22nd June, 2018 - 150th Anniversary Celebration Dinner
This evening almost fifty parishioners and friends enjoyed a delicious dinner in the Ross Park Hotel, near Kells, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the consecration of St Bride's on 9th June 1868. This was the last main event in the church's celebration of this very significant anniversary. Special guests for the evening were Rev. Canon and Mrs Ken Ruddock and Rev. and Mrs Clyde Irvine. Rev. Irvine was rector of St Bride's from 1968 - 1974 and he was delighted to have been invited to take part in the celebrations and to join everyone for the evening for what was a delicious meal. Mrs Ruddock and Mrs Irvine performed the ceremonial cutting of the special cake made especially for the evening. Tom Andrew provided some light entertainment reciting and telling a number of very amusing poems and jokes. Congratulations were also offered to our Rector as he celebrated the 32nd anniversary of his ordination in Dromore Cathedral by Bishop Gordon McMullan.
17th June, 2018 - Sunday School Prize Day
The annual presentation of prizes to all the Sunday School pupils took place during this morning's service. They were presented by the Sunday School superintendent, Eleanor Graham, who was delighted to be able to reward the young people for their good attendance throughout the year. Sunday School will now take a break for the summer and will resume again in September.
16th June, 2018 - The Herald
The July/August edition of The Herald will be available in hard copy in church tomorrow so look out for it in the morning. It is also available to read now on the Useful Information & Links page of this website. Just follow this link - The Herald July/August
13th June, 2018 - Pilgrimage to the Six Churches
Despite the bad weather there was a very good turn-out to go on the pilgrimage to the sites of six churches associated with Kilbride.
Old Rashee Graveyard – the first stop on our pilgrimage to the six churches. It was here that the first church of the area was founded by St Patrick himself, perhaps while on his way to the Slemish area to try to convert his old master from the days of his slavery. The church at some stage fell into ruins – there is no trace of it now, but it is said that the old mort house was built from the stones of the ruined church. Sheltered by ancient trees and shrubbery, Rashee Graveyard is old and very beautiful. Not only does it have history, but it also provides a haven for wildlife of every sort.
Posey Hill - the second of the six sites is the 'Graveyard Field' at Posey Hill (near the Ballymena Road). Unfortunately we were unable to contact the landowner in time, so we weren’t able to visit the site. The graveyard field lies at the end of a lane from Posey Hill. The precise site of the church is unknown, but in the field there is a little mound of stones which it is thought may be the remains of the church. The field was once a graveyard, but there are no signs of a burial site now.
Kilbride New Cemetery - the third site was high up on the Bride, adjacent to Kilbride Presbyterian Church. It is in this graveyard that Florence Mary McDowell is buried, and the pilgrims stood silently at her grave as a mark of respect. Florence McDowell is remembered as a gifted teacher and author and is fondly remembered by the senior folk at St Bride’s, where she worshipped. There is little sign of the old church now, perhaps just the remains of the foundations.
Doagh Cemetery - the fourth church is the Church of St Mary of Doagh, located in Doagh Cemetery right in the middle of the village. In the graveyard itself is an ivy bush, about seven feet tall, under which is the only remaining wall of the church. Stones of various sizes are strewn around the base of the wall, which looks out beyond the graveyard to the Doagh River, beside which is a man-made mound, apparently built to protect the early inhabitants. From this area runs one of many souterrains, out of the graveyard and under the road. It was here that Pam sang an early Irish hymn, which inspired our devotions in this place.
Ballyhamage House - the fifth site is the chapel of ease within Ballyhamage House on the Burn Road, built by Rev. McDowell Johnston, then Vicar of Donegore & Kilbride. At the time of his incumbency Kilbride had no church, so Johnstone refurbished a room in the house and asked the Bishop to consecrate it; he refused, but it seems that Johnstone was allowed to hold some services there. Note that the white building in the photo is NOT the chapel, but a swimming pool, added much later. The marble font in St Bride’s Church came from the chapel in Ballyhamage House, the gift of Miss Wilson.
St Bride's - the sixth site is, of course, St Bride’s itself, consecrated 150 years ago on 9th June 1868. We concluded our pilgrimage with prayers in the church, offering thanks to the Almighty for 1500 years of Christianity in the parish. On a very wet evening, the last stop was the Parish Room, where hot tea was very welcome.
12th June, 2018 - St Bride's Rambling Group
This evening's ramble was the most challenging to date as the ramblers followed in the footsteps of St Patrick and climbed Slemish. It was a lovely evening for the walk and the views from the top were well worth the effort of getting there. Scotland was just visible in the distance looking east as well as Cavehill to the south. The skies were a little grey to start with but soon the landscape below this iconic hill was flooded with sunlight as the clouds cleared in the western sky.
Next week it's Cranny Falls in Carnlough with another early start, leaving the Square car park in Ballyclare at 6:30pm. It is a linear route (total length 2.4 miles there and back) on pathways and only gentle slopes to walk up and well within many people's ability. It would be good to have a few more join the group on this ramble.
10th June , 2018 - 150th Anniversary Celebration Service
This afternoon a special service was held in St Bride's to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the church's consecration on 9th June 1868. Today was therefore a very special day in the history of the church and it was well filled with parishioners and visitors to join in the celebration and to reflect on the past 150 years both in the life of the church and in society which has changed immensely over those years. The Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland, the Most Rev. Dr Richard Clarke, was the guest preacher and in his sermon he put the church into its historical context being consecrated only a short time before the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland by the Westminster government. He also mentioned St Brigid (St Bride) after whom our church is named and what a significant influence she had in Ireland and beyond during her lifetime and since. The church choir led the praise supported by a number of guest singers, conducted by Beth Aiken and accompanied on organ and piano by Dr Joe McKee. Immediately following the service the Archbishop took time to enjoy some refreshments in the parish hall where he was able to meet many of the congregation before leaving for another engagement in Dublin. Rev. Clyde Irvine, a former rector in St Bride's, was also a special guest and he enjoyed chatting with many familiar parishioners after the service.
Follow this link to read the Archbishop's sermon
9th June, 2018 - Car Boot Sale
This morning saw the first of the summer car boot sales at the church. Enthusiastic sellers were on-site early to set their stand out and there were bargains to be had with a wide variety of items on sale. The Ladies' Group looked after everyone with cups of tea and coffee in the parish hall. It was an encouraging start to the series of summer car boot sales which will continue until mid-August with a two-week break over the main July holidays.
5th June, 2018 - St Bride's Rambling Group
This evening's ramble took nine enthusiastic walkers to the top of Cavehill where the view over Belfast was superb. Despite a little haze Slieve Donard could be seen in the distance as well as Carrickfergus, Scrabo Tower, Strangford Lough and the Copeland Islands. There was an Anglican twist to the visit as everyone tried to identify the various Anglican churches around Belfast. Closest was the Chapel of the Resurrection built by the 3rd Marquis of Donegall in 1869 but now deconsecrated and now sitting in a building site as houses are being built all around it. St Mark's in Dundela could also be seen with the naked eye in the bright evening sun, right across the city. The evening was completed with the obligatory cup of coffee in Glengormley. Using a fitbit the walk clocked up around 9000 steps, a climb equivalent to 40 floors and around 6km distance. Next week it will be Slemish (subject to weather) so if you would like to get out into the fresh air for some exercise please make a point of coming along. Leaving the Square car park in Ballyclare at 6:30pm.
31st May, 2018 - Pilgrimage to The Holy Land (Day 10)
The last day of tours before flying home on Friday morning.
30th May, 2018 - Pilgrimage to The Holy Land (Day 9)
29th May, 2018 - St Bride's Rambling Group
The fine weather made for a very pleasant evening walk into Wolf Bog wind farm only a short distance from Ballyclare. The skyline is dominated by these massive machines, even from the Collin Road, but especially up close when their true size is really apparent. Fantastic views over to Slemish and across the Six Mile Water valley and as far as Cavehill and Divis. A good brisk pace meant everyone was back in Ballyclare for a coffee before closing time.
29th May, 2018 - Pilgrimage to The Holy Land (Day 8)
The pilgrims have been based at the Ron Beach Hotel at Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee for the past two days and have enjoyed a boat trip as well as a trip to Capernaum.
27th May, 2018 - Pilgrimage to The Holy Land (Day 6)
The tour continued today with a trip to Jericho and to the Jeel al Amal orphanage.
27th May 2018 - Guest Preacher
Today's Service of Morning Prayer was conducted by Rev. Canon Ken Ruddock. The Canon is well known in St Bride's and he always enjoys attending and assisting at services when required.
27th May, 2018 - Sunny Sunday School
It was another beautiful day as the spell of good weather continued so the Senior Sunday School class took the opportunity to have their lesson and to enjoy the summer sunshine out in the church grounds.
26th May, 2018 - Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (Day 5)
25th May, 2018 - Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (Day 4)
The pilgrimage left the city of Jerusalem today to explore the Dead Sea area.
24th May, 2018 - Pilgrimage to The Holy Land (Day 3)
The pilgrims visited significant places of interest on the Mount of Olives.
23rd May, 2018 - Pilgrimage to The Holy Land 2018 (Day 2)
Despite the disrupted travel yesterday, the first full day's excursion took place as planned. The first trip was to the shepherds' fields near Bethlehem where a local guide called Rafi explained the significance of the site.
Rev. Canon Walter Laverty celebrated the Eucharist in the nearby shepherds' caves.
22nd May, 2018 - Pilgrimage to The Holy Land 2018 (Day 1)
This year's annual pilgrimage to The Holy Land began this morning as pilgrims assembled in Belfast City Airport for the first leg of their journey, via London, to Israel. Unfortunately things didn't go quite according to plan as the flight was cancelled and everyone had to be put on to a later flight to London Heathrow. However spirits were high and despite a few more travel bugs that meant getting the later flight to Israel everyone arrived in Tel Aviv just in time for breakfast!
18th May, 2018 - Wedding Day
Congratulations to Stacey and Scott on their marriage. Best wishes for a long and happy life together from everyone in St Bride's.
13th May, 2018 - Choral Evensong
A service of Choral Evensong was held in St Bride's this afternoon led by Rev. Canon David Humphries. This was the first such service in St Bride's in a number of years and joining the normal church choir were a number of guest singers from other churches. The service included 'Magnificat' and 'Nunc Dimittis' by Basil Harwood in A flat as well as the anthem 'Look at the World', written by John Rutter, with the lessons read by Rev. Canon Walter Laverty. The choir was conducted by St Bride's Director of Music, Beth Aiken, and was accompanied on the church organ by Dr Joe McKee. An uplifting service of music that was greatly appreciated by the congregation. A Service of Thanksgiving for the 150th anniversary of the consecration of St Bride's will be held on Sunday, 10th June, at 3:30pm.
8th May 2018 - St Bride's Rambling Group
The day's early rain cleared by lunchtime and the first organised walk of the season got off to a great start in brilliant evening sunshine. The ramblers assembled in the car park in the Square before making the half hour journey to Brown's Bay in Islandmagee. The walk was around the Skernaghan headland on the northern end of Islandmagee, an area not frequented by many, but it made for a very enjoyable walk. The walk didn't finish in time to go for a coffee but everyone enjoyed an ice cream in the Rinkha before heading home. Look out for details of next week's walk on the Diary Dates page in the next few days.
5th May, 2018 - Wedding Day
Celebrating their marriage were John Wilson and Lauren Crowe who were married in St Bride's on Saturday. Congratulations from everyone in St Bride's as they begin married life together.
4th May, 2018 - Kilbride Parish Ladies' Group Annual Outing
The Ladies' Group outing to Harrison's in Greyabbey on Friday evening was a great success. 53 ladies and gents left Kilbride for Harrison's Nursery and Garden Centre where we met up with a few others who had arranged to meet us there. Some purchases were made from the lovely array of gifts and cakes available in the gift shop before we all made our way into the restaurant where the view over Strangford Lough was spectacular in the beautiful evening sun. Dinner was served promptly to everyone followed by delicious desserts and tea and coffee. The food and service was excellent! The guest artist for the evening was the well known Gospel singer Warren Smyth who presented the evening with sing-a-long hymns and inspiring stories about each of the hymns. Half way through the evening there was a power cut in the Ards Peninsula, but David and Helen Harrison were well prepared and their generator came to the rescue. The electricity came on a short while later. It was fortunate that dinner had already been served and this ‘interruption’ did not spoil the evening in any way, in fact it may have added to it! Warren hosted the evening in aid of the The Smiles Foundation, a charity which he is closely involved with and he was delighted to announce that £1,600 had been raised. The evening came to a close around 9.30pm when everyone boarded the bus for the journey back to Kilbride. Both David and Helen Harrison made the group feel very welcome and thanked everyone for coming to share in the Gospel Evening. It was a very inspiring evening with excellent food, company, singing and craic and it was great to have some gentlemen join the ladies on their annual outing!
26th April, 2018 - General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect in the UK from 25 May 2018 and will replace the existing law on data protection (the Data Protection Act 1998). It gives individuals more rights and protection on how their personal data is used by organisations, including churches. All parishes must comply with its requirements, just like any other charity or organisation and St Bride's has produced a Privacy Notice which is now available to read on the 'Useful Information & Links' page of this website.
25th April, 2018 - CPR and Defibrillator Training
This evening nine people from the church were given some very valuable training in the use of a defibrillator as well as some refresher training in CPR. The Select Vestry, choir, Sunday School and youth organisations were represented and our Rector also took the opportunity to learn how to use this very important and potentially life-saving device. There is one defibrillator available at the moment and it is stored in the church.
22nd April, 2018
SE Antrim District Scouts - St George's Day Parade
This afternoon the scouts from 1st Kilbride joined with the various troops from around SE Antrim on the annual parade which this year was hosted by 1st Cloughfern. They paraded from the grounds of Abbot's Cross Primary School the short distance up the road to the Church of the Ascension where the District Chaplin, Rev. Mark Taylor, conducted the annual service. The weather was very kind as, with the exception of a few spots of rain just at the start, it was warm and sunny throughout.
22nd April, 2018
Rev. Paul Redfern
St Bride's was delighted to welcome back its former rector, Rev. Paul Redfern, as guest preacher for this morning's service. Paul was accompanied by his wife Betty and both received a very warm welcome from Rev. Canon David Humphries and the members of St Bride's. Paul has officially retired but does help out occasionally at other churches when the need arises. Parishioners had the chance to catch up with how Paul and Betty have settled into retirement immediately after the service.
15th April, 2018
Kilbride Recital Series
This afternoon saw the continuation of the Kilbride recital series presented by scholars of the Down & Dromore and Connor Organ Scholarship Scheme and Friends of Music at Kilbride. Rev. Canon David Humphries welcomed everyone to the church and explained the purpose of the scholarship scheme. Canon Humphries is the outgoing chairperson of the scholarship scheme having been at the helm for a number of years.
Beth Aiken, Organist and Director of Music in St Bride's, is coming to the end of her three year scholarship and was delighted to be able to offer public thanks to one of her tutors on the scheme, Dr Joe McKee, who was assisting at the recital.
The programme for the the recital ran unannounced and was as follows;
'Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 by J.S. Bach - Beth Aiken (organ)
Allegro, Concerto del Signor Meck, 1st movement by Johann Gottfried Walther - Vivien McCullough (organ)
'Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier', BWV 731 - Vivien McCullough (organ)
'All I Ask of You' from Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber - Pam Winter (soprano) and David Holmes (tenor)
'You Raise Me Up' by Rolf Løvland and Brendan Graham - Vivien McCullough (soprano)
'Après un rêve', Trois mélodies, Op. 7, No. 1 by Gabriel Fauré, Arr. Drayton - Beth Aiken (organ)
'Prière à Notre-Dame', Suite Gothique, Op. 25 by Léon Boëllmann - Beth Aiken (organ)
Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BVW 559 by J.S. Bach - Beth Aiken (organ)
'With Darkness Deep as is my Woe', Theodora by G.F. Handel - Caroline McCartney (soprano)
A selection of anthems was performed by the choir of St Bride's
'He Came Singing Love' by Colin Gibson, Arr. by Geoff Weaver
'For the Beauty of the Earth' by John Rutter
'Clare Benediction' by John Rutter.
Following the recital the audience enjoyed some light refreshments in the church hall provided by the Ladies' Group.
14th April, 2018
The latest edition of The Herald has now been published and a copy can be seen on this website - follow this link to the 'The Herald'. Deadline for the next edition is Sunday, 10th June.
13th April, 2018
These were pictured this evening at the end of the two-week long Exhibition on the History of Doagh, compiled by Alex and Bob. Many people came to view the exhibition and to ask questions of Alex and Bob. Much talking took place, as the exhibition rekindled memories for many of our older folk, and others were pleasantly surprized that our little village had so much history.
3rd April, 2018
The exhibition on the village of Doagh got under way on Easter Monday and has been well attended. It has been organised by Alex Hill and a number of friends and Alex has been on hand every evening to share some interesting facts about life in the village over the years. It ends on Friday, 13th April, so if you haven't had look as yet now is the time to go along and enjoy a cup of tea as you look around.
24th March, 2018
This morning we celebrated Palm Sunday with our traditional procession from the church hall into church just prior to the start of the Service of Morning Prayer. The early morning mist very quickly burnt off in time for the start at 10:50am and we were greeted by brilliant sunshine and a beautiful blue sky as everyone processed up the path to the church. This year the procession was again headed by Annie the donkey, led by Kerry who made sure she stayed calm with constant words of encouragement and reassurance. Inside Annie was very well behaved and stood quietly while our Rector explained the significance of a donkey in the Easter story to the children who had dressed-up in Biblical costumes for the occasion. Annie is 8 years old.
20th March, 2018
Annual Easter General Vestry Meeting
This evening there was a very good attendance at the annual Easter General Vestry meeting. The evening began with a service of Holy Communion in the church following which everyone made their way across to the Parish Room to conduct the business of the evening. Our Rector opened the meeting with prayer and presented his report for the year just past. The Honorary Treasurer presented the financial report for the year following which all positions were declared vacant. Church and glebe wardens were appointed and twelve people were elected on to the new Select Vestry. Everyone then enjoyed some refreshments before the Rector ended the meeting with a closing prayer. For the list of newly appointed parochial officers please see the 'Our People' - 'Parochial Officers' page of this website.
18th March, 2018 - St Patrick's Day Service and Lunch
Even though St Patrick's Day was yesterday we had a special service today that included many references to our patron saint, detailing his early life as a slave in Ireland and his eventual role in bringing Christianity to Ireland. Following the service many enjoyed a delicious lunch of stew and apple pie provided and served by the Church Ladies' Group. Clarence Gibson conducted a 'Dutch' auction with a beautiful hamper as the prize.
10th March, 2018 - Beetle Drive
A beetle drive was held in the church hall this evening and was thoroughly enjoyed by young and old alike. Our rector kept everything running smoothly and the top six children, ladies and men all won a prize. The Ladies' Group was on hand as always to serve tea and coffee during the interval.
28th February, 2018 - Lenten Service
The Rural Deanery series of mid-week services for Lent continued this evening. It was hosted by St John's in Ballyclare and despite the bitterly cold temperatures outside there was a very warm welcome given inside by Rev. Jonny Campbell-Smyth. The church was well filled and Kilbride parish was well represented in the congregation. The theme of the service was a cruise around the Mediterranean looking at the letter of St Paul to the Ephesians. A warm cup of tea was enjoyed by all at the end.
21st February, 2018 - Lenten Service
St Bride's hosted the second service in the Rural Deanery series this evening and welcomed parishioners from across the district. Brian Clements from St Columba's in Knock was the guest organist for the service. There were at least six incumbent or retired clergy present from the churches in the Rural Deanery. Refreshments were served in the Parish Room at the end when everyone had an opportunity to mingle and renew friendships over a cup of tea or coffee.
11th February, 2018
William Harper - Reader Emeritus
During this morning's service of Morning Prayer a special honour was conferred on William Harper as he was given the honorary title of Reader Emeritus. William has been an active member of the Church of Ireland for many years and has given exemplary service to the Church in a number of different roles. One particularly notable position he held until 2016 was that of Diocesan or Lay Reader. He was first commissioned as a Lay Reader on 3rd March 1971 in St John's Church, Whitehouse, by the then Bishop of Connor, Rt Rev. Arthur Butler. William has been a parishioner in St Bride's for many years and as he stepped down from a number of duties in the Church in recent times, it was felt that his excellent service should be acknowledged, and in particular his former position as Lay Reader. It was agreed that the title of Reader Emeritus would be particularly appropriate and this recommendation was proposed and duly implemented. Although William will no longer wear the blue scarf of office he will be able to use his new title for the rest of his life. William continues his service to the church as a member of the choir and as a regular reader of the Gospel.
This morning there were two baby girls baptized in separate ceremonies.
The first little girl was baptized Khaleesi Sheree and she is seen below with her mum and dad, Ciara and Mervyn, Rev. Canon David Humphries and her godparents.
The second baby girl was baptized Sienna Amelia and she is seen here with her parents, Stephen and Charissa, Rev. Canon David Humphries and her godparents. Sienna is a baby sister for Lillie and Olivia.
7th February, 2018
Ballyclare Male Choir Recital
The church was well filled this evening for the visit of Ballyclare Male Choir and everyone was thoroughly entertained by a wonderful mixture of sacred and secular pieces, including a number of well known songs from the shows. Choir conductor was Paul Briggs with Sheelagh Greer as accompanist. Gerry McCarry and Hubert Greer were the soloists. The recital was organised by Neil Paget and particular sincere thanks must go to him for arranging this very successful event and to all the ladies who prepared the delicious supper enjoyed in the church hall afterwards. The choir 'sang for their supper' at the end of the evening when members of the church choir (including the ladies!) were invited to join in.
4th February, 2018
St Columba's Church, Knock
A group of ten parishioners from St Bride's received a very warm welcome at this evening's choral evensong in St Columba's church, Knock. The rector of St Columba's, Rev. Canon John Auchmuty, was very pleased that so many from St Bride's had made the journey into Belfast for the evening service which featured Basil Harwood's Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in A flat. Two members of St Bride's choir joined the ranks of the choir for the evening and the congregation enjoyed listening to the wonderful singing throughout the service. The choir was conducted by Choral Director, Dr Joe McKee, himself a frequent visitor to St Bride's.
28th January, 2018
This morning's Morning prayer service included another baptism of another baby boy. The little boy was baptized Luca Alexander and is pictured below with his mum and dad, Faye and Gary, his older sister Lola and Rev. Canon David Humphries.
21st January, 2018
This morning's service of Holy Communion also included a baptism. The baby boy was baptized Sam Peter and is pictured here with his parents, Michelle and Peter, his older sisters, Annie and Lucy, and our rector, Rev. Canon David Humphries. The baptism gown worn by Sam today dates back over 100 years and numerous members of his family have been baptized wearing it over several generations.