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Dear Friends in St Nicholas,
There are seasons in life when we seem to be surrounded with challenges! In the parish over the last few weeks a number of families have experienced the challenge of serious illnesses and bereavements. Amongst them were a number of people who have been faithful worshippers for many years. We assure each of them of the love and support of their parish family: for those who cope with illness we pray for healing and recovery and for those who have been bereaved we pray that the comfort and hope of Jesus will be real in their lives.  In particular, I’m sure that you will join with me as we send our best wishes to our former churchwarden Mr Ted McAuley as he mourns the passing of his dear wife Maureen.

Our Mission partners, the Watson family who are living and working in Gothenburg, Sweden, ask for your prayers particularly at this time. Andrea has been unwell since Christmas and has been treated in hospital for a neurological condition which has affected her mobility. This is a cause of great concern for everyone as they try to respond to the challenges that this presents for the whole family. In spite of the challenges though, Andrea, Trevor and the girls have found that their Christian faith has sustained them day by day. Trevor writes:
That’s been our experience over the past weeks.  Not for a moment have we felt that God has let us down or abandoned us.  He really can be trusted!  In answer to your prayers, God has faithfully given us his grace sufficient for each day and a deep contentment in him.
At the time of writing, Andrea has been receiving rehabilitation treatment in hospital and has been given a provisional discharge date in the middle of February. Please pray that everything would go well with her treatment and the plans for her to be able to return home to her family.

There have been joyful moments in the parish life too! We sent our heartiest congratulations to Mr Tommy & Mrs Mary Withers as they celebrated their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary during January! As a very youthful couple they made their marriage vows to one another in St Nicholas’ Church all those years ago and what a great testimony to love and faithfulness their special anniversary is.

We look forward to welcoming the girls and leaders from Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers to church again for our family service this month. This is an annual event in the girls’ calendar as part of their celebrations for Thinking Day. Do please plan to join us in church on Sunday 24th February to encourage them and join in praying for them and all the important work that is done in our youth organisations to encourage young people to grow and develop in body, mind and soul.

On a practical note, this month sees the annual opportunity to add your name to the parish’s General Vestry Register. If you are 18 years old or over and are a subscriber to church funds you are eligible to be included on this list, which is the ‘electoral roll’ for the annual parish meeting,  which takes place around Easter time. (This year, because Easter is later in the year, we are planning to hold the meeting before Easter on 10th April.) I would encourage every adult member of the parish to register and plan to attend that meeting. It’s your opportunity to influence the life of our parish and to play your part. Please speak to one of the churchwardens if you would like a copy of the very brief registration form.

With love in Jesus,

The guest speaker at our meeting on Tuesday 12th February will be Belfast Port Chaplain Mr Samuel Cowan who will tell us about the work of the Seamen's Christian Friend Society. All ladies are welcome to join us to hear about the important work of this organisation.

Our February meeting will be the last opportunity to donate items for the Baby Basics project run by the Church Army and the Diocese of Connor in support of underprivileged new mothers. If you wish to support this project and you have not already handed in your donations please do bring them along to the church hall on 12th  February as Jill Hamilton will be there to receive them.  Thank you.
Valerie Leighton

Items needed for the STARTER BABY BASICS PACKS:

For Mum
For Baby
Good condition second
Maternity pads
Newborn nappies
hand items that we accept
Sanitary towels
Nappy lotion
Moses baskets
Breast pads
Baby baths
Hand soap
Nappy bags
Newborn clothing
Soap bags
Knitted items eg booties,
Paper underwear
hats, cardigans, blankets
Lansinoh Cream
Baby bedding/towels
Hand cream
Cotton wool pads
Good quality toys
Changing mats
Wipeable books
Non-bio washing powder

Unfortunately we can’t accept donations of car seats, cot mattresses, breast pumps, stair gates and other safety equipment or electrical items.  In line with safe sleep advice, given by health care professionals, all cots and Moses baskets are given out with brand new mattresses. 

In order to refer a client to us, please contact us via the details below:
Call—0788 589 7022    Email—

        Morning            Evening
3rd         Johnnie McAlister         Glenn Nelson 
10th        Gordon Dalton        Steven Todd
17th        Rachel McVeigh         Julie Irvine
24th        Graeme Miles            Cafe Church

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE  by Bart Millard
You may have heard the above song which was written by the lead singer of Mercy Me, an American Christian Band but don’t know the story behind it.

On 23rd February the movie “I Can only Imagine” will be shown in the church halls at 7.00 pm.

It’s the song that brings ultimate hope to so many... often in the midst of life’s most challenging moments.  Amazingly the song was written in mere minutes.  In reality, those lyrics took a lifetime to craft.

Although he found faith at a young age, life wasn’t easy for Bart.  He leaned into an active imagination and his love of music as escapes from a troubled home life.  As he grew older, Bart turned to football in hopes of somehow connecting with his abusive father.  But a career-ending injury - combined with the vision of a teacher who saw unlimited potential- set Bart on a musical pathway.

Chasing a dream while running from broken relationships with his father and Shannon, his childhood sweetheart.  Bart hits the road in an old decrepit tour bus with his new band Mercy Me-named for his grandmother’s favourite expression.  With the guidance of a grizzly music industry insider, the band begins a journey none of them could ever have imagined.

The film is a PG (brief mild violence references to domestic abuse). 
“I Can Only Imagine” challenges & inspires to forgive others and to ask for forgiveness

If you would like to join us for the movie evening, can you please contact the church office or contact Janice on 07936 368862 as we require numbers for refreshments.

The members of the Church Craft Group would like to express our great thanks for the support at the Christmas coffee morning and craft sale in November.

We would like to thank all those who helped make items to sell throughout the year and we appreciate the time and effort that went in to all the work, in order to make it a very enjoyable and successful morning.

Through the generosity and support of our church family and community an amount of £2472.20 was raised.

We supported two worthy causes both The Royal National Lifeboat Institute and Children’s Heartbeat Trust (a charity who helps support families with children who are born and living with congenital heart disease).  A donation of £600 was sent to each of the charities.  The remaining amount was donated to church funds.

Thanking you once again.
The Church Craft Group

PrayerPoint evenings are your opportunity to join in prayer for the life and witness of St Nicholas’ and the church of Jesus Christ around the world. 
Come on one of the evenings or come to both;
Come for the whole evening or come for a short time;
Come and pray aloud or in silence;
But come - we’ll be delighted to see you!
St Nicholas’ Church
Monday 4th  February 7.00 pm - 7.45pm
Tuesday 19th February 7.00 pm—8.30 pm

Children’s Outreach Mission, Tabora
NDADABHAGAYE—You might think Catherine has made a massive spelling mistake or her printer has taken on a mind of its own.  This is a Swahili word expressing extreme gratitude.  With every Newsletter, Emmanuel either begins or ends by saying thank you with many expressive words for the support that St Nicholas’ Church of Ireland in Carrickfergus continues to give towards the work of the Children's Outreach Mission.  In a letter received at Christmas, Emmanuel is again thanking us for our support throughout the past year but has run out of appropriate words without repeating himself so he says thank you in Swahili.  This word says thanks from the bottom of his heart, also every part of his body from head and heart to toes, including his soul.  It also expresses his happiness to the point of crying, every emotion is triggered.

Our Treasurer sent £560 of your donations at Christmas.  I must add my sincerest thanks to all who have contributed to this mission work.  Your prayers are coveted as much as your giving and as Emmanuel repeats, without the support of St Nicholas’, there would be no Children's Outreach Mission.

Regarding the much hoped for link with CEF in Tanzania, emails have been exchanged but nothing firm has been arranged yet.  It’s a fact of life that things can move painfully slowly in Africa, we must be patient.  Our Lord knows all about it and we do well to wait on His timing.

In the meantime, Emmanuel has been setting out his programme for 2019 and has set out a 14 point plan to focus his and his volunteers’ efforts on.  Top of the list is weekly prayers.  You will recall that I have mentioned this before, how prayer is the linchpin of the whole Mission effort.  It’s so easy, when fired up with enthusiasm for a project or cause, to plan programmes and strategies that we think will best serve our goals and then ask God to bless those plans, when what we should be doing is seeking God’s direction first for ways that will bring glory to Him.  The latter will always take longer as we wait patiently for that direction, but it will be God’s work we will be implementing when we do so and not our own.  So please keep praying for the Good News Club, the Schools’ Mission work, the prayer groups, the volunteer leaders, the Sunday School teachers, the children and their parents and for Emmanuel and his wife Elizabeth.  Lynn Rodgers

Flowers in Church December 2018 (not in last magazine)
23rd    David McAtamney & family—In memory of my wife Denise
30th    Doris Close & Lorraine Gibson

Flowers in Church January 2019
6th    Vacant
13th     Iris Clawson and family—In memory of  my husband Thomas
20th     Lesley Clawson—In memory of my mum Jacqueline
27th     Mr & Mrs McCaughran—In memory of my dad Tommy Binding

Flowers in Church February 2019
3rd    Vacant
10th     Sharon Maxwell—Ian’s birthday
17th     Vacant
24th    Vacant
If you would like to donate flowers for the Church, please fill your name in against the appropriate space on the Flower List in the main porch or speak to Catherine in the Church Office or Gillian Dalton. As these details go into Parish News, we would ask, if possible, that you book your chosen Sunday at least 6 weeks in advance.

Crèche Rota february 2019
3rd     Alison Kane & Rachel McVeigh
10th     Carol Moneypenny & Tamera Milligan
17th    Sharon McMaster & Nadine Davison
24th     Ann Hodge & Ciara Lester
The Crèche is in the Choir Vestry.  Children can be left there from
10.50 am each Sunday.   It would be appreciated if those who kindly staff the Crèche would be there in good time.  If you can't be present on a Sunday listed, please arrange for another of the volunteers to cover for you. Thank you for your co-operation.

The Bible is meant to be bread for our daily use, not just cake for special occasions.     Anon

Life’s greatest tragedy is to lose God and not miss him.        Anon

Parish Walking Group

Saturday 16th February
A walk in stunning countryside

Meet at 10.00 am at 48 Loughmourne Road
(Christine Cahoon’s home)

For further details contact Harry Kirk or Robin or Joan Gray

St Nicholas Parish Church
Prayer Diary – February 2019
The monthly Prayer Diary included in Parish News is designed to help us pray each day of the month for a different aspect of our parish life, our community, and our nation.  It also includes prayer for situations, communities and individuals in other parts of the world.  Each Prayer Diary begins with a Prayer of the Month.  Keep it to hand and use as part of your daily devotions.

A suggested pattern for daily devotions:

1. Read a portion of Scripture.
2. Thank God for what you have learned from His Word.
3. Confess your sin.
4. Use the Lord’s Prayer.
5. Use the Prayer of the Month.
6. Pray for others and for yourself, including the topic of the day.

Prayer for the Month
Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image:  Teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever.  Amen.  BCP


1st February – Friday
Followings last month’s government defeat on the Brexit Bill, pray for Theresa May and for a workable plan for the UKs departure from the EU.  Pray for fruitful discussions between elected representatives on all sides.

2nd February – Saturday
Since the last Prayer Diary was compiled, news has reached us of Andrea Watson’s neurological illness.  Pray for Andrea, that healing will come.  Pray for Trevor and their daughters Emily, Grace and Alice.  Give thanks for their work, spreading the Gospel and for the lives touched by their ministry.

3RD FEBRUARY – SUNDAY (4th Sunday after Epiphany/Presentation of Christ in the temple)
Pray for today’s church services, this evening’s Cafe Church and for the children and young people attending JAM or Bible Class.  Give thanks for the young families joining our congregation, that they would find a welcome here and that we would always reach out the hand of friendship to strangers.

4th February – Monday
Our Small Groups continue to meet at various times and locations.  Pray for those who host or lead Small Groups and for an increased insight for those attending.  Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint.

5th February – Tuesday
Our Select Vestry meets this evening and during that meeting the Register of Vestry persons will be opened for revision.  Pray that more members of our church family, who are eligible, will come forward and register for inclusion and play their part in the selection and election of the Select Vestry.  Pray for all discussion and decision making at this evening’s meeting.

6th February – Wednesday
Pray for Darren, Karen and Liam McCartney; especially for wisdom for Darren in these changing and challenging times in the Canadian Anglican Church.

7th February – Thursday
Pray for George as he continues to fulfil the duties usually carried out by our Bishop.  Pray for wisdom, stamina and time of relaxation for him and Nadine.

8th February – Friday
The Busy Bees Parent and Toddler Group meet this morning.  Give thanks for this valuable outreach to families, especially those with no church connection.

9th February – Saturday
Pray for the sick, remembering those in pain and on waiting lists for ‘non-urgent’ surgical procedures.  Pray for the administration of the local NHS.

10TH FEBRUARY – SUNDAY (4th Sunday before Lent)
Give thanks for our clergy team and for the faithful teaching we receive from God’s Word.  Pray for Brian, celebrating another birthday this week but continuing to be a hard-working member of our clergy here in St Nicholas’.

11th February – Monday
A member of our clergy team is visiting Carrickfergus Model this morning for Assembly.  Give thanks for such invitations.  Pray for today’s Senior Moments.

12th February – Tuesday
The guest speaker at this evening’s Women’s Fellowship is Samuel Cowan from the Seamen’s Christian Friends Society.  Pray for this evening’s meeting.

13th February – Wednesday
A training event takes place today for Church Nominee School Governors.  Pray for Harry Kirk, Joanne Rodgers and Cameron Jones and their service to our church in this capacity.  Pray too for this afternoon’s service in the new Greenisland House.

14th February – Thursday
Several families have been bereaved over the Christmas period and since the start of the year.  Pray today for all facing the future without a loved one.

15th February – Friday
In Tanzania Bishop Francis Ntiruka is retiring as Chaplain of St John’s University.  Pray for him and his wife Miriam, for financial stability for them and the Lord’s provision, as Bishop Francis embarks on the next stage of his life in God’s service.

16th February – Saturday
Our Walking Group will, weather permitting, be at Loughmourne this morning.  Give thanks for this informal fellowship.

17TH FEBRUARY – SUNDAY (3rd Sunday before Lent)
Morning Prayer today includes Thanksgiving for the Birth of a Child.  Pray for the family coming to church for this service.  Pray for this evening’s Holy Communion with Prayers for Healing and for our Youth Fellowship.

18th February – Monday 
Pray for ICM and for CityChurch, Dublin.  Pray for financial provision for premises and for growth.  Remember Mark Smith, his family and colleagues.

19th February – Tuesday
Pray for this evening’s PrayerPoint.

20th February – Wednesday
With Bishop Alan due to complete Chemotherapy, pray for him and the next stage of his cancer treatment.  Pray that he will remain strong in the Lord and optimistic about the future.  Pray for the Abernethy family and give thanks for the skills of all involved in treating cancers and in cancer research.

21st February – Thursday
Give thanks for Catherine and her work in the Church office.  Pray for the team assembling Parish News and for distributors.  Pray for the church and hall cleaning teams and for our Catering team.

22nd February – Friday
Suicide devastates those left behind.  Pray today for families that have experienced a suicide; for ears to hear the plea for help from the suicidal.  Give thanks for charities like The Samaritans, PIPS and Cruse.

23rd February – Saturday
Pray for Emmanuel and for his work in Children’s and Youth Ministry.

24TH FEBRUARY – SUNDAY (2nd Sunday before Lent)
Pray for this morning’s Family Service and this evening’s Cafe Church.  Pray for Christians in other parts of the world who will worship in secret today.

25th February – Monday
Pray for the Christian Institute.

26th February – Tuesday
Pray for the church in the Diocese of Tabora, for Bishop Elias Chakupewa and especially for the Bible College.

27th February – Wednesday
Pray for Carrickfergus Ministers’ Fellowship and for Mission Carrick.  Pray for Alison and the Choir; and for Nadine and the Music Group.

28th February – Thursday
Pray for staff and pupils at Acorn Primary as they welcome a member of our clergy team to Assembly this morning.

Services in February 2019
3rd    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Holy Communion—”Not by might” Judges:
            (4) Gideon—calling and courage
            Judges 2 v 11-32        Christine Stewart
            Matthew 28 v 16-20        The Preacher
    6.30 pm    Evening Prayer & Café Church
            ”Blessed”: Introducing the beatitudes
            Matthew 5 v 1-12        Daphne Murphy

10th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer—”Not by might” Judges:
            (5) Gideon—Not by might!
            Judges 7 v 1-21        Harry Kirk
            John 15 v 9-17        Valerie Kirk
    6.30 pm    Service of the Word & Café Church
            ”Blessed”: The Poor in Spirit who Mourn
            Matthew 5 v 1-12        Hilary Bishop

17th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Morning Prayer—“Not by might” Judges:
            (6) Ambition over obedience
            Judges 8 v 1-20         Joan Gray
            Romans 1 v 18-25        Robin Gray
    6.30 pm    Holy Communion & Prayers for Healing
            & Café Church—”Blessed”: The Meek
            Matthew 5 v 1-12        Don Howe

24th    9 30 am    Holy Communion
    11.00 am    Family Service—”God knows”
            Genesis 24
    6.30 pm    Café Church—”Blessed”: Those who Hunger and
            Thirst for Righteousness
            Matthew 5 v 1-12

If any parishioner known to you is sick or in hospital,
please contact the church office or the clergy
so that they may be visited.  Thank you

JAM and Bible Class recommenced 6th January after the Christmas break and children and leaders were all full of the joys to be back. At present the JAM programme is looking at the Old Testament. The theme is “GOD Knows”, with some wonderful lessons to be learned. The senior Bible Class programme is looking at the life of Paul and the Junior Bible Class are finishing the Life of Abraham and then moving on to Ruth. So quite a lot of fun and fellowship.

Just to tell our parishioners what we have been up to:
The Bible Class had an outing to Glengormley Sportsbowl back in December and we had fierce competition and that was only the Leaders. We finished the evening as we all munched at McDonalds.  It was a good fun night.
JAM had an outing to World of Wonder in January and this was a very exhausting and exhilarating adventure, so many tired little bodies went home to sleep.  I hope.

At both these adventures we all had Fun, Friendship and Fellowship and again, on behalf of everyone who attended, we would like to say Thank You to the Vestry for allowing these activities to happen.

On Sunday 20th January, Cameron came to Bible Class to answer questions that the Bible Class have deemed to be important to them. This was a fact finding exercise and I know the Bible Class were very impressed and I do know that their questions were answered with integrity in a clear and concise manner, but unfortunately we ran out of time. We hope to have another Question Time at a later date.  Again Thank You Cameron for giving up your time to come and speak to us.

Dates for your Diary
Rory Bell from Teaching and Training Ministries will be holding a training day on Saturday 6th April 10 am to 4 pm at Union Theological College, Botanic Avenue, Belfast.  If anyone is interested in attending, the cost is £10. We will all be enthused and well equipped in our ministry to our children and young people.

I have circulars for Crosslinks Camps if anyone is interested. Senior Camp (aged 12-17) 27th July to 3rd August and the venue is Castlewellan Castle.  Junior Camp (aged 8-11) 10th August to 17th August and the venue is Fivemiletown College or go to their website WWW.CROSSLINKS.ORG/CAMPS

Please note, if you haven't completed a JAM form, please complete one as we require this information for GDPR.

If anyone would like any more information on JAM, or on the Bible Class, please contact me or someone from the Team.

Thanks again for all your support and remember the JAM children, Bible Class young people and our team of leaders in your prayers.
Sharon Maxwell, JAM Co-ordinator

Christian Baptism
“Suffer the little children to come unto me”
20th January 2019
Leona Diane Grace Hutchinson
16 Copeland Road, Eden, Carrickfergus

Christian Marriage
‘What God has joined together, let not man separate’
27th December 2018
Mark John Rodgers, 15a Farmlodge Park, Greenisland and
Paula Cortney Carse, 15a Farmlodge Park, Greenisland

Christian Burial
‘I am the Resurrection and the Life’
5th December 2018
Hannah Wilson, 75 Irish Quarter South, Carrickfergus

14th December 2018
Marion Dorothy Carter, Chester PNH, Whitehead
Formerly of 4 Carrickburn Court, Carrickfergus

21st December 2018
Sarah Beattie, St Macartan’s PNH, Clogher
Formerly of Rosebrook Avenue, Carrickfergus

28th December 2018
David Page, 11 Fergus Court, Carrickfergus

2nd January 2019
Georgina Bell (Ena) McGregor
Formerly of Macneice Fold Carrickfergus

5th January 2019
Maureen McAuley, 2 Brookeborough Avenue Carrickfergus

7th January 2019
Margaret Audrey Ann McMullan, 8 Raloo Road, Larne

8th January 2019
Eleanor Wilson, 6 Sandes Court, Carrickfergus

8th January 2019
Joan Davidson, 13 Craigowen Road, Carrickfergus

Parishioners wishing to see clergy during the vestry hour on Wednesday evenings are asked to ring the office on 028 9336 0061 to book an appointment.  This is to avoid clergy waiting in the church hall unnecessarily. Thank you for your co-operation in this matter

New job
So your new job gives you lots of freedom?
Absolutely.  I get here any time I want before 8 am, and leave just when I please after 5 pm.

Please organise within your group as to who will bring milk and biscuits.  If you cannot be present on the Sunday listed, please arrange for another volunteer to cover for you.  Many thanks for your support.

Kaye Cheshire
Doris Close
Kathleen Arthur
Marion Money
Janet Davis
Diane Strain
Alison Clarke
Carol Campbell
Maureen Jackson
Dianne Innes
Janice Nelson
Karen Miles

Senior momentS
Calling all over 50s (or nearly there!)
Members of St Nicholas’ Parish Church and others living in the area of Carrickfergus who describe themselves as 50 and over are cordially invited to join us in the Church Halls, Lancastrian Street on 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm

What’s happening in February
11th     Curio Day—Bring an item along that brings back memories and share them with us
25th     NICA interactive workshop (Food & Mood) with Julie
27th     Luncheon Club


Leprosy still exists around the world with many people still suffering.  If you would like to make a donation to this worthwhile cause or you would like a collecting box for your home, please contact Tina Campbell.
Thank you

St Nicholas Sketch