Skip to: Site menu | Main content



RECTOR’S LETTER

Dear Friends in St Nicholas’,
Since I last wrote to you, our bishop has announced that following his recent illness, he will retire on medical grounds at the end of this year. This has been a very difficult decision for Bishop Alan and not one that he has taken lightly, but the medical advice, that he has received, leaves him believing that this is the best decision for him, his family and the diocese of Connor.

Here in St Nicholas’ we have enjoyed his regular visits to the parish over the last dozen years and a number of you have spoken to me of how you appreciated his warmth and encouragement. The bishop has told us just how much it has meant to him to know that so many churches and people have been praying for him as he has received his treatment for prostate cancer. Please do continue to keep him and his wife Liz in your prayers, as they adjust to a new phase of life and adjust to living without the responsibility of leading the diocese of Connor.

Bishop Alan’s retirement adds to the sense of huge change that we are living through in the Church of Ireland at the moment. He will be the third bishop to retire this year (out of a total of twelve) and it is likely that there will be further changes in 2020! Please pray that as new leadership is elected for our church, that we will be blessed with godly people who will lead the church faithfully.

Last month at our Harvest Thanksgiving services many of you kindly gave gifts of food for the benefit of those who are in need at this time. We were really encouraged by the generosity of your support and those gifts were delivered shortly after the services to our local food bank and are making a difference to families in the Carrickfergus area. The second part of our harvest giving went to bless those further afield. The monetary gifts, that were received in your harvest envelopes and collecting jars, have gone to support work amongst disabled children in Nepal. Thank you for joining with us in these projects to show Christian love to others as we give thanks to God for all his provision for us.

This month I’d love to invite you to join us for our Remembrance Sunday service on Sunday 10th November at 11.30 am. We’re starting a little later than normal that morning, so that those who wish to attend the civic act of Remembrance at the War Memorial in the Marine Gardens will be able to do so. During our own service we will be joined by members of our youth organisations and wreaths will be laid on behalf of the parish. I’m also glad to say that our connection with the Memorial Church of St George’s at Ypres, Belgium will be celebrated, as a wreath will be laid on their behalf by Patricia & Peter Hawkins.

The following Saturday, St Nicholas’ Church will again host the Carrickfergus Civic Carol Service, when we will remember the message about Jesus at the heart of Christmas, as the town begins to prepare for that exciting season. At this service we join with young people in the town who sing for us. The Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Borough will deliver their Christmas message and when the service ends we move to the Market Place for the official turning on of the Christmas lights and fireworks!

It makes for a busy time as all of the normal routine of parish life continues! Month by month, we worship together and engage in a range of activities to build up the parish family and encourage us in our walk with the Lord Jesus. In the pages of this magazine you will find details of some of the ways that we do this. Please do contact us if there is any way that we can help you to join in the activities and worship of your parish church.

With love in Jesus,
George


NEWS FROM TREVOR & ANDREA

Give thanks for ‘Utforskarna’ which is our new Sunday School partnership with CEF Sweden.  We are so blessed to have these resources available in Swedish and also Judith Reumann who will be helping us with training.  Please pray for our teachers (incl. us!) and our boys and girls! 

After a long break due to illness last winter/spring we’re so thankful to be back at Sagåsen refugee centre, every Tuesday morning.  Right now, there are many refugees from Turkey and Yemen, all from Muslim backgrounds.  Praise God for a real openness with new arrivals and for many who have taken New Testaments. 

BibelSpråk Café continues to have an international flavour as we share together in a meal and then open up Philippians in an easy Swedish Bible Study.  Please pray for O from China who heard the gospel for the first time, last Wednesday, and then later in the day came to BSC.

Please pray for us as a family as we have been challenged in Philippians recently ‘that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.’  That’s the power … that’s the process … that’s the purpose!!!  Thank-you for your prayers. 
Trevor, Andrea, Emily, Grace & Alice xx


Children’s Outreach Mission

In a recent email from Emmanuel he comments that he is continually busy and as a consequence is very tired.  In many ways this comes as no surprise.  The teaching material for the Good New Clubs together with his RE schools’ visits he prepares himself.  The prayer groups he has formed in various places need to be continually supported and encouraged with new attendees being visited and prayed with in their homes.

The travelling to and from these locations takes time and the only time left in a day for preparation is at night time.  It was for this reason that George and I were keen for Emmanuel to come under the umbrella of CEF in Tanzania, who would give him support and back up, including the encouragement from knowing he would be part of a world-wide Christian organisation.

For some reason, which we can’t quite understand, the interview that Emmanuel has asked for with CEF hasn’t happened yet.  The East African Director of CEF seems to be permanently busy.  I know that Emmanuel has enquired many times regarding a date for a meeting with this person but without success.  Many another would have given up by now but Emmanuel is a model of patience.

In the meantime I ask that we bring this situation to God in prayer, praying that a date for a meeting with the CEF Director can be arranged soon and also that God will strengthen and uphold Emmanuel as he endeavours to keep a number of balls in the air for the Children’s Mission.

I mentioned in a previous magazine about the drought situation in the Tabora area.  Emmanuel confirms that a container of maize, a staple for many from which flour is made, has doubled in price to the equivalent of £6.  The wet or rainy season doesn’t come until November or December only after which can crops be sown or planted.

It takes time for a harvest to be produced so we can understand that a drought following a poor rainy season has a long lasting effect.  Please include this situation in your prayers also.

Finally I want to acknowledge and thank all those who have contributed financially to this work.  One family ,who are regular supporters, gave me a large sweet jar with what amounted to a three figure sum in loose change.  All these contributions, backed up with prayer, are facilitating God’s work amongst children and their families in East Africa.
Lynn Rodgers

LAUGHLINES

Lead us not…
I had been teaching my three-year-old daughter the Lord's Prayer. For several evenings at bedtime, she would repeat after me the lines from the prayer. Finally, she decided to go solo. I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer: "Lead us not into temptation," she prayed, "but deliver us some e-mail. Amen"

Hold on
While out in the town, I saw an elderly couple holding hands while they were walking. As they approached, I commented on how romantic it was.   The man replied, "We have been holding hands when we go out in public for years. I have to. If I let go, she shops."

PRAYERPOINT

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 11th November & Tuesday 26th November
7.00 pm - 8.00 pm in the Church

Pray silently or pray aloud
Everyone is welcome!

POINTS TO PONDER

Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.      John F Kennedy

The tragedy of war is that it uses man’s best to do man’s worst.                Anon

Security is not the absence of danger, but the presence of God, no matter what the danger.
Anon

ABBA Girls

St Nicholas’ Girls Group will meet this month
Friday 15th November from 7.30 pm – 9.00 pm
in the Meeting Room Upstairs in the Church Hall
All girls from P7 to secondary school age are very welcome
Craft, food, games and more . . . . .
For further details speak to Karen Bell or Laura Horner

TEA ROTA NOVEMBER 2019

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 Sally Campbell Tina Campbell Carol Anderson

10th Marion Money Christine Cahoon Diane Strain

17th Tamera Milligan Heather Parkes Colin Parkes

24th Deirdre Beck Valerie Leighton Linda Mulvenny

Crèche Rota NOVEMber 2019

3rd       Karen Bell & Tamera Milligan
10th     Lorraine Gibson & Nadine Davison
17th     Ann Hodge & Deirdre Beck
24th     John Kane & Kathleen Arthur

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.

Flowers in Church NOVEMBER 2019

3rd     The Cahoon Family—In memory of Sally
10th    Vacant
17th     Chloe & Gareth—Wedding Flowers
24th    The Cole Family—Birthday memories of Angela

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 porch or speak to either Catherine in the Church Office (028 9336 0061) or Christine Cahoon. As these details go into Parish News, we would ask, if possible, that you book your chosen Sunday at least 6 weeks in advance.

St Nicholas’ Parish Church

Prayer Diary – November 2019

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 prayers 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
Gracious God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as pass our understanding.  Pour into our hearts such love toward you that, loving you above all things, we may obtain your promises which exceed all that we can desire, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.          
(Prayers for Various Occasions)

1st November – Friday
Our Girl Guides are having a sleepover this evening.  Pray for our Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers and for our Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.

2nd November – Saturday
Now that the Brexit deadline has passed, pray for the way forward for the UK.  Pray for a coming together of our elected representatives, putting party politics aside to bring about the return of stable government at Stormont.

3RD NOVEMBER – SUNDAY (4th Sunday before Advent)
Pray for our services today; and for all involved in JAM and Bible Classes.

4th November – Monday
Down and Dromore Electoral College meets today as they seek to appoint a new Bishop.  Pray for God’s guidance.  Pray for the Church of Ireland; for Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh; for all in positions of leadership.

5th November – Tuesday
Our Select Vestry meets this evening.  Pray for the members of our Select Vestry and of its various sub-committees.  Pray for this evening’s discussions and decision making.

6th November – Wednesday
Rev Brian Courtney is attending the Fellowship meeting at Northlands Court today and this morning a member of our clergy will be at Sunnylands school for Assembly.  Bring both visits to God in prayer.

7th November – Thursday
Pray for Mark and Andrea Watson and their continuing mission in Sweden.

8th November – Friday
The second school Assembly visit of the week takes place this morning at Victoria Primary.  Give thanks for these invitations to go into local schools.

9th November – Saturday
Pray for Cameron and Alex and their mission in Dublin.  Give thanks for their link-up with Anglican Aid.  Pray for ICM and for Mark Smyth at City Church.

10TH NOVEMBER – SUNDAY (3rd Sunday before Advent)
Today being Remembrance Sunday, pray for all those attending events throughout the nation.  Pray for our own 11.30am service.  Pray for those who bear the scars, physical and mental, of their service in civilian or armed forces and for those currently serving whether in a full or part time capacity.

11th November – Monday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint.

12th November – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s Women’s Fellowship with ‘Games, Puzzles and Desserts.’

13th November – Wednesday
Today a member of our clergy is conducting a service for residents at Greenisland House, while Brian is once again at Northlands Court for their Fellowship meeting.  Pray for this outreach and those taking part.

14th November – Thursday
Our Small Groups continue to meet at various times and locations.  Pray for the continued growth of Bible Study in our parish.

15th November – Friday
Pray for the Busy Bees Parent and Toddler Group and for Abba Girls.

16th November – Saturday
Pray for Christian marriage and for the young couple marrying in St Nicholas’ today.   Pray too for this afternoon’s Civic Carol service.  Give thanks for this opportunity to meet those who perhaps have no church connection.

17TH NOVEMBER – SUNDAY (2nd Sunday before Advent)
Give thanks for our clergy team; for George, Brian and Heather and their commitment to opening God’s Word to us week by week; for Jonny in his role as Pastoral Visitor.  Pray for George, preaching in St Anne’s Cathedral today and for his fellow Archdeacons Stephen McBride and Paul Dundas.

18th November – Monday
Pray for the sick, especially those in pain and awaiting surgery.

19th November – Tuesday
Pray for Open Doors and for those who translate and distribute Christian literature.  Pray today for Christians living in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

20th November – Wednesday
Pray for those who are recently bereaved or approaching an anniversary.

21st November – Thursday
This morning, while Catherine and her team assemble Parish News, a member of our clergy is speaking to the children at Carrick Model’s Assembly.  Pray for Catherine and the team; for the children in all our town’s primary schools, especially those in P7.

22nd November –Friday
Parish News distributors are meeting this evening in church.  Give thanks for the dedication of magazine distributors.

23rd November – Saturday
The Parish Walking Group plan a Woodburn Dam walk this morning.  Pray for the group and for friendships made or strengthened during these walks.

24TH NOVEMBER – SUNDAY (The Sunday before Advent)
Pray for this morning’s Family Service and this evening’s Cafe Church.  Give thanks for our Music Group leading our praise this morning.  Pray for our Youth Fellowship.

25th November – Monday
Pray for our Senior Moments group.

26th November – Tuesday
The Mission Carrick clergy group is meeting this morning.  Pray for all who minister in our town.  Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint and for the Senior Citizens Christmas Party hosted by our Girl Guides and Rangers.

27th November – Wednesday
Pray for the staff in the Connor Diocesan Office.  Continue to pray for Bishop Alan and the revealing of God’s plan for him.

28th November – Thursday
Pray for the Craft Group meeting this morning.

29th November – Friday
As Emmanuel continues his work in Children’s Ministry in Tanzania, pray for him and his wife Elizabeth and everyone who assists him in bringing the Good News of Christ to children and young people.  Pray for the Anglican Church in Tabora Diocese, for Bishop Elias Chakupewa and the Bible College.

30th November – Saturday
Pray for Crosslinks, for the staff in the local Crosslinks office and for the work of mission in Ireland, the United Kingdom and around the world.

JAM NOTES

JAM and Bible Class had a short month with our Harvest service and it was lovely to see so many children and young people in church on that particular Sunday. A BIG THANK YOU to all who donated the lovely food!!

JAM has just finished Daniel and are moving on to another Bible Hero, John the Baptist.  What a big adventure this will be! Bible Class has been looking into GOD and Us. We finished looking at rules in Everyday Life and how the Ten Commandments are just as important to us as they were when Moses received them. Bible Class has now been split into two classes and the Junior Bible Class will be looking at the Holy Spirit and the Senior Bible Class will be looking at Creation for the next lot of weeks. Plenty of discussion for both parties!

Dates for the Diary for November/December
Remembrance Sunday is 10th November at 11.30 am and Family Service is 24th November, when there will be no JAM or Bible Class, but we hope to see many young people in Church on those Sundays.

Last year our parishioners very kindly donated Christmas presents to the Salvation Army, who worked in conjunction with St Vincent de Paul, for children who might not get very much at Christmas. Again this year, I would like to appeal to parishioners to consider buying a present for this campaign. To allow time to get the presents to "Santa", could I ask anyone who wishes to donate a present, please bring them to church by Sunday 8th December.  I will be delivering the presents on 9th December. There is no requirement to wrap the gift. Thank you again for your thoughtfulness in supporting this campaign.  Please note the JAM and Bible Class Nativity will be on 22nd December and this will be too late for any presents for Santa.

Could I ask every parent who hasn't completed a JAM form or a Bible Class form, to please complete one, as this is a requirement for GDPR.  If you require a form please contact a member of the team.

To everyone at our parish, thank you for your continued support and prayers.   
Sharon Maxwell, JAM Co-ordinator

SOUND DESK ROTA NOVEMBER 2019

                  Morning                       Evening
3rd          Rachel McVeigh            Steven Todd
10th        Gordon Dalton              Julie Irvine
17th        Johnnie McAlister          Glenn Nelson
24th        Graeme Miles               Café church

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

It may or may not have come to your attention that the sound of the Bells of St Nicholas calling people to worship have been silent for quite a number of years.  Sadly, this is because we no longer have sufficient members to ring them.

It is for this reason I am appealing (no pun intended) to members of the congregation, young or old to come along and give Bell Ringing a try.  No musical ability is needed, only requirement being that you can count to eight and have some hand, eye and ear coordination.

Next year November 2020 marks the Centenary of the Bells in St Nicholas and it would be wonderful if we had a band made up entirely of local ringers to mark the event.

The Tower and Bells here in St Nicholas are unique in all of Ireland as not only is the Tower freestanding (ie not attached to the church) but the Bells themselves being donated by members of this church to remember those in the Parish who gave their lives in the Great War.

The original building known as “The Hero’s Tower” built in 1920 stood on the site where we now have the Vestry and the Choir Robing Room. 

This was deemed unsafe in 1958 so the Bells were removed, placed in storage, the tower demolished and then rehoused in the new tower built over the Market Place entrance gate in 1962.

The ringing and ringers here in Carrickfergus always had the reputation for the quality and standard of their ringing so it would be a shame if this was to disappear forever.

If anyone is interested in learning a new hobby and serving the Lord in a different and unusual way (the social side and the craic is good by the way) please contact me at the number below or speak to the Rector who will pass on your details.

Praying for a good response.

Robert Foulis – Tower Captain (without a Team)
St Nicholas Society of Bell Ringers
Contact Robert

Saint Nicholas Women’s Fellowship

Our October meeting was well attended and we are most grateful to Reverend Heather Cooke for a very interesting talk about a number of notable women from the old and new testaments.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 12th November when we will enjoy an evening of games and puzzles followed by a special supper. We are also collecting items for the Seamen's Christian Friend Society to make up Christmas boxes for Seafarers. Please see details below on how you can contribute to this effort. Thank you.
Valerie Leighton

SCFS CHRISTMAS WRAP

Our Women’s Fellowship is helping this worthwhile cause and
below is a list of the items that are needed to put into parcels to Seafarers at Christmas.  The items in bold are ones which the charity runs short of each year and have to purchase more during the wrap. 
If you can help please place the items in a box labelled SCFS and give it to Christine Cahoon by Sunday 10th November or bring it along to the next Women’s Fellowship meeting
Tuesday 12th November.

1  Toothbrush and toothpaste
2  Soap and face cloth
3  Shaving Foam/Gel and Disposable razors
4  Aftershave/Deodorants
5  Note books and pens
6  Socks/Gloves/Scarves
7  Handkerchiefs/small packets
8  Sweets/Bars of Chocolate
Thank you for your help in making a seafarer’s Christmas

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 November
11th November    A G M
25th November    A seasonal light hearted movie
27th November    Luncheon Club

VESTRY HOUR

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.

Services in November 2019

3rd    9.30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Holy Communion—7 Praying they’ll grasp the truth!
            Ephesians 3 v 7-21            Joan Armstrong
            Luke 9 v 18-21            The Preacher
    6.30 pm    Evening Prayer—Hosea: A Love Story—9 A people
            who wrestle with God
            Hosea 11 v 12-12 v 14        Don Howe

10th    9.30 am    Holy Communion
    11.30 am    Remembrance Sunday—Morning Prayer
            Micah 4 v 1-5                Joan Hill
            Revelation 21 v 1-8            Frank Hill
    6.30 pm    Service of the Word—Hosea: A Love Story—10 The
            cost of rejecting the Lord
            Hosea 13 v 1-16            Ray Gilbert

17th    9.30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer
            Praying with Paul: 8 Praying they’ll pass it on!
            Ezekiel 37 v 1-6            Harry Kirk
            Philippians 1 v 3-11            Valerie Kirk
    6.30 pm    Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing
            Hosea: A Love Story—11 How to return to the Lord
            Hosea 14 v 1-9            Christine Cahoon

24th    9.30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Family Service—The Messenger for Jesus
            Matthew 3 v 1-17
     6.30 pm    Café Church—Christ the King
            Luke 23 v 33-43

Parish Walking Group

Saturday 23rd November

Woodburn dam
Come and enjoy some lovely scenery, fun and
fellowship with our Parish Walking Group.
Especially suitable for children and families.

Meet at 10 am at Anglers car park, Woodburn Road
(adjacent to Woodburn Presbyterian Church)
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

SENIOR CITIZENS CHRISTMAS PARTY
Organised by 4th Carrickfergus Girl Guides & Rangers
St Nicholas Church Halls

Please come and celebrate the
Christmas Season with us on
Tuesday 26th November 2019 at 7 pm

To help with catering & transport please return the slip below to the Church office or phone Julie Irvine   Church Office028 9336 0061
by Monday 18th November 2019

Everyone welcome to this free event

I will be attending the Christmas Party

Name __________________________________

Address _________________________________

Telephone _______________________________

I require transport YES/NO

Sunday 10th November

Remembrance Sunday
The main morning service at St Nicholas’ will begin at
11.30 am to allow those, who wish to, to attend the Act of Remembrance at the Cenotaph.

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY

CIVIC CAROL SERVICE


Saturday 16th November
4 pm in St Nicholas’ Church
followed by the town Christmas lights switch on at 5.30 pm


 
St Nicholas Sketch