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Dear Parishioners & Friends,
This year many people are taking time to remember the 100th anniversary of the huge sacrifice made by many young men at the Battle of the Somme.  In St Nicholas’ we will take time to reflect and give thanks at our morning services on Sunday 3rd July.  Please join us for this important occasion.

One of the things that I particularly value, as your minister here in Carrickfergus, is the warm relationships that exist amongst many Christians across the denominations. We share together in different ways during the year. We share together in Holy Week, we work together in Impact Carrick and through the ministry of the Servant Evangelism team’s ‘random acts of kindness’ and, of course, many of our parishioners have friendships and connections in different congregations and support services, events and activities in a wide range of congregations.

This is good and right and speaks to the wider world of the unity of God’s people. As part of that ongoing co-operation we are planning to share in evening worship with our friends and neighbours in Joymount Presbyterian Church during the summer months. In July we will not hold an evening service in our own church building but will instead join the worship in Joymount and then in August they will do the same, joining us to worship in St Nicholas’.

Our Holiday Bible Club takes place next week and once again we are looking forward to welcoming children of primary school age for a week of fun and games as we discover more about God’s Word. This year, our theme is the ‘Guardians of Ancora’ and the children will act as the ‘guardians’ who discover and pass on the ‘lost’ stories from the Bible. Following discussion with parents and helpers, we have decided to move from our previous pattern of having an evening club to trying out a morning session instead. We will be meeting in the church halls from Monday 4th - Friday 8th July at 10.00 am until 12 noon each morning. On the Friday morning, parents and guardians are invited to join us at 12 noon for a short time when the youngsters will share something of what they have discovered about our amazing God.

As I write this letter, work is about to begin on a major project in our church building. We are about to remove the large screen from the middle of St Nicholas’ Church and replace it with a number of smaller ones, which we hope will serve the needs of the congregation over the next number of years. The current arrangement which has served the church in recent times has its limitations with a considerable number of people not able to easily see the screen. The new arrangement (which has received the approval of the Bishop and church body in Dublin) will allow all those in the church to see a screen and will allow those who sit in the Wills and Donegall aisles to see what is happening at the front of the church. Whilst I have no doubt that it will take us a while to get used to the new arrangement, I trust that it will enhance our worship together in the long term. Do please speak to me if you have any questions about this change.

I hope that you and your family will enjoy some sort of break from your usual routine over the summer months. Whether that means a holiday trip to somewhere different at home or abroad, a visit from family or friends, or just a break from the everyday pattern of work, my prayer is that you know rest and refreshment over the summer. If you are away from home, do take the opportunity to make contact with a local church where you are staying. I always find it interesting to worship in a different place and it not only gives the visitor a different insight into how other Christians worship, but gives us the opportunity to encourage and pray for the congregation where we are staying.

May each one of us know God’s blessing on our families at this time.

With love in Jesus,


Church Open for Visitors – Summer 2016

Saturday 28th May – *Tuesday 6th September incl.

*Not Tuesday 12th July

Tuesdays – 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm
Saturdays – 11.00 am – 1.00 pm

European Heritage Open Days
Saturday 10th September:  11.00am – 4.00pm
Sunday 11th September:  2.00 – 4.00pm


Holiday Bible Club
Monday 4th—8th July 2016
10 am—12 noon
St Nicholas’ Church Halls

All Primary School Children welcome


CMSI’s new annual conference.  The programme will include worship, teaching and a range of seminars – including updates and stories from all our Global Partners and Mission Partners. There’ll also be plenty of time to catch up with friends and make new connections, sharing experiences over coffee and lunch.

The event is taking place at Dromantine Retreat and Conference Centre, just off the main A1 road near Newry. It’s an ideal venue for large scale conferences like Ignite and its extensive grounds are perfect for an autumn stroll. There’s an opportunity to stay over at Dromantine on the Friday night and make the most of the venue with our Friday Extra programme.

The conference will mark the start of a new year of mission, as we invite God to spark us into life and to reignite our passion for Him and for His work.

Saturday 24th September
Full Day’s Programme, including Morning Worship, seminars & lunch (£20)
Global Guest Speaker & Mission Partners
Children’s Programme (£15)
Optional Evening Meal (6.00 pm) (£10)

Friday 23rd September
Overnight B&B accommodation and Friday Extra Programme (£45)
Optional Evening Meal (6.00 pm) (£10)

20% Discount on all bookings made by 30th June
Book your place at Ignite using the online booking form
or by phoning (028) 9077 5020

Volunteers needed For the cleaning team

Thank you to everyone who helps with the cleaning of the church and church halls. We currently need more help to clean the church and church halls.  Could you spare one hour a week to help with this work?  If so please contact Catherine in the office 028 9336 0061 or speak to one of the clergy.

St Nicholas’ Church, Carrickfergus

Prayer Diary – July 2016
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.  Also included is 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 of the Month
Almighty God
you sent your Holy Spirit
to be the life and light of your Church:
Open our hearts to the riches of your grace,
that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit
in love and joy and peace;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen


1st July – Friday
Once again it’s time for ‘Summer Madness’ beginning today at Glenarm Castle and continuing until Tuesday 5th July.  Pray for this year’s event; for Bluetree leading worship; and for speakers Rachel Hughes and Matt Summerfield. Pray for all the young people attending that their faith would be enriched during this time together.  As the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme is remembered, pray for those serving in our armed forces today.

2nd July – Saturday
Give thanks for the safe arrival of baby Liam McCartney at the end of May.  Pray for Karen and for Darren as he prepares to return to Canada on Monday.

3RD JULY – SUNDAY (6th Sunday after Trinity)
Pray for our Sunday Funday Club and for evening worship in Joymount, giving thanks for this coming together with our Presbyterian neighbours.

4th July – Monday
Our Holiday Bible Club, ‘Guardians of Ancora’ starts this morning.  Give thanks for this outreach, not just to our own children, but to all the children living in our town.  Pray that parents and grandparents will bring their children along each morning this week.  Pray too for Impact Carrick.

5th July – Tuesday
Pray for today’s Holiday Bible Club.  Give thanks for the leaders and helpers.

6th July – Wednesday
Pray for the ‘Streetreach’ style outreach taking place throughout Northern Ireland this summer, remembering especially Impact Carrick.  Continue to pray for our ‘Guardians of Ancora’ Holiday Bible Club.

7th July – Thursday
Give thanks today for volunteers working to make Christ known in our town, whether through our Holiday Bible Club, Mission Carrickfergus, Impact Carrick or the various Holiday Bible Clubs happening during July and August.

8th July – Friday
With ‘Guardians of Ancora’ finishing this morning, give thanks for all that has taken place in our halls this week.  Pray that young minds would absorb what they have learned through fun and that lives might be changed.

9th July – Saturday
Pray for leaders in our parish; for George and Nadine Davison; for Cameron Jones and his wife Alex Grey; for Brian and Valerie Courtney, also those who teach in our Sunday School, Bible Class and those who lead Bible Study and Youth Fellowship.  Pray all with know a time of relaxation and refreshment and return to us re-energised when our programme resumes in the autumn.

10TH JULY – SUNDAY (7th Sunday after Trinity)
Pray for our services this morning and for this evening’s service in Joymount Presbyterian Church.

11th July – Monday
Pray for the safety of people and property as the bonfires are lit across the province this evening.  Pray for the members of our emergency services on duty tonight.

12th July – Tuesday
As parades take place, pray for those routes where tensions may arise.  Pray for wisdom for organisers and for responsible leadership.  Pray that differences, as well as the rule of law and those charged with upholding it, will be respected.

13th July – Wednesday
Remember the sick and those who care for them.  Pray for those currently in hospital and ready for discharge that have no carer.

14th July – Thursday
Scripture Union N I’s 2016 programme of camps and missions has for its theme ‘Be the Light’.  Pray for this year’s CSSM and the other camps and missions in different venues in Northern Ireland and beyond.

15th July – Friday
Pray for Trevor and Andrea Watson and their daughters Emily, Grace and Alice settling into life in Gothenburg and learning to speak Swedish.

16th July – Saturday
As clergy have time away from their parishes, pray for those covering services in the Diocese tomorrow and throughout July and August.  Remember in your prayers our former Diocesan Lay Readers Heather Clarke and Jonnie MacFarland.  Pray for Alan Abernethy our Bishop.

17TH JULY – SUNDAY (8th Sunday after Trinity)
Crosslinks Junior Camp gets underway today at a new venue – Fivemiletown College.  Pray for all the children that will attend and for those leading this week’s camp.  Pray for our church services today.

18th July – Monday
Pray and give thanks for the team that records our Freewill offering.

19th July – Tuesday
Our church opens this afternoon for visitors.  Pray for opportunities to speak to strangers about the Christian message.

20th July – Wednesday
Pray for the work being carried out on our church properties, giving thanks for God’s provision.  Remember our friends in Tabora Diocese, and pray that they too will have the funds to rebuild the fire damaged dormitories so that the Bible School can resume its training of Pastors.

21st July – Thursday
Pray for CMS Ireland.

22nd July – Friday
Pray for persecuted Christians and for Open Doors.  Pray for those who must worship in secret; who cannot speak openly the Gospel message; who live in fear of imprisonment or death for having a Bible or any Christian literature.

23rd July – Saturday
Remember today all those in our parish who have been bereaved.  Pray that they would be comforted by the assured hope of eternity with our Lord for all those who have put their trust in Him.

24TH JULY – SUNDAY (9th Sunday after Trinity)
Pray for our Sunday School.  Pray that parents would remember the commitment they made at their child’s Baptism and bring children to Sunday School when it begins again in September.  Pray for our Lord’s guidance, helping us find ways to reach out to children and families.

25th July – Monday
Pray for MECO.  Pray for those escaping conflict in the Middle East.

26th July – Tuesday
Give thanks for our church and church hall cleaning teams and our gardeners.

27th July – Wednesday
Give thanks for Catherine Milligan and her friendly and efficient administration of our parish office.

28th July – Thursday
Pray for a turning away from ‘self’ and a resurgence of the Christian message of service to others.  Pray today for health, safety and support for John Magufuli, President of Tanzania and his efforts to end corruption in Tanzania.

29th July – Friday
Pray for our elected representatives; for Councillors, MLAs, MPs and MEPs.

30th July – Saturday
Pray for the Church’s Ministry Among Jewish People.

31ST JULY – SUNDAY (10th Sunday after Trinity)
Pray for our services today, giving thanks for Alison and the choir, and for those who provide refreshments after our services each Sunday morning.

Prayer Diary – August 2016

Prayer of the Month
Lord God,
the source of truth and love:
Keep us faithful to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship,
united in prayer and the breaking of bread,
and one in joy and simplicity of heart,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen              BCP


1st August – Monday
Pray for Irish Church Missions and for Mark Smith at CityChurch, Dublin.

2nd August – Tuesday
While our Select Vestry has a break from meeting over the summer months, members continue to fulfil other duties.  Pray for our Select Vestry today, for Gordon and Ted our Church Wardens, for Glenn and Richard our Glebe Wardens, for Alan our Honorary Secretary and for Linda our Honorary Treasurer.

3rd August – Wednesday
Pray for Carers, especially those feeling overwhelmed and isolated.  Pray for respite care and support.  Remember those no longer able to care for a loved one, also once regular worshippers now housebound or living in care homes.

4th August – Thursday
Pray for Trevor and Andrea Watson and their daughters in Gothenburg.

5th August – Friday
Pray for the leaders of our uniformed organisations.

6th August – Saturday
Pray for the Mothers’ Union supporting families in the UK and worldwide.

7TH AUGUST – SUNDAY (11th Sunday after Trinity)
Crosslinks Senior Camp begins today at Fivemiletown College.  Pray for the leaders, especially for Cameron who is teaching, and young people attending, that they would be challenged and also grow in faith.  Pray for our services today, especially for this evening’s service, when we are joined in St Nicholas’ by worshippers from Joymount Presbyterian Church.

8th August – Monday
Pray for those affected by suicide.  Pray for resources to support survivors and bereaved and for ‘healing’ for those suffering from mental illness.

9th August – Tuesday
Pray for the Women’s Fellowship Committee members and for their new programme beginning next month.

10th August – Wednesday
Despite the efforts of EU governments, many thousands of people continue to undertake the hazardous sea journey to Europe and many have paid with their lives.  Pray for success in stopping the unscrupulous taking advantage of the desperate.  Pray for peace in Syria and in the Middle East.

11th August – Thursday
Pray for Tearfund.

12th August – Friday
Pray for the continuing success of Busy Bees when it resumes next month.

13th August – Saturday
Pray for the sick, remembering those living with chronic pain.

14TH AUGUST – SUNDAY (12th Sunday after Trinity)
Give thanks for parishioners who staff the crèche throughout the year and run the Sunday Funday Club.  Pray for resurgence in our Sunday School.

15th August – Monday
Pray for the Christian Institute.

16th August –Tuesday
Pray today for the prayer life of our church; for a hunger and enthusiasm for spending time in prayer.  Remember PrayerPoint that it will grow.  Remember Intercessors, praying each day for the sick.  Pray for this Prayer Diary;  for its compilation and that people would use it as a guide in personal prayer time.

17th August – Wednesday
Remember families and individuals in need.  Give thanks for food banks and the various charities like CAB offering advice and support.

18th August – Thursday
Pray for the young people getting ‘A’ and ‘AS’ results today and for those awaiting GCSE results next Thursday.  Pray for wise council for them as they plan their future in education, training or the workplace.

19th August – Friday
Pray for Emmanuel and for all that he does to further God’s Kingdom in Tabora Diocese and beyond.  Pray he would have the resources and support required to fulfil his aim of teaching Christian teachers how to teach RE.

20th August – Saturday
Pray for those who are recently bereaved.

21ST AUGUST – SUNDAY (13th Sunday after Trinity)
Give thanks for the teaching we receive each Sunday; for those who read the lessons and for the work that goes into preparing sermons.  Pray for this evening’s Holy Communion with Prayers for Healing, giving thanks for Stella Neill who keeps the records of those asking for prayer.

22nd August – Monday
Give thanks for the friendship and fellowship offered by ‘Senior Moments’.

23rd August – Tuesday
Pray for continuing enthusiasm and growth of our various Bible Studies.

24th August – Wednesday
Our former parishioner and youth worker Andrew Campbell’s Institution as Rector of Skerry (Broughshane), Rathcaven and Newtowncrommelin Parish takes place this evening.  Pray for Andrew and his wife Allison as they embark on this new phase of their lives in God’s service.

25th August – Thursday
The September issue of Parish News will be assembled this morning ready for distribution.  Pray for Catherine and her team, and for magazine distributors.

26th August – Friday
As you pray for those you know and love, who do not yet know Christ as Lord and Saviour, pray for wisdom to know when to speak and for guidance from the Holy Spirit as you speak to them about your faith.

27th August – Saturday
Pray for the various Healing Ministries within the Church.

28TH AUGUST – SUNDAY (14th Sunday after Trinity)
Give thanks for all who lead our praise in singing; for Alison and the Choir, for the members of our Music Group.  Pray for today’s services.

29th August – Monday
Pray for Bishop Elias Chakupewa and his team of pastors and evangelists.  Pray for good relationships that, as a team, they make the best use of limited resources to spread the Gospel in Tabora Diocese.

30th August – Tuesday
For many children and young people this week marks a time of new beginnings be that new school, college or a new teacher.  Pray for those children feeling anxious about this change and for their parents.

31st August – Wednesday
Pray for the Church of Ireland that it does not take a wrong path for popularity’s sake and that all decisions would follow Biblical truth.

In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.  Philippians 4 v 6


By the time this is read, we will have had prize giving.  The children and young people will have received their prizes in recognition of their attendance and participation in Sunday School over the past year.

There is a very alarming and worrying trend that has been building for quite a few years which I draw attention to in my introduction.  The youngest classes, ie Nursery to P3, have only 12 children between them and 4 of those children have only attended once since September last.  So effectively we only have 8 children spread between 4 classes.  This, quite simply, is a crisis.  In 5 years time we wont have a Sunday School as we have known it in the past. It is very likely we will have one class for the youngest children up to P3, if there are any, and another class for P4 to P7s.

Two questions come to mind.  How has this situation come about and what can be done about it?  Both questions need to be discussed and some radical decisions need to be made.  In the meantime, can we encourage you to pray for our Sunday School children and their teachers? If you are a parent of Sunday School age children please do bring them to Sunday School and if you don’t have children of this age yourself, do encourage family and friends to come and join in Sunday School activities.

In the meantime I want to update you on the Tabora visit.  I visited four Good News Clubs which are children's clubs that are community based and meet weekly.  Children gather to sing praise songs, to pray and to learn from the Bible.  Each club attracts between 50 to 80 youngsters and their success is totally dependent on the leaders and their commitment and enthusiasm.

The leaders’ names are Elkana, Jane, Ester and Emmanuel.  I’m asking  that you include each of these leaders in your prayers along with several other helpers at each club.  Without their involvement and dedication these children's clubs probably wouldn’t happen.
I also visited two Sunday Schools, one connected with Tabora Cathedral and the other at Urambo, about 1½ hours drive from Tabora.  Please pray for Elijah, the leader of several teachers at the Cathedral, who is due to go to Bible School for a three month course in July.  Please also include Elizabeth and Ester who take the younger class.  There are three teachers at Urambo with well over 100 children and I’m sorry but I don’t have their names.  They are desperate for more help.  Please pray that others who are capable and committed will join them to share the burden.

Finally, one last teacher to pray for.  He is called Nemes, the sole teacher at Kaliua, a two hour drive from Tabora, who takes 100 children weekly.  He has no reserves and no help.  I’m asking Emmanuel if some of the money we sent can be used in some way to assist him as he tries to reach so many children with God’s word.

There’s lots to pray about.  With names and circumstances, our prayers can be more specific and more effective.  We hope that everyone has a really enjoyable and safe summer holiday.

Sunday School will resume on Sunday 3rd September 2016.
Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent


Life choice
A small boy returned from Sunday School in tears. When questioned by his mother for the reason of his distress, he gulped: ‘Jesus wants me for a sunbeam, but I want to be an engine driver.’

Yum yum
A notice outside Chichester Cathedral advertised lunchtime concerts with the encouragement that: “Sandwiches may be eaten.” Someone had scribbled underneath: “So if you are a sandwich, don’t come!”

Flowers in Church July 2016

3rd    The Finlay Family
10th    The Lutton Family—In memory of Cecil
17th    Lisa Thompson—In memory of my dad Eric
24th    Tina, Roy & Eddie—In memory of our parents & our niece Tracey
31st    Vacant

Flowers in Church August 2016

7th    Gillian & Gordon Dalton
14th    Catherine Milligan—In memory of my mum Edna
21st    Anonymous
28th    The Bannister Family—In memory of Reuben

If you would like to donate flowers for the Sanctuary please fill your name in against the appropriate space on the Flower List in the main porch or contact Mary Withers.  As these details go into Parish News we would ask, if possible, that you add your name against the chosen date to the list in the church at least 6 weeks in advance or speak to Mrs Withers at least 6 weeks in advance.

Christian Baptism

“Suffer the little children to come unto me”

12th June 2016
Violet Grace Simpson, 6 Bluefield Park, Carrickfergus

Christian Burial

‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’

25th May 2016
Gloria Joan Burgess
Larne Road, Carrickfergus

26th May 2016
Pamela (Pam) McCune,
Tamlaght PNH, formerly West Street, Carrickfergus

Crèche Rota July 2016

3rd      Deirdre Beck, Carol Moneypenny, Sophie Foreman
10th     Kathleen Arthur, Sharon McMaster
17th     Christine Stewart, Ciara Lester
24th     Janice Nelson, Valerie Leighton
31st     Ann Hodge, Alison Kane, Sophie Foreman

Crèche Rota August 2016

7th       John Kane, Carol Moneypenny, Rachel McVeigh
14th     Faye Hamilton, Sharon McMaster
21st     Karen Bell, Ciara Lester
28th     Lorraine Gibson, Valerie Leighton, Rachel McVeigh

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.


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.


3rd           Dereice Maguire
10th         Glenn Nelson
17th         Steven Todd
24th         Gillian Dalton 
31st         Johnnie McAlister


                  Morning                     Evening
7th           Rachel McVeigh         Lynn Rodgers
14th         Julie Irvine               Dereice Maguire
21st         Gillian Dalton            Paul Letters
28th        Glenn Nelson             Steven Todd

Calling all Crafters

We are continuing during the Summer!
2nd & 4th Thursdays of the month
10 am – 12 noon in the Minor Hall
For further details contact Janice Nelson
Everyone welcome


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.   Many thanks for your support.


3rd Valerie Leighton Tamera Milligan Andrea Drysdale

10th Sally Campbell Tina Campbell Carol Anderson

17th Valerie Kirk Robin Gray Joan Gray

24th Alex Jones Christine Cahoon Annie Crawford

31st Deirdre Beck Valerie Leighton Linda Mulvenny


7th Lorraine Gibson Doris Close Kathleen Arthur

14th Alison Clarke Maureen Jackson Carol Campbell

21st Marion Money Janet Davis Diane Strain

28th Diane Innes Janice Nelson Karen Miles


Morning services in July and August will be
Service of the Word apart from the first Sunday of each month when we will have Holy Communion.
In July there will be no evening services in St Nicholas’
building as our congregation will join Joymount Presbyterian for evening worship at 7 pm.  In August we will be joined by the congregation of Joymount Presbyterian for worship in
St Nicholas’ building at 6.30 pm

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


Bible Stories    Quizzes    Games

All children of Primary School age are very welcome to come along each Sunday.  The first Sunday Funday Club starts at 11 am Sunday 3rd July in the Church Halls.

Postcard from Gothenburg

June 2016
We’ve arrived!  Last Thursday we touched down in Gothenburg.  The next day we applied for personal numbers for Andrea, Emily, Grace and Alice.  Please pray that these will be issued soon.  On Sunday we joined with our church family at Gothenburg
International Baptist Church (GIBK). Praise God for the blessing of Christian fellowship.

11th-15th July we will be attending Crosslinks Orientation in England before the girls go to CEF Camp in Northern Ireland the following week.  Please pray for spiritual refreshment and equipping for all that lies ahead.

In August we will get possession of our apartment in the
Kallebäck district just before the girls start school and we begin language study.  Praise God for all his provision and pray for his grace in new beginnings.
Trevor, Andrea, Emily, Grace & Alice xx


St Nicholas Sketch