Events help church engage community

Making beautiful artwork in the craft area at the Ballyhenry Church Meet the Neighbours event.  INNT 34-707-BM
Making beautiful artwork in the craft area at the Ballyhenry Church Meet the Neighbours event. INNT 34-707-BM

Ballyhenry Presbyterian Church’s successful ‘Meet the Neighbours’ event on Saturday, August 17 was part funded by the CAN (Carrickfergus, Antrim and Newtownabbey) PEACE III Respect Programme.

The Respect Programme has worked with Ballyhenry Presbyterian Church on a number of initiatives over the life of the programme and was delighted, as the programme is drawing to a close, to be involved in what is an important community outreach event.

“The extent to which Ballyhenry Presbyterian Church reach out to the surrounding community, making everyone welcome in all of their events and activities and making a very real, concerted effort to have the church become entrenched within the local community as a safe, secure, place which all residents can use is the very essence of what the Respect Programme is working towards achieving throughout the CAN area,” a spokesperson explained.

The CAN PEACE III Respect Programme will draw to a close at the end of October, but still has lots of opportunities for groups to avail of the funding and initiatives which are available.

The Respect Programme is keen to hear from any groups who would like to be involved in the CAN Inclusion Festival, running from September 21 - October 4, and still has funding (up to £1,000) available for small projects which groups would like to run by end of September.

For more information contact Lynda Kennedy on 02894 463113 ext 1322 or email lynda.kennedy@antrim.gov.uk before August 30.

Meanwhile, Ballyhenry Church also ran a successful Holiday Bible Club from August 12 - 16.

A team of 40 volunteers from within the church, led by Mr Stephen Fleck, provided 150 children of primary school age from across the local community with a programme of Bible stories, singing, crafts, games and drama.

The church’s minister, Rev Niall Lockhart, said the Holiday Bible Club and Meet the Neighbours Day are run back-to-back each year as they complement each other.

“Holiday Club provides a great opportunity to share something of the unique message of the Bible with a new generation of boys and girls. Meet the Neighbours gives us the chance to open our doors to people of all ages, and like our Holiday Club it draws folks from all walks of life and from across the community. Both these events went very well this year and were enjoyed by many people. It is a privilege for us to serve the community in this way, and we particularly appreciate the generosity of the CAN Partnership in supporting the Meet the Neighbours event,” he commented.

For more information about Ballyhenry Presbyterian Church email nlockhart@presbyterianireland.org