ON Saturday 18th January Clogher Valley Free Presbyterian Church had an official sod cutting ceremony for their new meeting house.
The first sod was officially cut by the denomination’s Moderator Rev Gordon Dane.
Speaking after the service, Clogher Valley FPC Minister Rev Peter McIntyre said: “This is an exciting time for the congregation and the moving forward of God’s work in this area. This year the congregation will mark fifty years from the church was established in September 1970.
“This is my eighteenth year as Minister but the discussions to develop the facilities have been ongoing for almost a decade.
“Doing nothing was not an option. Our current building needed modernisation. After much prayer and discussion we decided in 2014 that a new meeting house was the right path to take.
“This will enable the current church to then be developed into a church hall which will be useful for the children’s work and also catering for larger services where food is served.”
Rev McIntyre continued: “John McCarter was our architect, who along with Mr Niall Hudson, worked helpfully with us as we developed the plans. Lester Weir from Weir Brothers is the builder and the project is being managed by Hudson Irvine Architecture from Fivemiletown. The project quantity surveyor is a member of our Church Committee, Rodney Condell from Clabby.
“We hope to have the building completed in 2020. We pray much as congregation that the site will be safe and that the new building will be used to bring glory to God.
“It was wonderful to have our moderator cut the first sod and also be joined by the first minister of the church, Rev Michael Patrick.
“At the service on Saturday, Rev Dane preached about breaking up the fallow ground for it is time to seek the Lord. It was a great reminder of our purpose as a congregation.
“God does not live in bricks or mortar but in hearts. It is our prayer that the new meeting house will be used of God to spread the gospel and transform hearts by bringing men, women and children throughout the Clogher Valley the news that they have a Saviour who loves them and died for them.”
Rev McIntyre concluded: “In an age where so many feel unloved, unwanted and undervalued, the prophet Isaiah reminds us, that our Lord Jesus Christ has each man or woman in this Clogher Valley inscribed on this hands.
“That is the message that we want to spread and bring the news of an eternal salvation to people throughout the Clogher Valley.”