Through Changing Scenes

The Very Reverend Howard Cromie,
BA, B. D., M. A., D. D.,

Recollections of Life And Ministry in the 20th Century


Dedicated to 
My Grandchildren 
Neil & Jennifer Cromie, 
Rebecca & Samuel Cromie,
 Richard, Andrew, Stuart & Mark Robinson

`Life is real, Life is earnest 
And the grave is not its goal. 
Dust thou art, to dust returnest 
Was not spoken of the soul'.

W. H. Longfellow 
1807 -1882



Copyright � 1999 by Howard Cromie ISBN 0-9515637-6-9

Published by Burning Bush Publications 
134, Ballynahinch Road Lisburn, Cc Antrim B727 5HB




Over the years there have been many questions l would love to have asked my parents about their early life etc. but I left it too late, they were dead and the opportunity was gone. So when my wife and some of my family urged me to write an account of my own experiences throughout my life I finally agreed. ! hope this attempt, however fragmented, will eventually prove to be of some interest to my children and grandchildren and perhaps to a Wider circle.

I am most grateful to Kathleen, my wife, for her patience and encouragement as well as for her many helpful suggestions in the writing and in the proofreading.

I owe a deep debt Of gratitude to Mrs. Aline Hanna, who graciously offered to type the manuscript, and in so doing exercised much patience and care in deciphering my writing which must have appeared illegible at times!

I am also deeply indebted to the Rev David Temple and his secretary Mrs. Mandy Higgins in the Irish Mission office, for their help in preparing the material for printing

As wed I am grateful to the Rev Dr Gordon Gray and his wile Margaret for their suggestion of a title for the book.

My thanks am due also the Rev Andrew McComb for his reading of the manuscript and for his helpful suggestions.

'There are many aspects of life and incidents from the past, which I have omitted, mainly through lack of space but I hope I have included sufficient to give a reasonably accurate pen picture of my experience of life and ministry in the 20th century.

Life is full of challenge and thankful I am to God 'from whom all blessings flow'.

Deo Gloria

The Very Reverend Howard Cromie, BA, B. D., M. A., D. D.,
17 Marguerite Park 
Co Down


I have always appreciated Nahum Tate's hymn:

"Through all the changing scenes of life, 
in trouble and in joy, 
The praises of my God shall still 
My heart and tongue employ.

Fear Him, ye saints, and you shall then 
Have nothing else to fear; 
Make you His service your delight. 
Your wants shall be His care. "

These words are most expressive for they remind us how. through all the ups and downs of life, 'in trouble and in joy' the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ remains the ever faithful One whose love will never let us go, never let us fall and never let us down.

The same is true when we think of all the changing scenes in the life of our community. from scenes of peace time to scenes of conflict, from scenes of prosperity to scenes of hardship. It is true also when we think of the changing scenes in the life of the Church. When we see the old order changing, giving place to the new, we must remind ourselves, that, in the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson. `God fulfils Himself in many ways.'

This is the conviction that has sustained me looking back across the years and that gives me hope as I look to the future and 'the land that is fairer than day.'

'Through Changing Scenes' the unchanging God remains `ever faithful, ever sure.'