St Andrew, Glencairn

Glencairn Methodist Church

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A record in words and photographs of past events in the life of the Parish  and Diocese

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25 November 1918     Sunday November 25 was a day to celebrate in the Rural Deanery of Mid Belfast, as several of the parishes came together for a joint confirmation service in St Mark’s, Ballysillan.

Candidates from St Mark’s; St Andrew’s, Glencairn; Holy Trinity with Immanuel; St Matthew’s and St Columba’s, Whiterock, were confirmed by Bishop Alan Harper, former Bishop of Connor and former Archbishop of Armagh.  Pictures and report.


4 February 2018:  Today Ms Emma Fleming, part time Family Support Worker and Community Development Officer since April 2015 led her final Family JAM Service in St Andrew's and St Columba's. She resigned in order to take up a full time post at First Omagh Presbyterian Church.. Other members of the Ministry Team (now reduced to just two) took part, Peter leading the singing with gusto and Adrian leading the prayers. Emma herself with help from the children led the action songs. Emma had responsibility for organising and developing children's ministry in St Andrew's which she did effectively and passionately and for training volunteers.


Rev Ken (called back from retirement) paid a tribute to Emma and thanked her for her ministry among us.


Tea and cake were shared after presentation of gifts by the children and others.


Photographs of the event. Some have already appeared on Facebook.

28 January 2018: After 27 years ministry in Glencairn the Rev Ken Houston led his final service with us today. It was a meeting of the congregations of both St Andrew's and St Columba's, and was held in St Columba's. (There were further heating problems in St Andrew's church.) Ken conducted Morning Prayer and the other members of the Ministry Team (Peter, Adrian and Emma Fleming) read lessons and led prayers. Ken sermon was about the "new things" God had done throughout history from the creation through to the resurrection and anticipated the second coming of Christ. He mentioned the "new things" he was personally involved with, namely Training for and Ordination into the Auxiliary Ministry of the Church during the early 1980s, and his appointment along with Captain Scott McDonald to ministry in St Andrew's, this being the first time that a stipendiary lay minister and an Auxiliary Minister (clergy) were appointed as a team to lead a parish. Ken went on to mention the "new things" in store for the parishes as part of an outer urban Missional District which our Bishop hopes to introduce to outer Mid Belfast in the near future. The other" new thing" for the parishes to anticipate is the Ordination of Peter in September 2018 and the training and ordination of Adrian to the Ordained Local Ministry, an office recently approved by the General Synod.


After a buffet lunch speeches were made and retirement gifts were presented to Ken and his wife Patricia.


Photographs of this event, by Eddie Stone.

10 September 2017: Today the Rev Emma Rutherford, Diocesan Curate in charge of St Andrew's left to take up a new position as Rector of St Molua's Church Stormont, Diocese of Down and Dromore. She has served in St Andrew's for 4 years and, jointly, in St Columba's Whiterock for 2 years. This was Emma's first "in charge" appointment after ordination in 2011 (Deacon) and 2012 (Priest) and she brought youthful energy and colour to the parish. We will remember her for introducing our weekly "action song" and for her skill in designing and making articles for the annual Crafts and Coffee Sale. Needless to say we shall remember her for her faithful leadership of the parishes, her care in leading worship and her pastoral concern. Our loss is St Molua's gain.


On 10th September she conducted Holy Communion in St Andrew's church and the congregation from St Columba's were present also. The sermon was preached by Rev Ken Houston and this may be read here.


After a buffet lunch gifts were presented by the church wardens and speeches were made.


Emma was installed as Rector of St Molua's on 19th September by Bishop Harold of Down and Dromore.


Photographs of these events, mostly taken by Eddie Stone, may be seen here.

10 April 2016  The church was reopened after almost 12 months as it underwent repair and renewal work and decoration. Bishop Alan and Dr Heather Morris were present and gave a dialogue-like address. See Photographs

4th February 2016 Visit of First Minister to Upper Shankill. Mrs Arlene Foster and her entourage paid a visit to the Shankill on 4th February 2016. Her first port of call was to to St Andrew's Church hall where members of local Glencairn community groups had prepared poster displays and were present to discuss their activities with Mrs Foster. Ten photographs of the visit are available at this link.

30th August 2015 Farewell to the Bryson Family.  After some five years in the parish, Philip and Viola and their children Anna, Mia, Tim and Ben bade us goodbye. They are moving to St Bartholomew's Church Belfast, where Philip is Deacon Intern, following his ordination on 13th September. Philip and Viola led our opening praise most Sundays,. Philip was employed by SACAG for 2 years as a Family Support Worker. He also supervised children's ministry at the 10.30 service. The churchwardens present them with gifts. Photograph.

3rd July 2015 StreatReach barbecue at St Andrews. Thanks to all the StreatReach crew who worked tirelessly in Glencairn and Whiterock, reaching out to the communities in the parishes of St Andrew and St Columba. See photos of the barbecue on 3rd July

26 April 2015 Confirmation of Margaret Wylie and Stuart Irwin by Bishop Alan Abernethy Photograph

On 18 May 2014 Rev Margaret Ferguson, Superintendent of the Shankill-Woodvale-Glencairn Circuit since 2010, paid her last visit to Glencairn before moving to the East Belfast Mission at the end of June. On behalf of the congregation, Mrs Ella Horner presented Margaret with flowers and a small gift. We thank Margaret for her ministry among us, and we wish her every blessing as she takes up her new post. Here is a photograph of the occasion.

During Lent 2014, a team of students and interns from The HUB at Queens, together with the Anglican and Methodist chaplains, Barry Forde and John Alderdice, came to work in the parish on Passion Sunday and during Holy Week 2014. They helped to lead worship and to run a Kids' Club, and they took part in other parish Activities.

Thank you Team Hub!

See photograph of the team.

Rev Emma Rutherford, Diocesan Curate, was appointed by the Bishop in September 2013 to take charge of St Andrew's. See photograph.

Capt Scott McDonald left the parish on 1st September 2013 to study for ordination at the Church of Ireland Theological College in Dublin. He preached his farewell sermon that morning. He has served in St Andrew's since 24th January 1991. The McDonald family joined parishioners for a light lunch after the service. See photographs. On 17th September a Farewell dinner was held in the hall and photographs of this event may be viewed here.

The parish organised a Community Fun Day in Glencairn on 31st August 2013 See photographs.

13 February 2013 Confirmation by Bishop Alan Abernethy in St Andrew's. Photographs

12 December 2012 Christingle Service Photographs

6 March 2012 The Queen's Jubilee celebrated in St Andrew's Photographs

23 April 2012 Retreat for Continuing Education in Ministry clergy at Rydal Hall, Cumbria. Photographs

Our annual Christingle Service was held on the Sunday before Christmas - 18th December 2011. This year we had to hold it in the Belfast City Mission Hall just up the road because our heating system had broken down. The children in our congregation taught us a thing or two about Christmas. See photographs here.

The Parish Christmas "Bring and Share" dinner was held on 13th December 2011. See some photos here. The last photo is of a backdrop painted by Philip Bryson to decorate the Church over the Christmas season.

"The Road to Maturity" course by Mary Pytches was offered in the church for six weeks from 5th September to 10th October 2011. It was well attended by parishioners and people from other local congregations. Follow this link for photographs and comments by some participants.

The 40th Anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the church in1970 by The Right Reverend Arthur Butler, Bishop of Connor, and the Reverend James Davison, President of the Methodist Church in Ireland, was celebrated by the Church on Advent Sunday, 28th November 2010. A large number of former parishioners attended Morning Worship and were entertained to a light lunch afterwards by the ladies of the parish. Music was by Awakening, and the Reverend Jim Rea, former President of the Methodist Church and recently retired Minister of Shankill Methodist was the preacher. Awakening made a welcome return visit after a gap of 6 years. See photographs.


During the service, Mrs Ella Horner, founder member and organist for 40 years was presented with a bunch of flowers by Mrs Ena Gillespie, also a founder member, on behalf of the Church. See photograph.

New portacabin arrived on 29 September 2010. This will provide extra accommodation for our outreach activities. See photographs of arrival.

The Under 11 football team won the Loughside Tournament on 28th August 2010. See photos here

The New Horizon U-Tube video (2010) about St Andrew's may be seen here

The Liverpool FC schools coaching team once again visited the upper Shankill from 23rd to 25th August 2010. As usual, Sister Valerie organised this visit. Thank you Valerie. Presentations to the participants (both boys and girls) took place on 25th in the Shankill Spectrum Centre, with The Lord Mayor and the Deputy Lord Mayor at the event. Here are some photographs of the young people being coached and playing at the Clarendon Recreation Centre on 24th.

Sister Valerie Thom preached her last sermon in St Andrew's on 15th August 2010. She has moved to New Bridge and Killyman Parish in the Diocese of Armagh after seven years ministry in the three upper Shankill parishes of St Andrew, St Columba and St Matthew. John Irvine, who has worked with Valerie on a number of projects, presented Valerie with a leaving present from the congregation. Valerie organised the annual visit of the Liverpool FC coaching team  to the district from 2004 to 2010, and arranged visits by many international groups of Christian young people who ran summer Bible Clubs for children and young people. She also was in charge of a parish youth group which mounted the Holocaust exhibition in January 2008. Valerie's ministry in the upper Shankill will be greatly  missed and we wish her God's richest blessing for her new appointment. Photographs

A team from Cookstown led a Holiday Bible Club in the hall for primary age children. It ran from 26th to 30 July 2010. Thank you girls. Well done! [Event organised by Sister Valerie.] See photograph

The Mark Houston Band from Kendal led our worship on 25th July 2010. Two band members, Mark and Will, were playing. See photograph.

Ken celebrated the 25th Anniversary of his ordination on 23rd June 2010 by celebrating Holy Communion with the parish. "Then and Now" photographs!

Children's Ministry Celebration Day was held on 20th June 2010. Prizegiving, dance and song. The Leaders were thanked for their devoted service throughout the year See some photographs.

The Tour de Connor cycle run round all of the parishes in Connor Diocese was held from 1 to 6 June 2010. The cyclists visited Glencairn on Day 1. See local photographs. Read more on the Diocesan Website.

Rev Jim Rea's last Sunday in St Andrew's before retirement in June was 16 May 2010. Jim and Carol were presented with a gift from the Church. Photographs

Belfast Marathon on 3 May 2010. See some photographs.


Slow and Steady Wins the race!

Bank holiday Monday- 3rd May 2010, a day not to be forgotten in St Andrews
History. 7 Church members and 6 friends answered the call and volunteered to be
part of 3 teams who were going to Powerwalk the Relay event at this year's Belfast
City Marathon. The teams were: Angela's Ashes, Millar Lites and The Groupies.
People could be seen Powerwalking all over North and West Belfast in the 6 weeks
prior to the event (We'll not call it a race), lycra and sweat were much in evidence.
 Two other church members did the 9 mile walk and finished in great time.
The day was well organised by the City Council and Scott was in charge of
transport and logistics (yes everyone got to and from their laps without too many
Our worst fear had been that we wouldn't complete in time to have a recorded time-
but we did and about an hour sooner than our worst fear. We were really proud of
our achievement and look forward to a good total for Church Funds and Marie
Curie Cancer Care.  Not too many blisters or sores either. All in all we had a great
day's crack and fellowship and have certainly got to know each other a lot better-
Thursday evenings just don't seem the same without a training walk and Scott is
missing his treadmill sessions(?)

There were some great highlights, like Lil Celebrating her 71st birthday on the day,
Ryan streaking ahead of us all (not literally), Linda and Muriel doing a great time
and being spotted actually running part of their lap and young Laura Horner not
satisfied with a quick lap just had to walk an extra mile.

A good posse joined us in Ormeau Park for the finish and we rounded everything
off in the church hall with a curry and plenty of stories of the day.
Can't think of anything better to do on a Bank Holiday Monday- already planning
campaign for next year.
Big thanks to all who have sponsored walk-runners  and supported the event. 

Well done to- Angela, Lesley, Pauline, Olga, Charleen and Lil, Linda, Muriel and
Ryan, Laura, Laura, Sophie and Scott.  What are you all doing on the early May Bank
Holiday 2011?

Pauline 16 May 2010

The Under 10 Boys' Football Team made it through to the semi-finals of their knockout competition on 8 May 2010 before losing by just one goal. Well done boys.

An After School Bible Club was held in the church from Monday to Thursday, 8th to 11th March 2010 between 4.00 and 6.00 p.m. This was organised by Sister Valerie and was conducted by a team of students from the University of Indiana Perdue Fort Wayne in America. See photographs

The St Andrew's Community Action Group held an away day at Echo Sound on 27th February 2010. Echo Sound is the home of Pat and Rab Mollan and they open it to visitors for days away, quiet days, etc. The Mollan hospitality was excellent, Billy Holmes (St Pat's Coleraine) lead our thinking, the St Andrew's Worship Band (i.e. Pauline) led the worship, the St Andrew's Singers (only Martha was present) led the vocals and Paula operated the computer. Memorable quote from Billy - "Worship is not an event, it is a lifestyle."

 Photos on Ken's Facebook page and here.

Sunday 14th February  2010 - Scott, on a visit to his parents' home, agreed with the Vicar of St Aidan's and St Silas' church in Cheltenham that our two parishes should be linked, so that we may encourage and support one another through prayer and the exchange of news. Look at this website.

Sunday 7th February 2010 - Three Christians from Brazil joined us for Morning Worship. They were Gaynor Smith and Samuel Reencontro from "Day Care Centres" which engages in social action, and Noreen Smith from Riodas Pedras, which also engages in social action through operating a crèche and supplementary schooling for children and adults. These organisations are in Niteroi and Jacarepagua respectively, in the province of Rio de Janiero. They were the guests of Sister Valerie who has strong links with the Brazilian operations. Several of our parishioners have visited them in Rio in the past.


A set of new hymn books was dedicated for use in worship on 17th January 2010. These are in memory of June and Sammy Ward, parishioners who both died in2009. We purchased Complete Mission Praise with donations from family and friends.

Parish Prayer Walk 28 June 2009 Story and photographs

The initial announcement of the next two events below may be found here.

The Liverpool Community Coaching Team paid their fifth annual visit to Paisley Park in the Upper Shankill from 21 to 23 July 2008. There were coaching sessions morning and afternoon on the Monday and Tuesday and over 100 young people took part in the coaching activities. On the Wednesday there was a presentation in St Columba's Church, when the LFC chaplain, Rev Bill Bygroves, taught the boys and girls to be good sportsmen and  women and to be good people. The event was reported by BBC Radio Ulster and UTV Live in their broadcasts on Monday evening. See some photographs here.

A YWAM (Youth with a Mission) team from the Bethel Church in Winkler, Manitoba, Canada, visited the upper Shankill from 13 to 20 July 2008. From Monday to Friday the team conducted Children's Bible Clubs, and on the Sundays they led worship in churches including St Andrew's. Some of the young Canadians gave their testimonies and their youth Pastor, Harold Espinosa, gave an address, encouraging us to persevere in our Christian lives and to seek to bring others to Christ. See some photographs here.

Scott, Pauline, Anna, Ceri and Daniel, Ken and Patricia, Ellie Dickson and Ina Murphy attended the New Wine Conference in Sligo from 13 to 18 July 2008.  Morning and evening hundreds gathered for worship in the marquee. There were programmes for children and youth and seminars for adults. This was a time for spiritual renewal and commitment. Some photographs of the conference and nearby places of interest may be found here.

Mr Nelson McCausland MLA  was the guest speaker at the meeting of the Women's Group on 21st April 2008. Mr McCausland is an accomplished singer and led the group in singing in addition to giving his Christian Testimony. Photograph

Continuing Education in Ministry Retreat to Rydal Hall from 7 to 10 April 2008 photographs report

Commissioned Minsters' Quiet Day on 26th January 2008 Photographs Report

"Hatred without a cause" - a holocaust exhibition prepared by St Andrew's Youth Fellowship and pupils from Harmony Primary School. This was open from 14th to 18th January 2008 in the church hall. Read the story here and view the photographs here.

The West Belfast Scout District annual carol service, held in St Andrew's on 12 December 2007, raised £420 to be given to the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice. Well done!.

On 18th November 2007, the worship band from Holy Trinity Church, Woodburn, Carrickfergus (HTW) visited St Andrew's and led our praise with lively music and inspiring songs and testimony. Our grateful thanks go to the members of the band, the leader Louise Hanley and the rector of HTW, Alan McCann. Photographs.

Confirmation in St Matthew's Church on 16 September 2007 at 6.30 p.m. Photographs.

On 9 September 2007, Billy Yates, an adult, was baptised by immersion in a baptismal tank borrowed from Belvoir parish, Belfast. This was the first baptism by immersion in the ministry of Scott and Ken, and probably in the life of St Andrew's. Report and Photograph

StreetReach in Glencairn - 6th July 2007: Dinner in the Day Centre and pictures of the mural paintings on a garden wall at the top of Forthriver Road.

Commissioned Ministers' meeting at Ballintoy on 6th June 2007 Photographs Report

St Andrew's  five a side football team won the diocesan competition for the second year running on 2 June 2007. The competition is for young people aged 12 to 16.

Visit of Liverpool football coaches - 9 to 12 April 2007

Parish Dinner: The annual Parish Christmas Dinner was held on 7 December 2006. Here are some photographs.

Commissioned Ministers: On Sunday 3 December 2006, Ena Murphy and Sally Horner were commissioned by the Rural Dean, Canon Barry Dodds, to serve in the parish as Pastoral Visitors. Here is a photograph of Ena and Sally, taken at the Parish Dinner on 7 December

Confirmation in St Columba's Church on 1 October 2006 at 6.30 p.m. Photographs

The Reverend Professor Ken Houston, NSM in this parish since January 1991, retired from his university position on 30 September 2006. He continues to work in the parish. There is an article in "Connor Connections", Autumn 2006, pp 12-13, which may be downloaded from here. He also retired as Chairman of the Anglican Chaplaincy Support Committee at UUJ. There is a report here.

Visit of Liverpool Football Club coaching team, 16 - 19 August 2006. Photographs from the dinner on 16th and the morning session on 17th.

Visit of YWAM team on 23rd July 2006 Photographs

Visit of Nexus school of Music on 16 July 2006  Photographs

Farewell to Rev Colin Meneely - After four years ministry in the Agnes Circuit, Colin preached his last sermon in Glencairn on 28 May 2006. See the farewell presentation photograph Also see "Methodists on the Move 2006"

Mission '06 was held from 6 to 13 May 2006. See the Mission '06 page and photographs of mission week.

Football success! Our under-16 five-a-side team won the Connor Diocese inter parish competition at Ballymena leisure centre on 6 May 2006.

On Mothering Sunday, 26 March 2006, "Awakening" led our worship. Margaret Taylor presented Trevor and Maureen with a wedding gift from the parish - photographs
Norman Coates retired from active ministry in St Andrew's on 19 March 2006. Lil Gould, Church Warden, presented him with retirement gifts. Norman was a Pastoral Lay Assistant for many years and was the constant Methodist face in Glencairn - photographs  Also see "Methodists on the Move 2006"
"Mission 06" planning weekend - 4 and 5 February 2006
Visit of YWAM team from the USA - December 2005 to February 2006
Christingle Service on 18 December 2005 - photographs
On Sunday 16th October 2005, Colin Pilson presented the parish with a minibus. Read more....
Images of Harvest - 16th October 2005
Sunday 9th October 2005 was a very special Sunday. Read more....
Confirmation in St Andrew's  Church on 25 September 2005 at 6.00 p.m
. Photographs

"Engage with God 5" - 23/24 July 2005 - music lead by students from the Nexus School of Music Photographs
"Engage with God 4" - our fourth 24 hour Prayer and praise vigil was held by the three upper Shankill parishes - St Matthew, St  Andrew and St Columba - in St Andrew's  church on 27 and 28 May 2005. Sorry, no photos of this event.

Visit of the Boy's Club to Anfield  3 to 6 February 2005 Photographs
Christmas Fayre 14 December 2004 Photographs
Christmas Parish Dinner 2 December 2004 Photographs
"Engage with God 3" -our third 24 hours Prayer and Praise vigil was held by the three upper Shankill parishes - St Matthew, St  Andrew and St Columba - in St Andrew's  church on 1 and 2 October 2004 Photographs
Church teams up with Liverpool Football Club  20 to 22 July 2004
Retirement of Rev David Mullan 27 June 2004
Women's Group bus run to Newry on 19 June 2004
Boy's Club Football Awards Night 28 May 2004

Confirmation in St Matthew's Church on 23 rd May 2004 at 6.00 p.m. Photographs.
"Engage with God 2" - our second 24 hour Prayer and Praise vigil was held by the three upper Shankill parishes - St Matthew, St  Andrew and St Columba - in St Columba's  church on 21 and 22 May 2004 Photographs
Images of Good Friday by The Water Colour Painters - 2004

"Engage with God" - a 24 hour Prayer and Praise vigil was held by the three upper Shankill parishes - St Matthew, St  Andrew and St Columba - in St Matthew's  church on 5 and 6 March 2004. Photographs.
Licensing of Church Army Sister Valerie Thom on 13 July 2003 in St Matthew's Church to serve as Community Evangelist in the three upper Shankill parishes of St Andrew Glencairn, St Columba Whiterock and St Matthew.

   Photo 1 has Sr Valerie with Bishop Alan and (L to R) Capt Richard Beadle, Rev Paul Toomey, Capt Scott McDonald and Rev Gregory Dunstan.
   In Photo 2, Capt Charles Harris is showing digital photos to Sr Valerie and Bishop Alan.

Methodist - Church of Ireland Covenant 16 March 2003
The Covenant agreed by the two churches was confirmed by St Andrew's, Glencairn and Glencairn Methodist Church at morning service on 16 March 2003. David Mullan preached while Ken, Scott and Norman led prayers and read lessons. The joint congregation joined in an afirmation of the Covenant.
A short articlehas been written for Connor Connections, 2, Spring 2003.
A short article has been written for the Methodist Newsletter.
The Covenant may be found here.
See also "Walking with the Covenant" - 25 March 2005

Christingle Service on Advent 4, 22 December 2002

A new cruet set for use at Holy Communion, the gift of the Rev JJ Armstrong, was dedicated on Sunday 10 November 2002. Photograph

Retirement presentation to Revd George Loane, who retired at the end of June 2002 after serving in Glencairn and Woodvale for over 6 years. Photograph

Ordination of Connor deacons to the priesthood, Lisburn Cathedral, 16 June 2002. Photographs

Installation and Enthronement of Bishop Alan Harper, Bishop of Connor, in Lisburn Cathedral on 25th April 2002. Photographs of the event.

"Liturgical Farewell to Bishop James". The clergy of Connor Diocese bade a Liturgical Farewell to Bishop Moore on 8 November 2001 in Lisburn Cathedral. There were presentations afterwards to Bishop James from the clergy (a gift of stoles) and from the Cathedral (a gift of a glass table lamp), and a presentation to Mrs Moore from the Clergy Wives Fellowship (a gift of jewelry). Here are some photographs of the event.

Vist of Connor Diocese to Linkoping Diocese in Sweden, 22 to 26 October 2001
    Pictures (1)  Pictures (2)

Bishop James' last visit to St Andrew's on 2 September 2001 before his retirement in November 2001. Photographs

Images of Christmas 25th December 2000

Confirmation 29th October 2000

Images of Harvest 22nd October 2000