Lambeg Parish Church

A Church of Ireland Parish in the Diocese of Connor

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Registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland - NIC101735

Lambeg Parish Rectory
58 Belfast Road


Co. Antrim

BT27 4AT

Phone: 028 9266 3872


Lambeg Parish Church has been witnessing to the Gospel of Christ from the beginning of the l4th century and possibly even earlier. Generations of men,women and children have had their spiritual needs met by a church that has accommodated itself to the changing conditions of the area.

Beginning as a rural parish for centuries, it became an industrial region with the setting up of paper, linen, and thread industries. Thousands were employed in these industries,which achieved world-wide renown. The influx of workers led to rebuilding schemes in the church to accommodate the growing number of people living within  the parish boundaries. Today, the parish of Lambeg has become a suburban parish, with new housing, even within old estates such as Clonmore and Hilden. Whilst times have changed, people and their spiritual needs remain the same, sinners in need of God's grace. As Jesus Christ, the Lord, remains the same, ‘yesterday, today and forever', the Gospel proclaimed to generations in the past needs to be proclaimed to the present generation of people within our parish. God's church is always on mission until Christ returns. To that end, we need to explore together as a parish how we move forward with the Gospel in this era of Lambeg's history.How do we reach a new generation? How can we develop our witness today?

Hopefully, later this year, we can explore this together in a ‘Parish Consultation' as we consider our responsibility of witnessing to our generation about the wonderful Good News of Jesus Christ.

So, watch this space

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world’                      Galatians 6:14

Throughout the world, probably the most recognisable symbol of Irish Christianity is the Celtic cross.  Nobody quite knows how it came to have its distinctive circle, but over 200 remain in Ireland today originating from the 8th to the 10th centuries.  Whilst many admire the architectural beauty of the Celtic crosses, some plain, and some with carved Bible stories, the Apostle Paul boasted of the cross of the Christ for quite another reason. He could have boasted of many things concerning Jesus.  He might have boasted of his deity, or his great miracles, but instead he chose to boast one of the world’s most horrible instruments of torture upon which Jesus was crucified.  Why?

Because the cross dealt decisively with our sins

Paul had already explained to the Galatians as early as the opening chapter (1:3-5) and in 3:13, that Jesus went to the cross on our behalf to rescue us from God’s judgement.  Paul boasted of the cross because it was God’s way of providing the only escape route from the certain judgement we all face.  Christ was our substitute, punished and cursed in our place so that all who believe and trust in him will never be condemned on the day of Judgement when he returns. No wonder Paul boasted of the cross for it dealt decisively with our sins.

Because the cross expressed the depth of God’s love for us.

In an intensely personal witness, Paul linked the cross of Christ to the love of God (2:20).  Not only does the cross show God to be just, condemning sin rather than turning a blind eye to it, but also loving.  During the Irish famine in the 19th Century, some tenants appealed to an English landlord to be exempted payment of their rent since they had only enough money to buy food.  The landlord wrote to them and said he would not exempt them for it would set a bad precedent, but in his letter he gave them enough money to cover their debts and to feed them.  Out of love and compassion Christ paid all our debts when he died upon the cross.  Paul boasted of the cross because it spoke of God’s amazing love for the spiritually poor.

Because the cross is God’s only way of salvation.

Paul was well aware of all those who sought to work their way into God’s favour through a sincere practice of religious activities.  He told the Galatians that such a way of trying to achieve salvation was useless and that faith in Christ crucified is the only way to experience God’s salvation (2:15-16).  There are only two religions in the whole world.  In the first, people bring their good works to their god(s).  But the second, true Christianity, is ‘nothing in my hand I bring, simply to thy cross I cling.’  To be saved requires no religious work, no heroic pilgrimage or superhuman task.  Paul boasted of the cross because by it Christ alone has done everything to put us right with God.   

 Because the cross guarantees our future

Not only had the cross of Christ utterly changed the way Paul lived  (1:13-16), it also changed his future.  The death and resurrection of Jesus does the same for all who believe.  God confirmed that Christ is able to forgive sins for he raised him from the dead.  God confirmed that Christ is able to bring with him into eternity all who trust in him for he raised him from the dead.  Death is not the end.  It is the risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ who has the last word on our lives.  Trust in Christ crucified guarantees believers that they will never face God’s wrath on the future day of judgement.  No wonder Paul boasted of the cross.

To be fascinated by the cross as an ancient Irish landmark or to wear it as a fashion accessory around the neck is not a proper response to the cross of Christ itself.  The cross of Christ is empty and the tomb is empty, for the one who died on the cross and was laid out in the tomb has been raised and has ascended to the place of all authority in the universe.  Jesus is Lord and we are called to acknowledge that this Jesus has the right to be the Lord and ruler of our life.  The proper response is to submit our lives to the lordship of Christ by repenting from our sins, trusting that his death and resurrection have done all to put us right with God, and putting our faith in our Saviour Christ.  Then we too, like Paul, can boast of the cross of Christ.

Harvest festivals in churches are a pretty new thing.  The tradition of celebratingin churches as we know it today began in 1843, when the Reverend Robert Hawker invited parishioners to a special thanksgivingthehis church at Morwenstow in Cornwall.  The festival soon grew in popularity and now there’s hardly a church that doesn’t celebrate it.  It simply teaches us to be thankful.  God has created the world with enough resources to meet our needs, and Harvest Festival teaches us to pause for a moment and remember this.  It also reminds us, like the Israelites of old, that it is God who gives us both our daily bread and the strength and ability to earn it.
At Harvest time, it is customary for us to be reminded of those less well off than ourselves.  As a parish then, we support work amongst the poor, especially those in our own country, supporting single mothers on the Shankill Road and refugees in Belfast