Ballycarry church memories treasured

Ballycarry Presbyterian Church minister,Rev Gabrielle Farquhar is pictured with Sophie Nicholson and minister of Gardenmore Presbyterian Church Rev Gary Glasgow at the launch of the booklet Memories- Fresh and Old. INLT 20-022-PSB
Ballycarry Presbyterian Church minister,Rev Gabrielle Farquhar is pictured with Sophie Nicholson and minister of Gardenmore Presbyterian Church Rev Gary Glasgow at the launch of the booklet Memories- Fresh and Old. INLT 20-022-PSB

The 400th anniversary of Ballycarry Presbyterian Church has been marked by the publication of a commemorative booklet.

“Memories - Fresh and Old” has been compiled by Rev Gabrielle Farquhar.

The 19-page booklet charts the history of the church – the first Presbyterian congregation in Ireland – from 1613 to the present day.

It includes the memoirs of retired minister Rev George McConkey of his 32 years in the manse and profiles of his predecessors.

Wartime memories are among the reminiscences of villagers.

There are also recollections of the annual gymkhana and fete held at Redhall Estate, and church life from the late 1950s to the Nineties.

The compilation was published last weekend with sponsorship from Larne Borough Council.

It was launched in the Old School Room of the church hall by deputy mayor, Councillor Mark McKinty.

The launch was attended by guests including Re. Gary Glasgow, minister of Gardenmore Presbyterian Church and moderator of Presbytery; Ald Roy Beggs and his wife Wilma; and the Borough Council’s heritage officer, Jenny Caldwell.

Last Saturday, celebrations continued in the church with floral displays and music recitals. In the church hall were displays organised by the Borough Council featuring skills such as weaving and wood-turning by craftspeople clad in 17th century-style costume.

Members of the church’s “Thread” group were also involved with craft work demonstrations and a talk on the history of quilting. There was also a small farm for young children to visit.

Rev Farquhar said: “It was a relaxing weekend. We had a chance to enjoy the creative things of the past.”