Strand & Buncrana Presbyterian at 2009
Below is an article from the Derry Journal of 25th August 2009.
Strand Road Church's future 'in God's hands' - minister
The future of Strand Road Presbyterian Church which faces possible closure because of falling numbers, now lies "in God's hands ", the minister of the congregation has said.
Reverend Robert Buick said no decision has yet been taken on the future of the city centre church - one of the oldest in Derry - but acknowledged closing the doors remained a possibility.
"The Presbytery of Derry and Donegal will be looking at the various options that are available for the future of the congregation as they do with all congregations in the area," he said.
The Presbytery is due to meet in early September to discuss the future of the church.
In recent years the Strand congregation has dwindled from around 300 families to just over 90 at present.
A number of repairs are required to the Strand Road church while the financial difficulties are further compounded by the loss of money invested in the beleaguered Presbyterian Mutual Society, which crashed earlier this year.
Reverend Buick said all parties, including the congregation, would be consulted as part of the decision making process.
"Then the Presbytery will recommend the various options to the congregation. It is sustainable, there are smaller congregations within the Presbytery.
"Closure is only one option available to us."
Any recommendation must be passed by the church's governing body, the General Assembly.
The clergyman said ultimately the future of the congregation will be decided by God.
"In 1859, there was a revival, particularly which affected the Presbyterian churches in Ulster. As a result of that numbers attending the churches rose dramatically. So in many ways the future of Strand congregation and indeed all our congregations are really in God's hands, more than ours," he said.
Strand Road Presbyterian Church opened on March 12, 1848
On R238 from Derry to Buncrana at Tooban, Burnfoot
Fahan, Via Lifford, Co. Donegal
Republic of Ireland EIRCode F93 XY65
ROI Registered Charity Number (RCN): 20205867