Loughaghery Presbyterian Church




In 1808 Thomas Ferguson, Clintaugh left �30 to be invested, interest of which was to be used yearly, for the purchase of Bibles, Psalters and Catechisms for children of poor parents, which Session will think most deserving. Upwards of 100 children would be tested. Only a few got premiums, children under 15 once only.

 The Sunday School has met each Sunday morning before morning worship. Down the years it has been served by a loyal band of teachers. The Superintendents in living memory have been John McBride from Ballykeel Lougherne, Master McDonald, William Irvine from 1920's to 1951 and Miss Mary Reid from November 1951 to the present day.

A Sunday school fete on the Manse Lawn in 1930.
Back Row: Mary Patterson, May Irvine, Tommy Gourley, Rev. J. N. Moorhead, Dinah Patterson, Cissy Johnston, and William Irvine.

In past years a fete was held during July in the Manse lawn but for a long time this has been replaced by an outing to Newcastle.

A Children's Day Service is held annually in which the Sunday School Children take part. The offering at these services goes to defray expenses of prizes, bus for outing and other expenses.

A monthly offering is taken up for Missions.

For a number of years the Sunday School members have taken part in raising money annually for a Youth Project. In 1987 - 88 it is called 'Transformers".

For many years Dromore Presbytery had a set scheme of work and an examination held annually in November. Various prizes were given on results, and from time to time Loughaghery children won some of these. Three times the Gold Medal came to Loughaghery:

In 1936 Mary Scott - Now Mrs. Eddie.
In 1956 Helen Campbell - now Mrs. Gill, Yorkshire.
In 1960 Mervyn Eddie - now Dr. Eddie, Edinburgh.

During Rev. J.N. Moorhead's ministry the Sabbath School Society for Ireland gave a diploma for the repetition of the entire Shorter Catechism. Mr. Moorhead himself tested the candidates who were usually aged about 12 - 13.

A number of these diplomas were won from year to hear and must still be in the possession of the older members of the congregation. Another exercise in memory work in Mr. Moorhead's time was the learning and repeating of 119th Psalm.

In April 1970 the members took part in a sponsored walk in aid of the Hall Fund �236.14s was raised.
The following poem by the late Mr. Thomas Mitchell (a Sunday School Teacher) was composed about the event.

The Sunday School Walk

The morning was damp but our spirits were high
With a spring in our step and a flash in our eye
When all the goodbyes and farewells had been said
The Company stepped forward Captain Graham at their head
Turned left at the main road through Growell and Ballykeel
Our courage like fire and our muscle like steel.
Mr. Crooks our commander kept a faithful look out
In case a-brave warrior was forced to drop out
But we marched swiftly onward up hill and down brae
Our thoughts on the traget still many miles away.
And when we had covered about half way or more
We stopped for a break near a place called Dromore
This rest was enjoyed for the soup it was hot
Three cheers to Miss Reid and her helpers for that.
Then refreshments over and without fear of frown
We soon reached the outskirts of Hillsborough town,
As we surged round the bend at the top of the street
The guard at the castle was forced to retreat
But his Lordship stepped forward and raising his hat
Said I must pay respect to brave warriors like that
For with God as their watchword on them will depend
To guard our religion and laws to the end.
The town now behind we kept pushing on still
And soon reached the top of the Nursery Hill.
Here we mustered our forces for the final attack
No Surrender our password, and no turning back.
Advancing now forward longside the park wall
We reached Ballylintagh in no time at all
Here the first flush of victory our strength did renew
When the Ballycrune hills came into our view
We marched so determined though footsore and tired
Not a shot from the guns of Fortwilliam was fired.
Now the great walk was finished 15 miles in all
And all safely landed at Anahilt Hall.

A Hymn book and psalter was presented for use in the pulpit. In 1981 a wardrobe and other furnishings for the Minister's room was presented. It was made and beautifully polished by Mr. Tommy Campbell (a member of the con
gregation). Fred Young, a Sunday School member did a sponsored walk from the proceeds of which an Overhead Projector was purchased for use in the Sunday School.

In 1988 the staff is Mr. Bertie Graham, Mr. John Gourley, Misses Mary Reid, Olive Gourley, Barbara Graham, Elaine Wilson, Jill Blakely and Wendy Sherlock.

Mrs. McConaghy is leader of the Bible Class and Mr. Tommy Jess stamps the League of Loyalty Cards.

The following poem was written by Mr. John McBride, BallykeelLougherne, one of the Sunday School superintendents already mentioned. It speaks vividly of the affection in which our church at Loughaghery has been held by him and many others over the years.


There is a Church I love sincere,
Where beauty and wealth doth both appear;
And truth is ever taught quite clear -
It's that old Church, Loughaghery.

Let other Churches boast of style,
And follow fashions every while;
But all I want is just a smile
From thee thou dear Loughaghery.

Loughaghery, its very walls
More dear to me than sculptured halls;
Its very name my heart enthrals,
My own, my dear Loughaghery.

And when my race is nearly run,
And I have reached life's setting sun,
I'll breathe a wish, yes, only one -
To rest beside Loughaghery.

"A Plough Boy"


The Senior Girls Auxiliary commenced in 1947 during the ministry of Rev. Rankin. Mrs. Rankin was the first President and leader. The aim of the members was through personal allegience to Jesus Christ to serve the Church at home and overseas. The motto was "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" Phillipians ch. 4 v. 13.

The Zenana Mission Fund, and a Special Object and our own church was supported annually. The meetings were held from October to April in the Manse. The programme for each session was varied and included Bible Study, Woman's Work quiz, Missionary night, slides, Minister's talk, Handwork, Keep Fit and Record Night. A special effort was held each spring to raise money for funds.

The Junior and Intermediate G.A. was formed in 1951 to cater for younger members. The leaders over the years were Mrs. Jean Stewart, Mrs. Marie Gourley, Mrs. Hynds, Miss Mavis Kirk, Mrs. Beth Graham, Misses Mary Reid, Jennifer Moag, Marion Beatty, Yvonne Greer, Audrey Graham and Frances Bell. In 1951 a table was presented for the Minister's room and in 1960 a pulpit fall.

Both organisations continued during the ministry of Rev. Crooks until 1968. In 1968 the organisation closed down officially throughout our Church because of decrease in membership.

Loughaghery Junior & Intermediate G.A. Session 1962/63
Back Row: Anne Hunter, M. Kirk, D. Carlisle, Linda Beattie, Y. Greer, A. Graham. Middle Row: S. Rush, F. Bell, J. McCord, M. Beatty, A. Brown, J. Carlisle. Front Row: L. Beattie, R. Greer, 0. Gourley, F. McDowell, J. Duncan.

Senior G.A. 1. Scott, M. Reid, Mrs. Rankin, M. Scott; May McCord, F. Rainey, R. Campbell, Maureen McCord.



The Young Peoples' Guild was formed in 1943 during the ministry of Rev. David Creelman. Its aim was the social, educational and spiritual advancement of its members. The meetings were held fortnightly in the Session House. At one time the membership was as high as eighty-eight.

The programme consisted of debates, lectures, slides, quizzes and variety nights. Social evenings were held in Anahilt Orange Hall to which members of neighbouring guilds were invited.

In 1952 The Young Peoples' Guild and the Girls' Auxiliary presented a gift to the Church of Individual Communion Cups.
The last available record of stated meetings was March 1968.


A formation meeting of the Women's Association for Foreign Missions (W.M.A.) was held in The Session House on 28th October 1956, with twenty-four women present, although the membership for the first year rose to thirty-five.

The organisation is now called the Presbyterian Women's Association (P.W.A.) This change in name came about in 1971.

At that meeting Mrs. Rankin was in the chair and she introduced Miss Jean Stockman of Church House, who gave an enlightening address on Missionary Work and on running our meetings. It was decided then to hold our meetings on the last Monday of the month and this continued until 1975 when the meetings were changed to the third Tuesday.

Office-bearers for that first session were -
President, Mrs. Rankin, Vice-President, Miss M. Reid; Secretary, Mrs. Eddie; Treasurer, Miss M. Irvine; and in addition Mrs. R. M. Bell, Mrs. J. Johnston and Mrs. F. Scott formed the rest of the Committee.

Each member was given a Mission Box, the proceeds of which, along with the offering lifted at the annual service were the means of realising the necessary money for the first year or two. At the end of that first year Mission Boxes realised �20 and the Service �10. We still use the Mission Boxes into which we put 50p weekly and as well as the annual service we run the Sale.

The sale is for our own expenses and as well we give a donation out of it to Cancer Research leaving the proceeds of our Mission Boxes and the Service collection intact for Missions.

Last year Mission Boxes realised �533.20, Sale �371.20 and Service �93.97.

The first sale was held as far back as 1959, when we had a Cake sale in Lisburn. Every year since, there has been a sale in some form or other. In 1964 we tried a Jumble Sale in the markets in Lisburn. That was an education in itself. Jumble sales have to be held in the winter, after dark, as customers won't come in daylight. As Miss Reid and I arrived as advance guard the queue was forming and before the doors were opened it stretched right down Haslem's Lane.

Fortunately, some men came along with us as we couldn't have controlled the crowd. They kept banging the door, and when it was opened they literally burst in. I remember one man who bought his wife at least half -a-dozen pairs of shoes on various shapes, sizes and colours and all for two shillings. However, to get back to our beginnings, the programme for that first year consisted of Missionary games, a filmstrip of "'The Chirstmas Story - Kings and Shepherds; interspersed with Carols, a talk, 'Women of the Bible" by Mr. Rankin, which I remember clearly, Miss McAlery of the Women's Home Mission and an afternoon trip to Bangor in July.

As well as the annual service, for three years we held a Watchnight Service beginning at 11.30 p.m. in 1972, 1973 and 1974, with P.W.A. members forming the Choir. This was the inauguration of the Ladies Choir, which we still enjoy. For a short time the members did the opening Devotions in turn, but this wasn't very successful.

As I previously mentioned it was Mrs. Crooks who started the sale of Christmas Cards to help the Church in 1967. Over the years the following gifts have been donated from this Fund:- in 1971 The Curtains, which we made our selves, one hundred chairs and china for the Hall; help with the concreting of the car park, a wrought iron flower stand for the Church, and the carpeting of the entire church. The sum of �2,500 was given towards the cost of the New Choir Room in 1981.

Previously in 1962 the Baptismal Font was presented.

Since Mrs. Crooks left, Mrs. Gourley and Mrs. Graham have very efficiently looked after this project and continue to do so. During the vacancies after Mrs. Rankin and Mrs. Crooks left, Miss M. Reid stoically carried on as President.
Highlights of the last three years are the social evenings before Christmas to which we invite senior members of the Congregation. Between fifty and sixty come along each year.

P.W.A. at 21st Birthday Dinner, 1978.