bears the following inscription:
"This window is a memorial of the bomb-blast of5th August 1981 and the
subsequent restoration of our church and halls. It is a tribute to our
neighbours in shops and offices and their will to overcome disaster. It is
an echo of the motto of this town: "EX IGNE RESURGAM" (I will arise from the
fire"). It is a witness to our faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.
In the centre is the orb of the earth, surrounded by the red of human
suffering, injury, sin and sorrow. But overcoming this are startling shafts
of light radiating outwards like a great cosmic explosion. This symbolises
the Resurrection of our Lord recapitulated in the spirit of the
congregation, town and province rising from the ashes of destruction.
Around it all are woven palm branches of victory and of peace.
Here and there small triangles of light may be seen as splinters of
flying glass or the tongues of fire of the Holy Spirit.
Almost all of this new window is constructed from fragments of the old
windows which could not otherwise be re-used.
It is our congregation's memorial of a past event. It is a proclamation
of our faith in the victory of righteousness, love and life itself over the
powers of darkness and of death."
Window devised and executed by
Mr. James Watson,
James Watson Stained Glass,
Falcon Road, Adelaide Industrial Estate, Belfast.
Three hundred years ago First Lisburn received its first minister; since
then fifteen others have been summoned to serve God and the congregation.
Each has made his contribution to our history to the best of his ability
in accordance with the circumstances of his time. To each and every one of
them we are grateful for the splendid heritage they have left for our
enjoyment; a heritage not only enshrined in our church as a building but
one of a faith which has proudly shone throughout those years. First Lisburn
in its long, chequered history has undergone periods of turbulence and
peace, sorrow and joy, trauma and tranquility and has survived, indeed been
strengthened, by all the various facets of its lifetime.
To all those who have in any way contributed to this history we of the
present congregation are most grateful; for that which they have left is the
base upon which we and our successors can build an even stronger Church.
I have no doubt that under our present minister, The Rev. R. J. Gordon
Gray, B.A., B.D., D.Min. (Prin.) the congregation will, inspired by his
faith, guided by his wisdom and led by his example of devotion and care,
raise First Lisburn to even greater heights than have been achieved before.
My work in compiling this brief up-dating of our history has ended. In
the years ahead, when our future becomes the past, others will take up the
pen to continue the record of our church. May the years of which they write
be more peaceful than those we have recently lived through and may they be
able to record progress towards a community living in harmony with each
other and of a strengthening of the bonds of Christian fellowship between
There is a challenge to the present congregation to work towards this
end, using the historic mark of this Tercentenary as a springboard for all
that has to be done in the years ahead. We must ensure that when our time is
examined it will be seen that the congregations of the 1980"s and beyond
were not found wanting.
The study of history however helps us discern a higher hand and a wiser
mind than our own at work in the affairs of Church and world. Therefore,
while we pay tribute to the members and leaders whose steadfastness in past
centuries and in our own time have maintained the work and witness of this
old congregation, we recognise with gratitude the grace of God forgiving the
Church's errors, the love of Christ sustaining the Church's life and the
power of the Holy Spirit renewing the Church's vision in every era.
For the future there are plans for major reconstruction of the church
halls to enable them to be used by all organisations; primarily those
connected with the church but open to all. Our planned Christian Education
programme from Sunday School through to the various Youth Organisations; our
work for Overseas Missions, our programme of Outreach to spread the gospel
far afield will require more than a beautiful church and an historic past.
The passion and fervour of the congregation for this work will be fully
utilised and as it is expended for each task, so, with God's help, it will
be renewed again and again - Ardens Sed Virens.
Items from the work of and articles by the late Mr. Ivan Craig have been
used throughout this volume. Those connected with its production are most
grateful to Mrs. Isobel Craig for so readily allowing us full use of Ivan's
work. The results of his many years of research have proved to be most
valuable to us.
I am personally grateful to all those who have been contributors to the
text and particularly so to Dr. Gray for producing such excellent
photographs of our windows.
Behind the scenes there have been numerous helpers, researching
information, remembering details and providing facts for inclusion in the
text. May I ask them collectively to accept my thanks for there are too many
to name individually. The Clerk of Session, Mr. Norman White, members of
Session and Committee deserve special mention, firstly for giving their
initial approval to this project but, more importantly to me, for their
faith in me and for their continued encouragement throughout.
It has been particularly pleasing that those in the commercial world
connected with the design and production have shown such a keen interest in
their work; an interest far beyond that which one could normally expect. To
Johnston Yarr and Sam McCrossan of Allprint Graphics, to Jim Morgan and Kurt
Coleman of The Ideal Setting and The Ideal Design I extend the thanks of the
congregation of First Lisburn.
I extend those thanks also to Mr. Keys (Ulster Bank, Lisburn), Mr.
Gumming (Allied Irish Bank, Lisburn), Mr. Peel (T.S.B., Lisburn, Mr. Smyth
(Northern Bank), Mr. Walter Williams (Lisburn Borough Arts Advisory Council)
and Mr. David McAlpine (J. D. Martin & Company) for the financial support
which has enabled us to market this book at a price within everyone's reach.
This has truly been a First Lisburn production and I am deeply honoured
to have had the privilege of being so closely associated with the entire
"To God be the Glory"