A New Church - A New Beginning
Well, what is happening in Methodism in Carrickfergus? Frankly, quite a lot, as you can see from the reference to Our Rebuilding Project
elsewhere on this site - and even the growth of this website is testimony to a thriving faith community, who are trying to build a church not only for the now but for the future as well. But churches are not just about bricks/clicks and mortar, far from it - we (the people) are
the church, and we are trying to spread the Good News about Jesus throughout the Carrick area by what we say and what we do.
Official Opening Ceremony - Saturday 4th September 2010 at 2:30 pm
Photo courtesy of Carrick Times
Opening of New Church Buildings
After many years of planning the new church was opened and dedicated to the glory of God on 4th September 2010. The opening ceremony was conducted by Rev Paul Kingston. George Apsley, life long member of the congregation assisted in cutting the tape. Our own minister Rev. Aian Ferguson was the master of ceremonies. The church was filled to capacity (around 420) with another 200 in the main hall as an overflow. Invited guests included the mayor, ministers of the town, Methodist ministers from the district, the architect, the building contractor and sponsors. As well as our own congregation many townsfolk also came along to show their support and wish us well. The congregation heartily sang the great Wesleyan hymn ‘O for a thousand tongues to sing led ably by our organist Donald Blair on the new organ and assisted by the praise group. The Scripture lessons were read by the Property Steward, Mark Hollis and Society Steward, Robert Craig. After this the Circuit Steward, Derek Scoffield gave an interesting report on the building project thanking in particular the efforts of the architect and the site foreman in ensuring we had such a magnificent building. The President then spoke on the text ‘I will build my Church’. Most of the 600 in attendance stayed behind to view the premises and partake of a very welcome cup of tea or coffee and a ‘wee bun’.
First Sunday Service
The first Sunday service in the new church was on Sunday 5th September. The Rev Philip Hacking from Sheffield was the guest speaker and gave a challenging message. From Sunday until Wednesday he then took a short series of Bible studies in the evenings taking Nehemiah as his subject matter. The parallel was made of Nehemiah building the wall of Jerusalem and ourselves building the new church but the real work was building the Church of Christ.
On Wednesday 8th September we hosted an event for ministers and lay workers with Rev Philip Hacking (Sheffield) again as the special speaker. This was also well attended and much enjoyed by all who came.
On Saturday, 11th September, we opened our doors to all those interested in seeing our beautiful new buildings. We were absolutely delighted with the response from our friends from other churches in the town, from Carrick people in general and from many further afield. We even had someone from Colorado who had former connections with the town. We reckon we had in the region of 1000 visitors and served as many teas and coffees, which seemed to be greatly appreciated by all. Many people commented on the magnificent buildings and furnishings, one lady even commenting we had the most beautiful church in Ireland!! To hear some of the feed back and the look on people's faces when they have a look around the place makes all the work worthwhile. This concluded a very full programme of events to mark the opening of the new buildings. Now it is down to work using them to the glory of God and the advancement of His Kingdom. May Christ Jesus be praised in all of this.
We would like to thank all those who took the trouble to view our premises and to assure them of a warm welcome to any of our services or activities in the future.