A thanksgiving service for 100 years of missionary support was held at Ballyclare Reformed Presbyterian Church recently.
The event was organised by the Women’s Fellowship.
The relationship was formed in January 14, 1914 when a minute of Session approved the “organising of a Women’s Missionary Association in connection with the congregation”.
Women’s Missionary Associations had already been in operation in many other Reformed Presbyterian Churches in Ireland from approximately 1833.
A meeting of ladies interested in mission work was held in January 1914 and this was the start of 100 years of missionary support.
During the first year, an “American tea” was held and this raised £19. 10s. 0d.
Many different ways of raising money for mission worktook place – “daffodil teas”, sales of work, social evenings, two-day bazaar held in the town hall, “basket teas”, plays and “guest teas”.
During WW1, the ladies were busy knitting socks, hats, gloves, and helmets to send out to the soldiers fighting in France.
During WW2, parcels were made up by the ladies of the WMA to be sent to an Irish prisoners of war.
Letters were received from prisoners who expressed their gratitude for the items sent.
Missionaries from many mission fields from all over the world have visited the church and told of their work. “Financial, practical and prayful support” are the mainstay of missionaries and the present Women’s Fellowship pray that God will bless their work for many more years to come.