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Your guide to what’s going
on in Waringstown

Oct ‘17 - Jan ‘18
Edition 7

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Welcome to the autumn

and the seventh edition of our
Community Newsletter!  I am always
encouraged to hear feedback on
CONNECT and recently someone told
me that this magazine had been
‘instrumental’ in helping people meet
neighbours they did not know in their
street. That’s fantastic
This edition is packed full of information
on what’s going on in our village as well as some interesting articles.
Some of the highlights are the feature on The Friendship Circle, which is
open to anyone who enjoys meeting others over a cup of tea and a bun,
along with a varied programme of speakers and music. Nicole Lappin
explains more about this great initiative on page 6. If you often wonder
about the history behind Waringstown House then take a look at page 12
where Melanie and Stephen Bond share their insights from a morning
spent with Michael Harnett, the current resident of the Big House!
Whilst the festive season might seem a good distance off, it would be
remiss of me not to highlight the Community Carol Service on 11th
December at Waringstown House. This great initiative, organised by
WCDA is now in its fourth year and last year attracted 150 people. Full
details can be found on page 13.
So as you grab a cuppa and read this
magazine can I ask you to ponder what groups
or programmes grab your attention and then
consider going along to something new this
autumn! Who knows, maybe you will make
new friends or re-connect with old ones.
Please do send through any feedback using the
contact details on page 19.

Neil Harrison, Community Pastor
Waringstown Presbyterian Church

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I
am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never
walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

The View from the Pew
There’s an untrue story going about: ‘Waringstown
Presbyterian Church is vacant.’ What is correct is
that WPC currently has no Minister: Philip Thompson
moved on at the end of June to Connor Presbyterian
near Ballymena. We’ll miss Philip and his family much
and wish them every blessing for the future.
That means that in the language of the Presbyterian Church, the clunking label of
‘vacant’ gets attached to WPC. Language demands that some word or other is used to
describe being without a Minister, but ‘vacant’ is unfortunate, given how it throws up
definitions such as empty, void or having neither use or purpose.
Think of a vacant building and you’ll imagine an unused retail unit that’s dilapidated and
an eyesore. Think of a vacant person and it brings to mind images of sadness: extreme
old age; depression; or some experience of trauma. Who wants to be vacant?
The fantastic reality is that WPC is categorically not vacant! We’re not vacant because
we have the Word of God: God breathed Scripture that guides us and inspires us and
leads us into the truest understanding of ourselves and life that we can ever know.
We’re not vacant because we have in our church the Spirit of God, a real and present
wind that blows the vitality and life of God into all we do as a church family.
And we’re not vacant because we have the love of God, shown to us in the remarkable
sacrifice of Jesus’ life, that tells us every person is of unsurpassable worth and value to
God, and inspires us to a love for one another whereby we seek to carry each other,
whatever life throws at us.
WPC is between Ministers, and you can call that many things, but with God’s Word,
God’s Spirit and God’s love we are never vacant.
This latest edition of our Connect magazine tells you all
about WPC’s programme for this autumn. It’s our hope and
prayer that you’ll read it and it will whet your appetite to
want to come among us and learn something of the God
we love in WPC: God who promises life in place of emptiness
and fullness in place of vacancy.

Colin Neill

Colin Neill is married to Claire and Dad to Matt and Suzy, and
works for Invest NI. He's been a member of WPC for 15 years, is a
Presbyterian Accredited Preacher, and serves on the Board of
Contemporary Christianity.

Suzanne’s Story

Christians do not necessarily lead a
charmed life, and surprisingly, our church
family may be the last people to whom
we would want to admit that we struggle
at times in our faith. However, when
Suzanne Harrison shared her testimony
online for WPC mission week, she did
exactly that, and showed awesome courage and honesty in describing her journey
with Christ.

Suzanne is married to our community pastor, Neil, and
plays a key role in ‘Messy Church’ ministry within the WPC
family. Suzanne is enthusiastic and confident, and
someone who does sterling work for the children’s ministry
in WPC. To quote The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,
when you meet Suzanne, you think ‘There's a frood who
really knows where [her] towel is’. (For anyone who hasn’t
read the HHGTTG, this roughly translates into: ‘this is one
really amazingly together chick’!).

As Suzanne tells her story, however, we learn that she has
experienced what seems like a wholly disproportionate
amount of hardship in life. An only child, she lost her father
when she was just three years old, and later when she was
in her early twenties, she was to lose her mother to an aggressive and rare fatal
condition. Her mother was a devoted
Christian, and in losing her, Suzanne
struggled (as anyone would) to understand
‘why bad things happen to good people’.
Her reaction is not only of sorrow but also, a
sense of anger against God, from whom all
blessings should flow…surely??…

An important realisation is that being a
Christian does not make anyone ‘life-proof’.
However, Suzanne recognises that it was her
faith that gave her the coping mechanism
in the face of adversity.

4 Church Life
Suzanne acknowledges that God brought Neil into her life to give her the love and
support that she needed, exactly when she needed it. Suzanne and Neil have since
had two beautiful children (Henry and Maisie), who
have brought them so much joy, and whilst
Suzanne has known real heartbreak, she knows she
has also been incredibly blessed in other ways.
The joy and the promise of the Christian faith is that
we know there is a bigger
picture, even if we have to
live life in the pixels. Suzanne’s
desire for people is that, like her,
others might have confidence in this ‘bigger picture’ and “find a
sense of joy in the Lord in periods of darkness”.

To hear Suzanne’s story for yourself, and other inspiring stories from
our church family, scan the QR code or visit our website
Article by Jillian Derby

The Friendship Circle
Do you enjoy the company of others, but prefer small, quieter gatherings?
Then the Friendship Circle might be your cup of tea! A warm welcome is
waiting for you in the church hall on various dates throughout the year.
Around 30 to 35 people gather, usually on a Tuesday afternoon from 2.30 –
4.30pm, to hear from invited speakers and to join in singing hymns of praise.
This long-running initiative was started in 1998 by Winifred McCullough, who
handed responsibility on to Phyllis McMurray
before Pamela and Melvyn Hamilton took
charge last autumn. At the last meeting the
Friendship Circle heard about the wonderful
and vital work of the Gideons from Church
member and stalwart Gideon, Tom McKay.
After the slightly more formal aspect of the
meeting had concluded the gathering
enjoyed tea and treats as well as a chat.
Meetings are open to everyone and are
attended by Church members and non-
members alike. A voluntary offering is usually lifted and often contributes to
the work of the person who has spoken. Pamela and Melvyn would love to
welcome new faces from all age groups to
join with regulars in having the opportunity to
hear interesting speakers and enjoy some
company. Last year, in addition to hearing
from Tom, the group heard about the work
of Exodus from Bobby and Elsie Boyd; learnt
about Ted Harrison’s work which includes
collecting teddy bears for Uganda; met with
Janice Barr who spoke about Charlene’s
Project and listened to Billy Patterson as he
talked about the Church Mission held last
The next Friendship Circle meeting is on
Tuesday 5th December at 2.30pm. Come
along and hear the Salvation Army Band
followed by afternoon tea and a chat!

Article by Nicole Lappin

6 Church Life

& Anchor
Youth Ministry plays an important part in the life of
Waringstown Presbyterian Church. We want to
encourage the young people in our church and the
local community to become, and grow as,
committed disciples of Jesus. We want to help
them to engage with God’s Word and understand
how relevant it is for them; and the impact it can
have on their lives. We do this in lots of ways, but
our 2 regular events are Harbour Nights and
Anchor Groups, which take place on alternating
weeks throughout the academic year.
On Harbour nights, all young people of post-primary school age gather together for
games, activities, worship, prayer, Bible teaching and some good old chat and banter.
The idea is that these Friday nights are like a harbour for
our young people. A place to come and rest, be
refreshed and refuelled, so we can send them out well
equipped and ready to live for Jesus during the rest of
the week. It might be plain sailing for some and choppy
waters for others, but hopefully their time at Harbour will
have prepared them well for it.
Anchor Nights are a chance for our young people to
meet together in smaller, age specific groups, in the
homes of church members, with plenty of drinks and
snacks! These nights are designed to help the young
people get to know each other and most importantly,
get to know God’s Word. We spend some time
chatting and playing games, but the bulk of the time
is spent exploring the Bible and in prayer for one
another. We want the young people to be anchored in
God’s Word and anchored in good, healthy,
friendships and we think these nights really help to
make this happen.
Any young person is welcome to come and join
us at Harbour and Anchor…we have a super
group of leaders who care greatly for the young
people they work with, and our young people
love seeing new people arrive and get involved
in what we do. To find out dates and times for
Harbour and Anchor either like our Facebook
Article by Mark Hawthorne

8 Church Life
Monday Tuesday
9am-1pm 10am-1pm
Church Office Open 
 Church Office Open
Contact: Pamela 02838882654 Contact: Pamela 02838882654

11am-2pm (WPC Hall) 10am-12pm (WPC Hall)
Luncheon Club (Senior Citizens Lunch) Retired Men’s Fellowship (Bowls & Coffee)
Contact: Melvyn 07854 875170 Contact: Melvyn 07854 875170

6.45pm-7.45pm (WPC Hall) 6-7pm or 7-8pm (C of I Halls)
Rainbows (Girl Guiding for Ages 4-7) Anchor Boys (BB for p2-p4, places limited)
Contact Joanne: 07709 393200
7-8.30pm (C of I Halls)
6.30pm-8pm (C of I Halls) Junior Section (BB for p5-p7)
Brownies ((Girl Guiding for Ages 7-10)
Contact Trudy: 07769 977343 7.30-9.30pm (WPC Hall & C of I Halls)
Company & Senior Sections (BB for yr8+)
8pm-9pm (WPC Hall) Contact: Joe 07970 555303
Guides (Girl Guiding for Ages 10-14)
Contact: Lynn 07761 902767
or ‘Waringstown BB’ Facebook Page
8pm-9pm (WPC Hall)
Senior Section (Girl Guiding Ages 14-26)
Contact Joanne: 07709 393200

8-10pm (WPC Hall)
Banner Making
Contact: Barbara 07525 265665

Friday Saturday
9am-1pm 8-11am (Polypipe Factory, Dromore Rd.)
Church Office Open WPC Wheelers (Men’s Cycling Club)
Contact: Pamela 02838882654 Contact: Richard 07878 327196
7-9pm (WPC Hall)
Friday Fun Club (Youth Club for p5-p7’s)
Fortnightly. Contact: Suzie 07706 797647

Harbour Nights (Youth Fellowship for Ages 11-17)
Fortnightly in WPC Hall
Anchor Groups (Small Groups for Ages 11-17)
Fortnightly in various local homes
Contact: Mark 07903 614370

10 Weekly Diary
Wednesday Thursday
9am-1pm 9am-1pm
Church Office Open Church Office Open
Contact: Pamela 02838882654 Contact: Pamela 02838882654

6.30pm-7.30pm (C of I Halls) 10.30am-12pm (WPC Hall)
Rainbows (Girl Guiding for Ages 4-7) Little Lambs (Baby & Toddler group)
Contact Judith: 07548 526339 Contact: Ruth 07879 665308
Facebook: ‘Little Lambs Parent & Toddler
6.45pm-8.15pm (C of I Halls) Group’
Brownies ((Girl Guiding for Ages 7-10)
Contact Zoe: 07715 346853 7pm-10pm (WPC Church)
Music Practice (For Sunday worship)
7.45pm-9.30pm (C of I Halls) Contact: Sam 07976 369668
Guides (Girl Guiding for Ages 10-14)
Contact Jill: 07730 952238 7.30-10pm (The Basement, Connect 61)
The Basement Youth Centre
8-9.30pm (WPC Hall) Youth centre for ages 11-18 offering a range of
First Wednesday (Mid-week Bible study)
programmes and projects during the year.
First Wednesday each month
Come along and see what you think!
8-9pm (WPC Hall) Contact: Neil 07745 534886
Central Prayer Gathering
Third Wednesday each month

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


 History at the Heart of the Village
What links Tom Hanks, Jonathan Swift and William of Orange? The answer
is closer than you might think.
Situated at the heart of Waringstown, Waringstown House is a building
that provokes questions from all who pass. CONNECT decided to
investigate the past and present role
of this impressive structure and spent
a fascinating morning with the
current owner Michael Harnett.
The story of Waringstown House and
the village which now bears its name
dates to 1656, when William Waring –
the son of a successful County Antrim
businessman – bought land in the
area encompassing the townlands of
Tullyherron, Magherana, Corcreeny, Steve and Mel with
Cornreaney, and Annaghanoon. Michael Harnett
Waringstown, though, isn’t the only place in Northern Ireland where he
Warings have left their mark. Waring Street in Belfast is named after
William’s father Thomas, while Warrenpoint is literally ‘Warren’s point’, a
jetty built to facilitate the growing linen trade in which the Warings played
a central role.
By 1667 William had built the home which would remain in his family until
the present day. The building is something of an architectural treasure,
being the oldest unfortified mansion house in Ireland; the distinctive
defensive towers at either end of the façade bely the uncertain times in
which William Waring lived.
The family have always had a strong link with some of Ireland’s most
interesting historical moments. William’s son Samuel attended Trinity
College Dublin where he met the young Jonathan Swift – the same
Jonathan Swift who would later pen Gulliver’s Travels. Swift fell for
Samuel’s sister Jane. Samuel would later bring damask weaving to the
village, from where it spread to become one of the province’s most
thriving industries.
Around that time, the Duke of Schomberg stayed in the house, from
where he made plans for the imminent battle with the forces of King
James II at the Battle of the Boyne.

12 Community News
The last Waring to live in the house was Mrs Margaret Waring. Like her
predecessors, Mrs Waring had a deep affection for the village. Coming
from a banking dynasty with considerable influence, Margaret used the
wealth she had brought to her marriage to benefit the people of
Waringstown. In 1932 she donated money for the reconstruction of the
Cricket Club (which the Warings had helped establish in 1851); a year later
she donated the site for a new primary school in the village. Indeed, the
affection seems to have been reciprocal: on their wedding day in May
1914, Holt and Margaret Waring were welcomed back to Waringstown
House by crowds of villagers lining the road all the way from Lurgan.
Today Michael Harnett continues in the spirit of innovation and civic duty
shown by his forbears. In terms of agricultural development, his family run a
successful oilseed rape business from which they produce biodegradable
lubricants and flavoured cooking oils. Michael also takes a keen interest in
community development and planning issues. And around the back of the
house he keeps the boat from which Tom Hanks disembarked in the
opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. But that’s another story…
NB: Waring Estate Craft Fair is scheduled to take place on Sat 16th Sept
adjacent to the Butcher’s Shop.
Article by Melanie & Steve Bond

Oh What a Night!
Waringstown Community Players, an initiative of
Waringstown Presbyterian Church, was formed in 2016,
to build a sense of community through performing, and
to bring people together, regardless of religious beliefs
or backgrounds. In an effort to build and foster
relationships, a small group of people who had some
experience in Creative Arts, were contacted by Neil
Harrison, Community Pastor, to discuss the possibility of starting
a group that could combine drama, singing and dancing. The committee was
enthusiastic about the idea and discussed the possibilities of what
could be achieved. It was decided that the first
venture of the group would be a
pantomime, an excellent way to combine
acting, singing and dancing for all ages:
an idea where there could be a lot of fun,
building new friendships and showcasing
local talent. A script was agreed upon, and
plans were put in place to hold auditions. It
was immediately apparent, that this was the
start of something really good and
worthwhile. Rehearsals contained the perfect
balance of practice and fun, and as it got closer to the first
show, the talent and skills of local people became evident, from the actors on
stage to people working backstage with costumes, scenery, props, make up,
sound and lights. The group performed two evening shows and one matinee:
this was a fantastic experience for the members of the group and friendships
have continued to develop.
We now look forward to our next venture, and hope that word is well and truly
out that we are building upon what we achieved last year, by
encouraging you to come along and get
involved. This year's show is an Entertainment
and Variety Evening, entitled 'Oh What a
Night!' We plan to meet every Monday
evening to put together a show that will
include musical items, scenes from popular
musicals and hilarious sketches. It will be
staged before Christmas and it is shaping up
to be a thoroughly entertaining family show.

Community News
If you enjoy singing, and maybe don't want to be directly under the spotlight,
we will also be looking for anyone who wants to join our Community Choir, led
by Sandra McCurdy. The choir will practise together to work towards
performing a number of popular musical items in the show. It will not be overly
time consuming as we will only begin to meet a few weeks before the show,
and it will be a perfect outlet for anyone who has an interest in music and
wants to get acquainted with some old friends and meet some new ones.
As our second venture, we are very excited to take WCP to the next stage
(excuse the pun)! We look forward to
welcoming back last year's group and
meeting new people, from Primary 6
upwards! We are so proud of what has been
achieved by everyone who played a part in
'Jack and the Beanstalk' and look forward to
bringing our community together again to
work towards a show that guarantees a great
wee night out!
Article by Nicola Vaughan

The Shoebox Appeal!
Our Local Poet
For the last 5 years Waringstown Presbyterian has
proudly supported Operation Christmas Child, an
initiative of Samaritans Purse. This is a way of showing

Gods love in a tangible way to children in great need
around the world, and also partner with local churches
to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Each child in
need receives a shoebox filled full of practical items as
well as small toys or sweets! A small shoebox can have
a big impact on a child who may not receive any other
gift at Christmas. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out of it is eternal.
Within our church this has been championed by one
of our members, Ted Harrison who has been delighted
to send between 700 and 800 shoeboxes each year
to Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.
This simple initiative has been supported by local
schools, day care centres, and youth and community
groups in the local area, as well as hundreds of local
Why not join with us this year and be a part of
changing children’s lives all over the world through a
simple gift of a filled shoe box! Simple instructions for filling a box are outlined below
along with drop-off instructions.

5 Simple Steps:
1. Find a Shoebox. Get an empty medium sized shoebox, and wrap the box and lid
separately in colourful wrapping paper or order pre-printed shoeboxes online.
Attach an appropriate boy/girl label (online), marking if your gift is for a boy or girl
and what age category
2. Fill with gifts. Fill your shoebox with a selection of fun toys, hygiene items and
school supplies. *See website for gift suggestions and disallowed items.
3. Make your project donation. A suggested donation of £5 is essential to cover
project costs. *More details are available on the website below
4. Pray. Pray for the child who will receive your gift. You can also include a personal
note and photo of yourself or your group.
5. Drop-off your shoebox. Place a rubber band around each closed shoebox and
take it to Waringstown Presbyterian Church by Sunday 5th November or drop-off
at Eden Coffee House. Please contact Ted Harrison on 028 38 820867 if you would
like your shoe box collected or left with Ted.

*Full instructions available at:

16 Community News
Article by Jillian Derby


18 Community News
Our competition this time is for those who love
colouring in! Our back page has been drawn by local
art student Annabelle Cockroft* and is in need of some
Here’s how to enter:
Colour in page 20 using whatever colours you like!
Take a selfie with the finished picture and send it to
use using the contact details below.
Closing date for entries is 3rd November 2017.
The winner will receive a £10 voucher for Eden
Coffee House in Waringstown to treat yourself to some ice cream! The
winning selfie will appear in the next edition of CONNECT!
[Terms and conditions can be found on our Facebook page (notes section) or a paper
copy can be requested by contacting Neil using the details below]
* You can see more of Annabelle’s work on Facebook at ‘Annabelle Cockroft Art’

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Neil Harrison
Community Pastor

Facebook Page:
Waringstown Presbyterian


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