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

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News - 2015

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


Our church was the venue for the launch in June of Mr Anthony Russell’s book Between Two Flags - the love story of John Mitchel Jnr and Jenny Verner. It proved to be a popular venue as the Rev. John Mitchel Snr was minister of the Newry Church from 1823 to 1840 and was one of the founders of the Remonstrant Synod of Ulster. Many visitors were also interested to learn of the history of the congregation, its building and its organ.

On Sunday, 21 June, the Rev. Hutton baptised the three children of George and Joanna Harbinson – Philip Ronald, Ally and Sandy Sophie.

When the Rev. and Mrs Hutton were on holiday in Bushmills at the end of June, Mr Sam Agnew occupied the pulpit once again.

We welcomed the Rev. Sam Peden to conduct our service on Sunday, 12 July, to allow our Minister, the Rev. Hutton, to conduct the baptism of his grandchild in Banbridge. Eli Samuel Hutton was born to Philip and Kirsty on 16 April.

This year the Annual Church Holiday, organised by the Rev. Hutton, was spent in the centre of Ireland from 20 July to 25 July based in the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone. Everyone enjoyed this trip’s eclectic mix of visits to the towns and cities for shopping and visits to the stately homes and gardens.

Already the evenings are drawing in, there is a nip in the air and so our thoughts turn to Autumn and our Harvest Services, which are to be held on Sunday, 27 September. Our evening service will be conducted by the Rev. Rosalind Taggart at 7.00pm, when the praise will be led by the Hunter Moore Memorial Flute Band.

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We are always pleased to have Mr Sam Agnew conduct our service in the absence of the Rev Hutton. Sam has become a regular guest preacher when the Rev Hutton is on holiday or conducting other services in the denomination; and so it was that Sam conducted our service on Sunday, 13th September, whilst the Rev Hutton was on a weekend break in Londonderry.

Our Harvest Services were held on the last Sunday in September (Sunday, 28th September) when there was a good turnout for the morning service conducted by the Rev Hutton. Attendance at the evening service, conducted by the Rev Dr David Steers, was smaller than usual, probably due to the fact that our regular visitors, the Hunter Moore Memorial Flute Band, were unable to be with us. The church was splendidly decorated for the occasion by the small band of ladies who use their talents to display the bounty of the harvest. Likewise the Choir and Mrs Madge McNellis, our organist, always endeavour to provide something new to listen to each year. After the evening service the congregation retired to the Warnock Hall for refreshments. Our grateful thanks is extended to everyone who contributed in any way to these services.

On Sunday, 5th October, the Rev Hutton baptised John Adain Hennity, and he was welcomed into the church universal by the congregation and the Hennity and Gordon families.

On Sunday, 12th October, Mr Sam Agnew once again conducted our service, as the Rev Hutton was conducting the Harvest in Larne.

Halloween was the date chosen by Victoria Little and Mark Elliot for their wedding. The church was filled on this occasion – many of Mark’s family having travelled from Fermanagh for this joyous event in the life of our congregation. After the wedding the happy couple and their family and friends travelled to Cabra Castle, Kingscourt, Co. Cavan, for the reception. We wish Victoria and Mark every blessing for the years that lie ahead.

Our Autumn Communion Service was held as usual on the first Sunday of November – 2nd November – with 29 coming to the Lord’s Table, served by Mrs Lorna Hanna and Mr Gordon Cunningham, as the congregation were seated in the aisles.

As the Rev Hutton was in London with the County Armagh branch of the RUC George Cross Association on Remembrance Sunday, once again our service was conducted by Mr Sam Agnew. Sam conducted the Act of Remembrance in a very dignified manner in keeping with the solemnity of the occasion. Mr David Holmes laid the wreath on the First World War Memorial and Mr David Hanna played a lament on the pipes. The retiring collection was donated to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. While in London for the Remembrance Day parade, the Rev Hutton also conducted a short Act of Remembrance at the Garden of Remembrance in Westminster Abbey on the previous day.

On Sunday, 23rd November, the Rev Hutton baptised Ronan Matthew Keenan, son of Seán and Gail, according to Matthew 28:19.

Many of our congregation travelled to Warrenpoint for the Annual Candlelight Carol Service, when the old church takes a wonderful atmosphere representative of life in the early days of the congregation.

We got a feeling that Christmas is just around the corner when, on Sunday, 14th December, the children brought their gifts for the Salvation Army Family Appeal and laid them around the Christmas Tree. It was evident on that day that the Rev Hutton was labouring under a heavy cold. This was confirmed the next day by his doctor, who confined him to the house for seven days. During this time his wife, Mrs Doris Hutton, undertook visits on his behalf to the elderly.

Happily the Rev Hutton was well enough to attend the following Sunday’s Carol Service. This was the best attended service of 2014, as over 100 were in attendance for this service. The praise was led by Hunter Moore Memorial Flute Band and the Sunday School performed their Nativity Play. Other readings were read for us by Mr William Hanna and Mrs Florence Berry, our Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Secretary. The Choir and Mrs Madge McNellis provided special Christmas music. At the end of the service Santa Clause appeared and gave each child a selection box.

Our Christmas morning service followed the usual format of Readings and Carols. Once again, Mr William Hanna and Mrs Florence Berry joined the Rev Hutton for the Readings. The last Sunday of the old year is termed low Sunday, and the attendance was the lowest of 2014. As the year ended, we look forward to commencing remedial work to the church building. May we back this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy and Peaceful 2015.

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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