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PHSI Lecture: The Very Rev Dr Jack Weir

on Thursday 19 November 2015 at 8.00pm
in Bloomfield Presbyterian Church,
447 Beersbridge Road, Belfast BT5 5DW

‘The Very Rev Dr Jack Weir’

image of Rev Dr Andrew John (Jack) Weir

The last Presbyterian Missionary to leave China,
involved in the Feakle talks to bring peace to Northern Ireland
and a former Clerk of the General Assembly of PCI.

by Rev Dr Bill Addley

Everyone welcome – Refreshments provided

Read more about The life and times of Jack Weir on the PCI website.

Visit the Bloomfield Presbyterian Church website.


Rev Henry Montgomery, 1788-1865

Image of Rev Henry MontgomeryCommemorative Events to mark the 150th Anniversary of the death of the Rev Henry Montgomery, 1788-1865, Champion of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterians in Ireland.

Tuesday 10th November 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Reception and Launch in the Library, Christ Church Building, Royal Belfast Academical Institution (Inst). Speakers include Dr Roger Courtney and Rev William McMillan MBE. Refreshments will be served and there will be some musical items.

Friday 13th November 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Commemorative Dinner in the McCleery Hall, Dunmurry Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church. Speakers will be the well known historian Dr Éamon Phoenix and Mrs Linda Ballard. Tickets cost £15 per head and are available from Church Secretary, Mrs Margaret Graham, at 028 9061 0644.

Sunday 15th November 2015 at 3.00 p.m.
A Thanksgiving Service in the Dunmurry Church. The guest speaker will be Rev Chris Hudson MBE. There will be contributions from others within the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church during the service.


PHSI Lecture – Anne Jane Carlile 1775-1864

Anne Jane Carlile 1775-1864, Temperance Pioneer

by Mr Leslie McKeague
on Thursday 24 September 2015 at 8.00 p.m.

in Rosemary Presbyterian Church, 26-36 North Circular Road, Belfast BT15 5HB

Everyone welcome             Refreshments provided

Anne Jane CarlileBorn Anne Jane Hamill at Rooskey, County Monaghan, in 1775, she married the Rev Francis Carlile, the minister of 2nd Bailieborough (Urcher) and Corraneary in 1800.

Widowed after just 11 years of marriage she was left with 7 children to bring up.  She moved first to Londonderry but later settled in Dublin where for the remainder of her days she was active in charitable and philanthropic causes.  She soon got involved in prison reform and was visiting prisons in Dublin even before the visit there of Elizabeth Fry.

However, it is her pioneering work in temperance that she is most remembered for.  She was a frequent speaker throughout Ireland, England and Scotland advocating the setting up of temperance associations and was co-founder of the Band of Hope in Leeds in 1847.

Carlile Blue PlaqueA Blue Plaque was unveiled in May 2015 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bailieborough, County Cavan, in honour of Anne Jane Carlile.

See the Events at Trinity Bailieborough web page for more details.

See the entry in the Dictionary of Ulster Biography.


Presbyterian Churches open during the EHOD 2015 Weekend

EHOD_2015The 18th European Heritage Open Days programme in Northern Ireland is being held on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th September 2015. The EHOD 2015 Brochure page (pdf) has been published detailing the 400+ properties and events due to open to the public free of charge. Several Presbyterian Churches are included among the 400+ properties and events listed.

  • May Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast
  • First Presbyterian Church, Belfast
  • Townsend Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast
  • Shaftesbury Square Reformed Presbyterian Church, Belfast
  • First Presbyterian Church, Armagh
  • First Presbyterian Non-Subscribing Church, Holywood
  • Ballee Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church
  • Comber Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church
  • First Lisburn Presbyterian Church
  • Rademon Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Meeting House
  • First Saintfield Presbyterian Church
  • Riverside Reformed Presbyterian Church, Newry

Take this opportunity to find out about the history of these buildings and congregations that have used them.

Check for any updates and amendments to the EHOD 2015 programme.

See also the EHODNI Facebook page for photographs and more details on many of the venues and events.


Foyle Valley Covenanters – a new book for the PHSI Library

cover image - Foyle Valley CovenantersBready Reformed Presbyterian Church was one of the early Covenanter congregations formed in Ulster in the 18th century. This new book by WillIam Roulston traces the history of Bready Reformed Presbyterian Church, Co Tyrone, from 1765 to 2015 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the church. 1765 was when the first minister was ordained but it was six years later before the site at Bready was secured for a meeting house. Since then the members of this small but significant congregation have been active in preserving a Reformed Presbyterian witness in the district as well as contributing to many other aspects of local life.

After a brief introduction giving a concise history of the Covenanters in Ireland, the next chapters in the book cover the events during the period of each of the successive ministers, the life and work of the church and the building of the meeting house. Covenanters have a tradition of political dissent which is dealt with from the point of view of Bready congregation.

Family historians will appreciate an entire chapter on families associated with the congregation.

Very well illustrated, including a colour photograph of a page from a rare Psalm tune book, 1799, that belonged to Elizabeth Stevenson of Gortmellon, the book is priced at £10.00.

It is available in person from the Bready congregation (www.breadyrpc.org/contact.htm) or from the Covenanter Bookshop at Knockbracken. Online purchases can be made through www.booksireland.org.uk. The Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland has some copies for sale to personal callers to the Library.

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Dr James Denham, Preacher, Pastor and Defender of Presbyterianism

Booklet Cover ImageDenham ministered in Brigh, Co. Tyrone, 1826-37 and then moved to Great James Street in Londonderry where he served from 1837 to 1870.

He was no sooner installed in Great James Street when he became embroiled in a controversy following 4 sermons preached by the Rev Archibald Boyd against dissenters and Presbyterians in particular. These sermons were later printed in the Londonderry Sentinel. James Denham along with three other ministers felt obliged to reply in a series of sermons which were published shortly afterwards in ‘Presbyterianism Defended’.

Denham was a leading figure in the affairs of Derry Presbytery and in Londonderry City Mission. He became Moderator of the General Synod of Ulster in 1839 at a crucial time of discussions between the Synod of Ulster and the Secession Synod, both of which united to become the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland in 1840.

This new publication,  No.14 in the PHSI ‘Mini Biography’ Series, by the Rev Ivor F Smith presents the material under the headings after an introduction – Minister of Brigh, Minister of Great James Street, The Derry Controversy, The Wider Church, and The 1859 Revival.  The author delivered the PHSI Lecture on Denham in October 2013.

The publication may be bought online from the PHSI.

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The Adair Narrative

Book - Irish Presbyterian Church 1623-1670 by Patrick AdairA True Narrative of the Rise and Progress of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, 1623-1670’, also known as ‘The Adair Narrative‘, by the Rev Patrick Adair has been re-printed by the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland with an introduction by the Rev Joseph Thompson.

This is the first contemporary account of the history of Presbyterianism in Ireland.

The hardback book was priced at £20.00 – and is now offered at £10.00 plus delivery.  Order it online.

See more details about the book.

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