Newtowncunningham Presbyterian

 

Newtowncunningham Presbyterian Church (a congregation of Presbyterian Church in Ireland) is situated in the village of Newtowncunningham, Co. Donegal, just off the N13 between Letterkenny and L'Derry. The church is situated on the 'Letterkenny' side of the village, opposite some shopping units.

The current minister is Rev. Nigel D. Craig. From 1998-2001 Nigel taught English in a Hungarian Reformed Church College in Oradea, Romania, under the auspices of the PCI Overseas Board. Whilst serving there he met Antûnia, whom he married in 2001. Nigel was ordained and installed as minister of Ray and Newtowncunningham congregations in 2007.

Each Sunday around 80 people of all ages meet together for worship. Our services, which last about an hour, follow the familiar patterns of Presbyterian worship (prayer, praise, Scripture reading, preaching, baptism and communion), yet with contemporary freshness. There are toilet and crëche facilities available in the hall beside the church. The services are recorded each week on CD. We love to welcome guests, regardless of denomination.

There are about 70 families connected to our church. Throughout the week we have a range of regular activities. Each Thursday we meet for Bible Study and prayer with members of Ray church. For children and young people we have a Sunday School, Bible Class, Badminton Club, Youth Fellowship and Brownies. We also have a Presbyterian Women's group, a men's fellowship 'Mentor,' badminton and bowling clubs. Our church has strong links with Moyle National School, which is under the patronage of the Presbytery of Derry and Donegal.

Good cross-community relations have been a feature of life in Newtowncunningham over the past decades. 'Trinity Court' Day Centre and Secure Community Housing unit opened in June 2009, under the care of the Inter-Church group (made up of representatives from the Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland and Presbyterian congregations).

Derek and Linda Roulston, from Newtowncunningham congregation, are serving with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, under the auspices of the PCI Board of Mission Overseas. Since October 1998 they have been engaged in community based development and outreach in several locations in Kenya. 

The essence of what we believe in Newtowncunningham Church is to be found in the so-called 'Five Solas of the Reformation': Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura), Christ Alone (Solus Christus), Faith Alone (Sola Fide), Grace Alone (Sola Gratia), to the Glory of God Alone (Soli Deo Gloria). In plain English it means that all we believe and do ought to be based on the Bible, and that Jesus Christ stands at the centre of the Bible's message. As God's Son he did everything necessary, through his life, death and resurrection, to open the way for us lost people to get into a right relationship with God again. That means we don't have to rely on our own performance to get there, but instead trust Jesus completely. Now that's grace -- outrageous kindness on God's part! Once we've been reconciled to God we'll want to bring pleasure to Him in everything we think, say and do. It's great to know that this is possible because God has given us His wonderful Holy Spirit.

If you would like to find out more about our church, or what we believe, please contact our minister: Rev. Nigel Craig (from RoI: 074 9157716, from UK and abroad: 00353 749157716) ncraig@presbyterianireland.org

A potted history of Newtowncunningham Church: Scottish Presbyterian settlers arrived in East Donegal in 1611. The village name 'Newtowncunningham' took its name from John Cunningham, from Ayrshire Scotland, who was granted lands in East Donegal as part of the Plantation of Ulster. Although several Presbyterian ministers worked amongst the Scottish planters it was not until after the 1641 Rebellion that the first congregations were formed in the 'Laggan' area (Monreagh, 1645 and Ray 1646/47). Although there were Presbyterians in Newtowncunningham they did not have their own place of worship; consequently they travelled on a Sunday to Monreagh and Ray (Manorcunningham).

In 1792 the Presbyterians of Newtowncunningham unsuccessfully attempted to organise a congregation. In spite of this they erected their own Meeting House in 1813, where the minister of Ray held occasional services. Finally in 1830 official permission was granted by the Synod of Ulster to start a congregation in the village. The first minister was Rev. William Scott. There were some 80-90 families connected to the church at that stage. The effects of the Ulster Revival (1859) were felt in Newtowncunningham. The present church building was constructed in 1881 under the ministry of Rev. George Thompson. At the present time the stated meetings of the Presbytery of Derry and Donegal meet in Newtowncunningham Church.

If you would like to find out more about the history of our church, or church records, contact our minister or Clerk of Session, Mr. Robin Crockett (from RoI: 074 9156441, from UK and abroad: 00353 749156441).

On R238 from Derry to Buncrana at Tooban, Burnfoot 

Fahan 

Co. Donegal 

Republic of Ireland F93 XY65