Big thank you from


Mr. Clarance CreganALWAYS smiling, happy and cheerful, and always praising the Lord - that was Lisburn evangelist Mr. Clarance Cregan who passed away on Sunday, 19 January aged 73.

A man of prayer, who cared for the spiritual welfare of his fellow man, pointing them to his Saviour - Clarance was a highly respected member both of the Local community and much further afield.

He was a friend to many; someone who encouraged and helped others along life's way. Those who knew him remember his dedicated and faithful service to the Lord throughout his life.

Clarance Scott Cregan was born on 20 September 1929, son of the late Thomas and Clara Cregan, who lived at the Antrim Road in Lisburn.

He was educated at Friends School. On leaving, he joined the family building firm of Thomas Cregan, Lisburn, where he served his time as a bricklayer.

He was 17 when he was saved, his spiritual birthplace being the Lisburn Christian Workers' Union Hall in Market Street. Conviction that he needed to accept the Lord Jesus into his life came under the ministry of Mr. William Millar, the first evangelist associated with the work of the Irish Alliance of Christian Workers Unions.

In 1952 Clarance left Lisburn to work in the South of Ireland - a bricklayer by day, and serving the Lord in various prayer groups and mission halls throughout the south.

A year later Clarance married Janetta (nee Hamilton) in Hillhall Presbyterian. They set up home in Dublin where the couple continued to serve the Lord together.

After 14 years they, along with their two daughters, Sharon and Gillian, moved back to Northern Ireland - first to Newry, then Finaghy and finally back to Lisburn where he was to spend the remainder of his life.

Clarance renewed his interest in Lisburn CWU his service for the Lord was much appreciated.

He was a capable leader, singer and piano accordion player and on many occasions provided the ministry for the whole meeting. He also held the role of Secretary of the hall from 1985-88.

In 1989 he felt the call of God to take up full-time Christian work and accepted the position of Evangelist with the Irish Alliance of Christian Workers Unions in Ireland.

His time. was taken up with ministry both north and south. This ranged from missions lasting a few weeks, to ministering in small house groups.

During the following years Clarance travelled many miles, often stopping on country roads to chat to farmers, travelling people and anyone who was willing to listen as he shared the Gospel.

Each summer he took part in the annual holiday convention of the Christian Workers Unions at Portrush in August. After the evening service in Portrush Presbyterian Church Clarance led the Open Air Meetings on the green across the way.

Here many gathered, attracted by the sound of Clarance playing his piano accordion and the happy singing of the well known hymns.

Clarance was a member of Finaghy Baptist where he held the office of Deacon, Church Secretary and Sunday School Superintendent for many years.

In more recent years he had, of necessity, to retire from his ministry as his health began to decline. After a short time of hospitalisation Clarance passed into the presence of his Saviour on Sunday, 19 January.

His funeral took place on Wednesday, 22 January. Following Interment, a service of Thanksgiving was held in Finaghy Baptist Church which was packed for the occasion.

Pastor A. Campbell, minister of the church, presided. Three of Clarance's favourite hymns were sung 'Thine be the Glory Risen Conquering Son', 'Great is Faithfulness' and 'When the Roll is Called Up '.

A special tribute was paid by Mr. John Baillie, a former colleague from his earlier years in the south of Ireland when Clarance served on the Board of Trustees, Drewstown House, Kells, County Meath (Originally an orphanage and now a Christian Centre for Camps and Youth Work).

John told how the life of his friend had influenced and challenged him, recalling how Clarance, with a graciousness characteristic of the manner he had with people, witnessed to him, sharing his faith.

A devoted husband, father and grandfather, his five grandchildren all participated in the Service of Thanksgiving sharing their personal memories of 'grampa', through music, singing and personal recollections of family life.

His grandson Peter's estimation in his own words of his beloved grandfather summed up very well the life of Clarance Cregan.

"If he said he was going to pray for you, you can be sure that he did. He was a man of God."

Clarance is survived by his wife Janetta, daughters Sharon and Gillian, also sons-in-law David and Eric and grandchildren Richard, Rebekah, James, Hannah and Peter.

Hundreds of tributes have been received and continue to arrive from various parts of the world to the family home.