Cootehill Parish Bicentenary Celebrations

Cootehill Parish Bicentenary weekend at the end of May was an outstanding success. On Friday 24th we had the pleasure of listening to Joy Boyd, a Gospel singer from Larne, Co Antrim. She was accompanied by the Gospel Group Testify, from Co Antrim and Co Down. The evening included some community hymn singing, and an unexpected highlight of the evening was when Co Cavan singer, Lorraine Vance from Arva, who was in the audience, was called forward by the group to sing an impromptu piece. She did this to huge acclaim. The event was held in the church, and there was a sizeable crowd in attendance.

On Sunday 26th the church was almost filled to capacity for our special Bicentenary Celebration Service. This was held at 3.00pm, and we welcomed as our guest preacher our Bishop, Right Rev Ferran Glenfield. We were honoured to have as our soloist a member of Ashfield congregation, Farrah Keith, who was accompanied and trained by a local lady, retired Presbyterian minister Rev Florence Taylor. Farrah sang two pieces in the service which were beautifully performed – ‘Pié Jesu’, and ‘Brother, Sister Let Me Serve You.’The lessons were read by Mr Victor Reilly, our Parish Reader, and his wife Audrey, Diocesan Reader. Three of our young people ably led our prayers, Ethan Smyth, Alannah Pepper and Zara Johnston. The offering was received by Richard Pepper, Roy Grindle, Aaron Pepper, Kenneth Pepper, Kate Donnelly, Pam Johnston and Jonathan Smyth. Norman Foster arranged a Bicentenary Cake for the event, and this was cut after the service by the Bishop and was enjoyed during the tea. Thanks to all those who took part and helped to make our service the success which it was. Many people were involved behind the scenes, cleaning the church, tidying the grounds, bringing extra chairs, producing the beautiful flower arrangements and promoting the events. I am reluctant to mention any individuals, but Victor Reilly of Pricewise seemed to be down at the church for a while almost every day that week.

In his sermon the Bishop impressed us with some interesting historical information about the town of Cootehill and our church. He then used the early church, as described in our second lesson (Acts 2:42-47), as an example of what church should be.

The church then was clear in what it was about – bringing the Gospel message to the world.

The early church was a caring group – different from the world.

The early church was a learning church – they learned Jesus teaching and they were people of the book – the Bible.

A big thank you to the Bishop for his inspirational and challenging words. Thank you also to everyone in the congregation who made a huge effort – without you all we could not have had such a successful weekend.


Cutting the cake

 Bishop Ferran Glenfield, Rev. David Moses and his wife Catherine at official opening of rectory

 Bishop Ferran Glenfield, Rev. David Moses and glebewardens, members of building committee and Mr Ronnie Carnew, builder at official opening of rectory before the service on Sunday.

Photographer: Noel Halton