BALLYBLACK Presbyterian Church was delighted to recommence its annual Seedtime and Ploughmen’s Service on Sunday, March 19. The last Seedtime and Ploughmen’s Service was cancelled at very short notice in March 2020 due to the pandemic.
The Ballyclare Male Choir had been booked for the service in 2020. The Kirk Session was delighted that the choir was able to fit the service into its busy schedule and lead the praise on the evening. The choir is currently conducted by Keith Acheson and its accompanist is Sheelagh Greer. This year the choir is celebrating its 90th anniversary. Dr George Beale was the organist for the evening.
The guest speaker was William Irvine, Deputy President of the Ulster Farmers’ Union, who gave a very informative address on the current challenges faced by the farming community.
The service was conducted by the Rev Andras Gilicze who, although admitting that he had very little agricultural knowledge, gave a very inspirational address on the theme of “planted in faith”.
The lessons were read by Andrew Patton, Senior Leader of Newtownards Young Farmers’ Club, and Christine Rankin, Ards Peninsula Area Executive member of FWINI. Christine was delighted that 13 members of the WI attended the service who, in addition to the Ards Peninsula Area, came from Straid, Mountnorris, Killinchy and Boardmills.
The very generous offering on the night was £971.20 in aid of the Turkey/Syria Earthquake Appeal. Ruth Cooke, Head of Fundraising and Supporter Engagement with Christian Aid, attended the service to give the congregation an update on the situation and the work generally of the charity.
Those lifting the offering were representatives of the wider farming community in both County Down and County Antrim. The congregation attending was from as far afield as Coleraine in the north and Newcastle in the south.
Supper was served in the hall following the service and the choir concluded the very enjoyable evening by singing a couple of additional pieces.
The congregation wishes the Second Ballyeaston Presbyterian congregation every success as it celebrates its Annual Service for the rural and farming community on Sunday, April 16, at 7pm. The guest speaker will be David Wright, Northern Editor of the Irish Farmers’ Journal. The service will be conducted by the Rev Chris Glover and the praise will be led by the Farmers’ Choir.
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