An outreach work is commencing in the village of Portavogie, County Down, under the auspices of the Ballyclare & Doagh Free Church (Continuing) Kirk Session.
In 2014 a number of believers became concerned about the form of worship they were experiencing. This led them to a discovery of the Regulative Principle of Worship. In God's providence the congregation at Doagh was constituted around the same time and joined the Free Church (Continuing) in May 2014. Some believers from Portavogie attended the inaugural service held by the Southern Presbytery in 2014.
Since the middle of 2015 a number of believers from Portavogie have been attending the services in Doagh regularly. This culminated in a request for a pastoral visit to Portavogie to discuss the situation. In December 2015 the Kirk Session considered the matter and agreed to commence services in Portavogie on the first Sabbath in February 2016 at 2:45pm. It is hoped that the full complement of services will follow in due course, God willing. This will be the first time in over a hundred years that Reformed worship has been held in this area.
We are much encouraged by this expression of interest in Reformed worship and pray that many more will come to this Biblical position. It is a reminder of the links with and influence of Scottish Presbyterianism in Ulster. The first Presbyterian minister to settle in Ireland was a Scot by the name of Rev Edward Brice. Over the centuries Ireland has received from Scotland the Seceders, United Presbyterians, Free Church and United Free Church denominations.
We encourage fellow congregants of the FC(C) in Scotland and elsewhere to pray for the work here in Ulster.