THE RECTOR’S LETTER APRIL 2007
149 My Lady’s Road
My dear Friends
I recently listened as a leader of a large and growing church uttered the following
words – “to play safe is risky”.
In the Bible (Matthew Ch 14) we read of one of Jesus’ disciples Peter getting out of a
boat, a boat that was out in the middle of a lake and Peter walked on water towards
Jesus who was walking on the water coming towards Peter.
It is one of my favourite Bible passages. Peter has the courage to trust God, to
exercise faith in God and as a result Peter gets to walk on water! How exciting is that?
The others who stayed in the boat never got to walk on water! My friend who said “to
play safe is risky” reminded me of something I have discovered is true. People on their
death bed never regret risky steps of faith but many do regret, in my experience and in
his, playing it too safe in life. We were not created to stay in the boat and when we
play safe we often miss out on some of the greatest opportunities of life.
To play safe is risky – to play safe and not to take the step of faith needed to invite
Jesus to be the one who takes control of your life as you ask Him to live in you as the
Saviour of your life, Lord and Friend is risky – you risk dying without Jesus, dying
unforgiven and condemning yourself to an eternity without hope and without heaven.
To play safe is risky – when we don’t trust in Jesus when He calls us to radical living,
radical giving, radical serving and a radical Christian lifestyle is risky – we risk living
lives that make little difference and contribute little to our family, our community, our
country or to anyone or to anything.
God is calling us to get out of the boat and in all sorts of exciting ways to walk on
water. To play safe is much too risky so get out of the boat!
Your friend and pastor
David A McClay
N.B. Safeguarding Trust Panel Members
The people responsible for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of both children and
volunteers at our children and youth activities are Peter Wardlow, James Myles and
All the services below are held in Willowfield
Church Hall, 290-296 Woodstock Road (across from
the police station). There is also a service called
‘Just 55’ at 5pm each week in the Lagan Village
1st Sunday – 1st April - Palm Sunday
Theme A PALM SUNDAY MESSAGE
9.00 am 10.00am 11.30 am 5.30 pm 7pm
Service Holy News@10 Holy Communion Evening prayer Praise
2nd Sunday – 8th April – Easter Sunday
Theme CHRIST IS RISEN
9.00am 10.00am 11.30 am 5.30 pm 7 pm
Service Holy News@10 Family Service Evening prayer Praise Service
3rd Sunday – 15th April
Theme ALIVE TO GOD
9.00 am 10.00am 11.30 am 5.30 pm 7pm
Service Holy News@10 All age worship Evening prayer Holy
4th Sunday - 22nd April
Theme ALIVE TO GOD
9.00am 10.00am 11.30am 5.30 pm 7pm
Service Holy News@10 All age worship Holy Amplify
4th Sunday - 29th April
Theme ALIVE TO GOD
9.00am 10.00am 11.30am 5.30 pm 7pm
Service Holy News@10 All age worship Holy Praise Service
Holy Week and Easter 2007
Sunday 1st – Sunday 8th April
Monday 2nd – Friday 6th
Special Holy Week Prayer times each morning from 6.30am – 7.30am.
Good Friday 10am-10pm
A day of prayer with a ten minute talk focusing on Christ’s death on the cross each
hour on the hour followed by 50 minutes of prater. The pattern will continue
Evening Holy Week Events (all at 8pm)
Monday 2nd April Ladies event – all ladies invited
Tuesday 3rd April Men’s event – all men invited
Wednesday 4th April Besom on expression of Christ’s love – all welcome
Thursday 5th April At the Lord’s Table – all welcome
(With visiting speakers Graham Thompson and Sarah Blakely
telling the story of Rachael Scott who, as a young Christian,
was killed in Columbine High School for following Jesus)
Friday 6th April Good Friday – an hour of worship that focuses on the cross
Easter Day services at our usual times!
Kidz Easter Holiday Club
4th, 5th and 6th April from 11.00am – 12.30pm.
If you are aged between 4 and 11 years old and enjoy messy games, songs, dramas
and competitions then please come along!!! On Friday 6th April there will be a
family service with lunch served after. You don’t want to miss it!!
Contact Susan McFarland (Willowfield Parish’s children’s worker) on 90457654 for
EASTER ACTIVE YOUTH
Active Youth during the Easter holiday will run during holy week
from Monday 2nd to Friday 6th April from 2pm to 4pm in the church
halls. All young people in their first year of secondary school and
above are very welcome. On Wednesday there will be a trip out
somewhere. Jasper Rutherford, Youth Worker at Willowfield, needs
helpers, volunteers and prayer support. If you can help in any way please contact
him on 90 457654 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Your Information…
Church and WPCA Staff Day’s off
Staff Member Position FT/PT Day off
David McClay Minister Full time Friday
Alan Higgins Assistant minister Full time Saturday
Church Staff Friday / Saturday /
Miriam Hull Assistant minister Part time
Rose Playforth Full time Friday
Susan McFarland Children’s worker Part time Monday
Katie Hamilton Children’s worker Part time Friday
WPCA Staff Su Finch Full time Saturday
Youth worker Full time Monday
George Newell Outreach worker Full time Monday
Prayer for Healing on the Streets
Just over a year ago we began ‘Prayer for Healing on the Streets’. Since then we
have been on the streets each Saturday regardless of the weather. This is only
possible because of a faithful and dedicated team for which I am really thankful to.
Some are there every week, others once or twice a month while some help out
when they are needed, all playing a vital and important role in this ministry.
Over the year we have seen God move in many different ways in people’s lives.
There have been significant healings; others have been blessed by the presence and
touch of God. And for some we have been and still are a place of peace and
comfort which they visit on a regular basis. Also through the handing out of leaflets
and word of mouth we have made contact with folks who are house bound which
are now visited by the church pastoral team. Of course in the process of all this we
got to know many of the folks who are on the streets each week.
Please pray for this ministry – We are there every Saturday from 10.30am – 1pm.
Pray that God would continue to meet with people and draw them to Himself by His
healing power. While we marvel at what God has been doing and want to see more,
ultimately healing is a sign post to the Kingdom of God, a pointer to people that
they need to respond to Jesus. Please pray we will see this happen in increasing
We are always looking for more help, so if you are interested talk to Margaret
Saunders or I and we will tell you more of what happens each week.
George (Outreach Worker)
Update on our Church Building Project
The work of building the new Willowfield Parish Community Association Centre is now
well underway and all £670,000 needed to complete this building has been received.
The work to the church building is now entering its final stages and the church is now fit
for people to come and see for themselves what has been achieved to date. The work to
our church building and surrounding work to the grounds and to the rectory will cost
£990,000 approximately. About £730,000 has been raised leaving a balance of £260,000
still to be raised. During holy week we would like to invite parishioners to come and have
a look for themselves at what has been achieved and to hear from the glebewardens and
the rector what has been done.
So the church will be open to everyone following the 11.30am service (12.30pm-
1.15pm) and following the 7.00pm service (8.30pm-9.00pm) on Sunday 1st April and
also from 7.15pm-7.45pm on Wednesday 4th, Thursday 5th and Friday 6th prior to our
Holy Week services each evening.
If you haven’t made a financial contribution as yet we know that when you see the extent
and the quality of the work carried out to date you will want to contribute and all those
who have contributed will be pleased with how their money has been spent.
We are looking forward to moving back into our church in September later this year.
What message will the Rector have for the Church at this years
Easter Vestry (AGM)?
I will want to say that “we must keep doing things we have never done before”.
I will want to say that we must keep on aiming at church growth. God wants to add
to his church those who are being healed, helped, made ready for heaven (what the
Bible calls saved). The church may be big enough for us but it is not big enough for
I will want to say that we will, over the next few years, become a church that
finances ministry and mission in courageous and faith led ways. Signs of the
kingdom, growth and increase follow faith and do not precede it.
I will want to say that God is calling us to pray bigger and more faith filled prayers.
I will want to say that the Holy Spirit gives growth that gives glory to Jesus and
promotes the honour of Gods name.
I will have some important things to say and I would like to invite you to join us at
our Easter Vestry (AGM) on Thursday 29th March at 7.30pm. See you there!
Friday 27th April 2007
Speaker Anne Coles
St Jude’s Parish Hall, Belfast
Worship Training Day
Saturday 28th April 2007
Main Speaker Anne Coles
Willowfield Parish Hall, Belfast
Anne Coles is the ministry pastor at St Barnabas’, Finchley, north London, having
been the worship leader through the transition from choir-led to contemporary
band-led worship. She has overall responsibility for developing New Wine’s
women’s conferences. She is married to John and they have four grownup
children. Together they head up New Wine.
Sligo Summer Conference
Worship ministry teaching and a holiday
Sunday 8th July to Friday 13th July
Theme: CRY FREEDOM
Hosted by David and Hilary McClay at the Yeats Holiday village and Clarion Hotel
Worship led by Kathryn Scott
Bible readings by Eric Sandras
Other speakers include Alan Scott, Ken and Helen Clarke
New Wine Ireland wants to see as many Christians and churches as possible alive
with the joy of knowing and worshipping Jesus Christ, and equipped to live out
and proclaim his kingdom in the love of God the Father and the power and gifts of
the Holy Spirit. This conference is one of the means we seek to fulfill this vision.
The morning Bible teaching and evening celebrations provide opportunities for
worship, teaching and prayer ministry. There will be a selection of late morning
and afternoon seminars on a wide variety of topics to engage you and encourage
you to delve deeper. There will be light entertainment each night from 10pm
onwards. Giving time to relax and enjoy fellowship together.
From the tiniest tots to the coolest pre-teens there are a variety of age related
groups combing worship, teaching, crafts and general mayhem. Age groups are
0-2, 3-4, 5-7 and 8-10. The under 5’s programme runs for 2 sessions in the
morning, while the 5-10 programmes have 2 morning sessions and an evening
For those aged 11-13 and 14-18, there will be a cutting edge programme of
worship, teaching, mess and much more.
n.b. Age groups are based on the age on 30/6/-7 and we will strictly adhere to
this. Please inform us of any special needs for children when making your
Eric Sandra is the teaching pastor for the Desert Vineyard Christian Fellowship in
Lancaster, California where he works alongside David Parker (evening
celebration speaker at Sligo 2006). His most recent book, “Plastic Jesus, Exposing
the Hollowness of Comfortable Christianity”, released in September ’06 seeks to
empower readers wherever they are to live life as Christ intended – with a radical
sense of purpose that only he can provide.
You can book your accommodation through the New Wine Ireland Office (offering
accommodation in the Yeats Holiday Village) or you can make your own
accommodation arrangements. A list of camping/caravan and guesthouse
accommodation is available on our website.
The Yeats Holiday Village offers luxury self-catering accommodation situated just
across the road from the conference venues. You can choose from 4-5 bed houses,
4 bed apartments or individual single en-suite rooms. And you are free to include
extra children if you choose to bring sleeping bags, cots etc for no additional cost.
Accommodation can be secured with a £30 / 50Euro deposit per unit, to be paid in
full by the 08.06.07.
To book or for info on any of these events simply contact the office by
Phone: 0781 347 3376
Post: 16 North Gardens, Belfast, BT5 6BZ
The office is open Monday – Tuesday 8.30am-5.00pm and Wednesday 8.30am-
Please visit the New Wine Ireland website at www.new-wineireland.co.uk
Fairtrade at Willowfield
Our Bishop, Harold, has asked all churches in the Diocese of Down &
Dromore TO become Fairtrade churches. This is heartily endorsed by
our rector, Canon David McClay & the select vestry. So what does
this mean for us at Willowfield? It’s simple. As a congregation we
*use Fairtrade tea & coffee for all meetings for which we have responsibility.
*move forward TO using other Fairtrade products such as sugar, biscuits & fruit.
*promote Fairtrade at events during fair-trade fortnight [24 February to 11 March 2007
this year] – and through other activities, whenever possible.
International Trade makes billions – but producers living in poverty barely get a sniff of
it. Lives are lost in the race for profits, with basic rights exploited rather than
protected…Millions of people work exceptionally long hours in unacceptable conditions,
with barely enough of a wage to feed or educate their children, or to access safe water
But trade can be positive. Fairtrade turns the unjust system on it’s head by acting to
protect & value the producers, ensuring them fair wages & safe working conditions.
You too can change today & choose fair-trade. Look out for fair-trade labeled
products, available from superstores Co-op, Sainsburys, M & S, Iceland, Safeway,
Tesco, Spar, Morrisons and in your own household shopping buy at least some fair-trade
Check out your local Fairtrade shops at
Oasis: 104 Castlereagh Street,
Pueblos:171 Ormeau Road tel 90 315656/07711608908
Tearfund:2 Derryvolgie Avenue tel 90 682828
Saturday 16th May 10.15am
‘A Family Morning Out’
Proceeds for Building Fund
Needed for stalls: craft items, cakes, groceries, bottles, books, CD’s,
videos, white elephant, plants.
We need your support – use your skills to supply items for stalls.
If you would like to help or if you have any bright ideas and would like
to try them please speak to Ivan Durneen (9058 1024)
or Nessie Oliver (9044 9775)
Under the Spotlight:
George Newell (Outreach
Worker) and his wife, Eunice
Eunice give us some insight into what life has
been like since you were diagnosed with breast
cancer in May 2006?
On hearing the diagnosis I can only be thankful
for the way in which not just I but also George
and Simon and Sarah responded and accepted
the situation. This certainly made it much easier
for all of us to live through the next number of
months rather than just getting through them. God had been faithful to us in
the past helping us overcome situations. And I believe in the days leading up to
the diagnosis the words of Proverbs 3:5&6 repeatedly came across our paths to
remind us of God’s goodness and to prepare us. – “Trust in the Lord with all your
heart and lean not on your own understanding. And in all your ways
acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” God does not ask us to
understand His ways just to trust Him.
I don’t find it easy to take time out and be quiet but I found on the weeks during
treatment when I couldn’t focus to read or watch the television or even listen to
music I was able to talk to God and go through my thoughts with Him; And also
to pray for others and I found a real blessing in doing this.
It was also very beneficial, for me not just in the healing process but an added
blessing, to have been able to spend so much time with George over the past
year despite him continuing to work as much as possible. God does not just
provide for our needs but gives little treats along the way.
How are you feeling now?
Almost a year on from being diagnosed with breast cancer, having surgery and
then a course of chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy I am delighted to be
feeling much better and getting my energy back again, as well as my hair! And
at this time there is no further treatment needed other than routine checkups
ever 6 months for the next few years.
We would like to thank everyone for the support shown to us as a family over the
past months. Your thoughts, prayers and acts of kindness have undoubtedly
encouraged and enabled us to come through this experience with many blessings
despite the difficulties we have had to face. And for this we will be forever
Anything new work wise for George?
Part of my work in Willowfield is responsibility for the Year Out Team (who are a
great bunch) and also any students who come on work experience from their
school which happens from time to time throughout the year. Tying into that,
and something that is new to me here in Willowfield, I now oversee any visiting
teams that come to look at, explore and gain experience in some of the work we
We have a very wide and varied ministry here in Willowfield and while it is not
perfect and we still have a lot to learn and discover we have also much to show
and teach to others. We are in a position as a parish to help others explore how
they can reach out into the communities that God has called them to serve.
Mainly for this reason we are being approached by other churches to see if they
can send teams to work along side us for short periods. I think this is an
important ministry that we can offer to the wider church to encourage the work
of evangelism far beyond our own parish.
Therefore throughout this year we will have teams visiting us from other
churches here in N. Ireland, England and farther a field to look at how we as a
Parish and Community Association minister to the community here in Woodstock
/ Cregagh areas. As with the two teams that were with us in February some will
be here for 4-5 days, others possibly a bit longer. So over the spring & summer
you will see new faces periodically helping out members of the staff team in
their daily ministries. As with the team in February we will be looking for help
with accommodation, food, transport etc. Thank you to all who helped in
anyway with the teams in February, without such help this ministry would not be
Also in late May Jasper and myself will be taking a team from the church over to
Glasgow to work alongside Chris Hunter for a weekend. This will give us a great
opportunity to gain experience and help others in doing mission.
Any prayer Requests?
Pray for Eunice that she would continue to regain her strength over
the coming months and further checkups would be clear.
Pray for the team going over to Glasgow 24th – 28th May.
Pray that all the evangelism we are involved in would produce fruit
for the Kingdom of God.
Name Position Home Phone Mobile Email
Willowfield Parish Church
David McClay Rector 9046 0105 0771445530 email@example.com
Alan Higgins Assistant Minister 9079 2163 0774267501 firstname.lastname@example.org
Miriam Hull Assistant Minister 9040 2655 0791322023 email@example.com
Edwy Kille Pastoral Assistant 9073 1135 firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Lyttle Organist 9048 4313 0771153142 email@example.com
Rose Playforth Church Hall Caretaker 9022 1570 0774740129 firstname.lastname@example.org
Church Office Laura – David McClay’s 9045 7654 administration@
PA (9.30am-1.30pm) willowfield.down.anglican.
Pamela – Secretary
Post Willowfield Parish Church
149 My Lady's Road
Belfast BT6 8FE
Willowfield Parish Community Association
George Newell Outreach Worker 9045 4119 email@example.com
Jasper Youth Worker 9045 7654 0791735734 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rutherford Ext 14 5
Su Finch Family Support 9045 7654 9045 7654 email@example.com
Susan McFarland Children’s Worker 9045 7654 0776305803 firstname.lastname@example.org
Katie Hamilton Children’s Worker 9045 7654 0796827908 email@example.com
Meta Auden GEM’s Project Worker 0784513030 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rosie Gorman Café 91 9045 2321
Jane Watters Year Out Team 9045 7654 0788572768 email@example.com
Aaron Graham Year Out Team 9045 7654 0774372648
Claire Shirley Year Out Team 9045 7654 0772645396 Claire_shirley@hotmail.co
Besom Miriam / Sally 9040 2655 0784011713 firstname.lastname@example.org