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Your guide to what’s going
on in Waringstown

Oct ‘18 - Jan ‘19
Edition 10

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Welcome to the tenth issue of our

community newsletter. We are well and truly
into the Autumn season.  As the leaves fall and
days get shorter we are reminded that
change is part of life and “our wee village” is
no exception.  
In this issue Colin Neill will take us down
memory lane on pages 6 & 7 as he reflects on
changing times in a very informative article
about the Waringstown War memorial, commemorating the centenary of the
end of World War I.  

Over the past century, nowhere has change been more striking than in the rise of
social media. On pages 12 & 13, Neil Harrison catches up with local social media
star, the famous ‘M’ of PSNI Craigavon’s viral Facebook posts.  

More recent exciting changes in Waringstown include the establishment of the
new ‘Hollow Coffee House’ (formerly Eden Coffee House). Diane Wilkinson had a
chat with new owner, Gareth Stokes on page 18. Furthermore, Waringstown
Presbyterian Church are excited to confirm plans for their new building - get a
preview in Simon Fitzpatrick’s article on page 8.

It’s also a new chapter for Waringstown Community
Players. The team are back to take us on an
interactive journey through the streets of Bethlehem
as they re-enact the nativity. Nicola Vaughan gives us
a back stage look at the plans for the family-friendly
event on page 4.
As we think of changes, let this serve as a reminder
that it is never too late to start something new! So why
not challenge yourself this season to get involved
within the community? From the Waringstown Book
Club that Louise Dunn features on page 14 to the
many other clubs featured in Connect, we’re sure
you’ll find something for you. You never know, you
could be featuring in our next issue! 

Rebecca McNeill

There is a time for everything, and a season
for every activity under the heavens.’ -
Ecclesiastes 3:1 

2 Welcome
The View from the Pew
Church family is a term that is regularly used by
congregations to describe themselves
throughout the world. Often we use terms
without ever really considering what they
entail or mean. When I think of my family, I
think of a group of people I always want to be
there for, people I want to support, people I
want to help in whatever way I possibly can,
be that physically, financially, spiritually or
whatever. When I look at my Church, I feel like
what goes on there is like a family.  


Waringstown Presbyterian Church has been
there for The Turners during difficult times,
notably when my eldest daughter Anna was ill
shortly after she was born. They have shown
love, concern and enthusiasm in so many
ways on so
many different days. In short, what I receive
from my church family at WPC is what I want
to give to my own loved ones. I feel truly
blessed to have become part of this family. 


Romans 12: 9-13 


Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling
to what is good. Be devoted to one another
in brotherly love. Honour one another above
yourselves. Never be lacking in Zeal, but keep
your spiritual fervour, serving the lord. Be
joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in
prayer. Hare with God’s people who are in
need. Practise hospitality. 

Alan is married to Jenna and Dad to Anna, Ella and
Tilly. He enjoys to run in spare time and is an F1 fanatic.


Following the successful community events ‘Jack and
the Beanstalk’ in 2016 and ‘Oh What a Night’ in 2017,
Waringstown Community Players look forward to
presenting ‘Bethlehem Village’ in December, 2018. This
will be a joint initiative with Donaghcloney Parish
Church.  The Players will also be working closely with
the Waringstown Community Choir, who will also play a
large part in this exciting production.  
‘Bethlehem Village’ will be staged in a number of locations on 14th and 15th
December, in Holy Trinity Church of Ireland and in Love for Life premises, and visitors
will be taken on a tour that will journey back into the New Testament, to the time of
Jesus’s birth. Tour Guides will introduce you to
Roman Soldiers, Herod, Shepherds, Wise Men
and Innkeepers, before you arrive at the
stable where Jesus was born. Along the way,
you will hear many stories and interact with
the characters, as you walk through the
Marketplace and sample some authentic
food and drinks. Waringstown Community
Choir and a number of musicians and
dancers will perform, and there will be Messy
Craft activities and games for children.  

As in previous years, this production aims to
bring members of the Community together,
and we would like to encourage you to get
involved. This is an extremely exciting
venture for the Players, and the Committee
has been further extended to involve more
representatives of the Community. We need
your help to present ‘Bethlehem Village’
within our village: if you would like to play a
character, help with costumes, assist with
refreshments, administration, stewarding or crafts, are musical, or can lend a hand
in any way, we would love to welcome you along to be a part of this great
You can send us a message on Facebook, contact Neil Harrison on his mobile in the
advert, or sign your name on a Sign-Up sheet that will be in local churches and

Article by Nicola Vaughan
4 Church Life


Acting Refreshments
Stewarding Creative Skills
Set-up Joinery Admin

For more info contact: Neil - 07745 534886


Each week, there will probably be a point at which most of us drive or walk past our
village’s war memorial. This November would seem a good time to pause and reflect
at the clock tower beside Holy Trinity Church, which enshrines the memory of
Waringstown’s fallen.  
The Great War finished one hundred years ago in November 1918. A total of 150 men
from Waringstown fought in the war, and the memorial records that 34 of those
soldiers – almost a quarter of the total – died in the conflict. A further fifty men from
Waringstown were wounded. 
A number of men from Waringstown were decorated during the war, their collective
honours including: two Military Crosses; one Distinguished Conduct Medal; three Croix
de Guerre (two Belgian and one French); four Military Medals; one mentioned in
Dispatches; and one Parchment Certificate.  
The memorial records that in comparison to World War I, just six men from the village
died in World War II. There are two reasons for the disparity of deaths in the two wars.
One is the much more attritional nature of the conflict in World War I, with tactics such
as trench warfare employed. The second is the number of Ulster men who died in the
first conflict.  

Ulster’s best-known army unit was its 36th Ulster Division, who will forever be indelibly
linked to the Somme, where they sustained 5,500 casualties on the first day of that
offensive, 1st July 1916, the single worst day in the history of the British army. This
particular army unit was among the legacies of 1912 and Ulster’s Home Rule crisis,
with Edward Carson’s Ulster Volunteers becoming ready-made units that in 1914 could
be assimilated into the British Army as its Ulster divisions.  

Local historian David Martin of Brownlow House – where most of Waringstown’s
soldiers probably signed up – says the impact of the Somme on Lurgan and its wider
area was devastating. As news of losses reached home around a week later, extra
telegram boys were needed to deliver heart-wrenching news to families. Local
churches were forced to open in the evening to afford the grieving places to begin to
come to terms with their desolation. In Lurgan’s Union Street a Mrs Hobbs received
news of three sons dead and one missing in action in a single day.  
Four of Waringstown’s dead soldiers (Samuel Carson, James Collins, Thomas Gregson
and Holt Waring) were in the 108th Brigade of the 36th Ulster Division, these men being
members of he 13th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles (previously the Ulster Volunteer
Force’s 1st County Down Volunteers).  

6 Church Life
The best-known of Waringstown’s fallen was the aforementioned Major Holt Waring of
the town’s founding family, who was killed in action in April 1918, aged 41, and was
buried in Belgium. He had only married his wife Margaret in April 1914, and Mrs Waring,
who lived a further 50 years after her husband’s death, took particular interest in the
village’s other war widows.  
A public meeting to discuss a war memorial was chaired by Mrs Waring on 10th April
1919, and after a range of consultations and deliberations, it was unanimously agreed
at a further public meeting on 9th February 1920 to proceed with a 12.5 metres high
clock tower close to the gates of Waring House.  
Whilst the memorial is a permanent tribute that
provides a factual record of those from the
village who gave the greatest sacrifice, the
emotional cost to the village, associated with
their names a century ago, is surely incalculable.  
Thanks to David Martin of Brownlow House for his
advice on this article, which as well as a number
of online sources, also drew material from ‘150
and not out’ published in 1997 to mark 150 years
of Waringstown Presbyterian Church. Article by Colin Neill

 Building Development
At a congregational meeting in June of this year, the church family of Waringstown
Presbyterian Church gave their overwhelming support to proceed with the
development of a comprehensive building programme. The mission of WPC is to know
Jesus Christ and make him known and through the
Holy Spirit our vision is to GLOW.  
• Grow in the knowledge of GOD through the
teaching of God’s Word, Fellowship and Prayers 
• Love and serve one another 
• Offer hope to our community and world through
the sharing of the good news of Jesus Christ 
• Worship God together and glorify him through the
way in which we live each day 
We believe that this exciting building programme will help us to achieve that vision. We
have a very clear aspiration to build & fund a project that will dramatically improve our
facilities and give us greater capacity at Sunday worship. This project is an important
part of us being a relevant, vibrant & worshipping community for the 21st century.

The goal is to complete the initial project by
late 2020 which is a new standalone multi-
purpose hall and will include a youth hall, a
social space for families, multipurpose
rooms and a new creche facility. The
subsequent extension and refurbishment of
the worship sanctuary and its timing will be
dependent on the availability of funds.  
Ministries that will benefit from this
development will be Little Lambs, Youth
Programmes, Sunday School and Messy
Church.  During Sunday worship, we will
have the opportunity to worship and share
fellowship as one family with the ability to
re-introduce Bible class and small group
sessions that can’t meet during the week. 
This is an exciting development in the life
and history of Waringstown Presbyterian
Church and we look forward to the church
family & the community being part of the
development of God’s work in

8 Church Life Article by Simon Fitzpatrick
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: Jack 07546 549526
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 8.30-11am (Polypipe Factory, Dromore Rd.)
Church Office Open WPC Wheelers (Men’s Cycling Club)
Contact: Pamela 02838882654 Contact: Richard 07878 327196
7-9pm (WPC Hall) *weather dependent.
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 Emma: 07525 900506 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


with ‘M’
I’m sure you’ve heard of Banksy, the anonymous Street
Artist, or The Stig, the unknown racing driver on Top Gear,
but have you heard of ‘M’, the nameless PSNI officer who
has attracted attention on the PSNI Craigavon page?
‘M’ is part of the Local Policing Team and I was delighted
when he agreed to be interviewed for CONNECT and
eager to meet the man behind the keyboard.

What was the motivation for the Facebook page?
The Facebook page was launched in 2012 in an effort to engage the community in
a more forward-facing, modern way. We realised the need to adapt to the way
people communicate. I was asked to take this on in 2016 when a Sergeant thought
I might be able to inject the right balance of wit and straight-talking. The page has
quickly grown from 9000 to 52,000 followers, with an average weekly reach of
150,000 and popular posts reaching 1.5-2 million people!

Tell me about some of the positive impacts for policing from the page?
Sometimes people ask ‘why all the funny posts?’ The simple answer is they bring
more followers to the page which means more people who will see our missing
people posts, live alerts, crime etc. Recently I put up a funny football post about
the ref being sought for perverting the course of justice following NI’s exit from the
world cup qualifiers. This attracted 200 new followers. The following evening we
posted about a missing 9 year old child which was shared over 20,000 times, and
seen by 5 million people! One of those was a lady living in China who used to
teach this child. She contacted us with vital information about friends and places
where the child might be, which led directly to them being found.
In general we have found that Facebook seems to be a much more comfortable
and accessible platform for a lot of people to report crime and share vital
community information and intelligence.

Tell me about your funniest post from the page?
For April Fools I put out a story that due to budget cuts the PSNI helicopter was
being grounded. Instead we had invested in training a fleet of bald eagles to carry
police dogs and despatch them to crime scenes. We received a comment
complaining that it was disgusting that the PSNI were blatantly abusing the welfare
of animals!

You seem to have attracted a healthy band of fans, often female. Have you any
words for the M-inators?!
It’s always nice to know my work doesn’t go unnoticed, and messages, both public
and private, always keep a smile on my face!

12 Community News
What impact/change have you seen in the community since launching the page?
We have noticed a very definite ‘softening’ to the police across the community.
People realise we are normal human beings, often fathers and mothers. There has
been an increase in the number of people willing to talk to us and an adjustment of
expectations from the public when it comes to the lower level crime.
We would encourage everyone to look for each other, especially the elderly and
vulnerable. Report anything suspicious when
you see it immediately and share the Facebook
posts as that helps our messages to go further.

Who is ‘M’ when not fighting crime?
I’m a husband, father, keen hockey player,
musician and huge Man Utd fan who when
work shifts permit, tries to get involved with his
church as much as possible.

Despite his apparent popularity, ‘M’ made it clear as the interview concluded that:
“My primary motivation in my work, which includes the Facebook posts,
is to do anything I can to keep the community safe.”

Thank-you ‘M’ for the interview and everything that you and your colleagues do to
keep our community safe
Article by Neil Harrison

Read All About the VI Book Club 
Meeting in the comfort of the Village Inn, where Davy
Fleming kindly allows the book club to meet once a
month, it is clear to see the passion Jacquie Collins and
David Brown share for their joint venture.  It was through
independent conversations that Jacquie and David had
in the VI that they learned of their shared interest in
forming a book club and so it came to be the VI Book
Club was launched in September 2018. 
In addition to their passion for reading both Jacquie and
David feel strongly about their community. Whilst they
wanted to encourage people to read, more importantly
they wanted to bring people together. David warns that at meetings conversations can
veer in many directions but there is always a “bit of craic”. He feels the banter helps
people make new friends and develop confidence. Jacquie enthuses about the fact
that within the group everyone has a voice and share opinions and views as diverse as
the books which are read.  
When asked about their preferred way to read and how they see this changing over
the next 50 years the pair are split on their opinion.    David admits to still enjoying the
paper version and the feel of the actual book in his hands and believes whilst electronic
versions are popular there will always be a
place for books. Jacquie however, being a
modern gal, enjoys the diversity and
convenience of both her kindle and books.
She believes though that the electronic
versions will take over.  
Books have always played a huge part in
their lives and the both remember their
favourite first book. Jacquie was a big fan
of Nancy Drew while David’s favourite
author was Roald Dahl and his favourite
book was “Stig of the Dump”.  
Whilst the VI book club currently has no
spaces for extra members David and
Jacquie would encourage anyone
interested in forming a book club to “just
go for it”. They advise to keep the format
simple, keep your mind open to new books,
keep your numbers relatively small to
encourage group discussion but most of all
love to read! 

Community News Article by Louise Dunn
Our Local Poet

16 Community News
29-year-old local entrepreneur Gareth Stokes
has certainly earned his excellent reputation
in Waringstown as the hard-working owner of
Gourmet Grill and the proud new proprietor
of The Hollow Coffee House in the heart of the
village.  Yet, if you ask Gareth, it is his parents’
encouragement, his community’s support and
his own determination to “always do better”
which have combined as the rich ingredients in
this recipe for food-business success. 
Gareth, tell us about your journey into the food business. 
I was a spark in Irwin’s bakery for 7 years but I was going through the same security
hut every day and I just got a bit bored. A few mates were driving Route 66, so I went
with them for 3 months and after that I went to Australia for 2 years.  I worked on the
farm, toured and then did the sparking for a year. I started saving for the last 6
months and said, Right, I’ll go home and set a
food business up and if it works, it works; if it
doesn’t, I’m coming back here.   
When I got back from Australia, I worked in
different chip shops before I started my own. 
Then I just did it.  Well, the boss kept on texting
every 6 months from Australia but I just kept on
declining because we went on building and
building.  Then the opportunity here in the coffee
shop came up and I had a serious chat with my
dad.  Dad’s always encouraged me- 100%- and
the reason why the coffee shop’s such a good
business for me to have is that Mum has always
wanted a coffee shop in her life and she’s been
working with us now since September. 

You’re obviously an immensely driven person-
where does that motivation come from?  
I just want to set the business up before I’m too
old.  My dad always wished he went out on his
own and you always hear people saying, “I wish, I
wish, I wish.”  So I just said, Right, I’m going to do
it.  And because the Gourmet Grill did so well, I
just kept driving.  If I start something, I always try
to find a solution to make it work; I’m not the sort
of person to give up easily. 

Community News
If anyone is considering starting a similar
business, what advice would you give them
about its challenges? 
(Hearty chuckle) Good luck! No, it’s like
anything at the start: when I started the
Gourmet Grill, it took over the first year.  I
started up on the side of the road and it
was 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, building
up our clientele. 
And finally, is it important to you that you’ve
established your businesses at home in
Well, when we were younger, ‘The Hollow’
in Waringstown was the place to meet up
with your friends…and that’s where the
name and slogan for the coffee shop came
from, that memory.  So yes, I always feel business owners and workers should be from
the community because that’s when you get that community feel.   

Article by Diane Wilkinson

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