|John shows a copy of the book to Councillor Ronnie Crawford (Lisburn Mayor) and the Rev Dr David Steers (Minister of Downpatrick, Balee and Clough Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Churches). Looking on are L to R: Rev Ian Gilpin (Minister of Moira Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church), Mrs Sandra Gilpin, Mrs Sue Steers, Rev Dr Bert Tosh (Senior Producer of Religious Programmes, BBC Northern Ireland) and Tom Whyte (Director of Music at First Lisburn Presbyterian Church).|
Mayor launches book on ‘Lisburn’s Churches’ at an evening of celebration marking the 400th anniversary of the founding of Lisburn.
Lisburn Mayor, Councillor Ronnie Crawford, launched a new book on Lisburn’s Churches in Railway Street Presbyterian Church on Friday 12th June at an evening of celebration marking the 400th anniversary of the founding of Lisburn. The book entitled ‘Lisburn’s Rich Church Heritage’ by local churches writer John Kelly gives a brief history of all 132 churches and places of worship in the Lisburn city area and contains about 720 photographs taken at events during six years of churches reporting for the local press and mainstream church magazines.
The Rev Brian Gibson (Minister of Railway Street Presbyterian Church) welcomed the large congregation and gave a special welcome to distinguished guests that included Lisburn Mayor, Councillor Ronnie Crawford, Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson MLA, The Rt Rev Stafford Carson (Presbyterian Moderator) and the Rev Donald Ker (Methodist President). The Rev Dr Bert Tosh (Senior Producer of Religious Programmes, BBC Northern Ireland), who compered the evening, added his great wealth of knowledge on the history of churches as he showed a powerpoint presentation giving a most interesting and informative overview of the book. A large choir comprising members of Lisburn city centre churches, conducted by Tom Whyte (Director of Music at First Lisburn Presbyterian Church) and accompanied by Mr Gordon Myers (Lisburn Cathedral) sang ‘Non Nobis Domine’ (Words by Rudyard Kipling, music by Roger Quilter) and ‘Come Holy Spirit’ by John W Peterson. The congregational hymns, words of which are used in the book, were ‘How lovely is Thy dwelling place’ and ‘Thine be the glory’. Dana Masters (USA) accompanied by Stephen McLoughlin, Principal of the Lisburn School of Music, sang ‘What a wonderful world’ and ‘The climb’. Noel McMaster of Bakerloo Junction concluded the evening as he sang his well-known chart topping song ‘My Lagan Softly Flowing’ and also his new song entitled ‘Lisburn Town’ which will be recorded in a few weeks time.
|The City of Lisburn Combined Choirs pictured with accompanist Gordon Myers (left) and conductor Tom Whyte (right).||Organist and Musical Director Louis McVeigh (second from right) and some members of St Patrick’s Church Choir pictured with Tom Whyte, Director of Music at First Lisburn Presbyterian Church (second from left) and Lisburn Mayor, Councillor Ronnie Crawford.|
Refreshments were served afterwards in the church hall. The book is currently on sale, cost £5, at Lisburn Museum Shop, Island Civic Centre, Faith Mission Book Shop and Smyth Pattersons. All proceeds from the sale of the book will be in aid of the Mayor’s charity, Diabetes UK.
In celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the founding of Lisburn, John hopes that the book will have succeeded in creating a valuable and permanent record of its churches and places of worship. He wishes to thank The Mayor, Councillor Ronnie Crawford and Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson MLA, for their support and encouragement during the compilation of the book and all who contributed articles, photographs and helped compile and proofread the manuscript in preparation for publication. He also wishes to express thanks to Lisburn City Council, Greens Food Fare, House of Vic-Ryn (Inspire Books and Café), McCalls of Lisburn, Oasis Travel and Smyth Patterson Ltd for sponsorship; Councillor William Leathem, Rev Paul Jamieson, Bishop Harold Miller, Church of God (Dunmurry), Lisburn Pentecostal Fellowship (Hulls Hill), First Lisburn GB Company, Lisburn District LOL No 6, Low Quarter LOL 187, Whitehill LOL 258 and Quilly LOL 442 for generous donations; and members of churches and organisations who pre-purchased copies of the book thereby helping him to raise the money needed for design and printing. Last but by no means least he wishes to thank the musicians, singers and speakers who took part in the ‘Evening of Celebration’, the audio/visual team, reception team, ladies who provided the delightful supper and all who helped in any way to make the launch such a successful and memorable historic occasion.
During the evening Dr Tosh reported that the publication of the book on Lisburn’s Churches marks John’s retirement as a religious correspondent, a voluntary work that for past six years had been a ‘labour of love’. His decision has been made due to ill health but John hopes that it does not mean the end of church reports in the local press and suggests that each church would appoint a ‘press officer/photographer’ thus ensuring that all churches and places of worship continue to get the weekly press coverage they deserve.
|Some sponsors and special guests pictured with people who took part in an ‘evening of celebration marking the 400th anniversary of the founding of Lisburn’. L to R (front row) Tom Whyte (Director of Music at First Lisburn Presbyterian Church), Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson MLA, The Rt Rev Stafford Carson (Presbyterian Moderator), Mrs Patricia Carson, John Kelly, Councillor Ronnie Crawford (Lisburn Mayor), Mrs Jean Crawford (Mayoress), The Rev Dr Bert Tosh (Senior Producer of Religious Programmes, BBC Northern Ireland) and Rev Brian Gibson (Minister of Railway Street Presbyterian Church). (back row) Councillor William Leathem, Councillor Jonathan Craig MLA, Noel McMaster (Bakerloo Junction), Gordon Myers (Lisburn Cathedral), Dana Masters (USA), Rev Donald Ker (Methodist President), Rev Winston Good (Seymour Street Methodist) and Mervyn McCall (McCalls of Lisburn).|
|Noel McMaster of Bakerloo Junction pictured singing his new song ‘Lisburn Town’.||John shows a copy of his book to Councillor Ronnie Crawford (Lisburn Mayor) and The Rt Rev Stafford Carson (Presbyterian Moderator). Looking on are L to R: Victor Hamilton (grandson of the late Very Rev Dr R W Hamilton), Rev Dr Bert Tosh (Senior Producer of Religious Programmes, BBC Northern Ireland) and Rev Brian Gibson (Minister of Railway Street Presbyterian Church).|
|John signs copies of his book for Lisburn Mayor Councillor Ronnie Crawford and Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson MLA in recognition of their help, support and encouragement during the compilation of the book.||At the book launch are L to R: George McLaughlin, Mervyn Kernaghan, Councillor Ronnie Crawford (Lisburn Mayor) and Tom Wilkinson.|
|Former Shorts employees Roy Hughes and John Kelly. John attributes much of interest in photography to Roy, a former Shorts photographer.||Posing for a family
photo at the book launch are L to R: Emma Kelly, John Kelly,
Gilbert and Vera Watson, Mary Kelly, Allen and
Marjorie Cushnie and George Kelly.
|Former rector of Drumcree, the Rev John Pickering (left) and Christ Church (Lisburn) Rector, the Rev Paul Dundas and his sons Joel and Curtis pictured at the book launch with John Kelly and Lisburn Mayor Councillor Ronnie Crawford.||John is pictured signing copies of his book for John Gillespie and Beth Harrison at a ‘book signing’ morning in the Lisburn Museum Book Shop on Saturday 13th June.|
|Young curly haired Curtis Dundas (right) whose instantly recognisable photo is featured on the front cover of the book is pictured with his brother Joel as he shows his signed copy of the book. Curtis and Joel are sons of the Rev Paul Dundas, Rector of Christ Church Parish, Lisburn.|