Centenary of first Presbyterian Churc

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Centenary of first Presbyterian Churc

Post by admi »

Copied from the Larne Gazette, at
http://www.ulsternet-ni.co.uk/larne/LAR ... CHURCH.htm

OUR coverage, recently, of events to celebrate the centenary of first
Presbyterian Church, Islandmagee, prompted a reader to delve in the
archives. We are indebted to Mrs. Mabel Ryan, of Greenisland, who
provided us with a cutting of a newspaper article which reported, in
detail, a ceremony to mark the laying of the foundation stone for the
new church at Kilcoan, over 100 years ago.
It reads as follows:
Much interest was manifested in the ceremony of laying the foundation
stones yesterday afternoon for the new church to be erected at Kilcoan
for the First Presbyterian congrgation, Islandmagee, of which Rev. David
Steen is the minister.
There was a large attendance of members of the congregation and
friends, and amoungst those present were Revs. Dr. John M Hamilton,
Dublin (Moderator of the General Assembly); Dr. R J Lynd, WM
McKean, David H. Hanson, S.D Clarke, Ewing Gilfillan, W.G Lundie,
Alexander Outhbert, John Lyle Donaghy. D.B Knox, Thos R Bartley; David
Steen. J.T. Docherty; Robert N. Carson, Robert McFerran, Davis Bell,
John Donaldson, Dixon Donaldson, John Park, James Arthurs, Robert
Campbell, David White, Henry White, Robert Orr, George
Jackson, Samuel Duff, Robert Auld, Wm. Mawhinney, Wm Rennie, Robert
Ferris, Matthew H.Hill, Robert McMann, James Hamilton, David Mann, Jacob
Irons, David Donnan, John Holmes, Edward Holmes, John
Dick, Hugh Dick, Wm.Kane and John Fullerton.
The ceremony was to have been performed by Mrs Hugh H. Smiley
(Drumalis )and Mrs. George McFerran (Drumnagreagh), but the latter lady
was prevented by indisposition from being present, and Mr.
George McFerran attended instead.
The new church will occupy the same site as the old one, which has
been completly removed by the contractor. As accommodation must be
provided for nearly 700 sittings at a moderate expenditure, a simple
treatment of late Gothic has been adopted.
The plan comprises a vestibule approached b y two doorways, with
splayed jambs and arched heads. On each side are placed staircases to
the galleries which are covered at the end next to the transepts.
The body of the church measures 70 feet by 50 feet, inclusive of the
transepts, which project six feet at each side. Buttresses are placed at
each angles of the wall and along the rear gable, where a basement is
placed containing spacious rooms for the minister and congregational
The front is designed with a central projection containing the main
doorways, above which is placed a large three-light window with mullions
and tracery flanked by single lights with cusped heads. A
neat belfry with casped aperture for bell forms the apex of gable. Each
of the transepts is pierced by three lofty windows. All the aisle
windows are single lights with cusped heads and splayed
sills. Th walling will be built of local stone, with Scotch sandstone
dressings where required. All the roof will be covered
with best Bangor blue slates, with red tile ridges. The internal
woodwork will be of pitch pine varnished and the pulpit
will have walnut mouldings.
A special feature will be made of ceiling, which is half open to the
ridge and resting on ornamental hammer beams.
All the windows will be filled with cathedral glass in geometric
patterns. Heating and ventalation will be specially
carried out on modern lines.
The contractor for the work is Mr Robert Calwell, and the architects
Messers, Young & Mackenzie, Belfast.
The Moderator ofj the General Assembly said that he felt it a great
honour to be permitted to preside on what he might describe as a
historic occasion.
That district, as they were all aware, they might regard as the cradle
of their Church. More than two centries and a half ago the banner of
the covenant was unfurled in that district and from that time until the
present the cause had continued by means of a long line of devoted
The work that had been done there and its success he thoughtthey might
regard as an evidence of GodÔÇÖs approval.
They had presiding over that congregation one who had continued the
work that had been done for ages, which had been committed unto him
asit had been committed untotheir fathers. He was the last in the line
of men who were devoted to the truth.
It was the true apostolic succession which they all believed in but
though he was the last in the line they believed he would not be by any
means the last of the line.

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