Our Easterfest was a brilliant success.  We ran different events from Saturday 8th April to Monday 17th April 2017 to incorporate all ages and interests.  


Men’s Breakfast - the 70 men who attended were spoilt with a superb full cooked breakfast fit for a king provided by Sandra Bogle and her team (a huge thank you!).  The speaker was George Barkely who spoke about the similarities of going to an MOT centre (there being normally 3 lanes to choose from) and our life having lanes/paths to choose which is simply two paths: one leading to heaven and one leading to hell depending on whether or not we choose to follow Christ.  He spoke about the circumstances of his own life and related well to the farmers who were present. 


Coffee & Creative Prayer morning - prayer was based on ‘Rolling Back the Stone’ (the resurrection of Jesus Christ) and time was given to prayer focus, bible reflection, personal reflection and prayer to enable us to commit to God any hindrances which prevents us from embracing a new life with God to the full.


Bakes & Brooches: Adele Moore hosted a baking demonstration of multi-coloured cake, shortbread, wheaten bread, caramelised onion tartlets (and lots more!) and provided excellent baking tips.  She kindly provided us with an array of treats that she had already made and these were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.  The fun continued with brooch making and an Easter ‘snippet’.  This was very much enjoyed by everyone who attended. 


Coffee & Beetle drive - this was held in the home of our parishioner Mrs Joan Armstrong and (if you have ever been to a beetle drive you will know) that it is fun and light hearted with competition rife not just to win but for an artistic looking beetle!  We were joined by Helen Houston who kindly shared her testimony.


Film Nights


Men’s Film Night: Gran Torino - About 30 men joined together and had chilli/chicken with rice and dessert of Easter eggs along with tea and coffee.  After the Gran Torino film, Rev Philip spoke about the change in the main character Walt Kowalski (played by Clint Eastwood) from a grumpy old man, with a prejudiced attitude to those of the Asian community who had moved in next door, to a man who came to deeply care for them and sacrificed everything for them; as did Jesus sacrifice himself for us.  The importance of a man’s role in family life and how they provide a guide for others was also shown through Walt’s relationship with the next door’s son who had no male role model and who was able to go onto a life without stealing or joining a gang through the lessons he had learnt from Walt.


Ladies’ Film Nights:  


Over 50 people attended the ‘Miracles in Heaven’ ladies film night which supplied light refreshments.  The film is based on a true story of how God healed a girl from an incurable disease and is a must watch for everyone.  The film shows how God can use our faith and time of suffering to strengthen others and spread His word of eternal life.


‘The Hundred Foot Journey’ is an oscar-winning film which provided us with a lot of laughter and showed how in the midst of competition, heartache and discrimination in life, when love enters it conquers everything.  We finished with the poem ‘Easter Joy’ by Joanne Fuchs which tells us that “Now we know our earthly death, Like His, is just a rest.  We'll be forever with Him. In heaven, where life is best.”


Messy Easter - approximately 70 parents and children joined together for this messy play morning which included decorating buns, play dough and various Easter themed artwork.  Children’s songs were sung and we also had a puppet show sharing the true meaning of Easter.  A delicious lunch of home-made soup, sandwiches, crisps and biscuits was also provided. 


Parent & Child Camp Out - This was great ‘craic’ (tea/coffee, homemade treats and a bbq in the evening).  There was (of course)…the obligatory Easter egg hunt for the children and they enjoyed running around the field together playing games.  We were joined by Liam McMulkin who provided us with entertainment at the campfire by leading us in sing-along songs (with actions!) which had us all joining in and the laughter of the children and parents was fabulous.  We’re sure some of the parents were getting more involved in the songs than some of the kids.  The words ‘But I’m not scared…’ will forever be sketched in the memories of the attendees! 


At 6.15am on Easter Sunday morning, all the parents and children from the camp out got up and out of their tents (some taking a little more persuasion to get up than others…) to join other parishioners from our church who had successfully woken up bright and breezy to attend the Easter Dawn Sunday Service at Muckross Quay.  As dawn approached, Canon Henry provided the service whilst Rev Philip played the guitar and hymns were sung by the attendees.  It was a truly magical and uplifting morning and really set the atmosphere for the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  A magnificent breakfast was provided by the Guides - bacon/sausage baps together with tea/coffee.


We also had our normal Sunday Services together with a Maundy Thursday and  Good Friday Service.


On Easter Monday around 27 people took the long journey up Cuilcagh mountain.  Everybody encouraged each other up this steep walk which took approximately 2 hours to get to the top (1 1/2 hours to get down!).  There was good banter along the way and this walk was a great achievement for everyone involved.  At the end, Peter Booth shared his testimony and everyone joined together for their well deserved lunch and tea/coffee.


Thank you to everyone who provided their help in ensuring all these events took place and for those who came along to make them a success.


Galilean Wedding

We were delighted to have Jay McCarl from Canada come and join us and explain the events around a Galilean Wedding of Jesus day and how the biblical picture of the end of time reflects the wedding events.  With the background of the full regalia of a Galilean wedding (and our actor parishioners!) Jay managed, quite magnificently, to show us the parallels of the Galilean wedding and Jesus’ covenant to us where Jesus is the bridegroom and also how He would fulfil that covenant to us on His return to earth at the end of days.  The representation was in-depth but extremely entertaining and his ability to compare the wedding to enable insight into the depth of Jesus’ love for us and His eagerness to come back to earth for us was quite astounding.  However, Jay also reminded us that only God, not even Jesus, knows when that day will be.  This was a thoroughly enjoyable evening with a strong message to live our lives for our bridegroom and to take heed of the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25 1-13) as we do not know the day or the hour when Jesus will come back for us.  


General Easter Vestry

The Easter Vestry was held on 28th March and the evening consisted of the reports from all the different organisations of their activities during the last year and then the election of the new vestry and other positions as this was a triennial year.

and the following were elected to office.

Rector’s Church warden - Peter Booth

People’s Church warden - Sydney Liggett

Rector’s Glebe Warden - Glenn Johnston

People’s Glebe Warden - Alan Crawford

Select Vestry:  Tanya McKever (Treasurer), Ruth Graham (Secretary), Gerald Knox, Jonas Knox, Louie Lee, Bob McCurry, June McCutcheon, Elaine Milligan, Alan Spence, Frances Spence, Diane Smith, Robert Thompson

Parochial Nominators:  Alan Crawford, Elaine Milligan, David Morrow, Robert Thompson

Supplemental Parochial Nominators:  Gerald Knox, Bob McCurry, June McCutcheon,
Frances Spence

Diocesan Synod Members:  Marian Anderson, Mae Glenn, Matthew Graham


Supplemental Diocesan Synod Members: Peter Booth, Margaret Graham, Ruth Graham


Friends in the Afternoon


The Friends in the Afternoon continue to have wonderful times together twice a month with a variety of speakers and delicious afternoon tea.  Deane Houston joined them on St Valentine’s Day to talk to them about matters of the heart.  He spoke about Christian love and also the love that the Lord has for each of us.  


Rachel Anderson, the award winning knitwear designer (who was previously a neuroscientist) uses her mathematical genius to produce complicated and amazing knitwear.  We were very privileged to have Rachel, who has published patterns for Knit Now and was the Sirdar Designer of the Year 2016 award winner, to join us and show us a selection of her work.


Rev Noel Regan provided an excellent presentation (full of personal anecdotes) on the history of Mullaghmore and his knowledge of the Mountbatten in Broadlands, Hampshire, and the royal-like entertainment lifestyle they had in August of each year at Casltebawn.  He also let us know of Lord Palmerston’s involvement with the development of the harbour at Mullaghmore. 

Confirmation Service

On Sunday, 12th March 2017, Chloe McKevlin, David Braden, Joel Robinson &  Lucy Ellis declared their faith in God and were confirmed by Bishop John.  This annual service of confirmation marks the start of a lifelong journey for each of them with God as they travel through life and the struggles it brings.  We pray that they seek God continually in life and have a deep personal relationship with Him. 


Xplore Deanery Youth Event

On Saturday 4th March 2017, our youth attended the Xplore Youth Event at Derryvullen North Church Halls, Irvinestown.   This event focused on patience & faithfulnesss and we had a wonderful time of worship, companionship and fun, followed by a delicious supper.

Going Deeper - February 2017

Going Deeper

At the end of February, we concentrated on the subject of commitment at our first ‘Going Deeper’ evenings.  We looked at Joshua’s commitment to God and what that led him to do for God.  Like Joshua, when we have the right commitment to God by putting Him first in our lives, we can see the kingdom of God in advance.  


However, the other side of the coin, is what happens when we are not committed.  As we thought about this, we looked at what Jesus had to say to the church of Laodicea (church in Revelation Chapter 3 that is charged with being lukewarm in terms of their faith).  The idea of being lukewarm in our faith is where we fit our faith into the normal routine of life and so God is no more important to us than anything else we do.  It is expressed in an attitude that says we will go to church if we are free or have nothing more important to do, or we will go if we are bothered.  The result of this lukewarm attitude however brings a stark warning from Jesus, as he says he will spit us out of our mouth (the same reaction you would probably have to drinking lukewarm water, if you were expecting it to be either hot or cold).  Cold brings with it the sense of distance, dispassion and not caring.  However if we are hot the fire of God’s spirit burns within us and we are passionate, involved and excited.  The only thing that we can be is hot, lukewarm or cold leads to death.  

Defibrillator Competition Winner

On 23rd March 2017, Ardess Parish Church was presented with a defibrillator from Elite Electronics Systems Limited following a recent competition by them for the community.  Elite Electronics produces the circuit board that is at the heart of the defibrillator.  Canon Henry joined the other winners to receive the defibrillator on behalf of the church.

In-Stitches - Helping the Homeless

Our In-Stitches team have been working tirelessly to help the homeless throughout the winter period.  They have been busy distributing hand-knitted hats and scarves to the homeless in Londonderry, Belfast and Dublin.  On their outreaches, they have expressed how they have felt felt extremely blessed to be able to speak, listen and pray to the homeless.  We would be grateful if you would endeavour to be kind to the homeless and pray for them to stay warm and be shown love, care and respect whilst they are on the streets.  

Mothers' Union - Flowers & Bakes

On Thursday, 16th March 2017, Jean McElroy created a wonderful selection of flower arrangements and Adele Moore did a delicious selection of bakes. A great time was had by everyone.