First Presbyterian Church (Non-Subscribing), Warrenpoint
Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland

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News - 2009

Dec Nov Oct Sep Aug Jul Jun May Apr Mar Feb Jan


On Sunday 18th October we welcomed Rev Charles McCurdy to Warrenpoint, when he conducted the service, whilst our Minister was on holiday.

Rev Hutton conducted the Communion Service in Sunday 1st November, when we substituted "the common cup" with individual glasses in a precaution against swine flu.

Preparations are at an advanced stage for the "Rev Mac" demonstration; all we hope for is a good turn out.

The Candlelight Carol Service, our major fund-raising event for the Southern Area Hospice Services, takes place on Sunday 6th December, when once again we shall sing carols and hear the readings of Nativity. The praise will be led by Warrenpoint Silver Band and there will also be musical items from Alice and Hannah. Afterwards there is the usual tea or coffee and Christmas Fayre.

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On Thursday 17th September there was the Wedding of Matthew Dennison and Stephanie Wharton. This was the first wedding in the church during the Ministry of the Rev Hutton, and indeed it was the first wedding since 1993. The church was beautifully decorated for the occasion by the bride’s cousin Pastor Keith Lindsay. The previous Monday the broken panes of glass were replaced. All things considered the church looked very well and many of the visitors were very impressed with its quaint character, dating as it does back to 1707.

Our Harvest Thanksgiving Service was held on Sunday 4th October. The church was beautifully decorated with all the bounty of the harvest – flowers, fruit, foliage and vegetables. On the Communion table were displayed grapes, a wine goblet, wheat and bread on a salver, and a glass of water, reminding us that all good gifts come from the Lord. This message was clearly brought to us by our Guest Preacher, the Rev Dr John Nelson. Dr Nelson had the opportunity to meet with the congregation and their visitors over refreshments, before departing for a similar service in Banbridge. Once again the hymn singing was led by Warrenpoint Silver Band. The special music was provided by Alice and Hannah, the granddaughters of our good friend Mrs Hilary Hamilton. Alice and Hannah sang the 23rd Psalm to the arrangement "Brother James' Air" and Alice sang solo "How great Thou art". Alice, Hannah, their mother and grandmother recently appeared on GMTV as the 3G's (three generations). We hope that Alice, Hannah and Hilary will sing for us again at our Candlelight Carol Service on Sunday 6th December, when Warrenpoint Silver Band will be leading the praise.

Fund-raising continues to be a priority with the congregation, as we struggle to reach our quota of the monies needed to start the renovations. To that end we would welcome your support for our Flower Demonstration by our former Minister Rev William McMillan.

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It was good to welcome Rev Joe Nixon back to Warrenpoint on Sunday 21st June, when he conducted the service, as Rev Norman Hutton was conducting the Altnaveigh Memorial Service.

It is with deep regret that we bid farewell to our good friend Rev Canon Jim Simms, who has retired as Rector of Warrenpoint and Clonallon Parish. Jim and Sally were regular attendees at our special services. The Rev Hutton and his wife Doris attended Jim’s farewell on Sunday 26th July and conveyed the best wishes of our Warrenpoint Congregation.

The Harvest Service in Warrenpoint will be held on Sunday 4th October and will be conducted by Rev John Nelson. Special Harvest Music will be provided by our guest soloist and the praise will be led by Warrenpoint Silver Band. As usual there will be refreshments after the service.

The Rev McMillan has offered to give a Flower Demonstration on Wednesday 25th November at 8pm in Warrenpoint Town Hall. Tickets can be obtained from Mrs Doris Hutton. The proceeds are in aid of the re-building fund.

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JULY 2009

There was a smaller than average attendance at the Spring Communion Service on Sunday 4th May. The service was followed by the usual cup of tea and fellowship.

There was a good attendance on Sunday 17th May. Over the usual tea and coffee refreshments, the Rev Hutton reported that Northern Ireland Environment Agency had offered almost £25,000 towards the refurbishment of the church. The congregation are still awaiting approval form the Heritage Lottery Fund. In the meantime the congregation continues with its fund-raising activities. Mrs Elaine Crozier, Honorary Treasurer, reported that £705 had been raised in a recent raffle for 16 prizes, kindly donated by the members. The Rev Hutton thanked all those who had supported the raffle and those who had donated prizes. As the congregation have still to raise about £20,000 he urged that the momentum still needs to be maintained and, to emphasise the point, he said that a Treasure Hunt and BBQ would be held in Tollymore Forset Park at the end of June, and a Flower Demonstration by the Rev McMillan would be held in Warrenpoint Town Hall at the end of November.

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APRIL 2009

The Annual General Meeting took place on Sunday, 1st March after the Church service. This was attended by the majority of the church members.

The Secretary’s report was read out by Laura Wharton and stated that during the year there were two births – those of Sarah Linda Wharton on 20th April and Zack Robert Paul Wharton on 1st June. At the beginning of December our annual Carol Service was held and we welcomed back the Warrenpoint Silver Band. Their music was much appreciated and it was great to see a very large congregation which included many visitors from the neighbouring churches. As a result the collection of £265 was donated to the Southern Area Hospice in Newry. Thanks from the congregation were bestowed to our Minister the Rev Norman Hutton and to his wife for all the work given during the year.

The Treasurer’s report was given by Mr Ian Crozier as his wife was indisposed. The election of officers took place and all positions were reinstated.

Thanks must go to our Organist Mrs I Beck for her continued service throughout the year, especially as she travels a round trip of thirty miles twice a month just to accommodate us, and to Mr A Holmes for his work with the church and the graveyard.

The property has over the last number of years been a headache with one step forward and two back. Different forms seem to be needlessly held back or returned for no necessary reason.

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Our Annual Christmas Carol service took place on Sunday, 7th December, and the usual large congregation filled the church for this annual community event. The praise, as always, was led by Warrenpoint Silver Band under the baton of Mr Maurice McCabe. Earlier the band had been playing in the local municipal park, so they were glad of the heat of the church. The service took the usual form of readings and carols, with Rev Hutton acting as "Interlocutor", providing interesting pointers about both the carols and the readings. Amongst the many visitors was the Moderator of the Presbytery of Bangor, Rev John Herron. Rev Herron is anxious that smaller churches, particularly those with afternoon services, should be well supported – so, top marks for leadership. As usual, the offering donated is donated to the Southern Area Hospice Services – this year that worthy cause benefitted to the sum of £280, the proceeds of the offering.

Our Christmas Service was held on Sunday, 21st December. Many of the children could hardly contain their excitement as the Rev Hutton said that Santa Claus was arriving at 4:15 p.m. Sure enough Santa Claus arrived right on time and brought a present for every child. Santa’s beard was getting in his eye, so Mrs Doris Hutton acted as his helper and read the labels for him. The proceedings came to a close with tea, coffee, mince pies and shortbread provided by the ladies. Unfortunately Santa could not stay for his mince pie as he had to call with more boys and girls, but he said to the minister that he hoped to be dropping in next year if they were GOOD. Before he left he had his photograph taken with the children.

Over the last year or slightly earlier, a number of people have become dedicated members of our church and it is delightful to have them and the young children.

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The usual services are taking place on the First and Third Sundays of each month. Thankfully the attendance is still holding up.

The Carol Service took place with the Warrenpoint Silver Band leading the praise. This is a service which everyone enjoys in a homely and friendly social gathering. When your throat gets dry from singing all the carols a cup of Tea/Coffee is there to refresh you.

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I give you a new commandment: love one another; as I have loved you, so you are to love one another. If there is this love among you, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.

John 13:34-35

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

2 Corinthians 3:17b