The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Rev Dr Michael Barry, is this week touring the Carrickfergus Presbytery (which also has congregations in Larne and Newtownabbey).
While here, Dr Barry will be meeting up with old friends. His first engaggement, on Sunday, was to preach in First Carrickfergus Presbyterian Church, which he attended in his childhood. Later that afternoon, he re-dedicated a burning bush sculpture at Joymount Presbyterian in Carrickfergus and preached at Ballynure Presbyterian’s harvest service in the evening.
This morning, he took assembly at Carrickfergus Model Primary School and will be speaking at Ballynure Primary School tomorrow.
Official receptions will take place at the Mayor’s Parlour, in Larne Town Hall and at Mossley Mill, with the mayor of Newtownabbey.
Other engagements include a car boot outreach run by Joymount Presbyterian, a “walk about” in Ballyclare to meet traders and local organisations and an economic briefing with LEDCOM, at Willowbank Business Park.
Dr Barry will also attend a “seniors” event, at Woodlands Presbyterian and meet PSNI officers, at Carrickfergus PSNI Station.
The tour will finish on Sunday October 12 when he will preach at harvest services at Ballyclare Presbyterian (morning) and that evening at Raloo Presbyterian.
Clerk of the Carrickfergus Presbytery Rev Dr Colin McClure said: “It is a particular pleasure for us to welcome the moderator to the places where he grew up in and around Carrickfergus and where he began his teaching career in Larne ‘Tech’ and his ordained ministry, as an assistant minister, in First Larne.”
Each year, the moderator visits three Presbyteries to witness some of the local community projects in which the congregations are involved and to bring encouragement to colleagues in the ministry.
To that end, Dr Barry led the Presbytery Communion service, at Magheramorne Presbyterian, on Tuesday evening and enjoyed informal receptions with ministers, assistant ministers, deaconesses and elders throughout the week.