Jesus is Lord - Romans 10: 9
Manorcunningham, Co Donegal, Republic of Ireland.
Sunday Service: 11.00 am (11.30am) during July and August
Details below from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Web site in 2011.
Ray (pronounced 'Rye') Presbyterian Church is situated on the edge of the village of Manorcunningham, Co. Donegal, just off the N13 between Letterkenny and L'Derry. From the main street of the village take the road opposite the Church of Ireland, drive up the hill and you'll find us on the right hand side.
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 Antónia, whom he married in 2001. Nigel was ordained and installed as minister of Ray and Newtowncunningham congregations in 2007.
Each Sunday around 160 people of all ages meet together for worship in our newly refurbished and modernised church building. 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 créche facilities available during worship. The services are recorded each week on DVD. We love to welcome guests, regardless of denomination.
There are about 135 families connected to Ray. Throughout the week/month we have a range of regular activities. Each Thursday we meet for Bible Study and prayer with members of Newtowncunningham church. For children and young people and we have a Sunday School, Bible Class, Youth Club, Youth Fellowship and Brownies. We also have a Presbyterian Women's group, a men's fellowship 'Mentor,' badminton and bowling clubs. In addition to these 'in-house' organisations we run a weekly 'Good News Club' in the Manorcunningham Resource Centre, where we welcome children from across the community. Our church also has historic links with Glenmaquin National School. One of our members, Ruth Lockhart, is serving with Child Evangelism Fellowship in Switzerland.
The essence of what we believe 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.
Scottish Presbyterian settlers arrived in East Donegal in 1611. Although several Presbyterian ministers worked amongst them it was not until after the 1641 Rebellion that the first congregation was formed in the 'Laggan' area (Monreagh, 1645). In 1646/47 Ray congregation was established in Manorcunningham, making it the second oldest Presbyterian congregation in Co. Donegal. The first minister was Rev. Hugh Cunningham who had come from Scotland to serve as Chaplain to the Earl of Glencairn's regiment. Mr. Cunningham had been present at the formation of the Army Presbytery in Carrickfergus in 1642, which marked the official beginning of Presbyterianism in Ireland.
In 1747 a serious disagreement arose between the majority of the congregation and the Synod of Ulster over the transfer of their minister, Rev. William Laird, to Belfast. The disaffected members eventually left the Synod of Ulster and formed a new congregation under the auspices of the 'Secession Synod.' This was the first Seceder congregation in Donegal.
Even though the disruption was deep, it was not going to be permanent. God kindly engendered within his people a desire to restore that original unity. The first major step came on a national level in 1840 when the Synod of Ulster and the Secession Synod united to form one church - the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. The two churches in Manorcunningham now became two congregations of the one denomination: 1st and 2nd Ray. Then in 1927 the two congregations agreed to share a minister - another step towards unity. Under the courageous leadership of Rev. Eddie Dorrans 1st and 2nd Ray united to form one congregation: 'Ray'. The weekly services are held in the former '2nd Ray' church building. A final decision has still to be made about the future use of 1st Ray Meeting House (built 1746).
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. Wm. McKinley (00353 74 9157350).