Ecclesia De Drum

By Matthew Neill



1918 - 1982

The Revd. Charles Campbell Manning, M.C., M.A.
(1918 - 1920)

Revd. C.C. Manning's ministry of sixteen months is the shortest in our recorded history. Having served in Holywood as a Curate from 1900 until 1903, it is probable that when the Parish became vacant he looked forward to returning as Rector, where indeed he was incumbent for the remainder of his ministry.

Charles Campbell Manning was born in Dublin, the son of Michael James Manning. He obtained his B.A. degree in Trinity College, Dublin in 1896 and his M.A. in 1901. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1897 in Down.

Curate in Carrickfergus from 1896 - 1900, curate in Holywood from 1900 - 1903, he became Rector of Muckamore from 1903 - 1911, then Rector of Comber from 1911 - 1918. During the Great War years 1914 - 1918, he served as temporary chaplain to the forces. In 1917 he was mentioned in despatches and was awarded the Military Cross in 1918. Just as the Armistice was about to be signed he became Rector of Drumbeg. Nominated on 9th August 1918, he was instituted on 8th November 1918. His first big occasion was the Confirmation on 4th May 1919 when 21 boys and 28 girls were confirmed by the Right Revd. Charles F. D'Arcy, Bishop of Down. He was assisted by the Curate, the Revd. H. E. Gick, in presenting these 49 young people to the Bishop.

An interesting minute of the Select Vestry meeting held on 27 January 1919 refers to the Dunmurry Committee investigating the possibility of purchasing the tower and spire of the Mariner's Church in Belfast for erecting at St Colman's, Dunmurry. Presumably these were for sale at this time. No further reference is made to the transaction and St Colman's Church tower was erected as a War Memorial.

The curacies of Charles Manning at Carrickfergus and at Holywood were both of significance in that at Carrickfergus he met Dilliana Mary Violet, the daughter of George Chamberlain, Rector of Carrickfergus, and she became his wife on 3rd July 1901, and of course, after he left Drumbeg he became Rector of Holywood. Although he moved from Drumbeg early in 1920 he was not quite finished with the Parish. At the Harvest Thanksgiving in Drumbeg on 26th September 1920, the preacher was the Revd. C.C. Manning, and at the dedication of the War Memorial in St Colman's Church, Dunmurry he was invited to perform the ceremony. The press report of the occasion contains this information:

There was an overflow congregation, the pulpit was covered with a large Union Jack, the War Memorial was decorated by Mr & Mrs George MacRory, Dunmurry House and guarded by Sergeants Wright and Presse of the C.L.B. company. Following the unveiling by the Revd. Manning, the buglers of the C.L.B. company sounded the `Last Post' and half of the Reveille, and a verse of the National Anthem was sung. The Revd. Manning's text was from the book of Esther, chapter 1 verse 12. Stainer's anthem was rendered with much feeling and tenderness and the entire service reflected credit on the choir and on Mr R. Marlowe, B.A. who presided at the organ.

Mr Manning preached his farewell sermon at Morning Prayer on Sunday 21st March 1920. Due to heavy snowfall, only 126 were present that Sunday morning. Later he became Prebendary of Dunsford (19221927), Precentor of Down (1927-1930) and Archdeacon of Down in 1930. He died on 22nd October 1954 and is buried in Drumbo Parish churchyard.


Archdeacon Samuel Hemphill (1920 - 1927)

Archdeacon Samuel Hemphill (1920 - 1927)

Born on 5th July 1859, the eldest son of Robert Hemphill of Springhill, Killanaule, Co Tipperary and Annette Sarah, daughter of Samuel Alleyne Rothwell, of Newtown, Co Meath, Samuel Hemphill, was a scholar of Trinity College, Dublin in 1881, obtained his B.A. in 1882, Biblical Greek Prize (2nd) and Archbishop Kings Divinity Prize (1st) 1884, B.D. 1886, D.D. 1892, Doctor of Literature 1900, M.R.I.A. 1893, ordained Deacon in 1883 and Priest in Dublin in 1885.

He was curate of Holy Trinity Church, Rathmines from 1883 - 1888. Professor of Biblical Greek in T.C.D. from 1888 - 1898. He became Rector of Aughaval or Westport from 1888 - 1892 and was Chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1891 and again from 1918 - 1920. Select Preacher of Trinity College, Dublin in 1891, 1892 and 1899, he was Rector of Birr from 1892 - 1914, Canon of Rath in Killaloe Cathedral 1897 - 1914, Prebendary of Tipperkevin and Canon of St Patrick's Dublin 1909 - 1914, Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Killaloe from 1894 - 1915 and to the Archbishop of Dublin 1915 - 1920, and to the Bishop of Down 1923. From 1914 - 1918 he was Chaplain of the Magdalene Asylum in Dublin and Canon of Christ Church Cathedral. Dublin in 1919.

This godly scholar was instituted Rector of Drumbeg on 1st May 1920. became Treasurer of Down Cathedral from 1921 - 1923 and Archdeacon of Down on 5th December 1923. During his ministry over the years he had still found time to publish a number of treatises:

  1. My Neighbour. Plain Studies for my People, being discourses on the last six commandments. Published in Dublin by McGee in 1897.
  2. The Diatesseron of Tatian
  3. The Satires of Persius
  4. Immortality in Christ
  5. A History of the Revised Version of the New Testament.

This latter work was the subject of press notices in many leading newspapers and journals of the time, the general consensus of opinion best summed up perhaps by the concluding paragraph of the Dublin Daily Express review: 'Canon Hemphill's book is a vigorous, interesting and practical contribution to a subject of vast importance'.

On Saturday 1st May 1920, after the Service of Institution of the Revd. Canon Samuel Hemphill D.D., by the Right Revd. Charles T.P Greirson, Bishop of Down, the ladies of the Parish entertained the visiting clergy and parishioners to tea in the Parochial Hall. This was his first opportunity to meet and get to know his new flock. Further opportunity to enjoy a pleasant day in the company of the choir-master, Robert Gurd, and the members of the choir occurred on 23rd June, when the annual choir trip to the seaside took place. These outings were usually by train from York Road station to Portrush and were tremendously enjoyed by all. The photograph reproduced was probably a little later, about 1925, but the enjoyment was just the same.

Drumbeg Parish Choir at Portrush - c. 1923. Front Row: (l-r) Dolly Marks, Nell Colvin, Lottie McConnell, Isa Scott, Margaret Whiteside, Georgie McConnell, Edith Byers, Clara Whiteside. Seated in front - Sammy McCracken (organ blower). Middle row: Emily Neill, Mrs Scott, Sadie Dugan, Ethel Megahy, Lizzie Neill, Sarah Byers, Lena Wilson, Miss Martin, Harriett Gurd. Back row: Joe Gurd, Robert Gurd, Mr R. H. McGrath, John McComb, Frank Megahy, William Patterson, George Peake, Revd W.B. Jones, Mr Robert Gurd.
(George Peake went to Canada and was ordained there).

Visiting the flock as part of an incumbent's duties is also a way of getting to know people. Especially was this so when the new Rector had the war wounded (and often unemployed) to add to the list of those in need of spiritual comfort, as well as the bereaved. The account of the dedication of the War Memorial reminds us of the large number of bereaved families within the parish at this time.

At the Easter Vestry 1921, Canon Hemphill welcomed five ladies to the meeting. However, none was elected to the Select Vestry. It was to be another 60 years before women were elected. Confirmation on 4th July 1922 of 28 boys and 29 girls from Drumbeg, together with 6 boys and 16 girls from Drumbo, a total of 79, was performed by the Lord Bishop of Down, Charles T. P. Grierson with four other clergymen assisting Dr Hemphill in presenting the candidates.

On Monday evening 26th March 1923 at 8.00pm in church, a most enjoyable programme of music was given by the organist and choir with supporting items from soloists and violinist. The full programme is illustrated in 'Music in Church'.

From 17th June until 19th August 1923, services were held in the Parochial Hall while the church was renovated. At this time the roof was reslated, the interior sheeting of the roof renewed, and the chancel walls replastered. Messrs. Jefferson and Fullerton Ltd., carried out the work at a cost of �530. On Sunday 26th August the Rector has noted in the preacher's book: 'Back in church, thank God!'

On 5th December, Canon Hemphill was installed as Archdeacon of Down. It was about this time that on one of his frequent visits to the Charley Memorial School he wrote on the blackboard: 'From Drumbeg and Dunmurry, for children who hurry, with earnest endeavour, no error whatever, by hook or by crook, to master this book, the Archdeacon of Down will give half-a-crown'. Even though the book was Jeremiah, the prize was won by a girl who remembers it well at this time of writing.

The Duchess of Athol, M.P., Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education, paid a visit to the church on 14th January 1925. She was keenly interested in the tombs of the Hill Wilsons and James Haddock, her ancestors. Again in this year, 57 young people (29 boys and 28 girls) were presented for confirmation by the Archdeacon. The Lord Bishop of Down, the Right Revd. Charles T.P. Grierson performed the laying on of hands. Archdeacon Hemphill was assisted by four other clergymen in presenting the candidates.

The evening service on St Stephen's day 26th December 1926 took the form of readings from The Messiah' interspersed with carols. At the Watchnight service on 31st December, Archdeacon Hemphill chose for his text Psalm 16, verse 11 `Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore'.

Twelve days later, while preparing to receive the bride and groom for their wedding, he died in the chancel. It was 9.30am on the morning of 12th January 1927. The wedding between Rodney Malcolmson and Lily Woods went ahead after a short delay, while the curate took over. Such a sense of bereavement has hardly ever been felt by a whole community.

The Lord Bishop of Down, the Right Revd. Charles T.P. Grierson, speaking at the Funeral Service in Down Cathedral said that 'Eulogy would be the last thing he would like, yet there were things in his character he wished to mention, not in eulogy but merely that they might help themselves by learning from him. There was really no one quite like him. There was a uniqueness, depth of feeling, strength of character that was very remarkable and that endeared him to all of them and made them trust him.

To the people of Drumbeg these words rang true. They could add their own tribute in writing in pencil in the minutes of the Select Vestry meeting held later `one of God's whitest men'.

DEATH AT WEDDING - ARCHDEACON COLLAPSES AT ALTAR RAILS' was the heading of the article by the Morning Post correspondent.

The Archdeacon of Down, the Revd. Dr Hemphill, died in Drumbeg Parish Church this morning while waiting at the altar to officiate at a wedding, before the arrival of the bridal pair. He felt ill in the vestry, but persisted in performing his duties, and entered the church to await the arrival of the contracting parties. After leaving the vestry, he had a second seizure and collapsed at the altar rails. He died in a few minutes. The body was taken into the vestry and a Curate was sent for. The wedding party waited until his arrival and the bride, Miss Lily Woods was not informed of the tragedy. The bridegroom was Mr Rodney Malcolmson, the Irish Hockey International player.

The Select Vestry meeting on 21st January 1927 resolved that a letter be sent to Mrs Hemphill. 'We tender to you and the members of your family our heartfelt sympathy and deep regret in the sore loss which you have sustained by the death of Archdeacon Hemphill. His loss to the parish is irreparable, and those who were privileged to know him as their Rector will have abiding memories of a beloved Pastor and faithful steward of Jesus Christ, a sincere friend, a great scholar and a Christian gentleman'.

The Revd. Samuel Rentoul McGarvey, M.A.
(1927 - 1953)

The Revd. S.R. McGarvey was the son of James McGarvey of Virginia, Co Cavan, and his mother was Martha Jane, daughter of Hugh Harrison of Belfast. He obtained his B.A. degree in Trinity College, Dublin in 1905 and his M.A. in 1918.

His first curacy was at Carlingford from 1915 - 1919, then at Armagh from 1919 - 1920 and at St Thomas's, Belfast 1920 - 1927. On 19th April 1921 he had married Gertrude S., daughter of John Leslie Riggs of Armagh. They had one daughter.

The seven years on the Lisburn/Malone Road's Parish of St Thomas's were good preparation for the Parish of Drumbeg. He was a well liked curate and he had made many friends in this area. The Select Vestry had no hesitation in endorsing his selection for the Rectorship of Drumbeg. He was instituted on 20th April 1927 at 8.00pm by the Lord Bishop of Down, the Right Revd. C.T.P. Grierson, assisted by Dean Dowse. The church was full for the service and, as usual, afterwards the Parochial Hall was the venue for the tea made by the ladies of the parish.

On 12th December 1927, the Revd. Mr Quinn, delegate of the church extension committee, spoke at the Select Vestry meeting of the necessity of securing a site and obtaining a Curate for the Finaghy district. On 13th February 1928, the Rector informed the Select Vestry meeting that the Bishop had recommended that the Revd. F.J. Mitchell, Curate of St Mary's, should be Curate in charge of the Finaghy district. Though still under Drumbeg, he would be solely responsible for the district and, with the people of Finaghy, he would choose the site for the new church. The boundaries of Finaghy Parish were defined and approved by the Select Vestry of Drumbeg on 25th April 1929.

Mr McGarvey had not long to settle in before the parish had lost another piece of its territory, and had settled at last to the size which it is today. As always there are matters of repair and refurbishment to exercise the minds of the Rector and Select Vestry. The Lych gate is in bad repair. The dangerous corner at the Parochial Hall needs to be realigned, the lighting in church is unsatisfactory, grave-yard extension is sorely needed, and so on. Eventually all these are resolved inside the next decade. Meantime, on the spiritual front, a series of missions are held, taken by Church Army Captain Remes in 1930 and by the Revd. C.P. Storey in 1932.

On 30th November 1931 a deed of transfer of Miss Gardiner's field to Drumbeg Church for use as a burying ground was executed by Mr W.J. Ward, Residuary Legate for the late Miss Gardiner's property. Again, on 12th February 1933, the electric lighting was dedicated by the Ven. C.C. Manning, Archdeacon of Down.

The events of 1935 are still recalled by a few survivors from those days. To begin the year a great clean up of the church, following the redecoration, was satisfactorily accomplished. A Thanksgiving Service for the King's Jubilee celebration was held on 12th May. The international Girl Guides World Jamboree Camp took place at Wilmont. Guides from all over the world came to church. On the morning of 21st July the attendance was 263 and on 28th July there were 255 present, mostly girl guides.

The corner was realigned by the County Council at last after six years of negotiations. The graveyard extension was at last a reality also, and the Bishop, the Right Revd. J.F. McNeice had complimented the Rector on the excellent state of the church and churchyard, when he dedicated the new churchyard extension on Sunday 22nd December 1935, a bitterly cold day with a light snowfall covering the ground.

Mr McGarvey had the usual problems of church maintenance. The weather vane had to be taken down, repaired and replaced securely in March 1936, and again the chancel windows were leaking in 1937.

For many years the Conagher organ had been powered by hand. Tucked in a corner by the south side of the organ a wooden handle protruded. A wooden weight on a string rose and fell with the exertions of the blower, usually a sturdy boy or young man specially employed for the job at something like �5 per year. This vital link in the orderly progress of services was sometimes frail or inattentive with devastating results. Suddenly the instrument ran out of puff and the organist floundered, rapid adjustments to the stops being used to reduce the demand for air to a minimum, while at the same time a member of the choir hurried round to find out the cause of the trouble, too little effort or dozing off being the usual defections.

Now at last, just in time for the Harvest Thanksgiving service on Sunday 28th September 1937, the organ had an electric blower. No more unaccompanied hiatus for the choir; no more hassle for the organist. Yet, as so often happens when things seem to be going splendidly, great changes were just around the corner. After a lifetime of service as organist, Robert Gurd retired at the end of the year 1938.

Already the long shadows of impending war were clouding the future. The phoney peace was all too soon followed by the declaration of war with Germany on 3rd September 1939. Some parishioners still remember that fateful Sunday morning when the service was accompanied by a violent thunderstorm. It seemed as though the elements were echoing the gloom occasioned by the broadcast by Neville Chamberlain announcing the state of war with Germany.

The phoney war produced an air of complacency in both Government and populace. Even when the air raids had begun in England, some thousand people were evacuated from there to the safety of Northern Ireland. Some of these died in the Belfast Blitz. In March 1941 it was estimated that Belfast had only one half of the anti-aircraft cover approved for the city. Thus when the Luftwaffe turned its attention to Belfast it looked down upon a city that was well nigh defenceless.*

The first small raid on Belfast took place on the night of 7th - 8th April 1941. Six bombers flew above the city dropping flares, incendiaries and then high explosives. Twelve fires raged in the Ballymacarrett area and St Patrick's Church of Ireland was severely damaged. Thirteen people lost their lives in this raid, 81 were injured, 23 of them seriously.

See - Bombs On Belfast - The Blitz 1941. Introduction by Christopher D McGimpsey. Published by The Belfast Telegraph.

After three or four days clearing up, the pattern of life resumed as usual. Thousands of day trippers took the train to Bangor on Easter Monday; a representative football match was played on Easter Tuesday at Windsor Park between the I.F.A. and the Football Association of Ireland. The local team won by two goals to one. A single plane had flown over the city during the day, but no one paid much attention. The sirens sounded at 10.40pm on the evening of 15th April. By dawn on the 16th almost 900 people were dead and 1500 injured. Around 200 German bombers had cascaded their loads of incendiaries, high explosives, and the deadly land mines on an almost defenceless city. From the road between Drumbeg Corner and Ballyaughlis, just beyond Ballyowan House, the whole city appeared ablaze. By the lurid orange conflagration reflected from the sky it was possible to read the evening paper with ease. Few Drumbeg people went to bed until the last of the bombers left and then only with great sadness, a feeling of utter helplessness in the face of a catastrophe, never before experienced, or indeed imagined, and a horror of what the news from the city would be. The coming days confirmed the holocaust only too surely. Tales of heroism and miraculous escapes, were offset by details of the obliteration of whole streets. One of the results of the devastation was the number of unidentified bodies which had to be buried in communal graves. Protestants and Roman Catholics watched the convoys of lorries laden with coffins head out of the city up the Falls Road. Those identified as Protestants turned into the City Cemetery, those whose remains had been identified as Roman Catholic by religious medals or Rosary beads continued on to Milltown. For months to come thousands of people walked out of the city at dusk and slept in the countryside round about. Every house around the city took in refugees, relatives or friends. In Drumbeg every house was full. On 4th May another raid took place and again the north end of the city was an inferno. The fires were still raging, dead bodies were still lying in the streets and some of the injured were still trapped in the rubble of their homes when the sirens again warned of the second approach of enemy planes within 24 hours. Although only four or five planes were involved this time, there was a further loss of life and much damage. The total casualties in the May raids were estimated at 191 people killed, 186 seriously injured and a further 615 slightly injured. The April and May raids had claimed over a thousand lives. At least two thousand were injured.

The parochial hall became the centre of an unprecedented influx of refugees. Creating small areas of privacy on the floor of the hall, the shattered, bewildered, disorientated families, or residues of families, huddled together for days, hardly daring to venture out of their own areas. Gradually, however a remarkable spirit of sharing and caring developed, assisted by the unstinting efforts of the kindly folk of Drumbeg. Almost immediately gifts of clothing, footwear, toys for the children and, of course, food appeared as if from nowhere. The remembrance of those truly Christian days makes us sad that they did not continue after the emergency was over.

Gradually the homeless families were found other accommodation and the hall became the focus of the forces who were now stationed in Wilmont, Ballydrain and the Drum House. Army units were at the first two and W.A.A.F.s in Drum House. The American forces took over Ballydrain House later in the war and brought their own particular camaraderie with them, singing along the road to Ballyaughlis, with chewing gum and `Camel' cigarettes. All too soon to the beaches at Normandy. The impact of these developments was most keenly felt at those church services when upwards of a hundred Service men or women, would join in the singing of the well-known hymns. Especially was this true of the American forces. Drumbeg church choir had never heard the American National Anthem until it became necessary to learn it for the attendances of the Doughboys. We never got it quite right in the last three or four bars, but by playing it by ear we managed to keep abreast of the congregation. These services were underlaid by a strong sense of the impermanence of the times and had a poignancy all of their own.

The Parochial Hall reverted to parish use after an occupation of about three years by the Belfast Ropeworks, who used it as a head office until the end of the war.

It was around 1946 that the Y.P.C.A. was formed. The letters stand for Young People's Church Association, but in fact the membership was open to all over 14 years of age and up to a hundred, as we used to say. The main reason for the title was an annual grant from the State to assist the establishment of youth groups after the war. It was only something like �5 per annum, but it gave authenticity to the association in promoting contacts with other similar bodies. Our main strength was our bible classes, patterned on the pre-war men's bible class, taken by Mr McGarvey, which had at times attracted a membership of over a hundred men on Monday evenings, round the old black stove which warmed those nearest to it (in front) and perished those at the back! We were also able to field an excellent team in the churches Table Tennis League, moving from the lowest division to the top in six successive years. The Y.P.C.A. formed a focus for other social events: guest teas, sales, concerts and outings.

Towards the end of his ministry in Drumbeg, the Revd. Samuel McGarvey (Pat to his friends) found it more and more difficult to devote his flagging energies to taking the bible classes in his own inimitable way and without his genial guidance the Y.P.C.A. languished and finally expired in 1953, just as he retired early due to ill health. That was the year that the Revd. Horace Launcelot Uprichard, M.A. became Rector of Drumbeg.

The Revd. Horace Launcelot Uprichard, M.A.
(1953 - 1982)

The Revd. Horace Launcelot Uprichard, M.A.

The Revd H.L. Uprichard's coming to Drumbeg was almost accidental. After Mr McGarvey's retirement, a number of clergy took the services while the parish was vacant. According to Horace, he was asked to stand in for another clergyman at Morning Service one Sunday at short notice. Immediately after the service a number of Select Vestrymen met together and unanimously endorsed the enthusiastic opinion of Archie Willis, 'Yon's our man'. The nominators and Bishop had little difficulty in deciding who would fill the vacancy in Drumbeg! Horace Uprichard was instituted on 17th August 1953. Born in Portadown in 1917 he was educated at Portadown College before going up to Trinity College, Dublin. He had always shown great ability in sports, particularly Rugby Football, and he combined an excellent academic career with playing for T.C.D.'s first fifteen and representing Leinster at Inter-provincial level.

After graduation he was ordained in Kilmore Cathedral in 1942 and became Curate assistant for one year, before joining the Royal Air Force with the rank of Squadron Leader. He was Chaplain to the R.A.F. College at Cranwell and later went to France with the British Liberation Army. From there he moved to Java and to Japan, and served as Senior Chaplain. On completion of his R.A.F. service he was appointed by Bishop W.S. Kerr as Head of the Southern Church Mission, Ballymacarrett.

From his time as Chaplain to the R.A.F. he brought a fresh, concise clarity of diction, a brisk, eager cheerfulness and youthful zest for the things of God that were to remain the hallmark of his ministry for almost 30 years, and influence for good the lives of many people within and far beyond the boundaries of the parish. He possessed great ability in the effective use of both radio and television, whether as commentator on a Rugby match from Ravenhill or presenting the Epilogue on television, there was always a distinctive masterly touch. This expertise in the field of communication resulted in his being appointed Church of Ireland representative on the Board of Religious Advisors to Ulster Television; for 13 years he was also Chairman of that body.

In 1947 he married Helen Bellamy in St Margaret's, Westminster. They had three sons, John, David and Andrew.

One of the benefits arising from his television and radio contacts was the broadcast service on the Home Service of the B.B.C., at 7.45pm on Sunday 25th June 1961 from Drumbeg Parish Church. This was a great experience for all of us who took part. About 20 years later we also had the privilege of having an overseas broadcast on 21st February, 1982. Following this broadcast, Horace was delighted with the number of appreciative letters received from listeners overseas, to whom the sound of the Ulster accent had brought nostalgic memories of home.

On 31st July 1960, a memorial window in the porch was dedicated to the memory of Samuel Rentoul McGarvey by the Venerable George Quin, Archdeacon of Down.

On Whitsunday 1975, a new lectern bible was dedicated, presented by Mrs Margaret Neill.

Horace's ministry will be remembered as a time of expansion and renewal. The old rectory was really too large for a rector with a young family - too difficult to heat and maintain. After nearly five years of negotiations with the Diocesan Council, agreement was reached for the subdivision of the property; the sale of the old rectory and the provision of a new, modern, more compact house. The new Vestry was completed in 1958 and a further extension of the graveyard was made in 1966. For many years the triangle of ground embraced by the old wall of the Drum Garden and the churchyard wall had been a dumping ground for all the wastes from the churchyard, overgrown by elder bushes, thorns, thistles and nettles, it was an eyesore to anyone coming into the new extension by the steps from the old graveyard.

During the years 1974/75 two members of the Select Vestry undertook to clear the area and construct a memorial garden for the interment of cremated ashes. It was dedicated on 18th January 1976. A plaque on the wall records their work.

As, sadly, so often in our history, the Rectory at Drumbeg was to be plunged into mourning suddenly and unexpectedly when Horace's and Helen's middle son David was killed in a road accident in Germany, where he had been serving as a Flying Officer in the Royal Air Force. Known affectionately to the family as `Tid' he was very dear to them and his death dealt them a blow from which they never fully recovered. A small memorial window was dedicated by the Chaplain, R.A.F. Bruggen, in his memory on Sunday 29th June 1975.

Below this window a bronze plaque was dedicated just recently on Sunday 28th August 1994, the 20th Anniversary of David's death, in memory of Horace Launcelot Uprichard, Rector of Drumbeg from 1953 until his retirement in 1982. He died on 6th February 1994.

Our present Rector was instituted on Thursday 28th October 1982.



During the course of the year we have quite a number of visitors who, if they walk up from the road, invariably remark on the Lych Gate. It is a prominent landmark on the roadside. Built in 1878 by the generosity of Ellen Caldwell in memory of her brother John Ferguson Montgomery of Ballydrain, it is mostly of cut sandstone blocks, with heavy pitch pine timbers and steeply pitched shingled roof. The gates, originally of pitch pine also, are now made in mahogany, after demolition of the original by an erratic motorist. Giving a cursory inspection to the Yew arches which were planted in 1888 by Thomas Montgomery, and they are kept in shape by annual clipping, the visitor enters the front porch, where a large marble tablet set into the wall leaves no doubt about the building:

'Drumbeg Parish Church. Built in 1798. The Spire was blown down in 1831. The present Spire was built at the expense of John Charley of Finaghy in 1833. and the present Church was built in 1870. the Tower and Spire being preserved'.

After consideration of this concise summary of history, the visitor may well look around the porch itself and upwards to a tablet inscribed 'Wm. Stewart Esq. of Wilmont. Obit 19th March 1808, age at 25. Erected by his sons John and Thomas Alexander Stewart'.

The eye is again drawn upwards to the Stewart Coat of Arms: A fess chequey, overall a band engraved. Crest: A pelican in her piety feeding three young. Motto: Virescit Vulnere Virtus (translated 'Her Virtue Flourishes by her Wound'). To the left on the wall is a keystone shaped block of sandstone let into the wall with the inscription 'A Free Howse 1675'. The stone was in the possession of Mrs Dooner of Portballintrae who gave it to the Revd. H.L. Uprichard to be placed in the church. Beside it is a framed typescript of the legend 'A Free Howse'. The story is preserved for us in 'Fragments that Remain' by Alex Wilson, and here it is:

A Free Howse

`About the year 1640, Miss Anna Wilson, daughter of the Laird of Crogline, near Dumfries in Scotland, came on a visit to relatives in Ireland attended by a trusty servant. She landed at Donaghadee and on her way to Dublin reached the small 'Bell Inn' at Drumbeg, intending to pass the night there. But not finding accommodation, the landlady proposed that she should go to a Mr Stewart's of Ballydrain (whom she knew to be absent at the time) and that she should apply to his housekeeper who would put her up for the night. They proceeded accordingly and were met with every kindness. But in the middle of the night the young man (John Stewart) of the house unexpectedly returned, and on being told of what had happened, desired to see the young lady even though she was asleep. This one vision was enough to determine him to follow her to Dublin, which he did, and soon brought her home as his wife to Ballydrain.

When the couple were well on in years they had a little house built by the entrance to Ballydrain on the road which was already becoming the highway (later the Coach Road) from Belfast to Dublin. Here accommodation was provided free of charge to belated travellers, and a big block of sandstone was placed above the door. Evidently this was to be a permanent memorial to John and Anna's romance'.

The free house continued to serve its purpose until the beginning of the 19th Century by which time it had become dilapidated. When it was pulled down, the 'Free Howse' stone was preserved until it came into our possession as recorded above.

The history of the Stewarts of Ballydrain is partly recorded on the tombstones against the wall of the new vestry. There are two similar accounts of the Wilson and Stewart histories. The first and oldest stone reads 'Here lyeth the body of Anna Wilson, daughter of John Wilson Laird of Crogline, wife to John Stewart of Ballydrain, who departed this life 26th December 1682, aged 63 years'. This stone bears one of the oldest dates to be found in our churchyard and it is well worth a closer inspection for the narrative it contains.

The south wall of the porch is taken up by a window now filled with a stained glass representation of St Patrick, by Caldermac of Belfast, in memory of the late Samuel Rentoul McGarvey, M.A., Rector of Drumbeg 1927-1953. Beside it is a marble tablet on the wall 'To the memory of Thomas Walker, A.M., who died at Buxton, 6th August 1874 aged 66 years'. He rests in the adjacent vault of his son-in-law Thomas Montgomery. His epitaph reads 'He was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost and of Faith'. He was Rector of Tamlaght-o-Crilly, Diocese of Derry and a former Rector of Drumbeg. A bronze tablet is just beside the 'Free Howse' stone recording the gift of the peal of bells by Mr & Mrs A Willis of Ballyfinaghy. There are eight bells on a carillon operated from the floor above. Quite invisible to nearly everyone except those who take the trouble to climb the steep ladders leading up to the bell chamber, these bells are used also to ring out a peal for the bride as she appears on the steps after her wedding. When no-one is available to go up to the ringing chamber above, the old bell comes into its own. Now here is one of our oldest artefacts and well worth a 'note' in passing. With some difficulty, a rubbing was made and it is printed here W.P. Wightman made mee 1685'. It has a distinctive tone and brings memories of days gone by to those who were called to worship by its ringing many years ago. It was rung by Matthew Neill from 1908 -1936, by his son Alex from 1936 - 1969 and it is still rung by his grandson Matthew today! We toll it also to mark the passing of the faithful from our midst.

The old bell rubbing.

Between the entrance door to the church and the porch is a short passageway lighted by a small window, now filled with stained glass in memory of Brian David Uprichard who died in Germany on 28th August, 1974. He was the second son of the late Horace Uprichard, whose memorial tablet is now affixed below the window and reads 'The Reverend Horace Launcelot Uprichard, R.A.F. Chaplain 1944 - 1950, Rector of Drumbeg 1953 - 1982, died 6th February 1994 aged 76 years'.

In a moving ceremony, it was dedicated on 28th August 1994 by the Bishop of Down and Dromore, the Right Revd. Gordon McMullan, exactly twenty years after David died in Germany.

A glance back into the porch, as we prepare to enter the church, will bring to our notice two carved high-backed chairs which stand on either side of the back wall of the porch. These were given by Mr P. Brand about twenty years ago. The porch would seem very bare without them.

Now we enter the present church by the west end of the nave. Here one can see the cruciform shape of the building. The baptistry immediately facing the door was made in 1962 by the removal of three pews from the nave and by the provision of an oak-panelled enclosure for the font. It was the gift of the late Sir Brian and Lady Morton and the baptistry is a memorial to their son Brian, who died in 1960 aged 12 years. The font, which originally was situated just at the centre of the nave, is made of Caen stone and was presented to the church by Mary Charley in 1870.

Much of the detail of the construction and furniture is contained in the circulars printed to give notice of the Consecration of the Church, and the press account of the event. It would be tedious to repeat what has already been recorded in these, so we will have a look at what has not already been mentioned in detail.

As we stand at the west end entrance and look up the nave towards the Chancel, the rings of lamps called somewhere in the records 'Corunnas', are worth a word of explanation. Many visitors, and especially visiting clergy, approve of the design of the wrought iron which matches the ironwork of the Chancel railings. In fact they were made to match by the firm of Brawn & Downing Ltd, 69 Clement Street, Birmingham and installed for the dedication of the new church in 1870. They were made to the design of the architect, Sir Thomas Drew, and as such are an integral part of the 1870 church. However, but for the foresight of the Sexton, Alex Neill, they might have ended up on the scrap heap. The minutes of 22nd March 1933 tell us that the Sexton was instructed to dispose of the oil lamps at 7/6 each for the small ones and 15/= for the larger ones. The lamps went, but not the fittings.

At that time the old rings of lamps (oil lamps of course) were taken down and modern electric fittings were placed behind each of the roof trusses at the level of the wall plate. They were large reflectors about a foot in diameter, each holding a 250 watt lamp. The effect was dramatic. Whereas the old oil lamps (rarely all lit) burnt with an amber glow and sometimes smoked dreadfully, filling the church with fumes (which in the olden days was an acceptable smell, signifying a certain hallowedness peculiar to churches in general) the new lighting was brilliantly clear, free from atmospheric pollution and made it possible for those with impaired vision to read their books with ease. Many, but not all, rejoiced in the bright modernity with which the new lighting transformed the church interior. Some old fashioned stick-in-the-mud parishioners lamented the passing of the soft gentle radiance which had seemed to cast an ambience of holiness on the Services in the evenings, and some even dared to look up towards the panelled ceiling which had been such a beautiful feature of the building but was no longer visible beyond the brilliance of the new lighting. The effect of the reflectors was to create a truly well-lit church from the wall plates down, but the ceiling, with its rafters and panel board, was virtually eclipsed. Still one gets used to a thing after a while and new generations who knew not the old glory were none the wiser.

Every now and again when someone had an errand to the stables and noticed a heap of old iron covered with mouldy bags and an old tarpaulin, the question would arise of what could be done to get rid of the scrap and tidy the place up a bit. Alex Neill quietly steered the inquisitor onto another track and bided his time.

Thirty five years passed until Tom Boreland raised the question with James Allen, the Rector, Horace Uprichard, and a couple more about the possibility of restoring the old lamps. When they had been carted over to the Parochial Hall it was decided to get them cleaned and modified to hold electric lamps. The first centre ring was put up in 1968 and met with approval. So preparations were made to get them all 'converted' and restored. Unfortunately Alex Neill saw only the centre ring installed, but he had the satisfaction of knowing that they would all be done shortly. They were all up and electrified shortly after his death and just before Tom Boreland died in 1970. The electric fittings and shades that we have today came from Walter Allen & Co Ltd of Lisburn, who refused to accept any payment for them. James Allen (no relation of the firm) made the wooden blocks on which they are seated.

Now for an interesting corollary to this tale. Still remaining stored in the new Vestry cupboard were two small three-lamp holders and one four-lamp holder. Another fifteen years passed before our present Rector, Canon Cecil Cooper, decided to get something done about them and, although some of the fittings and hooks to suspend them on in each transept were missing, it was decided to get new ones made by the local blacksmith.

Now the question of getting 10 new lamps to match the others arose. Mr Robert Allen of Walter Allen & Co., Lisburn, remembered that the originals had been supplied by Sigal Bros. of London but he doubted if an exact match would be possible. We sent a drawing of the fittings and shades to Sigal Bros. and in due course received, in a telephone conversation with one of the directors, the information that the lamps had long since been withdrawn from their catalogue, because the makers in Italy were no longer supplying them, but they had managed to locate in the attic above their premises two five-branch chandeliers which had lamps identical to those we were seeking. When they were forwarded to us they were indeed the same: ten identical lamps, exactly enough for two three-lamp chandeliers in the transepts and four lamps for the one in the chancel. Now the lighting is restored to what it was over forty years before and the beautiful ceiling is visible for all to admire.

The pews are of pine, as installed in 1870, although actually two inches closer together than originally intended. This was done in 1888 when the pew rent idea referred to elsewhere was abandoned. The intention was to put an extra two pews into the nave on each side and at least one extra to match on each side of the transept, eight seats in all, at say, six persons to a seat, a total of nearly 50 extra people. However since then the creation of the new vestry entrance in the south transept, the provision of the organ console area and the rearrangement of the front three pews on either side together with those lost at the baptistry, has offset any gain originally intended. Without bringing in extra chairs or benches the church will seat about 260 persons.

Various tablets adorn the walls, erected over the years to commemorate parishioners or benefactors. The War Memorial is in the form of a marble tablet inscribed with the names of those who gave their lives in the First World War, with an additional plaque underneath containing the names of those who died in the 1939 -1945 war. It was dedicated on Sunday 12th September 1920 at Morning Prayer by the Revd. James Quinn, Chaplain to the forces and Rector of St Michael's, Shankill Road, Belfast, who served with the Royal Irish Rifles. The names of the men who gave their lives in the service of their King and Country are arranged alphabetically with their rank and Regiment. On two successive Sundays prior to the making of the tablet by Purdy & Millard Ltd, these names had been placed in the porch of the church so that all might have an opportunity to see them in case any had been overlooked.

In preparation for the unveiling ceremony on that Sunday, the pulpit was draped with a large Union Jack and the tablet was surrounded by floral decorations, this work being neatly executed by Mr R. Foster, gardener to Mr J.B. Morrison. The churchwarders, Adam Woods and W.R. Oakman, requested Mr Quinn to unveil the memorial. The Rector, the Revd. Dr. Hamphill, read the names of those who had given their lives, while the congregation stood in silence.

After the unveiling, Sergeant Larmour and Corporal Dobson of St Michael's C.L.B. Company, under the command of Captain W. Perry, sounded the Last Post and half of the Reveille and a verse of the National Anthem was sung. The music was a feature of the service and included Stainer's beautiful anthem 'What are these that are arrayed in white robes'. The organ accompaniment was effectively played by the organist, Mr Robert Gurd. There was a large congregation to pay tribute to the fallen.

Further along on this north wall of the nave is a brass tablet erected in memory of Major J.W. Charley who died at Colenso on 15th December 1899. Another tablet in the north transept also records the passing of a member of this family, Matthew Charley of Finaghy. In a separate article we have detailed some of the many benefactions made by the Charley family.

The south side of the nave has two tablets in memory of relatives of parishioners who are still very active in promoting the welfare of the Parish.

The first of these reads 'In memory of Henry Alan Wilson, 2nd Lieut. Royal Enniskilling Fusiliers, born 8th July 1921, killed in action in Burma 16th April 1942. Pro-Patria'. This tablet was dedicated at the same time as the chancel steps, etc in 1944 and is dealt with in the article on the chancel improvements.

The second tablet on this wall of the nave reads 'In memory of William Arthur Anderson, D.L., M.A., M.D., M�daille D'or des Epid�mes of Ballygowan House, Drumbeg. For 42 years surgeon at the Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, Belfast 1885 - 1956'.

The windows on this south side of the nave are now illuminated by concealed strip lighting which was installed in 1968 when the new Vestry was made, in the space between the tower and the south transept.

This vestry and robing room was constructed of the stones and window mullions of the old front gate lodge of Ballydrain House which was pulled down in 1966 when the present owners, Malone Golf Club, took over the estate. We were fortunate to secure these stones at a nominal cost. They are the same kind of granite and sandstone window surrounds as those in the church building and match it exactly, so that from the outside it is difficult to detect that an addition has been made.

Inside, with fluorescent lighting, oak wood-block floors, modern furniture, piano, and cloak-room, the contrast between the two vintages could not be greater.

This vestry, large enough to be used for choir practices, bible classes, or even making a cup of tea on special occasions, as well as being a fine reception room for visiting clergy, is actually the only additional construction to the 1870 cruciform church, but it is so well designed as to be an indispensable part of the church fabric today. When the last two surviving members of the Montgomery family expressed a wish to endow a suitable memorial to their grandparents, several ideas were discussed, including making a memorial garden of the field behind the wall which belongs to the church (formerly the garden of the Drum House). Happily, the provision of the New Vestry was agreed and endowed by the Crawford brothers. It was dedicated on 7th April 1968. The two stained glass windows in the Vestry showing the Arms of Down Diocese and the Arms of the Province of Armagh were given by Mr Stewart Mackie and were dedicated on the same day. The plaque above the door entering from the porch reads `This Vestry was endowed by Kenneth and Hugh Crawford as a memorial to the Montgomery family of Ballydrain, 7th April 1968'. At Vestry meetings when there are seventeen persons present the new Vestry is comfortably filled. How did visiting clergy fare in the old vestry which is less that a quarter of the size of the present one?

After the removal of the dividing wall in 1937 it was possible to hold meetings in this old vestry, but in very cramped conditions. Undoubtedly, before that, the vestry meetings were held in the south transept or in the Parochial Hall.

The chairs mentioned in the press report of the dedication are now one on each side of the chancel. They were the gift of Margaret Airth Coates for the 1870 rebuilding and are used by visiting clergy, one of them by the Bishop at Confirmation Services. Margaret Coates' home was at Rathmore near Dunmurry and a fuller account of the Coates family is given under the heading of `Rathmore'.

On the side facing the congregation, the chancel arch has the inscription 'O lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord', but on the chancel side of the arch, the inscription is in Latin 'Ne Quo Modo, Quam Aliis Predicarum Ipse Reprobus Fiam'. This is directed towards the clergy. It is the quotation from St Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter 9, Verse 27, taken from the Epistle for the Sunday called Septuagesima and translates `lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away'.

The present communion rails, the communion table, reredos, credence table, the Rector's prayer desk chair, the Connemara marble steps and the Wilson tablet were all dedicated in an impressive service held on Sunday 27th February 1944 at Morning Prayer by the Dean of Belfast, the Very Reverend W.S. Kerr. Due to wartime restrictions, the alterations had been authorised by the Ministry of Commerce and were carried out by the contractors Purdy & Millard Ltd, Belfast. An application for financial assistance was made to the `Beresford Fund' but whether this was approved is not recorded.

As we look at the chancel today it is difficult to comprehend the complete transformation that this work effected in the east end of the church.

The chancel had been a source of trouble to rectors and churchwardens for seventy years, due mainly to damp penetrating around the windows and seeping down the walls. This was very evident prior to 1924 when, during the re-slating of the building, opportunity was taken to remove the old wall-covering of ornamental blue paper which had a motif of gold embossed on it, mostly stars, which had been applied perhaps with the idea of concealing the damp patches, but to no avail. The old wall paper had become mouldy and discoloured, making the appearance worse and preventing the walls from breathing. After the renovation of 1924, the replastered walls had been coloured in a light grey paint, which in turn became dull and dingy.

The three steps leading up to the chancel were of grey stone slabs, which from time to time were given a coat of whitewash or whiting, bisected by the old grey-brown matting which had become filled with dust over the years, in spite of frequent brushings and shakings.

Behind the high metal screen hung with plum coloured curtains, the officiating clergyman was concealed, except when reading the lessons or administering communion within the plain wooden rails. The communion table was a low oblong bench covered with a plum coloured cloth more or less matching the rood screen curtains. In 1944 all this was swept away, even the old chair (now in the back vestry room) on which successive clergymen had been seated behind the prayer desk and, due to the generosity of parishioners, new furniture was installed. The beautifully ornamented oak communion table and the reredos on either side as well as the small credence table were the gifts of Mr & Mrs Scott, parents of the late N.M. Scott, who for twenty years from 1957 to 1976 was a churchwarden and greatly respected member of the Select Vestry. The brass plate on the side of the table reads: The gift of William and Anne Scott as a thank offering on the 50th Anniversary of their marriage, 13th March 1943'.

The communion rails in oak to match the table were given by Mrs Wilson of Deramore Park `In proud and loving memory of Henry Alan Wilson, the gift of his mother, 1944". On the same day, the Wilson memorial plaque on the south wall of the church was dedicated as well. A fuller description of the family connection with Drumbeg is given under The Sons of Drumbeg'. These gifts, together with the Connemara marble steps and the new prayer desk chair greatly enhanced the appearance of the chancel. With the removal of the top parts of the metalwork screen and the old dusty curtains and matting, the transformation was complete. The walls had been given a coat of cream paint which lightened the whole area and added to the impression of spaciousness which we now take for granted. Perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing of the gifts to the church, as a building, were dedicated on 12th June 1960; pew runners and kneelers to match and the sisal matting in the pews, nave and transepts. These greatly improve the look of the interior and add to the comfort of our parishioners. The pew runners and kneelers were given by Mrs Phebe Anderson and the sisal matting in the pews, nave and transepts was presented by Mr W. McLaughlin.

The more observant visitor may ask questions about the two freestanding benches on either side of the chancel steps. In fact they are coffin trestles, predating the present church in usage, and they were made of bog-oak. For centuries the only fuels available for heating and cooking were timber and turf. Since the poorer people had only occasional access to timber for logs, the main fuel was turf. Large areas of the Lagan Valley had rich deposits of peat bog whose existence may still be visualised in the level lands along the Lagan banks and on the plateau around Drumbo. Much of the turf used as fuel around Drumbeg came from the Drumbo bogs. It is therefore quite possible that the preserved stumps of ancient trees used to fashion these old trestles came from within the boundary of the Parish. If this is so then they are by a long way the oldest artefacts in the church. It is not possible to say when they were given, but the material from which they were made could be six thousand years old! We use them for flower stands at Harvest and on special occasions without a thought of their history.

In the text of the account of the consecration of the building in 1870, mention is made of the prayer desk as the gift of the architect but indeed there are now two identical desks. The second one, a copy of the original, was made in 1957-58. The brass plaque on the side is inscribed This desk was made by James Allen, a member of the Select Vestry 1958'. He was a craftsman in wood who made several other improvements to the interior of the church. Mention has already been made of the wooden discs on which the lamps were mounted, but his greatest contribution was probably the extension of the panelling below the windows and up to the communion railings, dedicated on 13th May 1962 by the Bishop, the Right Revd. Frederick Julian Mitchell, before the Confirmation Service. When the new communion table was given in 1944, the reredos behind the table extended only to the edge of the wall on either side. For 18 years we had been accustomed to the bare wall below the windows and on into the chancel. So it was a debatable point whether the extension of the panelling would destroy the visual impact of the sanctuary. Much thought was given to the project and James Allen made a plywood mock-up of the proposed work which satisfied everyone as to the effectiveness of the reredos extension. When it was completed, a new dimension was added to the appearance of the chancel when viewed from the nave. The new panelling seemed to give increased depth to the sanctuary.

In many other ways James Allen made a devout contribution to the welfare of Drumbeg as vestry man, in counting freewill offerings for many years, in repairing things that needed it, in building the kitchen extension to the Parochial Hall, in arranging collectors at evening services and in faithful attendance for a lifetime. He was baptised in Drumbeg and it is fitting that his skill lives after him and is recorded on one of his best works, the Rector's Prayer Desk.



The book of Common Prayer contains a form of consecrating of an Archbishop or Bishop, and an order for the Public Institution of a minister to a cure. It also contains the form and manner of making, ordaining and consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, and goes on to tell us that these Orders of Ministers in Christ's Church, from the Apostles' time, were evermore held in reverend estimation. Although we do not have deacons just now in Drumbeg, it seems appropriate to consider the careers of the three persons who presently hold the offices of our Primate, our Bishop, and our Rector.

Every day that goes by, we are made more and more aware of the wisdom of the choice of the Most Revd. Dr. R.H.A. Eames as Archbishop of Armagh and the Primate of all Ireland. At a time when, through the cessation of twenty-five years of conflict, the attention of the world's press, radio and television has been focused on Northern Ireland as it has never been before, it is vital that the quality of leadership presented to the media on our behalf should be of the highest. In the calm, reasonable yet authoritative portrayal of the church's concerns in the momentous events of these times, our Primate is surely proving the choice of the man for the times. We could not have had better.

A framed list of the succession of Bishops for the Diocese of Down and the Diocese of Dromore hangs in our new Vestry. The earliest date on the list of the Diocese of Down is 584 and on the Dromore list the year 974. Over all the centuries since then, the Church has had many outstanding Bishops leading their people faithfully. In that tradition we are indeed blessed that our present bishop, the Right Revd. Dr. Gordon McMullan, is not only a man of great charm and graciousness, but a gifted scholar whose roots are in the city and who shared the workplace before being ordained, thus bringing to his ministry that depth of understanding and humanity which are so evident in all his dealings with his Diocese: a kindly friend and father in God, a synopsis of whose career to date we are privileged to include in our recollections of the Parish of Drumbeg.

To conclude this trilogy, our present rector, Canon C.W.M. Cooper, has furnished us with a summary of his career before he was instituted to this parish. He, too, has had the experience of working in industry before being ordained, thus acquiring a fuller understanding of the problems of the laity, augmented as well by his wide experience over many years in the production and editing of the Church of Ireland Gazette.

August 14th, 1960

The Preacher's books of the parish span a period of 173 years and contain the signatures of the clergy who read the service or preached the sermon or, mostly, did both. What a wonderful collection of names it is! Bishops, Deans, Canons and many signatures of Clergy who would later fill these important offices in the service of the Church and of their Lord and Master. In recent years the number of lay-men taking the services has increased and our records contain the names of these as well.

On 14th August 1960, in the absence of the Rector, the Revd. Horace Uprichard, the evening service was taken by a young lawyer lay-reader. There were 41 people present at that Service and it is almost certain that every one of them was greatly impressed with the competent, confident manner of the young man whose warm humanity and deep faith were evident from beginning to end.

Afterwards, in the old vestry by the back door of the Church, the vestry-man who was seeing him out as he gathered up his Queen's scarf and his case with the letters R.H.A.E. on the lid, said to him, `It's a great pity! What the law will gain, the church will lose'.

Perhaps these few words uttered with absolute conviction were lodged in the sub-conscious mind of the young man so that when the call of Jesus Christ became irresistible, they would add a feather-weight to the balance in favour of the Sacred ministry. Neither of them could have been aware of the germinative consequences for the Church of Ireland, or indeed the Anglican Communion as a whole, that decision would promote.

Of course he had signed the preacher's book. His signature is on the fifth line from the top, and the photograph at his ordination as Deacon, together with five of his fellow ordinands is reproduced here.

Newly Ordained Clergy (left to right) Robin Eames (now our Primate), Hugh Patrick (Vicar in Yorkshire), Desmond Andrews (deceased, late Vicar of St Mary's Newry), Neill Steadman (Vicar of-Brampton Parish, Crumlin), William B. Neill (Archdeacon of Dromore), Joseph Cully (deceased, late of St John's Lurgan). Newly Ordained Clergy (left to right) Robin Eames (now our Primate), Hugh Patrick (Vicar in Yorkshire), Desmond Andrews (deceased, late Vicar of St Mary's Newry), Neill Steadman (Vicar of-Brampton Parish, Crumlin), William B. Neill (Archdeacon of Dromore), Joseph Cully (deceased, late of St John's Lurgan)

Do you know the young man who is first on the left of the picture? Yes of course, the young lawyer, lay-reader and ordinand in the picture is now the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, the Most Revd. R.H.A. Eames, LLB., Ph.D., LLD., D.Litt. We have followed his career with keen interest and some pride that our church provided one small stepping-stone on the way to that most eminent position which he has attained in the Church of Ireland.

A.C.I.S., B.Sc. (Econ.), Dip. Rel. Stud. (Cantab.),
M.Phil. (Peace Studies), Ph.D., Th.D.

The Right Revd. Dr. Gordon McMullan is the Church of Ireland Bishop of Down and Dromore within the world-wide Anglican Communion. It is a diocese which includes half of the city of Belfast, all of County Down and part of County Armagh. Prior to ordination, Bishop McMullan worked in the aircraft and manufacturing industry and later in the petroleum industry.

He was educated at Park Parade School, Belfast, Belfast Technical High School, Belfast College of Technology, Queen's University, Belfast, Ridley Hall, Cambridge, Trinity College, Dublin, Irish School of Ecumenics: A.C.I.S., 1957, B.Sc. (Econ.), 1961, G.O.E., 1962, Dip. Rel. Stud. (Cantab) 1978, M.Phil. (Peace Studies) 1990, Ph.D. (Irish Economic and Social History) 1971, Th.D. (Interaction of Doctrine, Politics and Economics in Experience of the Church of Ireland 18301880) 1987.

Prizeman 1957, Double Prizeman 1959, Double Prizeman 1960, Mercers' Company Exhibition 1961.

Curate of Ballymacarrett (Down) 1962-67. Central Adviser on Christian Stewardship to the Church of Ireland 1967-70. Curate of St. Columba, Knock (Down) 1970-71. Incumbent of St. Brendan, Sydenham (Down) 1971-76. Officiating Chaplain, Royal Air Force 197178. Incumbent of St. Columba, Knock (Down) 1976-80. Archdeacon of Down 1979-1980. Chairman of B.B.C. (N.I.) Religious Advisory Committee and member of nation-wide Central Religious Advisory Committee for six years.

Author of: A Cross and Beyond 1976
  We are called ... 1977
  Everyday Discipleship 1979
  Reflections on St. Mark's Gospel 1984 Growing Together in Prayer 1990
  Reflections on St. Luke's Gospel 1993/94

Elected Bishop of Clogher by Electoral College on 13th June, 1980. Consecrated in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh on 7th September, 1980. Enthroned in St. Macartan's Cathedral, Clogher on 10th September, 1980. Enthroned in St. Macartin's Cathedral, Enniskillen on 21st September, 1980. Elected Bishop of Down and Dromore by Electoral College on 7th March, 1986.

Enthroned in Dromore Cathedral on 27th May, 1986. Enthroned in Down Cathedral on 29th October, 1987.

Bishop McMullan is married to Kathleen. He is involved in various areas of cross-community work and building bridges of mutual understanding in a divided community.

Canon C.W.M. Cooper, M.A.

Canon C.W.M. Cooper, M.A.

Like at least three of his predecessors, Cecil William Marcus Cooper was born into a clerical environment; indeed he was the son of Canon and Mrs Mark Cooper of Timahoe Rectory, Co Leix, his father's first parish.

Educated at Campbell College, Belfast, he graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, in 1958, having spent five years in industry and a number of years teaching at St. Stephen's School, Dundrum, Dublin. He was ordained in 1959 for St Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork, and while in Cork he married Olive Perrott, who was a Captain in the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps and has since then been a great help to him in his ministry.

He moved to Kilkenny Cathedral when he was appointed Bishop's Vicar and Registrar of the United Diocese of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin, and then to Northern Ireland as Curate of Knockbreda Parish. Belfast where he remained until 1967 when he was instituted as Rector of Magheradroll Parish, Ballynahinch, where he ministered for fifteen years.

Following the retirement of the Revd. Horace Uprichard, due to ill health, the Revd. C.W.M. Cooper was appointed Rector of Drumbeg and instituted on Thursday 28th October 1982. His previous experience in Kilkenny as Registrar was recognised when he became Diocesan Registrar for Down and Dromore from 1981 until 1990. His talents for administration and public relations were also put to good use when he became Assistant Editor of the Church of Ireland Gazette in 1966, and Editor in 1982, a position he now holds with distinction. He was a member of the Communications Team which attended the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury in 1988. He was appointed Canon of Down Cathedral in 1986 and installed as Chancellor in 1991.

Canon Cooper came to Drumbeg when the period of violence and bloodshed euphemistically called 'the troubles' was already ten years old. During his thirteen years ministry to date he has steered the parish into the present period of peace. His cheerfulness, enthusiasm and dedication are reflected in the accomplishments of his ministry. In his first address to the Select Vestry he proposed to make only the most modest changes to the pattern of services, and then proceeded to introduce Parish Communion on the last Sunday in the month, to the surprise of many of the 167 parishioners at that service, who found themselves sharing in the Lord's Supper, some of them for the first time. That the experience was well worth while, is reflected in the very considerable increase in attendances at Holy Communion Services since that time.

Maintenance of the fabric of the church again was necessary when the weather-cock became unhinged from its mounting and caused cracks to appear in the first ten feet of the pinnacle. With typical enthusiasm, Canon Cooper 'inspired' a campaign which, inside three weeks, had raised the sum of twenty three thousand pounds, more than enough to pay off the contractors and leave a balance as the nucleus of a `Fabric Fund'.

On the spiritual side too we have benefited from his wise guidance. In this Decade of Evangelism we were joined by Archdeacon John Barton from Aston in the Diocese of Birmingham who, in November 1992, initiated a week of spiritual renewal, which is still motivating our worship. We look forward to the Flower Festival in September this year when Archdeacon Barton will preach at the two Harvest Services on this the 125th Anniversary of the consecration of the present church.

We wish Canon and Mrs Cooper many happy days in the Rectory at Drumbeg.