CIMS  Annual Outing 26 May 2012  
  St Nicholas' Carrickfergus   Holy Communion in St Nicholas' Carrickfergus  

The Annual Outing of the Church of Ireland Men’s Society was a visit to the Glens of Antrim on Saturday 26 May 2012. It was a day of glorious sunshine which enhanced the beauty of the sea and the glens on the famous Coast Road. Besides the lovely scenery of the area it is also a region steeped in centuries of history. One has only to recall the slave boy who tended sheep on the slope of Slemish Mountain all those years ago.

The day began with a service of Holy Communion in St Nicholas’ Parish Church, Carrickfergus, conducted by the Rector, the Revd George Davison. This was followed by a talk on its history by Mrs McVeigh and her family team.

The church, built 800 years ago by the Norman Knight, John de Courcy, is commemorated by the poet Louis MacNeice, a son of the rectory, in his poem Carrickfergus:

“The Norman walled this town against the country

To stop his ears to the yelling of his slave

And built a church in the form of a cross but denoting

The list of Christ on the Cross in the angle of the Nave”

  History of St Nicholas' Carrickfergus  
  Coffee and lunch were served in the Parish hall      
  Lunch in St Nicholas' Parish Hall   Canon George Mitchell (former Rector) & Revd George Davison  
  The drive from Carrickfergus through Larne then along the coast road to Glenarm proved unusual with the brilliant sunshine bringing crowds out on every beach, park and village.

The next stop was a visit to the home of the Antrim McDonnells at Glenarm Castle. The Mcdonnells is one of the great families of Gaelic Ulster, the other two being the O’Neills of Tyrone and the O’Donnells of Donegall. Asked why the McDonnell family had survived down the centuries while the other two did not, Hector McDonnell replied “The McDonnells were more canny, they knew how to adapt to the changing fortunes of history”.

It was a privilege to be conducted around a stately castle which was also a family home and not a museum.

The day ended with a meal in the Londonderry arms, Carnlough, an inn once owned by Winston Churchill. Here members were joined by Revd Helen McArthur, Rector of the Glens of Antrim.

  Members at Glenarm Castle   
   Glenarm Castle    Glenarm Gardens 1  
  Glenarm Gardens 2    Glenarm Gardens 3   
  Londonderry Arms    Londonderry arms 2