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Your guide to what’s going
on in Waringstown

Feb ‘17 - May ‘17
20 17 Edition 5
- 2 APR
19 MAR - 2 Apr
19 Mar

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an initiative of
Welcome to 2017 and the

fifth edition of our Community
In this edition we highlight Mission 2017:
Explore Life, a huge focus for
Waringstown Presbyterian this coming
March. Along with that, Church Uncovered profiles what a Sunday
morning at WPC looks like from the perspective of a family with young
children. Hopefully you heard about the Community Pantomime (oh yes
you did!) that took place in the village in December. We caught up with
Alyson and Nicola, part of the production team of Waringstown
Community Players to get the low-down on the recent panto and what
lies ahead! At the start of a New Year, we are also encouraging exercise
locally by Getting Active, Getting Out There through
walking and an all new ‘Couch to 5k’! And finally, we
couldn’t let this edition pass without catching up with
local poet Andy Soye who was recently shortlisted for
the award of ‘Irish Poem of the Year’.
On the subject of Poetry, I am delighted to announce
that the Waringstown Poetry Competition was won by
Alan McCourt (see picture) for his poem ‘Scarecrow’.
We hope you enjoy your voucher for The Post House!
Please do consider entering the Where-ingstown
competition featured on page 16 of this edition. 
It has been encouraging to see
the top-floor meeting room of
CONNECT 61 (above Eden Coffee House) being
used by local groups such as Waringstown
Community Development Association. Should you
wish to enquire about the use of the facility, then
contact me using the details found on the back
THANKS for reading this edition of CONNECT.  I
hope you find it both useful and interesting! 

Neil Harrison, Community Pastor
Waringstown Presbyterian Church

2 Welcome
The Rev-view
I’m writing this at the start of 2017.   By the time
you read this, I almost guarantee you that you will
have broken all your new year’s resolutions. If
you’re still sticking to yours, well done.   There’s
something about a new year that prompts us to
want to make changes.   Sometimes change
happens without us planning it.
Towards the end of last year, a change
happened in my life.  You could say that I had a
conversion experience.   I became a Glenavon
supporter!  Growing up in Belfast, I followed Linfield when I was younger, but hadn’t
been to an Irish League game for years.   Then a friend invited me to Mourneview
one Saturday.   I agreed to go, but my expectations were low.   The truth is that I
loved it.  I couldn’t wait until the next time I would go and watch a game, but there
was no passion for Glenavon.   I didn’t know the names of the players and didn’t
even care that much about the result.  But as the weeks rolled on, not only did I get
to know who the players were, I got to know some of the supporters sitting around
me as well.   When my friend couldn’t make a game, I still wanted to go, and
headed to Mourneview by myself. Then one day when Glenavon scored a late
equaliser, I jumped out of my seat and shouted my head off.  I had changed!
The bible talks a lot about change.  In it we read about a man called Saul who was
changed by an encounter with Christ.  His whole life was turned upside down as he
realised his great need of God’s love and forgiveness.  Jesus describes this change
as being like born a second time. It is a new start that needs to happen. Without this
change we are lost from God and don’t live life the way he planned it to be - in
friendship with Him now and forever.
During March, our church will be having a
mission to help people think about this change
that the bible talks about.   In this edition
of  Connect  you can find all the details about
the events we will run.   If a friend invites you
along, why not come?   You never know, you
could end up a changed person!
Philip Thompson, Minister,
Waringstown Presbyterian Church


sees our church
engage in a focussed time of MISSION as
we seek to share the good news of Jesus
with our community. Taking place over 15
days beginning on 19th March, there will
be a wide range of events, programmes
and special services catering for all ages.

Billy Patterson will be our guest speaker for
the special services as well as many of the
events during the fortnight. You can read
more about Billy and his experience as a
Mission Worker in Ireland on page 5.

Explore Life is the theme of Mission 2017 as we invite people to discover
what Jesus meant when He said ‘I have come that they may have life, and
life to the full’ (John 10:10). Let me tell you about some of the highlights
taking place during the mission.

For those who are interested in the Big Questions of life, such as suffering,
life after death or other faiths, there will be an evening in The Planters on
Tue 21st March @ 8pm where Andrew Conway will seek to bring answers
from a Christian perspective.

An evening with two local personalities, David Blevins (Ireland
Correspondent for Sky News) and Daniel Wright (former professional
footballer turned golfer) will take place on Wed 22nd March @ 8pm. This
promises to be fascinating, as we hear anecdotes from their respective
careers along with an insight into how their faith shapes their life.

For children (p1-p7) we will have a Kids Club taking place from 20-24th
March from 6-7.30pm including songs, stories, crafts and games. On Sat
25th March from 3.30-10pm there will be a Youth Day (ages 11-17)
including activities such as Lasertag, Cage Football, BBQ, Live Music and
entertainment along with some life-stories and our guest speaker Mitch.

Our Special Services will run from 26th March - 2nd April at 7.30pm and
each will last around 45 minutes including music, life-stories and a message
from Billy Patterson followed by refreshments.

4 Church Life
It is our prayer and hope that you will
join with us as we Explore Life this
Spring and that you will encounter this
Jesus who promises ‘life to the full’.
Mission 2017
More publicity will be distributed in due EXPLORE LIFE
course, but should you have any EXPLORE LIFE
questions then please use the contact
details on page 16. 19 MAR - 2 APR
19 Mar - 2 Apr
Article by Neil Harrison

My name is
Billy Patterson
and I have been
a Christian for
almost 44 years. I
came to faith in
the Lord Jesus as
the result of an
open air meeting
in Lisburn where I
was living.

Ten years after my conversion I joined the
Irish Mission and served in Kilkenny for 20
years and then in Drogheda for 10 years.
In Kilkenny and Drogheda I worked
alongside Rev John Woodside.

Since retiring from the mission I live in
Banbridge with my wife Pat. I’m also
involved in outreach in Newry, doing
door-to-door visitation and a hotel Bible
study. I am also a very poor golfer, a fact
to which many will testify!

I’m looking forward to conducting the
mission in Waringstown.

Church Uncovered…
Have you ever wondered what goes on in Waringstown Presbyterian
Church on a Sunday morning? Ever wondered if you could be a part of it?
Peter Richardson, who moved to Waringstown over the summer, has
agreed to answer some questions to help us uncover what coming along
to WPC is really all about…
What was it like attending WPC for the first time?
Peter: We were given a warm welcome at the door and encouraged to sit
wherever we liked.   We enjoyed the worship songs and having the key
teaching points for the sermon on the screen was helpful.  Coming from a
small congregation in Fermanagh, WPC was certainly much bigger than
what we were used to! However, members were friendly and some took
time to chat with us after the service.
How long have you been going and how do you feel now?
Peter: We started going when we moved to Waringstown in July and six
months on we feel very settled and now know a few names of the many
faces that make up the WPC family.   There was a breakfast held for
newcomers and we appreciated the hospitality and the chance to chat
with people in a relaxed environment. Our children go along to some of
the youth activities and this had helped them to get to know others too.
Can you describe a normal Sunday?
Peter: Worship songs which mix the traditional and contemporary, times of
prayer when we can focus on the character of our wonderful God, seek
his forgiveness and bring to him the needs of our world and an opportunity
to hear teaching on a passage of the Bible.
Describe WPC in 5 words?
Peter: Welcoming, Informal, Christ centred,
What advice would you give to someone
who was thinking about going to WPC, or
any church, for the very first time?
Peter: Come along.....and for any church,
give it time.   While you can benefit very
quickly from what WPC or any church can
offer, it takes longer to build relationships
and find what your part in the church may
Peter, with wife Helen and sons
be. (L-R) Andrew, Daniel and Michael

6 Church Life
If you are thinking about coming along on a Sunday morning, may I
encourage you to just go for it. If you have children, and are worried they’ll
make noise…don’t be. The first part of our service is filled with lots of kids
and during the second part, children who attend nursery right up to P7,
can attend their own special programs, Pathfinders and Discoverers. We
have a creche facility where younger children can be looked after
throughout the whole service, or alternatively we have the ‘Forum’, a com-
fortable space where parents can sit with their kids and watch the service
through a video link. Tea, coffee and buns are served in between our two
services to give people a chance to chat and get to know one another. If
you’d like to see what happens, you can log onto our new
where you can watch a
video of a typical Sunday
morning in WPC. In Peter’s
words ‘come along…give it
time…find what your part in
the church may be’.

Article by Mark Hawthorne

Glo this year will
take place from 7
Monday Tuesday
11am-2pm (WPC Hall) 11am-5pm
Luncheon Club (Senior Citizens Lunch) 
 Church Office Open
Contact: Melvyn 07854 875170 Contact: Barbara 02838882654

6.30pm-7.45pm (WPC Hall) 10am-12pm (WPC Hall)
Rainbows (Girl Guiding for Ages 4-7) Retired Men’s Fellowship (Bowls & Coffee)
Contact Joanne: Contact: Melvyn 07854 875170
6.45-7.45pm (C of I Halls)
6.30pm-7.45pm (C of I Halls) Anchor Boys (BB for p2-p4, places limited)
Brownies ((Girl Guiding for Ages 7-10)
7-8.30pm (C of I Halls)
Contact Lynda: Junior Section (BB for p5-p7)
7.30-9.30pm (WPC Hall & C of I Halls)
8pm-9pm (WPC Hall)
Guides (Girl Guiding for Ages 10-14) Company & Senior Sections (BB for yr8+)
Contact: Lynn 07761 902767 Contact: Joe 07970 555303
8pm-9pm (WPC Hall) or ‘Waringstown BB’ Facebook Page
Senior Section (Girl Guiding Ages 14-26)
Contact Laura:
8-10pm (WPC Hall)
Banner Making
Contact: Barbara 07525 265665

Friday Saturday
7-9pm (WPC Hall) 8.15-11am (Polypipe Factory, Dromore Rd.)
Friday Fun Club (Youth Club for p5-p7’s) WPC Wheelers (Men’s Cycling Club)
Held fortnightly. Contact: Richard 07878 327196
Contact: Suzie 07706 797647 or

7-9pm (WPC Hall or Connect 61)
Fusion (Youth Fellowship for Ages 11-14)
Rotates venue depending on Fun Club
Contact: Mark 07903 614370

9-11pm (WPC Hall or Connect 61)
20:20 (Youth Fellowship for Ages 15-18)
Rotates venue each week
Contact: Mark 07903 614370

8 Weekly Diary
Wednesday Thursday
6.30pm-7.30pm (C of I Halls) 11am-5pm
Rainbows (Girl Guiding for Ages 4-7) Church Office Open
Contact Trena: Contact: Barbara 028 38 882654
or Judith: jp.hinds@btinternet,com
10.30am-12pm (WPC Hall)
6.30pm-7.45pm (C of I Halls) Little Lambs (Baby & Toddler group)
Brownies ((Girl Guiding for Ages 7-10) Contact: Ruth 07879 665308
Contact Zoe: Facebook: ‘Little Lambs Parent & Toddler Group’

7.45pm-9.15pm (C of I Halls) 7pm-10pm (WPC Church)
Guides (Girl Guiding for Ages 10-14) Music Practice (For Sunday worship)
Contact Jill: Contact: Sam 07976 369668
8-9.30pm (WPC Hall) 7.30-10pm (The Basement, Connect 61)
First Wednesday (Mid-week Bible study) The Basement Youth Centre
First Wednesday each month Youth centre for ages 11-18 offering a range of
8-9pm (WPC Hall) programmes and projects during the year.
Central Prayer Gathering Come along and see what you think!
Third Wednesday each month Contact: Neil 07745 534886

9.30-10.45am (WPC Church)
Morning Worship
10.45-11.30am (WPC Hall)
Coffee Time between services

11.30am-12.45pm (WPC Church)
Morning Worship
6.30-7.30pm (WPC Church)
Evening Worship


 Community through Drama!
In December 2016, we were delighted to present the first production of Waringstown
Community Players. WCP was created as a result of a community audit, conducted
by Waringstown Presbyterian Church in 2015, which recognised the need for more
opportunities to build a sense of community within the village. Neil Harrison,
Community Pastor, approached a group of people who had skills and experience in
creative arts, and as a production team, we agreed upon a script of ‘Jack and the
Beanstalk’, written by Ian Bennington.
A Pantomime was a natural choice for our first production as an accessible platform
to draw community support, in terms of participants and audience. Auditions were
held at the beginning of September and we were overwhelmed with the positive
response. From this date, a cast was agreed on and rehearsals commenced every
Monday evening in Waringstown Cricket Club initially, and then in Waringstown
Primary School. Sandra McCurdy, Musical Director and Karen McCluskey,
Choreographer led the cast with energetic singing
and dancing routines. Not only did we develop
our coordination skills but also friendships and a
rapport with all the cast! A cup of tea and often
birthday cake provided a welcome break before
we directed the cast in each of the scenes. The
experience and assistance of Paul and Roberta
Bennington (from Lambeg Players) were gratefully
received by the production team, especially with
costumes and props.
A production such as this would not be possible
without the expertise of a talented and hardworking team and members of the cast
should be recognised for their dedication and commitment, as much time was spent
learning lines and practising songs and routines. However never at the expense of
plenty of laughter and good fun! Throughout our time together we have seen
friendships formed and memories shared that otherwise would not have happened.
It was a great privilege to have been part of this production and the cast rose to the
multi-tasking challenge of singing, dancing and acting!
The months of hard work of rehearsals culminated
in one matinee and two evening performances
held in Waringstown Primary School. Special
thanks must go to Mr Carl McCambley and Mr
Sam McKittrick for being so accommodating,
allowing us to use the school for the practices
and productions and for all their assistance in
preparing the hall for the shows.

10 Community News
‘Love for Life’ was the chosen charity of Waringstown Community Players and
through ticket and refreshment sales we were delighted to donate proceeds to this
locally based charity.
Local businesses enjoyed their involvement in an ‘On Location’ video shown during
the performance and we are very grateful to them for their contribution.
The success of this production was a result of many hardworking teams of people, all
who agree that this was a rewarding and worthwhile experience. However, the spirit
of the WCP was confirmed through the successful building of community
relationships that will continue to grow and develop in the future.
At its heart, Waringstown Community Players seeks to build community through
drama. We have seen that happen amongst a diverse group of people of all ages
and backgrounds striving towards a common goal of singing, dancing and acting at
the same time. We hope that this is the first of many great productions by
Waringstown Community Players and maybe you’ll be brave enough to get involved
next time!
Article by Nicola Vaughan and Alyson Johns
On behalf of Love for Life NI, I wish to extend a huge THANK-YOU to Waringstown Community
Players for the money raised during the pantomime. Judith Cairns, CEO.

Getting active, getting out there

At the beginning of the new year we want to take this opportunity to encourage
everyone to get a little bit more active and enjoy the outdoors. Debbie Soye and
Kerry Geddis from Waringstown Walking Club (details on page 13) share their
favourite walks and Debbie Cairns invites us to join with Waringstown’s Couch to 5k!

My Favourite Walk – Debbie Soye
There are a number of beautiful walks to be enjoyed within our locality ranging from
forest parks and tow paths to coastal routes and mountain tracks. It is fair to say that
you don’t have to travel far to find somewhere to enjoy the great outdoors.
One of my favourite walks is Clare Glen (picture in background), just outside
Tandragee. Within the glen there are a number of trails, most of which run along the
banks of the river Cusher and which are set in an area of beautiful woodland. It
doesn’t seem to matter what time of year you visit – Clare Glen is charming, magical
and has that sense of being slightly other-worldly. In Autumn you are rewarded by
an amazing display of colours and a carpet of leaves underfoot from trees as varied
as oak, ash, hazel and wych elm. In the winter months the river becomes fast flowing
and furious as it pounds over the rocks and stones on it’s journey. Spring and Summer
bring bursts of colour to the glen in the forms of wood anemone, wild garlic and
bluebells and the more gentle river flow creates a very tranquil environment.
Nietzsche once said “all truly great thoughts are conceived while walking”.
I like to think that walking is not just a wonderful form of exercise but also an
opportunity to reflect, ponder and perhaps think some of those great thoughts!

My Favourite Walk - Kerry Geddis
If ever a mountain walk rated so highly for its back drop, drama and panoramic
views it’s Slieve League. At almost 600 mts above the Atlantic it is situated on the
south west coast of Donegal’s ‘Wild Atlantic Way’. The sea cliffs in shades of red,
amber and white are twice the height of the Eiffel Tower and certainly provide the
WOW factor for this walk. The cliff edge walk provides stunning sea views of Donegal
Bay and onwards to the Atlantic Ocean while inland, on a clear day, it’s possible to
enjoy views of at least 7 of Irelands counties.
Due to soil erosion, the route currently being encouraged takes you from outside
Teelin village on a rough track past Lough Agh and numerous cairns to the summit
taking in One Man’s Path, a narrow escarpment 100mts in length. A broken trig pillar
marks the summit and affords the walker fabulous 360 degree views. The descent
can be taken by returning back to Teelin on the same path or continuing west across
boggy grassland and dropping eventually to sea level at Malinbeg where there’s a
lovely crescent-shaped golden strand perfect for dipping weary feet!
For non-walkers it is also possible to enjoy the cliffs by following the Bunglas signposts
along a narrow road to the upper car park where there are seated areas,
interpretive panels and a viewing platform to enjoy the breathtaking views. A day
out for all the family to enjoy!

12 Community News
Couch to 5K
Hi there, my name is Debbie Cairns and I’m Waringstown born and bred! I want to
encourage all of my fellow villagers to join the Couch To 5km (c25k ) programme that
will be ‘running’ this April (see details below).
Almost 4 years ago I was encouraged by a friend to go with her to the Citypark
Parkrun, a 5km run around Craigavon Lakes. I thought I had reasonable fitness, but
on that first visit I really struggled and it was no surprise to finish in last position. But I
wasn’t put off, and as the park-runners were very encouraging, I found myself back
the following week trying to improve my time. In fact I’ve been a regular at Citypark
ever since and with the support of newly found running buddies, the c25k phone
app and a bit of determination I have completed over 120 parkruns, numerous 10k
races and even 4 Half Marathons. I’ve also got plenty of medals, t-shirts and not so
flattering race photographs to prove it! I have discovered that a bit of regular
running has given me a lot of joy, a sense of achievement and determination, as well
as a good level fitness that had been starting to wane as I entered my forties. I
particularly like the social part of running with a group of likeminded people who are
always keen to celebrate success with a chat, cuppa and a treat!
So if your health is good but you find yourself sitting on the couch a little too much,
why don’t you put the date in your diary and join us! If I can do it anyone can!!

Debbie - Couch to 5K organiser

Our Local Poet

 of us may be surprised to learn of a talented and highly-
acclaimed poet living right here in Waringstown. Having recently
had one of his poems shortlisted for Irish Poem of the Year (Bord
Gáis Irish Book Awards 2016) local man Andrew Soye can claim
a place among the best contemporary Irish writers. We caught up
with him to learn more.

Q1. Congratulations Andrew – making the shortlist for Irish Poem of the Year is an
incredible achievement! What has this meant for you?
It’s been good to know that people liked the poem. Recognition like this gives me
courage to keep submitting poems for publishing despite the possibility of rejection.
Q2. Marian Keyes, Graham Norton and Tana French were among the winning authors
at the Dublin Awards on 16 November. Do you have any stories to share from what
must have been a star-studded event?
There was a great atmosphere at the Awards as everyone was thrilled to have been
short-listed and to be there. My wife, Debbie, spent a lot of time star-spotting and
would have walked down the red carpet twenty times if she had had the chance! I
was very impressed by Graham Norton who was both witty and humble, apologising
to the “real writers” present for taking “their” prize! Coincidentally Norton had been
taught at college by the world-renowned poet John Montague who was at the
event to receive a Life-time Achievement Award. It was a privilege to hear
Montague read a recent poem. He passed away just a few weeks later and that
makes the memory of his reading all the more precious.
Q3. Your shortlisted poem ‘Suppose I lost’ (available at speaks to the
issue of mental health that is particularly relevant in society today. Can you share
with us your intention in writing this piece?
The intention was simply to explore the words and the language – what does it mean
to “be losing it”? What is “it” anyway?! There is a lot of history behind every single
word and phrase that we use. Most of all I wanted to make something that was
pleasing to the eye, and the ear, and the mind.
Q4. Can you pin-point how your interest in poetry began? How has it evolved?
I think that we all enjoy the music in words and phrases to some degree. About 5
years ago I decided that I wanted to try to write to the best of my ability and, like
most things, that involves hard work! For the past few years I have been part of a
group of writers who meet at the Seamus Heaney Centre in Queen’s University.
Ciaran Carson, who leads the group, has been a great help. Winning the Kent &
Sussex Poetry Competition in 2014 was encouraging and motivated me to try to get
more published.

14 Community News
Q5. Where do you find the inspiration for your poetry?
The hard-living American poet Charles Bukowski used to
say – “it’s simple. You either get it down on paper, or
jump off a bridge!” I may not be quite that driven but
looking at, and thinking about, everyday things, is often
where a poem begins.
Q6. How do you think your Christian faith influences your
It definitely isn’t about trying to get a message across
(poetry isn’t propaganda) or about using God-words,
but I do hope that there is some love, joy and peace in
there somewhere!
Q7. Finally, what advice would you like to give to any
budding poets out there who are considering ‘dipping a
toe’ in the pool of creative verse?
Read lots of poems and find out what good and bad
poems look and sound like. Buy a notebook. Borrow a
pen. Write! Edit what you have written. Edit it again. Edit
it again. Edit...
Article by Jillian Derby

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Neil Harrison
Community Pastor
Waringstown Presbyterian
T: 07745534886

Facebook Page: Waringstown
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