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Dear friends in St Nicholas’,
It seems hard to believe that I have been back from sabbatical leave for almost two months now, but this is the first time that I have had an opportunity to write to you via our church magazine. I was very conscious that, though I was away from my church family for a few months, I did not stop being a part of it! I valued your prayerful support of me during that time immensely and I enjoyed the privilege of praying for each one of you by name during my ‘big walk’. In fact, strange as it may seem, my time away from the parish actually increased my sense of how important it is to belong to a church family. I met lots of interesting people, saw beautiful scenery and some fantastic church buildings across Northern Spain, but I missed the fellowship of my Christian ‘brothers and sisters’ in St Nicholas. It was lovely to come back refreshed at the beginning of December and renew those bonds.

We may be far from perfect, we certainly make mistakes and we might even rub each other up the wrong way at times, but we are family! Children of the one heavenly Father, given as a gift to support and encourage each other as we seek to walk with Jesus through the joys and challenges of this life. I’m glad to be back in the parish and glad to be playing my part again in the life of this particular church family.

One of the ways that we try to nurture a sense of “family” in St Nicholas is through the work of our Small Groups. In a big parish like ours it is sometimes difficult to get to know one another well enough to do that work of supporting each other in a meaningful way. Small Groups give us the chance to sit down regularly with about eight to twelve other folk ‘just like us’ and to get to know one another as we read the Bible together. Sometimes people say to me that they don’t go to a Small Group because they don’t know enough about the Bible, or because they are afraid they might look silly if they said the wrong thing. Can I assure you that each one of our Small Groups is a warm, welcoming place where we are all learning together. The groups are starting again this month - and there’s one with your name on it! Please speak to any of the clergy if you’d like help finding the one that’s best for you.

In any family there are lots of different ways that members contribute to the good of the family as a whole. Our Select Vestry are the group who are trusted with looking after the family finances and the places where we meet. They carry out their job diligently and then each year, after Easter, present a report to the parish about that work. That meeting is the Easter General Vestry and all adult members of the parish are invited to come and be a part of it.

In order to attend though, you should be on the General Vestry register for the parish. It’s not difficult - but you need to do it this month! If you are 18 years old or over and are a subscriber to church funds you are eligible to be included on this list, but you do need to register your name. Please speak to one of the churchwardens if you would like a copy of the very brief registration form. When the register is revised at the beginning of March your name can then be added and you’ll be able to take part in that meeting. We’d be so grateful for your participation in this aspect of our family life.

Finally, we ought to remind ourselves that, just as not all the members of your family live in the one house, neither do our church families. We are blessed to have many good friends who worship in other church families here in Carrickfergus. We express our fellowship in many ways, and one of those ways is through the Mission Carrick links. This month, as we have done now for a couple of years, we will participate in a ‘pulpit swap’ organised amongst the Mission Carrick churches. This year we look forward to welcoming Dr Cecil Grant from First Carrickfergus Presbyterian Church to preach at our 11am service on Sunday 18th February and I will be sharing with the folks in North Street. Please plan to join us for this important occasion as we celebrate the bonds of fellowship between the Christian churches in the town.

Another of our important church family links for many years has been with the Diocese of Tabora, Tanzania, particularly the work done amongst children through their Children’s ministry Co-ordinator, Emmanuel Rubuye. Many of you have supported that work faithfully with your gifts and prayers. We are grateful to Lynn Rodgers for updating us regularly on that work. We were sorry to hear before Christmas then, that Emmanuel is no longer working for the Diocese of Tabora and Bishop Elias has appointed a new co-ordinator in his place. Please pray for this situation and for us as we try to work out under God how we continue to support the work of his kingdom in that corner of Africa.

Finally, can I say that I am glad that you have taken the time to read this letter. If you are able, do come and join us in person at worship or some of the activities detailed in the pages of this magazine. We’d love to see you - after all - we are family!

With love in Jesus,


Our first meeting of 2018 will be on Tuesday 13th February at 7.30 pm in the Minor Hall. Our guest for the evening is Pastor Ruth, who is also a cardiac nurse. Weforward to hearing what Ruth has to say about taking care of our hearts both medically and spiritually.  A warm welcome is extended to all ladies in the parish and we hope to see you there.
Valerie Leighton


Thank you so much for praying for our Christmas outreach opportunities and also for special times of fellowship with our church family.  It was a very busy but blessed time and we were greatly encouraged. 

Give thanks for Trevor and Andrea passing their exams before Christmas and the opportunity to continue with some part-time study.  Please pray for Emily as she makes her subject choices  for the International Baccalaureate programme that she will take over the next 2 years. 

Bibel Språk Café and Youth Group have resumed and we would value your continued prayers for these.  One-2-one opportunities also continue.  Pray for Trevor and Alex as they meet weekly to study a book on preaching and also for Andrea and A from Bosnia as they do ‘Just for Starters’.  Tillsammans has also recommenced with an opportunity for reading Philippians together.  As we enter a New Year we pray we will both know God deeper and have opportunities to make him known wider. 
Trevor, Andrea, Emily, Grace & Alice xx

Crosslinks Camps

Senior Camp is for those aged 12-17 and takes place at Castlewellan Castle from 29th July — 4th August 2018. The theme is ‘Identity! - Who is Jesus?  Who am I?’ The week is action packed with bible teaching, activities, music, seminars, banter and lots more.

Junior Camp is for youngsters from P4 to P7.  It takes place at Fivemiletown College, Co Tyrone between 12th and 18th August 2018.  The topic for the week is called ‘Super Saviour’.  Junior Camp is a wonderful opportunity for children to hear about God from his word the Bible. As well as this, camp is packed full of various activities, crafts, dramas and games for what will make a fun and memorable week!

For further details speak to Lynn Rodgers or contact Crosslinks at or phone 028 9079 6028.

Crèche Rota february 2018

4th    Lorraine Gibson, Carol Moneypenny & Caitlin McKinley
11th     Deirdre Beck & Sharon McMaster
18th    Kathleen Arthur, Ciara Lester & Sophie Foreman
25th     Christine Stewart & Valerie Leighton

The Crèche is in the Choir Vestry.  Children can be left there from 10.50 am each Sunday.  It would be appreciated if those who kindly staff the Crèche would be there in good time.  If you can't be present on a Sunday listed, please arrange for another of the volunteers to cover for you.
Thank you for your co-operation.


Some of you may have seen me handing out newspapers in church before the Family Service once a month and wondered what this paper is.  It is called ‘Evangelicals Now’ and is a Christian newspaper which reports on UK and worldwide events that may be front line news in the media or may never be front line news due to their unworldliness.

Christians facing persecution around the world are strongly featured as are the ongoing pronouncements from the Anglican Church both in the UK and elsewhere.  Doctrinal issues are often covered and there is an excellent monthly review of the latest Christian books.  You could also read the latest comments from one of our own parishioners in the letters column!

Papers cost £1.25 each and are published monthly.  If anyone is interested I could let you have the February copy free as a sample.
Lynn Rodgers

Christian Baptism

“Suffer the little children to come unto me”

17th December 2017
Elle Margaret Jean Maxwell
51 Craig’s Road, Carrickfergus
Christian Burial
‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’

30th November 2017
William Irvine Boyd, 10 Buskin Place, Carrickfergus

1st December 2017
Elizabeth West, 16 Prospect Gardens, Carrickfergus

23rd December 2017
William Moore Haggan, 11 Barn Halt Cottages, Carrickfergus
Formerly Pinewood Avenue, Carrickfergus

4th January 2018
Eileen Margretta Caters, 25 Joymount, Carrickfergus

9th January 2018
John (Jackie) Jackson, late of Sunnylands Avenue, Carrickfergus

11th January 2018
Hannah Church Hamilton, Whitehead Nursing Home
Formerly of 2 Castleview Road, Whitehead

16th January 2018
Daniel John Barkley, 18 Rhanbuoy Park, Carrickfergus

18th January 2018
George McFall, 62 Scotch Quarter, Carrickfergus

18th January 2018
William Frederick David (Bill) Sanders, 135 Low Road, Islandmagee


                 Morning                      Evening
4th         Rachel McVeigh          Glenn Nelson 
11th       Gillian Dalton              Julie Irvine
18th       Johnnie McAlister        Steven Todd
25th       Graeme Miles             Cafe Church


PrayerPoint evenings are your opportunity to join in prayer for the life and witness of St Nicholas’ and the church of Jesus Christ around the world.  Come on one of the evenings or come to both; Come for the whole evening or come for a short time; Come and pray aloud or in silence;
But come - we’ll be delighted to see you!
St Nicholas’ Church
Monday 5th  February 7.00 pm - 7.45pm
And Tuesday 20th February 7.00 pm—8.30 pm

St Nicholas Parish Church

Prayer Diary – February 2018
The monthly Prayer Diary included in Parish News is designed to help us pray each day of the month for a different aspect of our parish life, our community, and our nation.  It also includes prayer for situations, communities and individuals in other parts of the world.  Each Prayer Diary begins with a Prayer of the Month.  Keep it to hand and use as part of your daily devotions.

A suggested pattern for daily devotions:

1. Read a portion of Scripture.
2. Thank God for what you have learned from His Word.
3. Confess your sin.
4. Use the Lord’s Prayer.
5. Use the Prayer of the Month.
6. Pray for others and for yourself, including the topic of the day.

Prayer for the Month
Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your image:  Teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever.  Amen.                                                   BCP


1st February – Thursday
In 1 Corinthians Chapter 4, Paul speaks of his struggles as an Apostle of Christ.  Pray today for our Christian brothers and sisters around the world facing persecution and even death for their faith.  Pray for Open Doors.

2nd February – Friday
Today David Martin’s introduction as the new Director of ICM takes place in Dublin.  Pray for David in his new role.  Pray for Brian Courtney and Colin Logue and their service within ICM.  Remember Mark Smyth at Citychurch.

3rd February – Saturday
With the appointment of a new Children’s Ministry Co-ordinator, pray for the church in Tabora Diocese and for Bishop Elias Chakupewa.  Pray for Emmanuel as he seeks sponsors and partners to continue his work.  Pray that all Christians, whoever and wherever they may be, would always be ready to step back and ask the question, ‘Is my will getting in the way of God’s Will?’

4TH FEBRUARY – SUNDAY (2nd Sunday before Lent)
This afternoon in St Anne’s Cathedral the Venerable Stephen Forde is installed as its new Dean.  Pray for him in his new role and for George who will be participating in the service.  Pray for our own church services and for the teachers, boys and girls in our Sunday School and Bible Class.

5th February – Monday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint.

6th February – Tuesday
Our Select Vestry meets this evening and the Register of Vestry Persons is opened for revision.  Pray for our Select Vestry and for wise management of our resources.  Pray that parishioners would ask to join the register so that all would be well represented at our Easter Vestry in April.

7th February – Wednesday
Remember those who are recently bereaved.  Pray for those who have no relationship with Christ and are without hope.  Give thanks to our Lord who is ready to buoy us up when the pain of loss seems unbearable.

8th February – Thursday
Give thanks for invitations from local schools.  Pray for Cameron at Downshire, and George at Carrick Model this morning and Victoria this afternoon.

9th February – Friday
Pray for our Busy Bees Parent and Toddler Group.

10th February – Saturday
Cameron is guest speaker at this morning’s Monkstown Parish Men’s Breakfast.  Pray for this and give thanks for the faithful Bible teaching we receive here in St Nicholas’ from George, Cameron and Brian.

11TH FEBRUARY – SUNDAY (The Sunday before Lent)
Brian is preaching at Glencairn Parish this morning.  Pray for him.  Pray for our own services and for all who will hear God’s Word today.

12th February – Monday
Pray for our various Small Groups meeting throughout the week.

13th February – Tuesday
This evening’s guest speaker at Women’s Fellowship is Pastor Ruth who is also a cardiac nurse.  Pray for this evening’s meeting.

14th February – Wednesday (Ash Wednesday)
As we begin Lent, pray for the congregation at this morning’s Holy Communion service.  Pray too for Trevor and Andrea Watson in Gothenburg.

15th February – Thursday
Pray for the sick.  With reports of stress within the NHS, pray for hospital and GP staff, and for patients waiting longer for treatment.  Pray too for those who have succumbed to this winter’s flu virus and chest infections.

16th February – Friday
Pray for youth ministry in our parish, for Abba Girls, for the occasional Boys’ Group activities and for our Youth Fellowship.  Pray for Youth Leaders.

17th February – Saturday
Pray for our Parish Walking Group today taking in Carrickfergus, Boneybefore and Eden.

18TH FEBRUARY – SUNDAY (1st Sunday in Lent)
Today is the Mission Carrickfergus Pulpit Exchange when we will be joined by a member of the North Street Presbyterian clergy for Morning Prayer.  Pray for this service and this evening’s Holy Communion with Prayers for Healing.

19th February – Monday
With Holy Week just five weeks away, pray for preparations for this year’s Mission Carrick services and for the Youth Praise event on March 31st.

20th February – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint.

21st February – Wednesday
Pray for this morning’s visit to Sunnylands School.  Pray for Alison and the choir; for those who will be part of the extended choir at our Easter Praise; and for Nadine and the Music Group meeting for practice this evening.

22nd February – Thursday
This morning Catherine and her team will assemble Parish News.  Give thanks for Catherine and her work as Parish Administrator, for the magazine team and for distributors.

23rd February – Friday
Pray for our elected representatives.  Pray for our new Secretary of State Karen Bradley and the restoration of local government at Stormont.

24th February – Saturday
Pray for church congregations looking to fill a vacancy.  Remember parishes in our Diocese and our Presbyterian neighbours in Downshire and Loughmourne.

25TH FEBRUARY – SUNDAY (2nd Sunday in Lent)
Pray for this morning’s Family Service and this evening’s Cafe Church.

26th February – Monday
Pray for Senior Moments where George will speak about his experience on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela last autumn.

27th February – Tuesday
Give thanks for those members of our parish who clean our church and halls.  Pray for more ‘willing hands’ to spread the workload.

28th February – Wednesday
Pray for our broken world; for areas of conflict in the Middle East; for an easing of hostility between North Korea, its neighbouring nations and the US.  Pray for those hundreds of thousands of people displaced by hunger, natural disasters or conflict, and for those who live in fear.


Lord, enfold me in the depths of your heart; and there, hold me, refine...and set me on fire....
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The future belongs to those who belong to God. This is hope.
W T Purkiser

Be kind. Remember that everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Harry Thompson


Our Sunday School programme from the New Year to Easter has already included looking at the journey to Egypt, preceded by the visit of the wise men - who they were, where they came from and why they came.  This leads on to Jesus’ teaching ministry and will include looking at a number of his parables.

Each Sunday before lessons start we begin with a time of prayer.  Before we actually pray the children are asked what they would like to include in these prayers and we consider 4 categories beginning with the letters S.T.O.P. ie S for Sorry, T for Thanks, O for Others and P for Please.  In this way the children contribute to the content of the prayers which then become so much more meaningful for them.  It also helps them when they pray at home.  It is a good discipline for all of us; before we pray to make a brief list of things we want to bring before God.

I also want to say thank you publicly to the Bible Class youngsters who led our prayers during the Children’s Carol Service.  The prayers were all theirs with an absolute minimum of input from their class teachers.  Amongst other things our Bible Class are looking into writing letters of encouragement to persecuted Christians in other parts of the world through the auspices of Open Doors.

Please continue to pray for our children and their growth in understanding even from the earliest ages.
Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent

Children’s Outreach Mission, Tabora

Further to George’s announcement during the service on 24th December, we have indeed been informed by Bishop Elias that Emmanuel has been relieved of his position as Coordinator of the Children’s Outreach Mission.

Relationships have always been strained between the Bishop and Emmanuel and a set of  circumstances just before Christmas resulted in this action.

This poses many questions centred around what happens next, where do we go from here?  A new coordinator has been appointed although we don’t have a name.  George and I and the Select Vestry will be keeping a close eye on how the Children’s Mission progresses over the coming months.  In the meantime money that I was due to send is being held by the Select Vestry until such time as we are happy that it will be used appropriately by the new Coordinator in association with Bishop Elias.

You will recall that St Nicholas’ Select Vestry paid Emmanuel’s salary.  His current allocation was used up at the end of 2017 with a new allocation due to be sent when this crisis blew up.

As Emmanuel is effectively jobless now we felt we cannot just abandon him. We have decided to continue his salary for perhaps 2 or 3 months to give him a chance to get back on his feet.  This salary will come out of the sum now being held by the Select Vestry which was made up from Sunday School collections and donations from parishioners along with money raised from the sale of calendars.

A number of parishioners have given me sums of money for this Mission at regular intervals over a number of years.  This support for such a worthy cause has been tremendous and very humbling.  Could I ask that any future donations be withheld until such time as we are in a better position to assess the new arrangements in Tabora.

George and I and the Select Vestry are very hopeful that ‘normal service will be resumed’ and we ask for your prayers to this end.

Arrangements for the proposed teaching seminar have been progressing well but we have had to put that on hold, as has the visit to Tabora to coincide with it.
This is not the beginning to 2018 that we had contemplated in any way.  We must look to our Father in Heaven to see where He is leading us in all of this.  Please remember Bishop Elias, Emmanuel, the new Coordinator and the children in your prayers.  We also need to be blessed with patience as we wait for developments and our Lord’s leading.

Calendars are still available which will help with Emmanuel’s salary.
        Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent


Carrickfergus Child Contact Centre, in the YMCA building In Irish Quarter West, provides a safe, child friendly place for separated families to spend time together.

They run 2 sessions every week on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings.  The centre is run with the help of over 30 volunteers and they would like to invite more people to help support both the children and adults. 

All volunteers receive regular training and are all vetted through Access NI to ensure their suitability to work with children and young people. 

If this is something you would like to help with
contact Shelly on 07853 938881
or email her at


I was in the express lane at the supermarket, quietly fuming. Completely ignoring the sign, the woman ahead of me had slipped into the checkout line pushing a cart piled high with groceries. Imagine my delight when the cashier beckoned the woman to come forward, looked into the cart and asked sweetly, ‘So which six items would you like to buy?’

Flowers in Church December 2017 (not in last magazine)

17th    Doris Close & Lorraine Gibson—In memory of our mum
Dorothea Williams & dad Richard Williams

Flowers in Church January 2018
7th    Vacant
14th     Iris Clawson and family—In memory of Tommy
21st     Lesley Clawson—In memory of my mum Jacqueline
28th     Olivia Steele—In memory of my mother

Flowers in Church February 2018
4th    Sharon Maxwell—Ian’s birthday
11th     Mena Smyth—In memory of Freddie Smyth
18th     Vacant
25th    Vacant
If you would like to donate flowers for the Church please fill your name in against the appropriate space on the Flower List in the main porchspeak to either Catherine in the Church Office (028 9336 0061) or Gillian Dalton. As these details go into Parish News, we would ask, if possible, that you book your chosen Sunday at least 6 weeks in advance.


Friday 23rd February, Friday 23rd March
Friday 20th April, Friday 18th May and Friday 22nd June

7.30pm – 9.00pm
Meeting Room Upstairs in the Church Hall

All girls from P7 to secondary school age are very welcome
Craft, food, games and more

Parish Walking Group

Saturday 17th February
Carrickfergus Local Walk
via Boneybefore to Eden allotments and coffee stop at Eden Cafe

Meet at 10.00 am car park opposite Fisherman’s Quay

For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin or Joan Gray

If any parishioner known to you is sick or in hospital,
please contact the church office or the clergy so that they may be visited.  Thank you

Services in February 2018

4th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Holy Communion—The temple of the Holy Spirit
            1 Corinthians 6 v 12-20    Joan Armstrong
            Matthew 15 v 1-20        The Preacher
    6.30 pm    Evening Prayer—Ichthus—The Cross—Passion
            Mark 15 v 1-39        Don Howe

11th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer—Marriage matters
            Genesis 2 v 18-25        June Carmichael
            1 Corinthians 7 v 17-31    Kathleen Arthur
    6.30 pm    Service of the Word & Cafe Church
            Ichthus—The Tomb—Resurrection
            John 20 v 1-23        Daphne Murphy

18th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer—Mission Carrick pulpit swap
    6.30 pm    Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing
            & Café Church—Ichthus—The Throne—Ascension
            Acts 1 v 1-11            Janice Nelson
            Luke 24 v 50-53        The Preacher

25th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Family Service—Jesus’ kingdom—a sick son
            John 4 v 43-54
    6.30 pm    Café Church—Ichthus—The Return—Coming
            1 Thessalonians 4 v 13-18


5th    7.00 pm        PrayerPoint
6th    7.30 pm        Select Vestry
17th  10.00 am      Parish Walking Group Outing
20th    7.00 pm      PrayerPoint


Please organise within your group as to who will bring milk and biscuits.  If you cannot be present on the Sunday listed, please arrange for another volunteer to cover for you or phone Gillian Dalton.  Many thanks for your support.

Sally Campbell Tina Campbell Carol Anderson

Valerie Kirk Robin Gray Joan Gray

Deirdre Beck Valerie Leighton Linda Mulvenny

Dianne Innes Janice Nelson Karen Miles

Senior moments

Calling all over 50s (or nearly there!)
Members of St Nicholas’ Parish Church and others living in the area of Carrickfergus who describe themselves as 50 and over are cordially invited to join us in the Church Halls, Lancastrian Street on 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm

What’s happening in February
12th     Catherine from Hidden Hearing explains the benefits
26th     Rector—His Camino in Spain
28th     Luncheon Club

Calling all Crafters

A group has been formed for all those who are interested in one craft or another.  Crocheting/knitting/card making/canvas art etc.  Tea & Coffee will be provided.

10 am – 12 noon in the Minor Hall
2nd & 4th Thursday of the month

For further details contact Janice Nelson.
Everyone welcome


Once again we are offering the opportunity for anyone, who enjoys singing, to attend choir practices for 5 weeks in preparation for the Easter Sunday  Services when the choir takes a larger role than usual.

Anyone interested in joining us, either on a vtemporary or permanent basis, please come along to the church on Wednesday 21st February at 8 pm. Hope to see you there.  Alison


Parishioners wishing to see clergy during the vestry hour
on Wednesday evenings are asked to ring the office on
028 9336 0061 to book an appointment. 
This is to avoid clergy waiting in the church hall unnecessarily.
Thank you for your co-operation in this matter

St Nicholas Sketch