Loughaghery Presbyterian Church
In 1808 Thomas Ferguson, Clintaugh left £30 to be invested, interest of which was to be used yearly, for the purchase of Bibles, Psalters and Catechisms for children of poor parents, which Session will think most deserving. Upwards of 100 children would be tested. Only a few got premiums, children under 15 once only.The Sunday School has met each Sunday morning before morning worship. Down the years it has been served by a loyal band of teachers. The Superintendents in living memory have been John McBride from Ballykeel Lougherne, Master McDonald, William Irvine from 1920’s to 1951 and Miss Mary Reid from November 1951 to the present day.
In past years a fete was held during July in the Manse lawn but for a long time this has been replaced by an outing to Newcastle.
A Children’s Day Service is held annually in which the Sunday School Children take part. The offering at these services goes to defray expenses of prizes, bus for outing and other expenses.
A monthly offering is taken up for Missions.
For a number of years the Sunday School members have taken part in raising money annually for a Youth Project. In 1987 – 88 it is called ‘Transformers”.
For many years Dromore Presbytery had a set scheme of work and an examination held annually in November. Various prizes were given on results, and from time to time Loughaghery children won some of these. Three times the Gold Medal came to Loughaghery:
In 1936 Mary Scott – Now Mrs. Eddie.
In 1956 Helen Campbell – now Mrs. Gill, Yorkshire.
In 1960 Mervyn Eddie – now Dr. Eddie, Edinburgh.
During Rev. J.N. Moorhead’s ministry the Sabbath School Society for Ireland gave a diploma for the repetition of the entire Shorter Catechism. Mr. Moorhead himself tested the candidates who were usually aged about 12 – 13.
A number of these diplomas were won from year to hear and must still be in the possession of the older members of the congregation. Another exercise in memory work in Mr. Moorhead’s time was the learning and repeating of 119th Psalm.
In April 1970 the members took part in a sponsored walk in aid of the Hall Fund £236.14s was raised.
The following poem by the late Mr. Thomas Mitchell (a Sunday School Teacher) was composed about the event.
The Sunday School Walk
The morning was damp but our spirits were high
With a spring in our step and a flash in our eye
When all the goodbyes and farewells had been said
The Company stepped forward Captain Graham at their head
Turned left at the main road through Growell and Ballykeel
Our courage like fire and our muscle like steel.
Mr. Crooks our commander kept a faithful look out
In case a-brave warrior was forced to drop out
But we marched swiftly onward up hill and down brae
Our thoughts on the traget still many miles away.
And when we had covered about half way or more
We stopped for a break near a place called Dromore
This rest was enjoyed for the soup it was hot
Three cheers to Miss Reid and her helpers for that.
Then refreshments over and without fear of frown
We soon reached the outskirts of Hillsborough town,
As we surged round the bend at the top of the street
The guard at the castle was forced to retreat
But his Lordship stepped forward and raising his hat
Said I must pay respect to brave warriors like that
For with God as their watchword on them will depend
To guard our religion and laws to the end.
The town now behind we kept pushing on still
And soon reached the top of the Nursery Hill.
Here we mustered our forces for the final attack
No Surrender our password, and no turning back.
Advancing now forward longside the park wall
We reached Ballylintagh in no time at all
Here the first flush of victory our strength did renew
When the Ballycrune hills came into our view
We marched so determined though footsore and tired
Not a shot from the guns of Fortwilliam was fired.
Now the great walk was finished 15 miles in all
And all safely landed at Anahilt Hall.
gregation). Fred Young, a Sunday School member did a sponsored walk from the proceeds of which an Overhead Projector was purchased for use in the Sunday School.In 1988 the staff is Mr. Bertie Graham, Mr. John Gourley, Misses Mary Reid, Olive Gourley, Barbara Graham, Elaine Wilson, Jill Blakely and Wendy Sherlock.
Mrs. McConaghy is leader of the Bible Class and Mr. Tommy Jess stamps the League of Loyalty Cards.
The following poem was written by Mr. John McBride, BallykeelLougherne, one of the Sunday School superintendents already mentioned. It speaks vividly of the affection in which our church at Loughaghery has been held by him and many others over the years.
There is a Church I love sincere,
Where beauty and wealth doth both appear;
And truth is ever taught quite clear –
It’s that old Church, Loughaghery.
Let other Churches boast of style,
And follow fashions every while;
But all I want is just a smile
From thee thou dear Loughaghery.
Loughaghery, its very walls
More dear to me than sculptured halls;
Its very name my heart enthrals,
My own, my dear Loughaghery.
And when my race is nearly run,
And I have reached life’s setting sun,
I’ll breathe a wish, yes, only one –
To rest beside Loughaghery.
“A Plough Boy”