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We are delighted to welcome the Rev. Rodney Moody, his wife Eimear, son Michael and daughter Megan to First Rathfriland Presbyterian Church.

Rev. Moody was installed as Minister of the Congregation on Thursday 14th September, with his first service as Minister in Charge on Sunday 17th September at 11.30am. 

We pray that the Rev. Moody and his family will settle into the locality quickly and will be blessed as they commence their ministry in Rathfriland.



David Scott, Clerk of Session (centre), photographed with                             Mrs Anne Annett presents a bouquet of flowers to Mrs Eimear Moody                Rev. Rodney Moody pictured along with Kirk Session and members of the Church Committee
Rev. Rodney Moody (left) and Rev. Colin Harris, Vacancy Convenor



                                                                             Rev. Moody pictured with his wife Eimear and their son Michael.                                                                          Rev. Rodney Matthew Moody: BSc, M.Div, Dip.Min
                                                                              Missing from the photograph is their daughter Megan


The Congregation presented the gift of a Bible to Mr Drew Wilson, who retired as an active Elder earlier this year. Drew has served a total of 34 years as an Elder. A floral arrangement was also presented to Drew's wife, Gwyneth.

We thank Drew for his years of service to the Lord, not only as Elder but also as Co-ordinator of Senior Citizens Fellowship.

Drew and Gwyneth are pictured with Rev. Colin Harris, Vacancy Convenor.

PW Mission Boxes - Could the ladies who have a Mission Box, please leave them in the Vestibule in the box provided over the next few weeks  if you prefer, you can make any donations directly to PW by Bank Transfer and the details for this are also available in the Vestibule  

Announcements from Treasurer. Could the Treasurers of all organisations please forward your Accounts to the Church Treasurer as soon as possible.

The Treasurer would also like to encourage everyone to consider using bank transfers or standing orders to donate or make monetary donations to the Congregation. There are leaflets in the vestibule to explain how to go about setting up online payments.

Pianist - An announcement on behalf of Margaret. If anyone within the Congregation can play the piano, Margaret would love to hear from you. Margaret would be grateful if someone could come forward as a Relief Pianist for occasional playing.

Moderator Visit on 360th Anniversary

We were delighted to welcome the Moderator, Rev. Dr. John Kirkpatrick and his wife Joan to our Congregation this morning in this our 360th Anniversary Year.

During the Service, the passing of Queen Elizabeth II was recorded and a moments silence was observed as a mark of respect.

The Rev. Dr. Kirkpatrick and is wife Joan is pictured with the Congregational Convenor, Rev. Colin Harris.

Death of the Queen

Presbyterian Moderator, Right Reverend Dr John Kirkpatrick, has offered the Church’s ‘deepest, heartfelt and sincere condolences’ to His Majesty the King, on this evening’s announcement that Her Majesty the Queen passed away peacefully this afternoon at Balmoral.

In paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth, Dr Kirkpatrick said, “On behalf of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, I would like to extend our deepest, heartfelt and sincere condolences to His Majesty the King and the Royal Family, on the loss of one so loved and respected.

“For those in Northern Ireland who express their loyalty to the Crown, few can remember a time when The Queen was not part of the very fabric of national life, as her Platinum Jubilee in June demonstrated. At the same time, for many who do not share that same sense of loyalty, in her long life Queen Elizabeth became one of the most recognisable and respected figures across these islands.

“The Queen will be remembered for her sense of duty and quiet dedication to the service of the people of the United Kingdom, and those farther afield. Her promise, made long ago on her 21st birthday, that her ‘whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service…’ has now been fulfilled, and we give thanks to God for that long and dutiful life,” Dr Kirkpatrick said.

Dr Kirkpatrick continued, “As an all-Ireland denomination, many of our members, and indeed non-members alike, found much hope and encouragement in Her Majesty’s many visits to Northern Ireland, not least during the darkest of days. Few will also forget her state visit to the Republic of Ireland with her late husband, Prince Philip, 11 years ago.

“In a long and significant reign, they were four days in May that not only made history, but quietly closed a chapter in Ireland’s story. A short visit that left a long-lasting impression, which will be remembered for many years to come, alongside her commitment to peace and reconciliation,” he said.

The Moderator concluded by saying, “In acknowledging a life of devotion to public service, I will always remember The Queen’s willingness to talk about her personal faith in Jesus Christ. I was greatly encouraged by her Christian witness, which was a wonderful example for everyone who acknowledges the name of Jesus as their Saviour.

“A blessing to so many, I remember Her Majesty talking of Jesus in one Christmas broadcast as ‘an inspiration and an anchor in my life’. At this time of great sadness, bereavement and loss, it is my prayer that His Majesty the King, and Royal family, will take heart in that simple, but profound declaration. It is also my prayer that they may know the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the anchor of our soul, and our ultimate comforter in times of great sadness.”

Farewell To Rev Boyd and Family

It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to Minister Rev. Trevor Boyd and his family.  The Rev. Boyd's final service was on Sunday 30th May 2021 were he read from Deuteronomy 31:1-13, and spoke on "What Does the Bible Say About That?  The Rev. Boyd has been the Minister of First Rathfriland Presbyterian Church for 8 years and we give thanks for his faithful ministry to the Congregation and throughout the District.



BB at home is the new resource from the Boy's Brigade that will allow you to engage your children in activities from the comfort of your own home.

If you sign up to the progamme you will recieve weekly emails with all you need to teach your children bible stories and enjoy making craft from items you will have in your home. This is for both boys and girls and can be a welcome break from all the home schooling.

Click on the link below to read more, and scroll to the bottom of the page to register


Presentation to the future development of the new CEF building at Seaview Kilkeel, County Down. Pictured is David Crutchley (CEF) accepting the donation from Lindsay Gracey (Treasurer). Also picture is Rev. Trevor Boyd (Minister).



Harvest 2019

Monday 30th September 2019  we hosted a very informative range of presentations by our guests Barclay Bell, Nuala Carr, Simon Doherty and Jonathan Birnie on the topic of Food Production in a Changing Climate. Thanks to everyone who came along and trust that you found the evening helpful as you try to make sense of the current environmental issues.


Our Harvest Thanksgiving 2019 display erected by John Ervine and his team.



Harvest 2018

Our Harvest Thanksgiving 2018 display erected by John Ervine and his team.

Our Harvest Thanksgiving services are Sunday 7th October at 11.30am with Rev Kenny Hanna and 7.00pm with Rev Dr John Dixon. You are welcome to visit our church displays on Sunday 7th Oct between 3.00pm and 6.00pm. There will be tea and apple tart in the church hall. We are not open to the public on Saturday afternoon this year as the New Irish Youth Choir will be setting up for our Harvest Praise Night which is on Sat 6th October at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome to all or any of these events.



Retirement of Clerk of Session


Mr David Scott presents Mr David McDowell with a Bible in recognition of his service as Clerk of Session


Ordination of Elders


Congratulations and every blessing to our two new elders, Mr Lindsay Gracey and Mr David Hanna.



Robert Morrow & First Rathfriland

Robert Morrow from San Diego, California USA, paid a special visit to First Rathfriland Presbyterian Church, where his forefathers worshiped over 100 years ago. His great grand uncle, Thomas Rowan Morrow, was baptised in Church on 21st July 1881 and was the only Third Class passenger from Ulster to perish on board Titanic. 


Rev. Trevor Boyd (Minister of First Rathfriland Presbyterian Church) looks on as Robert Morrow (great grand nephew of the late Thomas Rowan Morrow) signs the visitors book at First Rathfriland Presbyterian Church. 

David McDowell (Clerk of Session), Robert Morrow (great grand nephew of the late Thomas Rowan Morrow) and Rev. Trevor Boyd (Minister of First Rathfriland Presbyterian Church). 


One to think about


I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven's door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp--
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.

Bob, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, 'What's the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How'd all these sinners get up here?
God must've made a mistake.

'And why is everyone so quiet,
So somber - give me a clue.'
'Hush, child,' He said,
'they're all in shock.
No one thought they'd be seeing you.'


Remember...Just going to church doesn't make you a
Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.

Every saint has a PAST...
Every sinner has a FUTURE!



Installation & Ordination of Mr Trevor Boyd

A big thank you to all who helped in any way at the Ordination and Installation of the Rev. Trevor Boyd in our Church on Friday 10th May. We appreciate whose who provided food, trolleys, etc, and helped with the catering arrangements A special thanks to Mrs Jean Annett and Mrs Maude Harbinson for the professional way in which they arranged the workers on the night, where everything went so smoothly. It was so encouraging to see so many men and ladies
offering to help to make the night such a success.

We have just celebrated 350 years of Christian witness in our Church. We have been handed down a rich heritage. The torch is now in our hands to carry forward the work of the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. I ask you to encourage the Rev Boyd and his wife Barbara, sons Andrew & Brian and daughter Bethany in the little things of life but most importantly by your presence for working in the House of God, week by week. A big task lies ahead to see lives changed and new commitments made to live closer to our God.

Please do bring the needs of this congregation to the Lord in prayer. We have only got one life to live, one chance - waste it or make it count - ask big, expect much.

Robin Mark to conclude Church’s 350th Anniversary Year in Concert.

Internationally renowned Northern Irish Christian singer, songwriter and worship leader, Robin Mark, is to perform in a special evening of praise in Rathfriland High School on Saturday 1st December.

The concert has been organised to conclude a special year in the life of First Rathfriland Presbyterian Church in this their 350th year.   

Robin Mark is a well-known Christian singer, songwriter, worship leader, and recording artist based in Belfast. He has written several songs sung throughout the world. He is best known for his songs "Days of Elijah", "Revival", "All for Jesus", "The Wonder of The Cross", "Not by Might" and many more. He has released thirteen albums in total with sales of over two million worldwide and has won the GMA's international award.

John McConnell, Clerk of Session said, “The congregation has been celebrating 350 years of Christian witness in the community this year and we thought it would be fitting to round off this special year of mission with a night of praise and worship.”

350th Anniversary Celebration



We enjoyed hearing from our former minister Rev. Mark Neilly at our Evening Harvest Thanksgiving service. His wife Hazel and daughter Rebekah also made the trip down from Buckna. They are pictured here with our Clerk of Session John McConnell. Many thanks to those who decorated the Church so beautifully for our special services.


We were blessed to welcome back the Very Rev Dr John Dixon and his wife, Claire to First Rathfriland this morning. The Dixons got an opportunity to chat with old friends over tea in the hall and posed with our Clerk of Session John McConnell and his wife, Joyce after the service.


Bible Exhibition

Lord Bannside provided many of the Bibles that were on display and brought along with him a Bible used by a Pastor on board Titanic. The Bible was saved at the time of the disaster and is now in Lord Bannside's possession.


Lord Bannside and his wife Baroness Paisley of St George's, is pictured signing the visitors book before leaving.

Enjoying the exhibition was, John McConnell (Clerk of Session), Mrs M. Trimble, Jill Cromie and Ann Cromie.

350th Anniversary Celebration


Mr John McConnell. Clerk of Session of 1st Rathfriland Presbyterian Church, makes a presentation of a book to Reverend Dr. Ivan Patterson, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, entitled 'A Household of Faith' written by former Church Minister the Reverend George Morrison. The book which researches the history of 1st Rathfriland Presbyterian Church, currently celebrating its 350th Anniversary. Looking on is the Reverend Raymond McKibben, Church Convenor and Minister of Glascar and Donaghmore Presbyterian Churches. Photo: Gary Gardiner.


Attending the Sunday Morning Service, celebrating the 350th Anniversary of 1st Rathfriland Presbyterian Church were from front row left, Mr John McConnell, Clerk of Session, Reverend Dr. Ivan Patterson, Guest Speaker and Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, accompanied by his wife Mrs Maureen Patterson and the Reverend Raymond McKibben, Church Convenor and Minister of Glascar and Donaghmore Presbyterian Churches. Back row from left, Mr Murray Annett, Church Secretary accompanied by his wife Mrs Anne Annett and Mr Samuel McDowell, Church Treasurer, accompanied by his wife Mrs Anna McDowell. Photo: Gary Gardiner.


Mr John McConnell, Clerk of Session, 1st Rathfriland Presbyterian Church, makes a presentation of a book to former Minister the Reverend Alistair Smyth (1988-1996), entitled 'A Household of Faith', written by former Minister the Reverend George Morrison. The book which researches the history of 1st Rathfriland Presbyterian Church, currently celebrating its 350th Anniversary. Looking on are Mrs Lesley Smyth and Mr Murray Annett, Church Secretary. Photo: Gary Gardiner.



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