• Worship Times
    • Dollingstown


      Last Sunday of the month Cafe Church@7:45pm

    • Magheralin


      Evening worship@6:30pm weekly. (Early morning Holy Communion on 4th Sunday of each month 8:30am).

Holy Week 2018

It will be amazing during Holy Week, each evening in Magheralin from Monday to Friday (26th-30th March) at 8pm, to look at the gift of Christ’s SACRIFICE.  A sacrifice that was “filled with Grace”, was “for all”, was “urgent”, “holy” and “completely voluntary”.  Do join us for these special evenings to hear more about God’s Amazing Grace!

A Word from Simon – Goodness Gracious!

Over the past few days, I have been thinking about ‘GRACE.’

Many people “say grace” before meals, acknowledging their daily bread as a gift from God. We are grateful for someone’s kindness, gratified by good news, congratulated when successful, gracious in hosting friends. A composer of music may add grace notes to the score. Though not essential to the melody, these notes add a flourish whose presence would be missed.  We also learn about a word from its opposite. Media outlets talk about celebrities and politicians  “falling from grace,” a truly despicable person is described as having no “saving grace” about him.”

But grace is a word that we Christians have a special love for.  We receive God’s Rescue/Riches At Christ’s Expense.  I love what writer Philip Yancey writes about the word ‘grace’, he says “it contains the essence of the gospel as a drop of water can contain the image of the sun.”

Isn’t that a great image? These 5 letters carry the essence of the gospel.  I recently heard from a friend about Christmas Day at their house, the kids were so excited to run down and open their presents and the 2 boys went straight for the 2 big wrapped parcels under the tree.  They excitedly tore off the paper and were thrilled to find a pirate ship each! They ran up to their parents and wrapped their arms around them, thankful for a better gift than they had even dared imagine – at which point the parents said to them “Wait, there’s more under the tree!”  You see folks, grace is an ocean of God’s goodness – there’s always more! Because of Christ’s death and resurrection – there’s always more under the tree (don’t forget the cross is classified as a tree in the New Testament!).  

It was amazing to have our in-house parish weekend with John and Annie Hughes, and to hear such marvellous teaching on the grace gifts of holiness (he makes us like Him),  unity (he can make us ONE), and intimacy (he’ll bring us close to the Father).  It will be amazing during Holy Week, each evening in Magheralin from Monday to Friday at 8pm, to look at the gift of Christ’s SACRIFICE.  A sacrifice that was “filled with Grace”, was “for all”, was “urgent”, “holy” and “completely voluntary”.  Do join us for these special evenings to hear more about this Amazing Grace!

I love the symbols of baptism and confirmation that we use within the Church of Ireland.  John chapter 1 talks about grace on top of grace – and this is so true in these symbols.  Regularly we have baptism which symbolises the need for the washing away of sins and the need for new life in Christ – it is amazing to offer this to infants when we are promising as a Church to help them on that journey towards their own conversion, and beautiful to offer it to adults as we will on Easter Sunday, to mark people’s arrival after that journey, ie they have come to Christ and want to celebrate it!  And if baptism is GRACE, confirmation is more GRACE on top!! It will be great to have the Bishop coming to Magheralin on Pentecost Sunday Night, the 20th of May, to pray the power of the Holy Spirit over our candidates, and should be a powerful night of celebration for the whole church!

So forgiveness from Jesus is grace, the power of the Holy Spirit to live for Jesus is grace over grace!  I wonder have you unwrapped the gift of salvation yet? Have y ou had a taste of his grace?  The symbol of baptism is very important, but it is only a symbol whether you get it as a 0 year old or a 100 year old – the key is, have you got the grace?  And if you have received the grace gift of salvation, are you satisfied or do you want more of God’s grace? Remember because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, there’s always more under the tree!

Praying that you have a meaningful Holy Week and Easter, discovering the empty cross and the empty tomb afresh,



General Vestry Register

The General Vestry Register

will be open for revision from

13th January 2018


13th February 2018

A review of Vestry members will be carried out in February. Forms of Declaration are available from the Rector and churchwardens from 13 January to enable any one not registered to request registration. 

It is not necessary to register every year.

Bishop Greg sharing with us!

We have a special guest speaker in November!

On the morning of the 19th November, I am breaking our usual custom of JAM/Click all-age services, to accommodate an amazing Bible teacher who I am delighted to be hosting. 

The Most Revd Greg Venables, Bishop of Argentina and Primate of South America, will pull no punches and is a speaker not to be missed!


Another Madmen Event!

MADMEN goes ‘Healthy’ (well sort of – tea/coffee + eats always available) on Friday 17th November at 7:45pm in Dollingstown Lounge!

Dr Dickie Barr will be sharing some information on specific aspects of men’s health, how to look after yourself better and answer any questions you may have.










Branson meets Linton- well done Dave

Entrepreneur and parishioner of Magheralin and Dollingstown, Dave Linton, recently found himself sharing brunch with Virgin founder, Sir Richard Branson.

Dave founded social bag brand, Madlug (Make a Difference Luggage), in 2015 after discovering that most children in care transport their worldly belongings in bin bags.

The company operates a ‘one for one’ model so that with every bag purchased, one will be given to a child in care.

This summer, Madlug embarked upon an ambitious crowdfunding campaign through Virgin Voom. They were in competition with other start–up companies to raise the most money and win a prize of £1,000 and brunch with Sir Richard.

Madlug set itself an initial target of £10,000 and was leading the competition right up until the very last hour until its competitors received some very large pledges to leave Madlug in 3rd position.

However, this was not the end of the story because earlier this month, Dave did get to have Brunch with Branson and share the Madlug story with him.

Even better, the Crowdfund campaign ran for another 24 days and finished at an incredible total of £24,595.

This money has enabled Madlug to give well over 1000 bags to children in care so that they don’t have to carry their worldly belongings in black bin bags, as is so often the case for the 93,000 young people in care in the UK today.

The bag itself is unbranded to avoid stigma. It folds away to fit neatly into a sock drawer or a Social Worker’s car boot without wasting storage space. And each bag has a label that says “You are incredible” to remind every child that they have value, worth and dignity.

For more info on Madlug go to

Men’s Alpha cancelled tonight

Due to the storm the Men’s Alpha Course in the Edenmore Country Club is cancelled tonight, Monday 16 Oct.

So light the fire, put your feet up and drink some hot chocolate!

See you next week.

Another word from Simon

Back to school at Magheralin Parish!

When you’ve been around church life for a few years, it’s easy to get a bit cynical about the great ideas that continuously come around – especially from enthusiastic young rectors!
Folks we’re going to do an evangelism course! Get excited we’re re-launching home groups, but this time we’re calling them cell-groups! Etc, etc… And I can promise you, I will definitely come up with “new” ideas just like that, and I hope you will go with them as best you can.  But there’s nothing new about our discipleship focussed year, we’re just getting back to basics – are we spending time with Jesus, are we positioning ourselves to become more like Jesus, are we learning to do the things Jesus did?
You see the Greek word for “disciple” is mathetes. Directly translated, it means learner. Scripture really seems to be getting at something here, something about orienting our lives around becoming lifelong learners of Jesus. It is beautiful to think that, powered by God’s Spirit, over time, we can learn the ways of Jesus, doing the things that he did while becoming the same type of person. It doesn’t happen overnight, and neither is that the expectation of Scripture.
We learn in 3 primary ways, but unequivocally, we learn best when there is a dynamic interplay between all 3 at 1 time:
  1. Classroom/Lecture
  2. Apprenticeship
  3. Immersion
Classroom/Lecture is out in force on a Sunday! Come along and hear Carlton and myself preach our hearts out! Sometimes it’ll be great and full of the fire of the Lord, other times it will be a less memorable effort, but we hope you will seek to draw something out of the well of what we and others offer in the services!  The Bible says not to neglect meeting together, so if you’re an occasional visitor – try and amp it up to weekly attendance, if you’re only a Sunday morning person, what about giving our amazing 6:30pm Sunday nights a lash?
Apprenticeship is crucial but under utilised – we are so used to hearing the weekly lecture, but so unaccustomed to practicing what is preached! I would hope that medical students don’t simply go to medical school and learn theory about surgery, that they have residencies during which they apprentice themselves to someone to learn to do what they do. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want someone operating on me who has only head knowledge!  The Sunday night Spiritual Disciplines series is about giving tools to you for spiritual formation that can be used day and daily.  There’s literally no point in hearing a lecture about the “Discipline of Celebration” if you’re not going to go home and celebrate all that He has done, is doing and will do!  Put it into action, and if we are lecturing stuff that is of no practical use – call us on it!!
Immersion is crucial, crucial, crucial. As I watch my wee daughter learning to say a few words. She hasn’t been to a class or been formally apprenticed to anyone.  Over time it’s just happening, and the more she hangs around with people who talk, she’ll learn more and more.  This is why Wednesday night Discipleship classes are great, why Men’s Alpha is great, while coffee times before and after our services are great, why Home Groups, and Knit Wits, and Friendship and Bowling Club and Prayer times… and a million other things… are great! As long as they are intentionally about sharing life, faith and Jesus with one another, that is beautiful immersion in beautiful Christian community, and (at it’s best) it’s teaching the faith by immersion!!
As I close these slightly random thoughts, here’s an important statement: “No one Accidentally creates Disciples. No one accidentally becomes a mature Disciple. Discipleship is always an intentional Pursuit.”  How intentionally are you pursuing maturity in Christ?  If the first and great commandment is ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”, is it the driving passion of your life to love him and honour him completely?  
Why not really intentionally amp up your spiritual formation this year? Chat to Simon or Carlton about how you might do this!
Bless you,

A word from Simon

As some of you know, I’m a big football fan. Not a huge sports fan, I know nothing about rugby, golf or motorsports, but I do know about kicking the round thing into the rectangular thing (if only Liverpool would do it more!).

Football, like many other sports, has become obsessed with statistics. When a player is substituted, the TV coverage now displays how many kms they’ve run, how many key passes they’ve played and how many interceptions they’ve made. Some of it is educational and some of it seems fairly meaningless, but people are pretty interested in this stuff.
There’s nowhere to hide if you’re a lazy player now – if the goalkeeper has run more than the winger, it’s clear to see there’s something wrong!

Liverpool signed a great little player called Adam Lallana a few seasons ago, and his running stats were off the charts – an exceptionally hard worker. Trouble was that the really important stats – goals scored and goals created – were sadly lacking. Thankfully he has now turned it around and his brilliant running is accompanied with some end product.

I think some of this feeds into the essential, life and death issue of discipleship. There are churches that are lazy – plain to see – they don’t do anything! Christians that are totally inactive in living out their faith. The poor stats or the fruitlessness tells the tale – as Dallas Willard said “Grace is opposed to earning – it is not opposed to effort!”
But there are also Churches and individuals that are like Adam Lallana, once described by a commentator as “a busy fool” – they run around doing things, but without scoring goals! They have endless meetings, they run oceans of services, but without the desired outcome.

One of those most challenging passages in Scripture is Luke 13, where Jesus describes a scene at the end of the age. He says there’ll be people knocking and pleading to get into Heaven claiming to have been busy for the Kingdom, but He will turn them away saying that He never knew them. This is a huge reminder that even if we’re really active, the key question is do we know Him? That’s the goal. That’s discipleship – getting to know Jesus by being with Him, and by a total commitment to follow Him wherever He goes.

This term we want to encourage you to be really intentional about your own discipleship and these are some opportunities to grow in your relationship with Christ over the next number of months:

• Sunday mornings : “Mark’s Good News” – We will be moving carefully through the Gospel of Mark seeking to encounter Jesus afresh and respond to Him.

• 1st and 3rd (plus 5th if there is one!) Sunday evenings: “Live Freely, Live Lightly” – The Christian life is marked by grace but also requires discipline. This new series will highlight the practices of a healthy disciple who has discovered and applied the Way of Jesus.

• Wednesday evenings in Magheralin 7:45-9pm: This term we are having a Bible Study exploring the characteristics of Christ’s disciples and what He taught them. Our Sunday morning and evening teaching will be complemented by you coming along to the Bible Study and delving deep under the skin of the disciples – ordinary people living extraordinary lives.

• Men’s Alpha – We are so excited to be inviting our men to Edenmore for a very special Alpha Course just for them.
Like most things worth achieving in life, from getting healthy to learning a new language, discipleship takes effort. Maybe you have never been part of anything more than a Sunday morning service – why not try something more this term and really invest in your spiritual health.

Bless you and all aboard the disciple-ship!

  • Get in touch

    Parish Office
    3 Newforge Road
    Tel: (028) 9261 9569