16th July, 2019 - St Bride’s Rambling Group - Scrabo
This evening the rambling group ventured into Co. Down for the first time this season and despite a few dark clouds looming over Belfast on the drive down the walkers enjoyed superb weather for what was a very enjoyable and interesting walk up to Scrabo tower and around the adjoining country park. A blue sky overhead and a balmy 18 degrees C in temperature made for very pleasant conditions to explore the park with time to admire the magnificent views over Newtownards, down Strangford Lough and as far as the Mourne mountains to the south. Scrabo tower is also known as the Londonderry Memorial as it was built to commemorate the 3rd Marquis of Londonderry, who had his Irish residence at Mount Stewart, and it was completed in 1857. There was another very good turnout and with yet another new recruit. A very good walk that will be repeated in seasons to come.
9th July, 2019 - St Bride’s Rambling Group around Ballyclare Churches
There was a last minute change of venue this evening due to the uncertainty of the weather so instead of the dizzy heights of Divis mountain it was the more down-to-earth streets of Ballyclare. This particular walk had been scheduled for earlier in the walking season but due to torrential rain it that evening it was postponed. Numbers were down a little as walkers drift off to places like Spain and Portugal where sun is almost guaranteed but the smaller group thoroughly enjoyed following a route that passed the numerous places of worship in Ballyclare - all thirteen of them! Importantly it stayed dry throughout and both good coffee and conversation were enjoyed at the end.
7th July, 2019 - Floral Arrangements
God’s gracious bounty is all around us, manifested in the beautiful things we see in nature as we go about our daily life. Sometimes they may be unintentionally taken for granted and this also holds true for some of the beautiful things that are found in our church. There is a very small team of two wonderful ladies who regularly come together to produce the beautiful floral displays that can be seen every week in various parts of the church. Through their skills and devotion the church is always beautifully decorated and sincere thanks must go to Irene and Iris for the work that they do throughout the year. Thanks must also go to the parishioners who contribute to the purchase of the flowers through the annual flower list. Anyone who would like to add their name to the list should speak with either of the church wardens.
2nd July, 2019 - St Bride’s Rambling Group - Antrim
There was a very good turnout once again as the rambling group made its way to Antrim Castle Gardens to begin a walk along the Six Mile Water and the shore of Lough Neagh. It was a very pleasant evening with the sun shining throughout, the clouds having cleared during the afternoon. Thankfully the infamous Lough Neagh flies didn’t cause any major problems although there were a few clouds of midges to contend with near the water. Twenty walkers (including some ladies from All Saints’ and two dogs) enjoyed the evening sunshine and the great conversation on the 4 mile walk before heading for a coffee in the town.
30th June, 2019 - Battle of the Somme Commemoration Service
Rector Rev. Canon David Humphries officiated at the annual Battle of the Somme Commemoration Service held in Ballyclare War Memorial Park this afternoon. The service was organised by the Ballyclare branch of the Royal British Legion and members of the legion together with ex-servicemen and women and local politicians laid wreaths in memory of soldiers from the Ballyclare area who died during this battle which began on 1st July, 1916. Many men from the area died on that first day including Corporal Robert M. Hamill, 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, a parishioner of St Bride’s. Serjeant Joseph P. Taylor was wounded and taken prisoner that day and succumbed to his injuries is a prisoner of war camp in Germany on 13th July. His father, Frank Taylor, was a church warden in St Bride’s.
30th June, 2019 - Farewell to Valerie Ireland
Valerie Ireland has been filling the organist vacancy on a temporary basis over the past few months but today was her last day on the organ bench. Her contribution to the music in St Bride’s has been greatly appreciated by everyone in the church and sincere thanks must go to her for the considerable efforts she has made during her time in Kilbride. Valerie is pictured above with Rev. Canon David Humphries and Alistair Montgomery (choir president).
27th June, 2019 - Wedding Bells
The church bells rang out this afternoon for the wedding of Jonathan Auld and Julie Carlisle and the couple were blessed with glorious weather for their big day. Congratulations from everyone in St Bride’s as they begin their married life together.
25th June, 2019 - St Bride’s Rambling Group at Glenarm Forest
The rambling group’s trip to Glenarm forest was well attended this evening and included a couple of new people in the group. The warm and sunny weather was in sharp contrast to last week’s washout at Cavehill when the decision was made to head to the nearest coffee shop! The walk started in the car park near St Patrick’s church and crossed the bridge over the Glenarm river before heading up the main street to the entrance to the forest. For the first stretch the path was never far from the river with sunlight dancing through the trees before the landscape opened up and the glen could be seen in all its glory in the evening sunshine. The path climbed gently up the side of the forest before the steep ascent to the upper level where the return leg back to the village started. Heading back to the car park it was noticed that the local parish church was open so everyone took a look inside this very historic building before returning to the cars. Another good walk, enjoyed even more as it was warm and dry throughout.
22nd June, 2019 - Summer Fête
The church held its first summer fête for a number of years today and it was a resounding success, with a constant flow of people coming through the gates to enjoy the activities provided or to go home with a bargain from the numerous stalls set up both inside and outside the Parish Hall. It was a gloriously sunny day and with many activities taking place around the grounds it was wonderful to be able to enjoy the warm weather. Despite many other events taking place today there was still a very good turnout and it was an event that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Thanks must go to everyone involved in organising and running a very successful day.
17th June, 2019 - Church Grounds Tidy-up
The grass cutting team has been busy in recent days, ahead of this Saturday’s summer fête, making sure the grounds around the church and the parish hall look their best. The grass has been growing fast and it has been difficult to keep it in check because of all the wet weather, but the job was completed this evening as the small team of volunteers finally got on top of it with a few days to spare before the big event of the summer. If anyone could assist with the grass cutting, even occasionally, your help would be greatly appreciated, especially as we approach the holiday season when not everyone on the team is available. Speak with anyone on the team or with either of the Glebe Wardens, Jim Wilson or Billy Robinson.
11th June, 2019 - St Bride’s Rambling Group in Broughshane
The threatening clouds were left behind in Ballyclare and sunshine greeted the ramblers this evening as they arrived at Houston’s Mill in Broughshane for the start of their walk along the River Braid. It was the best turnout of the season so far as 21 walkers negotiated the busy main street and under the Buttermilk Bridge arch before following the narrow path to the River Braid. The path wound its way close to the river and eventually opened up into wide open grass areas. There is a hidden gem tucked into the area between the houses and the river in the form of the Broughshane Environment Waterfowl & Wildlife Trust compound where a large variety of waterbirds and exotic birds were on display. The walkers enjoyed seeing black swans with cygnets, mallard ducks, guinea fowl and pheasants to name a few. The walkers continued along the river bank, eventually making their way to the Raceview Mill complex with its fantastic selection of small artisan businesses. Back out on to the main road again and back to the centre of the village for some refreshments and great conversation before making their way back over the Collin and home. Another thoroughly enjoyable (and very flat!) route - next week’s will be a bigger challenge as the ramblers tackle Cavehill.
11th June, 2019 - The Herald
The latest edition of the the parish magazine is now available to read on-line. Follow this link to see it on the Useful Information & Links page - The Herald
5th June, 2019 - Watchmen Men’s Group Meeting
The men’s group met in the parish hall this evening as access to the internet using the WiFi in the parish office was needed. David Holmes gave a talk on the award-winning parish website showing everyone the content and highlighting the functionality it has and how it interacts with other websites. David set up the website in January 2017 with it going ‘live’ on St Bride’s Day, 1st February 2017. He demonstrated the analytics that the software has which gives details of how and where the site is accessed. Interesting to see that in the last month it had been accessed over 700 times from all over the world, including China, Australia and Canada. Following the presentation of the award of Best Parish Website at the Church of Ireland General Synod in Londonderry on 16th May there was a large increase in activity with over twice as many visitors the following day.
The website really does show St Bride’s and its congregation in a very positive light but David stressed that to maintain this profile he needs a continuing flow of information and photographs to keep the website fresh and up to date. This presentation may be repeated again later in the year to give others who perhaps don’t use the internet an opportunity to see its content’.
4th June, 2019 - St Bride’s Rambling Group
Sadly the deteriorating weather meant that a call had to made regarding the walk around the various churches in Ballyclare. Heavy and persistent rain was falling and the forecast over the evening was for more of the same so a call was made to cancel the walk. However the opportunity was taken to enjoy a coffee and a chat in Time coffee shop where about a dozen regular walkers met. Hopefully next week’s walk in Broughshane will have better weather.
28th May, 2019 - St Bride’s Rambling Group at Cranny Falls, Carnlough
Once again the ramblers enjoyed bright sunshine and dry conditions for their weekly walk, this time in Carnlough. Starting at the community car park they made their way up the path to Cranny Falls, stopping to chat with some local characters on the way. The rain yesterday meant there was a good flow of water cascading down the waterfall on its journey to the sea down the ‘whiskey’ river. From the falls the path lead up and over the old mine workings where the spoil from a bygone industry has now been covered with grass and from which the views were magnificent. Scotland was yet again very clear in the distance, with the Mull of Kintyre particularly prominent. The path then lead north along the bottom of the limestone cliffs to a narrow road which finally opened into a back road down to the village. The walkers then looked at the boats in the harbour which, as the wind died down, looked they were floating on glass, so calm was the surface of the water. After some refreshments it was up and over the old limestone bridge, which is such an iconic feature of Carnlough, and back to the cars. Another very enjoyable walk. Next week it’s closer to home as it will be a walk around the various churches in Ballyclare for a distance of 8 km (with lots of shortcuts for anyone wanting a shorter walk!). See the Diary Dates page for more information.
21st May, 2019 - St Bride’s Rambling Group at Sallagh Braes, Cairncastle
It was a glorious evening for a walk in the hills and the rambling group took full advantage of the bright sunshine and mild temperature to explore a section of the Ulster Way. Starting at what is known as Robin Young’s car park above Cairncastle, the ramblers headed south over an area of hillside that featured frequently in the hit TV series, A Game of Thrones. They climbed steadily for the first kilometre before reaching the highest point in the walk and from there it was a gently undulating landscape towards Agnew’s hill. Looking over the fence to the foot of the cliffs a carpet of bluebells was visible below and the beautiful flowers stretched across the sloping ground for some distance. In an exceptionally clear evening visibility was magnificent and to the north the Paps of Jura could be seen over 60 miles away, as well as the Mull of Kintyre. To the east the Ailsa Craig and the Scottish coast and to the south, Cavehill with the Mourne mountains beyond. A thoroughly enjoyable evening was had by everyone. Next week it will be a slightly longer drive up to Carnlough and a repeat of last year’s walk to Cranny Falls.
20th May, 2019 - Connor Diocese Website
The success of churches in the Connor diocese in the recent Church of Ireland communications competition is reported on the Connor diocese website, just follow this link - Connor News
19th May, 2019 - Guest Preacher for Family Service with Holy Communion
It was a pleasure to welcome Rev. Canon Walter Laverty to St Bride’s this morning to officiate at the family service with Holy Communion. Rev. Laverty is no stranger to St Bride’s as he has taken part in a number of services in the past. He was standing in for our own rector who was taking a few days off and he was delighted to be able to lead the service.
16th May, 2019 - Church of Ireland Communications Competition
A few months ago the Church of Ireland extended an invitation to every parish in Ireland to enter its Communications Competition. There were various categories that could be entered, namely Parish Website, Diocesan Website, Church of Ireland Affiliated Organisation Website and Innovative use of Social Media. An application form was completed and entered for the Parish Website category and a few days ago our parish webmaster, David Holmes, received a phone call from the Church of Ireland Press Officer to give him the exciting news that St Bride’s website had won! David was duly invited to the Guildhall in Londonderry this evening to accept the award on behalf of Kilbride, an invitation he was very pleased to accept. The General Synod began in the Millennium Forum today and following completion of the day’s business all the delegates assembled in the Guildhall for some socialising and refreshments after a long day in conference. The Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor John Boyle, welcomed everyone to the Guildhall and Archbishop Richard Clarke responded, thanking the council for hosting the event. The prizes for each category of the competition were presented by Scott Hayes representing the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office which was supporting the General Synod event. Connor diocese was also successful in the Innovative use of Social Media category as St Matthew’s, Shankill collected the runner-up prize.
14th May, 2019 - St Bride’s Rambling Group in Woodburn Forest
A group of 17 enthusiastic walkers met up at Woodburn forest car park and set off on a most entertaining and enjoyable walk. As usual, the fittest group sped on ahead and the others dandered along at their chosen speed whilst setting the world to rights! It was a perfect evening weatherwise and following on from a glorious day of blue skies and sunshine it was almost perfect conditions for a walk. After walking around the middle reservoir and through the trees the route left the forest and continued along the road to the Knockagh monument. What a view! The Mournes were clearly visible and yachts from Carrickfergus Yacht Club were also out on Belfast Lough enjoying the super conditions. Scrabo Tower was also visible, as well as a small piece of Strangford Lough. After the sightseeing it was back to the car park where George treated everyone to a "picnic" of tea and biscuits which went down an absolute treat. By the way, it was great to welcome several new ramblers to our group and hopefully they will continue to walk with us each week! Sallagh Braes near Ballygalley next week and hopefully the bluebells will still be in bloom. A slightly more strenuous walk initially but well worth it for the view.
13th May, 2019 - Christian Aid House-to-House Collection in Doagh
Thirteen parishioners arrived at Phyllis Glenn's house where they set up their HQ for the evening collection. They split up into three separate groups and set off around Doagh village at about 7.30pm to collect for this very worthy cause. They had a most successful evening and collected a grand total of £400.99! A big thank-you must go to all those who gave of their time and especially to the generous people of Doagh. After the money had been counted up everyone had a good old chat and an excellent supper. Thanks too must go to Phyllis for her annual hospitality and to those who provided the goodies for the supper!
Update - A further £395.63 was raised in the church collection during Christian Aid week as well as £590 raised specifically for the Cyclone Idai appeal making a total £1,386.62 given to the charity so far this year. A huge thank you to everyone involved in raising this money.
12th May, 2019 - Fourth Sunday of Easter
Jim Drennon made a very welcome return to St Bride’s this morning as guest organist while our temporary organist, Valerie Ireland, took a couple of weeks off. Jim was last here back in January and again his wife Betty joined him at the service.
9th May, 2019 - Charity Donation to Mindwise
Lillian Lyttle, on behalf of Kilbride Parish Church, was pleased to be able to hand over a cheque for £350 to the MindWise charity at its office in Ballyclare. This local charity helps support people living with mental illness in the Ballyclare area. For more information follow this link to the charity’s website. MindWise
Lillian is pictured with Kelly and Diane from MindWise
8th May - St Bride’s Church Ladies’ Group AGM
The Ladies’ group held its annual general meeting in the Parish Room this evening and, in her report as outgoing chairperson of the group, Dorothy Gibson gave her personal thanks for the tremendous effort made by everyone in making the last year’s activities such a success. It was a busy year and there had been some very enjoyable events but in particular Dorothy singled out the recent fashion show as having been the highlight of the year. A wonderful event that was enjoyed by around 150 people in Coleman’s Garden Centre in Templepatrick.
The main business of the evening was to elect a new committee and this process was overseen by our Rector with the following being elected as office bearers for the incoming year;
Chairperson - Patricia Robinson; Honorary Secretary - Diane Hurst; Honorary Treasurer - Hilary Rea; Committee Members - Kate Henry, Agnes Montgomery and Barbara Rea.
7th May, 2019 - St Bride’s Rambling Group
The walking season got off to a great start this evening as the rambling group made its way to the Titanic quarter of Belfast. It looked like rain might spoil the evening as it it was wet on the way but luckily Belfast had already had the rain and it was dry on arrival. Starting in Corporation Street eighteen walkers made their way past the Big Fish on Donegall Quay and across the footbridge to the SSE Arena. Around the Abercorn Dock and a short stop at the ‘Nomadic’ to admire the workmanship of the shipyard workers from a bygone era. ‘Nomadic’ is the last of the White Star ships and it has a strong connection with the ill fated ‘Titanic’ having been the tender which transported the rich and famous from Cherbourg harbour to the ‘Titanic’ moored in deeper waters in April 1912. A few short days later the “Titanic’ was lost following its collision with an iceberg. Moving on past the ‘Titanic’ building, which opened on 31st March, 2012, and on to the Great Light. The Great Light is actually the lens from a former lighthouse on Tory Island off the coast of Donegal and more recently Mew Island which is one of the Copeland Islands. Modern technology rendered the light redundant and the lens was relocated to its new location on the waterside in the Titanic quarter. The lens and its mechanism weighs in at 10 tonnes and stands 8 m high and slowly rotates within its enclosure. Next stop was HMS Caroline and then the Thompson dry dock and pump house before turning back to the city for a very enjoyable coffee and good conversation at Custom House Square. A thoroughly enjoyable evening and a good walk to start the season and it was good to welcome three new walkers to the group and our friends from All Saint’s in Antrim. Welcome to Janice, Karen and Derek.
Next week it’s Woodburn forest and the Knockagh monument which is a slightly more difficult walk but worth it for the views across Belfast Lough. See the Diary Dates page for more details.
5th May, 2019 - Holy Baptism
This morning’s service of Holy Communion included the baptism of twin girls, a very unusual event in St Bride’s. The little girls were baptised Amelia Jennifer and Sophie Marina and are pictured here both with their parents, Stephen and Felicity, and with our rector, Rev. Canon David Humphries, and their godparents
5th May, 2019 - Guest Organist
It was a pleasure to welcome Denise Martin to St Bride’s this morning, as organist for the service of Holy Communion which included the baptism of twin girls. Denise made the short journey from Templepatrick to Kilbride to help out during the organist vacancy and we look forward to seeing her again in the future.
4th May, 2019 - Ballymena United Award to Muriel Wilson
One of St Bride’s parishioners was recently presented with an award for her services to Ballymena United Football Club. Muriel Wilson has been involved with the club for many years, working tirelessly behind the scenes in fundraising events and in making sure everything off the pitch runs smoothly. Muriel was presented with the Noel Millar Memorial Award at the end-of-season club awards evening, for her outstanding service to the club, and was complimented on her work by club manager David Jeffrey, who described her as an inspiration to him.
Muriel is pictured here with Ballymena United club manager, David Jeffrey and Raymond Millar, brother of the late Noel Millar (image courtesy of BUFC). Note her proud husband, Jim, watching in the far background!
1st May, 2019 - Watchmen Men’s Group
This evening the Rector gave an extremely interesting talk on how the church organ works and there was a chance to see the workings of this magnificent instrument behind the scenes, in an area where few get to see. There are literally hundreds of pipes hidden behind the console and the decorative pipes, with levers and rods and wires in abundance and all to make beautiful music. The Rector demonstrated the effect of adjusting stops and how using different combinations can create such a wide range of sounds. The organ in St Bride’s is quite old and has been refurbished a number of times since it was first installed. From time to time it needs a visit from a tuning expert to keep it sounding as well as it does. The men all enjoyed the talk and the Rector put the organ through its paces as a finale. Everyone enjoyed a cup of tea and a chat in the Parish room to finish off the evening.
28th April, 2019 - Brother David Jardine, Equipping for Life
It was a pleasure to welcome Brother David Jardine back to St Bride’s for this morning’s service. Brother David was quest preacher and in his sermon he outlined the details of a very worthwhile charity he set up in the spring of 2018 called Equipping for Life. Its aim is to help people of faith to support people in ‘working class’ communities to be inspired, motivated and supported in their path through education and employment. A neglected group in this category are Belfast boys from Protestant communities and they are the focus for the charity’s help and concern. Key to the success of the charity’s work are volunteers who are needed to go into schools to work with these young people and many have been recruited from churches all over Belfast and beyond. Brother David was pleased that a number of parishioners from St Bride’s approached him at the end of the service with a view to volunteering.
Follow this link to find out more about Equipping for Life
24th April, 2019 - Wedding Day
The church bell rang today for the wedding day of Jenna Simpson and Gavin Green as they got married in St Bride’s this afternoon. Rev. Canon David Humphries officiated and music was provided by harpist and soprano, Catherine Hamilton from Larne. The wedding went without a hitch and it stayed dry, although a little bit breezy. Indeed the rain that was forecast for early evening stayed off until all the photographs were taken at the church and at the Templeton, eventually falling as everyone enjoyed their meal at the reception. Best wishes and congratulations from everyone in Kilbride to Gavin and Jenna as they begin their married life together.
21st April, 2019 - The Herald
The May/June edition of The Herald is now available. If you haven’t got a hard copy follow this link to read it now - The Herald
Holy Week Bible Readings (click on the link to read the passage - NIV)
14th April, 2019 - Palm Sunday
The wind was howling around the church belfry this morning but thankfully it was dry and the annual procession from the Parish Hall went ahead as normal. Led by the church wardens, the choir sang ‘All Glory, Laud and Honour’ as they processed up the path to the church, closely followed by ‘Annie’ the donkey. ‘Annie’ symbolised the colt that Jesus used in his final journey into Jerusalem in the days before his trial and crucifixion, when the road was lined with people who placed their cloaks on the road. ‘Annie’ has become quite familiar with the inside of St Bride’s over the past few years and once again she was kept calm by the close attention of her owner Kerry as well as a few carrots! The children in the congregation gathered around the donkey for the children’s address before ‘Annie’ made her exit with a reward of hay in the back of the horse box in the car park.
12th April, 2019 - Fashion Show in Coleman’s Nursery in Templepatrick
This evening over 150 ladies gathered in Coleman’s Nursery to enjoy a fashion show and supper in aid of Blythswood, Ballyclare. The clothes being modelled had all been donated to the charity and most were brand new with a small proportion being ‘pre-loved’. The ladies had a thoroughly good evening and enjoyed watching ‘volunteer’ models displaying the beautiful outfits as the models walked through the audience. Coleman’s staff prepared a delicious supper which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. All the clothing modelled was available for purchase at the end of the evening and proceeds from the sale of tickets and the clothing ensured that it was an excellent fundraising event for the charity.
11th April, 2019 - Spring Clean
The spell of good weather this week gave the grass cutting team the opportunity to give the grounds around the church and hall their first run-over with the lawnmowers. Over the past few days the lawns had their first cut and the debris left behind after the winter was tidied up and all in good time for the start of Holy Week on Sunday. The daffodils and primroses continue to add a splash of colour around the grounds and the cherry tree in full bloom in front of the church is looking wonderful. If anyone would like to assist the maintenance team over the summer, even occasionally, please get in touch with Billy Robinson.
9th April, 2019 - Easter General Vestry Meeting
This evening the annual Easter General Vestry Meeting was held in the Parish Room. The meeting was an opportunity for the Rector to give his annual address on the activities of the past year within the Parish of Kilbride and to highlight notable events. One such event was the celebration last June of the 150th anniversary of the consecration of St Bride’s. There were many activities to remember as parishioners and many others enjoyed special services and social events throughout the year as St Bride’s reached this significant milestone. The Rector thanked many people for the wonderful work they have carried out on behalf of the church in the past year. Following his address the financial report was given and accepted before the important business of the evening commenced, i.e. election of a new Select Vestry for the incoming year. A number of new members were elected and the full membership of the new Select Vestry can be seen on the ‘Our People’ page of this website.
7th April, 2019 - Parkgate Masonic Lodge Service of Thanksgiving
Parkgate Masonic Lodge No. 776 was formed a short time after the end of World War I in 1919 and as part of the lodge’s centenary celebrations a service of thanksgiving was held in St Bride’s. Masons from lodges across the Six Mile Valley District attended the service which was conducted by Rev. Canon David Humphries with guest speaker, Rev. Stephen Sheerin, who is minister of Dundonald Methodist Church. Refreshments were enjoyed in the Parish Hall immediately after the service.
3rd April, 2019 - Rural Deanery Mid-week Lenten Service
The penultimate mid-week service was held in St Bride’s this evening and despite the poor weather there was an excellent attendance with many of the churches that are part of the rural deanery being represented. The theme for all of these services has been ‘Jesus - the human face of God’ and tonight’s sermon was entitled ‘Jesus thirsted for us’. Our Rector used the moment when Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures while being crucified, when he said “I am thirsty”, as an illustration that God thirsts for us in terms of his love for us. This built on the earlier Bible readings taken from Isaiah Chapter 53 and John’s Gospel Chapter 19. It was a service that was enjoyed by all and immediately afterwards many made their way to the Parish room for some refreshments and conversation. Next week is the last in the series and it will be the turn of All Saints’ in Antrim to act as host. Once again it will begin at 7:30pm.
2nd April, 2019 - Watchmen Mens’ Group Meeting
This evening the Watchmen enjoyed a fascinating talk by Dr Steve Aiken OBE MLA Commander RN (Retd) as he told everyone of how he joined the Royal Navy and climbed the ranks to be the commander of a nuclear submarine. Steve served in the Royal Navy for over 32 years and in that time was involved in many significant world events in the senior role he held. The Official Secrets Act prevented him from discussing any details but it was still extremely interesting to listen to the story of how his career unfolded and how he used the power of prayer on a daily basis to guide him when making important decisions and to help him with the serious responsibility of command. He never regarded himself as an academic but was pleased to successfully take on a Masters degree at Cambridge in his final years in the service. He retired to civilian life but maintains close friendships with many of his former colleagues. His academic achievements have continued as he has recently completed a PhD, again at Cambridge university. In recent years he had enjoyed considerable success in civilian life too but felt he would like to make a difference to the lives of people in his native Northern Ireland and so began his political career. He currently represents South Antrim as an MLA.
31st March, 2019 - Mothering Sunday and Songs of Praise
The clock’s changed overnight and there was a real sense of spring in the air for this morning’s service which featured Songs of Praise where many of the congregation’s favourite hymns were featured. Our Rector introduced each one with a little of its history and something about the writer and most were accompanied by a relevant scripture passage. All the ladies in the congregation were presented with a rose to help celebrate Mothering Sunday.
Hymns used today were;
Father, hear the prayer we offer;
Children of Jerusalem;
How great Thou art;
Holy, Holy, Holy;
I hear thy welcome voice;
He who would valiant be;
29th March, 2019 - Live Issue Concert in the Theatre at the Mill
What a privilege it was to have attended this evening’s concert featuring the country gospel group, Live Issue. It was an inspiring evening of music where the five men who make up the band sang some gospel songs, some familiar hymns and well known pop songs but in their own style. Songs such as ‘Let it be Me’ by the Everly Brothers, ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ by the Hollies were given a country gospel flavour and in something very unusual ‘Amazing Grace’ was combined with the famous Eagles hit ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ to great effect. They also bore witness to the inspiration they take from their own personal faith in Jesus Christ in every aspect of their music and their lives. The band was joined by Belfast based gospel singer Heather Vient who sang in both halves. Heather was accompanied by singer and song writer Sarah Coll and she stamped her effervescent personality on a number of well known hymns as well as songs written by Sarah. Particularly moving were ‘Grace’ and ‘How Deep the Father’s Love for Us’.
A very enjoyable evening for a very appreciative audience who got a chance to chat with all the performers afterwards.
28th March, 2019 - Visit to Belfast Hebrew Centre
The Rector has held a number of very interesting talks in the past two months using the theme ‘How Jewish is Christianity’ and the fitting conclusion to the series was a visit to the Jewish synagogue on the Somerton Road, Belfast. Fourteen parishioners from St Bride’s made their way to the synagogue where they received a very warm welcome before being giving an extremely informative talk on the orthodox Jewish religion practised in Belfast and a history of the Jewish faith in Ireland dating back to the 18th century.
17th March, 2019 - St Patrick’s Day Lunch
Today was St Patrick’s day and there was a theme of St Patrick throughout the service as we remembered our patron saint and how he brought lasting Christianity to Ireland. Many sprigs of shamrock were worn as a symbol of St Patrick on this his feast day. The service was followed by the annual St Patrick’s Day lunch when many of the congregation made their way down to the Parish Hall for a delicious bowl of stew followed by apple tart and cream.
17th March, 2019 - Re-dedication of the Church Bell
In recent times the electrical mechanism that operates the church bell had become very noisy and was obviously in need of some attention. The bell was formerly rung manually by a bell-ringer standing in the porch of the church but an electrical ‘ringer’ had been fitted approximately fifty years ago. A decision to replace it was made as a matter of some urgency and following a generous donation by the family of a former parishioner, the late Annie Lewis, a brand new mechanism has now been fitted and the bell was re-dedicated during this morning’s service with many of Annie’s immediate family present in the congregation. Annie was a member of the church family in St Bride’s for many years and passed away quite recently on 5th February 2019.
13th March, 2019 - Rural Deanery Lenten Service in Christ Church, Ballynure
The second of the mid-week services was held this evening in Christ Church, Ballynure and despite the inclement weather there was another good turn-out from parishioners in Kilbride. The wind was howling outside but inside the church was warm and cosy as Rev. Jonny Campbell-Smyth continued the Lenten message, Jesus - the Human Face of God, with the topic of “Jesus loved us”. Refreshments were enjoyed in the church hall afterwards where everyone had a chance to mix and meet parishioners from other churches in the rural deanery group. Next week the mid-week service will be in Drummaul, Randalstown.
6th March, 2019 - Ash Wednesday Service in St Saviour’s Church in Connor
The first of the Lenten rural deanery mid-week services took place in St Saviour’s church in Connor this evening. It was good to see the service so well attended and especially such a good representation from St Bride’s. The service of Holy Communion was conducted by Rev. Ian Magowan and the topic for his sermon was “Jesus prayed for us”, part of the overall theme of the mid-week services - “Jesus, the human face of God”. Next week the service will be in Christ Church, Ballynure with the topic “Jesus loved us”.
24th February, 2019 - Baptism
A little girl was welcomed into the church family at this morning’s Morning Prayer service. Baby Jessica was baptised by our Rector and she is pictured here with her proud parents.
17th February, 2019 - Family Service
17th February, 2019 - The Herald
The latest edition of the Parish magazine is now available to read. If you haven’t got a paper copy you can read it by following this link to the Useful Information and Links page of this website - The Herald
13th February, 2019 - Invisible Trafficking
The Ladies’ Group met this evening in the Parish Room to hear more about the problem of human trafficking in the UK, Ireland and in particular Northern Ireland. Ash Richmond from the charity Invisible Trafficking, gave a very informative talk on this disturbing practice and its effects on the people involved. All types of modern slavery were discussed including farm workers, builders, factory workers as well as the sex industry. People are brought to Northern Ireland from various parts of Europe and beyond, with the promise of work and then they are forced to live in appalling conditions. They are poorly paid and cannot easily escape from the people exploiting them as they have had their passports and other important papers taken from them. This is a hidden world in what we consider a civilised society and efforts are made by charities like Invisible Trafficking to expose modern slavery and stop it. It was a very enlightening talk on a very emotive subject.
For more information on this subject visit the charity’s website by following this link - Invisible Trafficking
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves” - Proverbs 31, Verse 8.
13th February, 2019 - Air Ambulance Thank You
6th February, 2019 - Watchmen Outing to War Years Remembered.
The Watchmen men’s group went on its first outing this evening and spend a very enjoyable evening exploring the War Years Remembered exhibition in Ballyclare. The guide for the tour was the very knowledgeable David McCallion who explained what fighting in the trenches was really like during the First World War. David has been an avid collector of wartime memorabilia for many years and he has literally thousands of items on display. In his talk he gave a great insight into the events leading up to the war and what was happening in Ireland at the time and how Nationalist and Unionist battalions fought for the same cause. Irish regiments raised in all parts of Ireland were prominent in many of the famous battles of the war. Ballyclare’s importance was also described and the sacrifice made by so many local families, including many from Kilbride. A very interesting outing which in the three hour trip only covered a fraction of what is on display so it may be somewhere to visit again.
6th February, 2019 - Charity Donation
Iris McCormick and Lillian Lyttle had the pleasure of presenting a cheque to the Children’s Cancer Unit in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children this morning. This charity exists solely to support the work of the Children’s Cancer and Haematology Unit at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children as well as their families.
For more information on this charity and the work they do please follow this link - The Children’s Cancer Unit
1st February, 2019 - Charity Donation
This evening Kate Henry and David Holmes from Kilbride’s Select Vestry presented a cheque to Grace Williams representing the Air Ambulance NI charity based at the Maze near Lisburn. Grace is the Area Fundraising Manager for Co. Antrim and Belfast and she was delighted to receive the cheque for £350 from Kilbride parishioners and especially on 1st February, being the Festival of St Bride’s. Grace explained that the money will be well used in helping to run this vital service which, in the last 18 months since the air ambulance began its service in Northern Ireland, has seen the helicopter deployed a total of 672 occasions to emergencies right across the country . In that time it has saved many lives in a variety of medical emergencies and accidents, 55% of which have been road traffic collisions and 10% farming related accidents.
For more information on the air ambulance follow this link - Air Ambulance NI
1st February, 2019 - Celebration of the Feast of St Bride
Today is St Bride’s day and, to celebrate the Saint after whom our church is named, a service of Holy Communion was held, followed by refreshments in the Parish Room.
29th January, 2019 - Charity Donations
Ivan Topping, representing the Select Vestry, visited two charities today to present a cheque for £350 to each as a donation from St Bride’s. It has been a long standing tradition in our church to support local charities and Ivan was delighted to visit both the Simon Community and the Women’s Aid offices in Larne to hand over the cheques. In addition another cheque was forwarded to the SoS Bus charity in south Belfast to help its work with vulnerable people. A further three charities will be receiving donations in the very near future.
For more information on these charities follow the links below;
27th January, 2019 - Holocaust Memorial Day
Holocaust Memorial Day
This morning’s service commemorated the victims of the Holocaust, a dark period of the 20th century’s history which must never be forgotten, when six million Jews were systematically murdered by the Nazis during World War 2. Millions more people were killed under Nazi persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. 27 January marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945, the largest Nazi death camp located in Poland, and this date was chosen as the international date for commemoration across the world. A special address was read by David Humphries, Kate Henry and David Holmes where the horrors of life for the people persecuted by the Nazis was described, with the hope that by remembering this terrible time that it will never be allowed to happen again.
25th January, 2019 - Rev. Canon Ken Ruddock
Rev. Canon Ken Ruddock has retired after 20 years as Connor Diocesan Curate. Canon Ruddock has been a familiar face in St Bride’s in recent years having conducted numerous services during the vacancy following Rev. Paul Redfern’s retirement.
Follow this link for an article on the Connor Diocese website - Rev. Canon Ken Ruddock
20th January, 2019 - Second Sunday after the Epiphany and Family Service.
This morning we were pleased to welcome Valerie Ireland to St Bride’s as our guest organist. Valerie is no stranger to St Bride’s having joined our choir on a number of occasions for recitals and special services. She will be back with us again next week.
This Sunday was also our family service and at the end everyone was able to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and some good conversation with other parishioners. An excellent opportunity for an informal chat and to catch up with what’s happening in each other’s lives.
13th January, 2019 - First Sunday after the Epiphany
Jim Drennon was on the organ bench again at this morning’s service for the second week since the organist vacancy arose. His wife Betty also had an active role to play this morning as she joined the alto section of the choir, donning the blue robes of St Bride’s in place of her more familiar red ones that she wore in St Anne’s cathedral choir. Betty was a member of the cathedral choir for many years and was delighted to add her voice to the praise this morning.
10th January, 2019 - How Jewish is Christianity?
This evening was the first of three talks given by our Rector on the origins of the Christian faith and its very strong connections with Judaism. David explored the genealogy of Jesus and the Old Testament prophesies regarding Jesus and the Jewish faith. A very informative talk which will be continued in two weeks time.
9th January, 2019 - Kibride Ladies’ Group Art Demonstration
The Ladies Group welcomed local artist Adrainne Bowden to their January meeting. There was an excellent turnout and some were surprised to learn that they were actually going to paint and not just sit and watch! Adrainne had very kindly prepared cards for each of the members to paint their own watercolour under her guidance and patience. Adrainne shared that she had taken up painting again about 20 years ago and attends various exhibitions with her watercolours throughout the province. Adrainne is a member of Jordanstown Art Club and enjoys painting holidays in such places as Croatia, Italy and France. She has been doing demonstrations to various groups of people over the past 16 / 17 years. By the end of the evening everyone had created their very own masterpiece. Exhibition details to follow!! Supper was served with some leftover Christmas goodies and a massive thank you to Adrainne and her helper Janice for a great evening.
6th January, 2019 - Feast of the Epiphany
St Bride’s celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany at this morning’s service of Holy Communion and welcomed Mr Jim Drennon as guest organist. Jim was delighted to accept the invitation to play for two Sundays from David Humphries, the two having been good friends for many years.
5th January, 2019 - Ice Hockey at SSE Arena
The young people in the Sunday School and their families had a very enjoyable afternoon in the SSE Arena as they watched two ladies’ ice hockey teams from Clarkson University and Northeastern University in the United States go head-to-head in the ‘Ulster University Friendship Series’. These teams represent the elite of ice hockey in the US as Clarkson University from New York are the 2018 NCAA Champions and Northeastern University from Boston, the 2018 Hockey East Champions.
2nd January, 2019 - Watchmen Men’s Group
This evening was the first monthly meeting for the newly established men’s group. It will be known as ‘watchmen at Kilbride Parish Church’ and it got off to a very good start with ten men from the parish coming to hear our Rector give a presentation on the Holy Land, a place he is very familiar with having organised pilgrimages there for well over twenty years. David showed very interesting photos of many of the locations that the pilgrimages visit every year and there were many very relevant questions asked by the audience, and indeed by David, as he tested the men’s knowledge of Biblical locations and characters. Everyone enjoyed a cup of tea and a chat during what was a very informative and sociable evening. It is intended that these meetings will be held on the first Wednesday of every month up until June when they will stop for the summer months. Look out for more interesting talks and outings in the Diary Dates page of this website.
1st January, 2019 - Feast of the Naming of Jesus
The first service of the New Year was held this morning as the Feast of the Naming of Jesus was celebrated with Holy Communion.