A Tale of Two Churches
Two Centuries of Methodism at Priesthill:
1786 — 1986


In the production of this book help has been sought from many quarters, and it is my wish to record thanks to all those who contributed so willingly in different ways and who, by their interest and encouragement, have made the task a pleasant one.

Tremendous help has been derived from Mrs. Marion Kelly, Archivist of the Wesley Historical Society, Irish Branch. Mrs. Kelly's guidance was highly valued, and her co-operation in arranging suitable times for visits to the W.H.S. premises was much appreciated.

I am indebted to Mr. William Fullerton, Camp Lodge, Blaris, who at the outset introduced me to the W.H.S. He himself has made a valuable contribution by imparting his knowledge of past events, and he has been very generous with time made available for these discussions.

To Mrs. Hazel McCready and Mrs. Norma Stafford my sincere thanks for sharing in the work of research and also in the joys of discovery.

The bicentenary sub-committee of the leaders' board has given support in various ways. Mr. Jack Collins merits a special word of thanks for researching some volumes of church minutes, and for obtaining photographs of former ministers. Mr. W. E. S. Fullerton also undertook some research, and Mr. Sydney McCready reproduced a copy of the map of early 19th century Lisburn. I appreciate all the help given.

Grateful thanks to Rev. David Mullan and the superintendent of the circuit, Rev. Dr. Hedley W. Plunkett, for providing encouragement when it was most needed, and also for the provision of some factual detail.

Rev. John Fee kindly supplied his research notes, and these proved helpful. Dr. Benjamin Megarry, Rev. William Cullen, and Rev. Robert Nelson also furnished useful background knowledge. I offer my thanks.

The Irvine family of Hillsborough have shown their interest in the project. Thanks to Mr. William Irvine and his son, Mr. Robin Irvine, for copies of Hart and the Chinese Customs by Stanley F. Wright, and to Mrs. Rhoda Noble for her helpful suggestions.

A visit to Lisburn Museum was always a pleasure. I am grateful to the Curator, Mr. Brian Mackey, and the Museum Assistant, Mrs. Lila Reid, for their kind and courteous attention, and for making documents available.

Thanks are due to Miss Eleanor Bell who obtained information from the archives of The Queen's University of Belfast; to Mr. David W. Riley, Methodist Archives, University Library of Manchester, who provided photocopies of books now out of print; to Mr. E. A. Rose of Hyde, Cheshire, who very kindly extracted names of former ministers from minutes of Methodist New Connexion Conferences, and also supplied information about Irish ministers; and to the staff at the W.H.S. Library, London, who gave valuable service by researching Methodist New Connexion publications.

Various friends have assisted by lending useful documents: sincere thanks to Mr. Griffith Black, Mr. William Lloyd-Lavery, and the society stewards of Broomhedge Methodist Church.

The permission of the Ordnance Survey Office at Belfast to reproduce part of a map dated 1835 has been granted, and this is greatly appreciated.

As a Church we should like to record thanks to former ministers or their families who have kindly forwarded photographs to be reproduced in our book. We should also like to thank Mr. Wilfred Green for his excellent photographs of the Church building and present leaders' board.

It is not possible to individually name everyone who aided in a variety of ways, but I am deeply grateful to all who did.

As always, Mr. Cyril Hinds has been extremely helpful to the cause at Priesthill. His advice and co-operation in the production of A Tale of Two Churches is much appreciated and I extend thanks.

Valuable assistance has been rendered by Mrs. Norma Stafford and Mr. George Orr, who have read the script and made useful suggestions and corrections, and I am deeply grateful to them.

Finally, I should like to express appreciation of the good faith in me which the people of Priesthill have evinced, by allowing me to undertake this task.

Isobel Law