p.m. (Rev Dr A D G Steers).

The Harvest Service in Warrenpoint is on Sunday, 5th October, at 3:30 p.m., when the service will be conducted by the Moderator, the Rt Rev Paul Reid. The praise will be led by Warrenpoint Silver Band and a guest soloist, Miss Sarah Thompson, will also be in attendance.

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After completing his last Harvest Thanksgiving Service in Greyabbey, our minister enjoyed a well-earned break, cruising in the Eastern Mediterranean. During his absence our services on Sunday 20th and Sunday 27th October were conducted by Mr Sam Agnew and his addresses were enjoyed by both young and old.

Our Autumn Communion Service was held on Sunday 3rd November when 39 communicants gathered around the Lordís Table in the time-honoured custom. Mrs Lorna Hanna and Mr Harry Thompson assisted the Rev Hutton in the distribution of the bread and wine.

Our Remembrance Day Service on Sunday 10th November commenced 15 minutes later than usual at 11:45, in order to allow members attend the service at the local War Memorial at 11 a.m. The Rev Hutton led the tribute to the dead of two World Wars and the many conflicts since. Mrs Charlotte Holmes laid the poppy wreath and Mr David Hanna played the Lament.

On Sunday 17th November the Rev Hutton baptised Harry Maxwell Berry, the infant son of Alan and Lorraine Berry; this was the eleventh baptism in our church this year.

The season of Advent was marked in the usual fashion when the children of the Sunday School lit the appropriate candle for each of the four Sundays of Advent, after introducing the theme with a short reading and prayer.

The wedding of Miss Elaine Henning and Mr John Warnock took place in the church of Thursday 5th December; the church was beautifully decorated for this Christmas-themed wedding. The service was conducted by the Rev Hutton and Mrs Caroline McAuley presided at the piano.

The Ladies eventually got out for their Christmas Dinner, which was postponed from last year. They enjoyed a good night in the No. 7 Restaurant on the Downshire Road.

The Carol Service took place on Sunday 22nd December when one of the largest congregations of the year heard the choir sing the carols "Of the Fatherís love begotten", "Unto us a Son is born" and "Infant holy, Infant lowly" accompanied by Mrs Madge McNellis on the organ. The Christmas Story was performed by the children of the Sunday School after the readings of the prophets by Mr Tom Wylie and Mr William Hanna. Mrs Doris Hutton and Rev Hutton read from the New Testament letters, explaining the meaning of Christmas. After the Benediction Santa Claus dropped in with a gift for all of the children in attendance.

Our Sunday School continues to set a good example for our congregation; as usual they presented a cheque for £200 to the Southern Area Hospice Services at their Beetle Drive on 30th October. Sophie Hempkin raised over £100 for Oxfam by organising an "Alice in Wonderland Tea Party". The Sunday School also filled 15 shoe boxes with gifts for children in Africa, as well as providing gifts for the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal on Sunday 8th December. They also purchased ten chicks and one goat as part of Christian Aidís Gift Aid scheme to help people in poverty. Thanks to the Sunday School, everyone attending the Carol Service on Sunday 22nd December was invited to a Coffee Morning before the service.

Our Christmas Service followed the usual format of previous years with a short service of readings, carols and prayers. Mrs Flo Berry presided at the organ. Our final service of 2013 was conducted by the Rev Hutton on Sunday 29th December and, once again, Mrs Flo Berry presided at the organ.

The congregation is in good heart as it enters a New Year, one in which it hopes that the ongoing dispute regarding repairs carried out in 2000 will be resolved.

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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