Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland
RECTOR’S LETTERDear Friends at St Nicholas’,
What a lot has happened in our parish over the past month! Along with all the normal activities in the parish, we have joined with other churches in the town to mark the important events of Holy Week and celebrate the good news of Easter, we have hosted a Radio Ulster broadcast and held our annual Easter Vestry. None of these things could have happened if St Nicholas’ people had not given extra commitment and work to make them happen! I am so very grateful to each and every one for the time that you give to serve our parish. I pray that our activity will always help to build Christ’s kingdom amongst us.
Details of the elections at our Easter Vestry are given later in this magazine, but I want to briefly say thank you to some people who stepped down from particular roles.
Eric McMullan has served as Rector’s Glebe Warden and as Gift Aid co-ordinator from before I came to the parish, roles which he has fulfilled diligently and with sensitivity. We are grateful to him for all his work and glad that though he is stepping down from these particular jobs he will continue as a member of the vestry.
Gordon Dalton is taking a break from the vestry too - he has given a huge amount of time to the parish in recent years, particularly in the role of chairman of the Hall Committee. Gillian Dalton has similarly stepped down from the Vestry and though she has been a more recent member of the vestry has played a big part over the last couple of years as the lead person at such events as the Victorian afternoon tea, fashion show and of course, our flower festival. We are very grateful to both of them for all their service.
We are thankful too, to Mrs Liz Hanna for all that she has contributed to the Select Vestry over the past year.
Amongst its other tasks, the Select Vestry is charged with the care and management of the parish buildings. In recent times this has involved improved safety features in the gallery, new lighting in the church and some attention to internal stonework. A recent inspection has revealed a major problem with our guttering and drainage. Because of the extensive size of the building and the restrictions of being a grade A listed building, this is going to be very expensive to remedy - initial estimates suggest over £120,000! We have however been successful in applying for a grant from the government’s recent Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund. We are very grateful to be receiving a grant of £81,000. Obviously this is a great help to the parish, but we still face a major challenge to complete the necessary financing of the work. Please do keep the vestry in your prayers as they attend to this task and pray too that the work of maintaining the building would not become a distraction from our principal task of making the good news of Jesus known in Carrickfergus.
The May Day holiday at the beginning of this month has become a bit of a tradition in recent years. We have our annual day out to Tollymore Forest Park. It is a lovely day for all ages - games are organised for the children, there’s a walk for those who enjoy that and if you aren't able for a walk you can still join in with the chat and the big picnic. If you have not joined in this event before, can I encourage you to think about coming along this year? It is a great opportunity to build friendships and get to know new people in the congregation. Please contact the office if you would like more information.
On Wednesday 13th May our BB company have their annual Parent’s Night. This year it takes the form of a celebration of all that 4th Carrickfergus Boys’ Brigade has achieved over the years. Whilst decreasing numbers have meant that the company is closing at the end of this session, we want to go out on a high note, so a warm invitation is extended to all former members and leaders to join us for an evening of thanksgiving and nostalgia!
Yours in Jesus,
EASTER VESTRYThe Annual Easter Vestry meeting was held on Wednesday 15th April 2015.
At this meeting the Rector’s address centred on three main areas (1) Ministry, (2) Buildings and (3) People. The Rector gave thanks to various people during this address for their hard work and dedication over the year to Parish life.
At the meeting the following members were elected to serve on the Vestry:-
Rector’s Church Warden: Christine Cahoon
People’s Church Warden: Ted McAuley
Rector’s Glebe Warden: Richard Eakin
People’s Glebe Warden: Glenn Nelson
Mrs Sharon Maxwell, Mr Ray Gilbert, Mr Peter Broad, Mrs Ann McVeigh, Mrs Katrina Todd, Mr Paul Letters, Mrs Julie Irvine, Mr Don Howe, Mr Jonathan Nelson, Mr Eric McMullan, Mrs Linda Mulvenny and Mr Alan Miles.
Following the election of the new Select Vestry, the first meeting was held after the Easter Vestry and the following appointments were made:
Honorary Treasurer: Mrs Linda Mulvenny
Honorary Secretary: Mr Alan Miles
The Treasure Hunt was enjoyed by all with the “triplets” aka Janice, Karen & Nadine coming out on top. We finished off the evening with a lovely healthy supper (nearly!!!).
Our outing next month will be to Chocolate Memories on Tuesday 12th May. Further details from Linda or Christine.
I wish all our ladies a very restful and enjoyable Summer.
Latest News and Developments
Children’s Ministry is an essential part of the life and work of our parish.
Our Vision for the work. Every child is a beloved disciple.
Our Mission in the work. Helping, guiding, supporting and nurturing
children to discover JESUS for themselves.
Safeguarding these young members of our church family as we work with them and safeguarding the trust their parents place in us is an essential part of our Children’s Ministry.
We are blessed to have more than forty volunteers giving of their time and talents to work with our young people from babies and toddlers through to those on the threshold of adult life.
There will be few of us who don’t recall our Lord’s words to his disciples when they thought they should prevent parents bringing children to be blessed.(You can test your powers of recollection in Matthew 19 vs 13-14, Mark 9 v 36 and Luke 18 vs 15-16).
There could be no better authority for our work in Children’s Ministry than the words of Jesus as set out in Mark 9 v 36.
“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Of course with this authority comes responsibility not least with regard to the proper selection of volunteers to work with our children and young people.
With depressing frequency the media report cases involving people only too willing to misuse position, power and trust to abuse children.
Not a pleasant or comfortable subject but one which must be confronted and addressed.
To do this the Church of Ireland in Northern Ireland works within the context of The Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (NI) Order 2003 (POCVA) and subsequent regulatory and advisory provision to have in place comprehensive guidance for parishes. This guidance sets out policies, processes and procedures with reference to Safeguarding Trust.
Section 3 of the guidance, which deals with recruitment and selection, states the position in clear terms;
The majority of people who want to work with children are well motivated and without them our church’s children’s and young people’s organisations could not operate. Unfortunately some individuals will try to use voluntary and community organisations to gain inappropriate contact with children.
The guidance goes on to explain the importance of sound procedures in discouraging and screening out such individuals. It also points out that good procedures carry benefits for all volunteers and provide assurance for parents.
Here in our own parish the Safeguarding Trust Panel have been reviewing and revising our arrangements and documentation to ensure we have, and maintain, a comprehensive approach meeting all the required standards while at the same time offering prospective volunteers a process which is welcoming and straightforward.
I think we can be sure that just about everyone would agree in principle with a robust and comprehensive approach but when it comes down to form filling, producing various proofs of identity, naming referees etc, some may wonder about all this bureaucracy and paperwork.
Well it’s a bit like some of the “Elf and Safety” jokes which are funny until there is a tragedy on a farm or in a factory and people start asking why it was allowed to happen.
Or perhaps a bit like we might feel standing in a long queue at an airport as we go through the processes and procedures of security checks and inspections. This is inconvenient of course but would you let your family fly from an airport that was known not to bother with all this “silly security and passenger safety stuff?”
So please; if you are thinking of offering to help in the Children’s ministry now or in the future, (and we hope many people are!), do not be put off. Our arrangements are comprehensive but not complicated, help with the process is available and will gladly be given and of course we will be delighted to hear from you.
Parish Safeguarding Trust Panel.
Christian Marriage‘What God has joined together, let not man separate’
28th March 2015
David Norman John McKeen, 17 Glenavna, Newtownabbey and
Erica McMullan, 17 Glenavna, Newtownabbey
Christian Burial‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’
2nd April 2015
Jane (Jean) Hamill, Cherry Tree PNH, Carrickfergus
3rd April 2015
David Boyce, Larne Care Home, Larne
9th April 2015
David McAtamney, 14 Chichester Square, Carrickfergus
13th April 2015
Robina (Ruby) Gough, 29 Woodburn Avenue, Carrickfergus
St Nicholas’ Church, Carrickfergus
Prayer Diary – May 2015
The monthly Prayer Dairy 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
God our redeemer,
you have delivered us from the power of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:
Grant, that as by his death he was recalled to life,
so by his continual presence in us he may raise us to eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen BCP
1st May – Friday
Pray for wisdom and the guiding of the Holy Spirit for George our Rector as he compiles his list of candidates for interview to fill the Curacy vacancy in St Nicholas’. Pray too for Cameron and his fellow Deacon Interns, that they too would know such guidance in their search for a parish.
2nd May – Saturday
Pray for opportunities to reach out to those who do not know Christ.
3RD MAY – SUNDAY (5th Sunday of Easter)
Pray for our Youth Fellowship and Bible Classes, for our Sunday Schools, especially the Afternoon Sunday School. Pray for teachers and youth leaders.
4th May – Monday
Today parishioners travel to Tollymore for the annual Family Funday. Pray for this opportunity to form new friendships and draw closer together as a church family. Pray for good weather and safe travel.
5th May – Tuesday
Our new Select Vestry meets this evening for the first time. Pray for them and especially for new members and those taking on new responsibilities. Pray for wisdom and that all decision-making would be pleasing to God. Give thanks for those who have served on previous Select Vestries.
6th May – Wednesday
As General Synod members begin to arrive in Armagh, pray for George and for the representatives from our parish. Pray for wisdom for Alan our Bishop.
7th May – Thursday
The General Synod meets in Armagh this week. Pray for all General Synod members. Pray that God’s will rather than man’s preference would be at the heart of all debate and outcomes.
8th May – Friday
This evening our church is the venue for a concert by the North Central University Chorale from Minneapolis hosted by 1st Presbyterian Church, North Street. Pray for this evening’s concert and for our neighbours in North Street at this time. Pray again for the General Synod meeting in Armagh.
9th May – Saturday
Pray for the new government and our elected representatives in Parliament.
10TH MAY – SUNDAY (6th Sunday of Easter/Rogation Sunday)
Pray for our services in church today and for this evening’s Cafe Church. Remember today those who are not free to worship, the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram more than a year ago, and the many thousands murdered because of their Christian faith. Pray for Open Doors and MECO.
11th May – Monday
Pray for the sick. Remember those undergoing treatment for life threatening illnesses and those in pain. Pray for those for whom there can be no cure.
12th May – Tuesday
Our Women’s Fellowship round off their session with an outing to Chocolate Memories. Also this evening, a Men’s outing to Translink’s Train Drivers’ Training Depot at Adelaide. Pray for these opportunities for fellowship together. Pray too for the Guides Parents’ Night in the Church Halls.
13th May – Wednesday
4th Carrickfergus Boys’ Brigade hosts its final Parents’ Night this evening. Give thanks for all members and leaders past and present and especially for Glenn, Katrina, Jacqui and Ann. Pray for the future of Boys’ Brigade and that our boys will continue their membership in other companies.
14th May – Thursday
Interviews for Curacy candidates take place in Dublin today. Once again pray for wisdom and the guidance of the Holy Spirit for Rectors and candidates.
15th May – Friday
Pray for the Busy Bees Parent and Toddler Group meeting this morning.
16th May – Saturday
The Walking Group travels to Castlewellan today for the Lake and Forest walk. Give thanks for the opportunity to enjoy God’s wonderful creation.
17TH MAY – SUNDAY (7th Sunday of Easter/Sunday after Ascension Day)
Pray for our services today remembering this evening’s Holy Communion with Prayers for Healing. Give thanks for Stella Neill who maintains the prayer list and for Intercessors. Pray for Alison, understudy Nadine and the choir.
18th May – Monday
Give thanks for the teams of parishioners who clean our church building and church halls. Pray for all who give freely of their time and talent to clean and maintain the church and its environs.
19th May – Tuesday
Pray for Crosslinks and for Raymond and Jackie Givan at Kiwoko Hospital.
20th May – Wednesday
Pray for the Widows’ Group meeting this evening.
21st May – Thursday
Pray for the various Small Groups meeting to study God’s Word.
22nd May – Friday
Remember those experiencing the hurt of loss following bereavement.
23rd May – Saturday
Pray for our brothers and sisters in Tabora Diocese.
24TH MAY – SUNDAY (Day of Pentecost/Whitsunday)
Pray for this morning’s family service and this evening’s Cafe Church. Pray for Brian at St Katharine’s Belfast for their morning worship.
25th May – Monday
Pray for the Senior Moments group meeting today.
26th May – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s ‘Encounter’ Prayer in the church. Pray for a ‘heart for prayer’ within this church family.
27th May – Wednesday
Pray for our Rainbows Parents’ Evening.
28th May – Thursday
Pray for Catherine and the team assembling Parish News this morning.
29th May – Friday
Pray for our Cubs and Scouts, but especially for our Beavers as they welcome friends and family to their Parents’ Night.
30th May – Saturday
Pray for today’s Bruce 700 Festival in Carrickfergus.
31ST MAY – SUNDAY (Trinity Sunday)
Pray for our services today. Pray for George, for Brian and for Cameron. Pray also for Jonny McFarland, a former Diocesan Lay Reader with us, who will be assisting our Ministry team over the Summer months. Give thanks to God for His provision. Remember Darren and Karen McCartney in the Canadian Arctic.
In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God. Philippians 4 v 6
SUNDAY SCHOOL NOTESIt’s time to be thinking about Crosslinks Summer Camps even though August seems far away.
As families consider their own Summer holidays, please do take into account whether your child would like to attend either Junior or Senior Camp. All children who have been in past years have returned full of enthusiasm and keen to go back again.
This year’s camps are again at Castlewellan Castle. Junior Camp, for 8-11 year olds, runs from 8th—12th August. Senior Camp, for 12-17 year olds, runs from the 8th through to the 15th August. Costs are £80 and £130 respectively.
If parents require further information, please speak to me, or look up www.crosslinks.org/camps
Lynn Rodgers, Sunday School Superintendent
SOUND DESK ROTA APRIL 2015Morning Evening
3rd Gillian Dalton Lynn Rodgers
10th Gordon Dalton Steven Todd
17th Jamie Davison Paul Letters
24th Jonathan Nelson No Service
31st Glenn Nelson John Kane
WIDOWS GROUPThe Widows Group are going on a bus trip to Coleraine on
Wednesday 17th June and there are seats available for members of the congregation and their friends.
The bus leaves at the Fire Station at 10 am and will return at approximately 5 pm. The cost is £5 per person.
If you would like to go please contact Annie Crawford at 028 9336 4538 to book a place on the bus or speak to Catherine in the church office.
Crèche Rota May 20153rd Ann Hodge, Christine Stewart, Sophie Foreman
10th John Kane, Janice Nelson, Rachel McVeigh
17th Karen Bell, Alison Kane, Graeme Miles
24th Faye Hamilton, Carol Moneypenny, Sophie Foreman
31st Lorraine Gibson, Sharon McMaster, 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.
Next meeting Tuesday 26th May 2015
7.30 pm in the Church
Jesus said: “My house will be called a house of prayer.” Matthew 21:13
GuideS Parents eveningTuesday 12th May at 7pm
RAINBOWS PARENTS EVENINGWednesday 27th May 7—8 pm
BB PARENTS eveningWednesday 13th May at 7 pm
All parents and friends are invited to these events
ANNUAL FAMILY DAY OUT
MAY DAY—Monday 4th May
Calling all families and friends!
Join us for our Annual Family Day Out
at Tollymore Forest Park
Meet at the Church Halls at 10.00 am
For further information
contact Janice or Sharon
Services in May 20153rd 9.30 am Holy Communion 1
11.00 am Holy Communion 2
1 John: Love Each Other — “False spirits or Holy Spirit?”
1 John 4 v 1-6
Mark 16 v 9-20
6.30 pm Evening Prayer & Cafe Church - Decision Time: “Remain in the vine”
John 15 v 1-8
10th 9.30 am Holy Communion 2
11.00 am Morning Prayer
1 John: Love Each Other — “God’s love at work in us”
Isaiah 45 v 18-21
1 John 4 v 7-21
6.30 pm Evening Prayer & Cafe Church - Decision Time: “Remain in my love”
John 15 v 9-17
6.30 pm Cafe Church—Decision Time: “Remain in my love”
17th 9.30 am Holy Communion 1
11.00 am Morning Prayer—1 John: Love Each Other—“Born again to love”
1 Samuel 12 v 19-25
1 John 5 v 1-12
6.30 pm Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing & Cafe Church
Praying with Jesus — “Glorify your Son”
Acts 1 v 15-26
John 17 v 1-5
24th 9.30 am Holy Communion 2
11.00 am Family Service—Joseph—famine and a family reunion
Acts 2 v 1-13
6.30 pm Cafe Church—Praying with Jesus — “Protect my disciples”
Acts 2 v 1-13
John 17 v 6-18
31st 9.30 am Holy Communion 1
11.00 am Service of the Word - 1 John: Love Each Other — “Guard yourselves from sin”
1 John 5 v 13-21
6.30 pm Compline —Praying with Jesus — “Unite the believers”
John 17 v 20-26
No Cafe Church tonight
OTHER EVENTS IN MAY16th 10.30 am Parish Walking Group Outing
12th Women’s Fellowship
12th 7.00 pm Guides Parent Evening
13th 7.00 pm BB Parents Evening
20th 7.15 pm Widows Group
26th 7.30 pm Encounter Monthly Prayer Group in church
27th 7.00 pm Rainbows Parents Evening
VESTRY HOURParishioners 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
Church Open for Visitors – Summer 2015
Saturday 2nd May
May 30th – September 8th incl.*
Saturdays: 11.00 am – 1.00 pm
Tuesdays: 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm
*Not Open for Visitors Saturday 11th and Tuesday 14th July.
Senior momentsCalling 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 the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm
What’s happening in May?
11th May Drop In
25th May ‘Perambulations of Bands’ (John Richardson)
Parish Walking Group
Saturday 16th May
Castlewellan Lake & Forest Walk
(Especially suitable for children & families)
Meet at 10.30 am
at Castlewellan Forest Park car park
For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin & 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
FLOWER FESTIVAL CARDSWe have produced blank greetings cards from photos of flowers used in the Flower Festival.
Each pack contains 8 cards in a variety of designs and is on sale at £2.50 in aid of the church building fund.
Packs can be obtained from
Christine Cahoon, Gillian Dalton or Jean Stewart.
Engage Youth FellowshipEngage Youth Fellowship meets in the halls on the
1st & 3rd Sundays of each month 8.15 - 9.30 pm.
All young people of secondary school age are welcome. Join us for fun, fellowship, bible teaching and, at times, food
TEA ROTA APRIL 2015Please 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 Christine Cahoon. Many thanks for your support.