What Does A Cross Mean

What Does A Cross Mean?
What does a cross mean? Well, it depends where and when it is used.

‘I Love you’
Look at the following crosses. X X X,  What does they mean?
We can all tell straight away what these crosses mean. A cross here stands for a kiss and it means ‘I Love you’.
When we think of Easter and the cross of Jesus, it means ‘l love you’ – God showing love for us in this, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The message of the Bible is that God loves us us and does not desire the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness and live.
‘You are wrong’

A cross can stand as a picture of love, and also it can mean something is wrong. Imagine someone making a mistake in a maths calculation, e.g., 1+1-3. If the teacher puts a big cross through this, it wouldn’t stand for a kiss! it would say, ‘You are wrong’. In the same way, the cross of Jesus points to our sins and wrongs. It is because we are sinners, people who have rebelled against God and broken his laws that Christ went to the cross. We deserve to pay for our wrongs, but on the cross, Jesus paid it all!
‘Christ died for you’

So, ultimately the cross that really matters for us is the cross of Jesus, for as we’ve been seeing, here, on this cross, out of love for us, Christ paid for all our wrongs. Here is God’s solution to man’s sin. Here is God’s love bringing us back to himself. Here is a message that changes lives and changes the world. And of course death could not hold him., On the third day he rose again. The tomb is empty, and Christ reigns in heaven to give eternal life to those who come in repentance and faith to the cross.
‘You must choose’

And there’s one more thing we can say about a cross. It can also stand for the cross we often put in a Ballot box when we are voting. That cross means acceptance of someone for office. There must come a time in our lives when we have heard the Gospel message that we respond to it. Ask God to give you the ability and power to come to him, to come to Christ and seek the forgiveness of your sins. Do not put this off. Now is the day of salvation the Scriptures tell us. This is the proper response to make the message of Christ crucified and risen.


Sunday Services


Hi folks,

The Church of Ireland authorities along with the other mainline denominations have directed that we should cease all Sunday in-person gatherings in church until March 5th.

We will continue with a Facebook broadcast at 10.45am each Sunday until we can get back to our church building.

Please pass on this message by phone or text to those of our parishioners, who do not use social media.

Please do keep safe and well and contact others who may be isolated by this recent lockdown.

Trust in the Lord and acknowledge Him in all your ways.’




Christmas and New Year Services

Because of the uncertainty caused by Covid-19, unfortunately we have not been able to prepare for our normal Christmas services. However, below is our hoped for services over Christmas and the New Year.

Christmas Day

8.30am Holy Communion in Lambeg

10.00am Christmas Morning Prayer via Facebook

Sunday 27th December

9.30am Morning Prayer via Facebook

19.45am Morning Prayer in Lambeg

New Year’s Day

10.30am Holy Communion in Lambeg

Online Children’s Nativity

Together with the Connor diocese, we are putting together an on-line Children’s nativity, featuring boys and girls from our Sunday schools. Keep an eye out for this on our Facebook page later in December. Contact Aimee, our youth and family worker, for further details.


Christmas in 3 Words

Christmas in 3 Words

When many people think of Christmas, they think of Santa Claus and Rudolf the red nose reindeer. There’s a temptation to put the birth of Jesus into the same category- not really real, but sort of part of the fun of Christmas.

But Christmas is historical. It really happened. The Son of God truly came into this world. Born in a unique way, he truly took on our flesh, lived and died for us.

Secondly, Christmas is joyful. God really cares for us. The question is why did the Son of God come into this world in the first place? The angels described the birth of Jesus to the shepherds as ‘…good news of great joy… for all the people’ (Luke 2:10)

He has come to bring us the joy of salvation, of a new beginning, of becoming a new creation, the joy of being accepted by God, the joy of forgiveness.

In a miserable Covid-19 world, joy is in short supply. However,  God truly cares for us and has provided for our deepest joy in the person and work of his Son.

And thirdly, Christmas is essential.  Yes we know that Christmas shopping this year is essential for our retailers; we know that Christmas this year is essential for our mental health – just to have some normality in a very hard year.  But there’s another, deeper, way in which it is essential. The first Christmas was essential because it is essential that we have a Saviour, someone to pay the price we deserve to pay for our sins.  It is essential that we find forgiveness. All this is ours in Christ.

May you and all whom you love know the truth of Christmas and discover the joy of knowing the one who gave us Christmas.


Return to Church

                                                                                                                                            August 2020

Dear Parishioner,

I hope all is well with you and that you and all whom you love are keeping safe in these difficult times.  I know that some of you have suffered anxiety, depression, illness and bereavement because of Covid-19 and the ‘Lockdown’ restrictions we have had to endure.  Please be assured that you are constantly in our prayers to move forward step by step with the Lord’s help and strength.

I would like to bring you up to date with what is happening regarding plans to return to Church for worship.  Following the Government’s easing of ‘Lockdown’ restrictions, the Select Vestry and I feel that the time is right to make a return to in-church worship.  This has entailed a lot of preparation and planning, so that the Church can reopen for services from Sunday 6th September 2020.

Initially there will be just one service each Sunday – Lambeg at 10.45a.m.   We pray that services in Hilden will follow soon afterwards but for the moment our guidance is that there should be just one service in each parish.  However, I am also glad to confirm that our Facebook service will continue online at the slightly earlier time of 9.30a.m., also from 6th September.  Also, as usual, it can be accessed by telephone (028 92 508 097) later on Sunday.

The key messages impressed upon us by the Church and Government authorities are that if you or any member of your household are experiencing, or recovering from Coronavirus symptoms, or have any reason to believe that they have been in contact with anybody who has, they should not attend Church or volunteer in any capacity until they have received medical advice that it is safe to do so. 

The Church we return to may feel and appear a little different to what we were normally used to, and in some respects, it may seem a little impersonal.  For example, social-distancing seating will be in place, which will mean that where you normally sit will probably not be available: we will not be allowed to sing hymns or to gather in groups to chat at the back of the church.   To help you deal with these and other changes, we have included in this communication some key information to prepare you for what to expect when you return to in-church worship.  The information that we giving to help us return to church is based on that which has been laid down in guidance set out by the House of Bishops and the Government’s Public Health Agency. 

In closing, suffice to say these are unique times, such as none of us have experienced before.  Some of you, for personal health reasons, may not be ready for such a return to church.  I perfectly understand that.  You can only do what is safe and best, as well as re-assuring for you.  So, while return to church may take time, let’s be confident in the Lord.  With His help we will endure through it, and by God’s will, return to some kind of normality in the weeks and months ahead.  Do please pray for our plans to re-open; for delivery from this plague; for those who are suffering especially at this time; for the work of the NHS and all front-line workers; as well as the development of a successful vaccine so that we can confidently go about our every-day lives in safety.  

Until then, keep safe and well.

Every blessing.


Lambeg Parish Church – Returning to Church – Sunday 6th September 2020 at 10.45 a.m.

  • First of all, and most importantly, please do not come back to Church if you or any member of your household are experiencing or are recovering from any of the Coronavirus symptoms, i.e., a fever or high temperature, a cough, difficulty breathing or a sudden loss of taste or smell.  Refer to N.H.S. Guidelines in this regard.  Also, if you have any reason to believe that you have been in contact with someone who has the virus, you should not attend Church or volunteer in any capacity until you have received medical advice that it is safe to do so. 
  • Secondly, if you are in an ‘at risk’ or vulnerable category, or are shielding, you should carefully consider when is the right time for you to return.  The virus is still about.
  • If you are bringing infants or young children with you, remember that you will be responsible for them – especially where maintaining social distancing could be a challenge.

 What to bring with you: Your Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), etc.

  • Gloves (recommended);
  • Face covering (optional, but strongly recommended because of the lack of good ventilation in the Church and because sometimes social distancing cannot always be guaranteed);  [This could become compulsory before 5th Sept]
  • Tissues (strongly recommended);
  • Your own hand sanitiser (if you would prefer to use that);
  • A pen (to complete your attendance slip);
  • A coat/umbrella (You could be queuing outside, waiting to enter the Church).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Car Parking:

  • When you park your car beside another car, please ensure that the occupants of that car have moved on before you leave your own car.  This is to ensure that proper social distancing is maintained. 
  • There will be car parking stewards there to help you park.
  • Should there be a lengthy queue waiting to enter the Church, the steward may advise you to wait in your car until it has reduced, especially if it is raining. 
  • The toilet block in the car park will remain closed for the time being but there will be one toilet available inside the Church (in the Clergy Vestry).

Approach to Church:

  • When approaching the Church (which should only be from the car park route), it will be important to observe the social distancing rule of 2 metres.  They are marked.
  • Read the notices on the way in but please do not create any bottlenecks. 
  • We will only be using the main door for entry.  There will be a Steward on duty to assist you enter the Church safely.

Entry to Church:

  • Once again, please do maintain the two metres distancing rule and wait for the Seating Stewards to call you.
  •  There will be a hand sanitiser station inside the door for use on entry.  The sanitiser works on a sensor basis when you hold out your hands and is quick drying. 
  • The Seating Stewards will also provide you with your Order of Service which will include your Attendance Slip.  They can, if need be, also provide you with a pen or pencil to complete same.
  •  You will note that most notices and materials have been removed from our Notice Boards and from the back of the Church.  This is to prevent bottlenecks.


  • The Stewards will guide you to your seat on the basis that the first in will go to the front. Unfortunately, people who sat in traditional seats in the past will no longer be able to do so. 
  • Pews have been marked out with two metres gaps and every other pew is closed off.  Individuals from the same household may sit together but otherwise the two metres will be observed.
  •  The choir pews and some chairs will also be used.    You will also note that all seat cushions and kneelers have been removed.

The Service:

  • The Service, including the liturgy and Bible readings, will be printed in an Order of Service leaflet each week.
  • Hymn Books and Prayer Books will not be used and Bibles have been removed from the pews.
  • The Service will be slightly shorter than what you have been used to in the past, in order to reduce the potential for the transmission of the virus.
  • There will be no singing of hymns, etc., for the time being, as this can increase the potential for virus transmission.  The organ/piano may be played at certain stages before, during and after the service.
  • When exiting there will be a basket available for collecting your freewill offering envelopes or Church collections.

Communion Services: Because of the severe restrictions laid down for holding Holy Communion services, it has been decided that for the time being they will be deferred.  It is hoped that this will not last for too long and that in the near future we will be able to return once again to sharing in the Eucharist.

Exiting from the Church:

  • At the end of the service, please remain seated for a short period and the Stewards will direct you in a safe and orderly manner, in pew order, down the aisles to the main door, commencing at the back of the Church;
  • Please continue to maintain social distancing of 2 metres and avoid bottlenecks;
  • Please sanitise your hands again when exiting;
  • Bring your Order of Service, which includes your completed Attendance Slip, with you and deposit it in the designated box; If you received a pen/pencil they can be left there also, or left in the pew;
  • There will also be a plate or basket at the exit to receive your freewill offerings;
  • There will be a pedal-operated bin in which you can place any used PPE (gloves, tissues, face coverings, etc), though you may prefer to bring them home and dispose of them safely there;
  • While we appreciate that you will all want to talk to your many friends and fellow worshippers, we would ask that there be no undue or lengthy socialising or congregating in groups outside the Church or in the carparks.  Remember, the virus will still be about.
  • You will notice that the clergy and those leading the service will not be standing at the back of the Church, or outside, in order to greet you – this has been forbidden, in order to prevent bottlenecks and to maintain social distancing.  If you need to speak to the Rector please feel free to give him a ring at any time. 


 Because of the various risks associated with arranging for fresh flowers in the Church, there will be no Flower Rota in operation for the time being.                                                             


The toilet in the Clergy Vestry will be the only one available.  Please observe the notices regarding hand washing and use the hand sanitiser provided, both before and after using the toilet.

 Attendance Slips:

We will ask all attendees to provide their name(s) and telephone number each Sunday in case there is a need to track and trace them afterwards, because of an outbreak of the virus.  This is a regulatory requirement on the Church. The slips will be kept safe and secure and destroyed afterwards, normally after one month. 


There is still an urgent need for volunteers to replace many of the existing teams of people who look after our needs, week by week, but who are now prevented from continuing in these roles because of age limits and health vulnerabilities.  The specific roles to be filled are the Stewards, as described in this letter, and Cleaners who will prepare the Church for the next service.  (This will be done either immediately after the service or after 72 hours have elapsed).  All volunteers will receive full training and will be provided with whatever PPE items are deemed necessary.  There is also a particular need for young ‘Techies’ to come forward to assist us with future proposals to live stream or later stream our services.


It has been emphatically stressed to us that anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or who has reason to believe that they have been in contact with someone who has, should not attend Church or volunteer in any capacity until they have received medical advice that it is safe to do so.  Should anybody attending Church, whether as a volunteer or not, subsequently contract COVID-19, or show symptoms of it, they should, as well as advising their medical adviser, also advise the Rector as a ‘track and trace’ exercise may be required.


Making Jesus ‘mega’

What a letter – Paul’s letter to the Philippians! So encouraging and so challenging. Here we see a warm, loving relationship and partnership between the Apostle and a church that he himself had founded.

He wants them to advance the Gospel with him. To do that they need to be united, serving one another as Christ served them, i.e., looking to put others first. The only way this can happen is by making Jesus ‘mega’!

This comes from Paul’s desire to see Jesus exalted in his own life (v.20). The word literally means to make mega or we might say ‘super-size’. Paul wants them to glorify Jesus in three areas.

He wants them and every Christian to magnify Jesus in the world by speaking his word to the world (v.14). He wants them to make Jesus mega in the church (vv.15-17). He rebukes genuine Christians for their rivalries, envy and selfish ambition in the church. The priorities of Jesus come before anything else. He is to be central. And thirdly, he wants them to magnify Jesus in their own lives by making progress in the Gospel (v.25). As they grow in their understanding and living out of the Gospel in their own lives, Christ is magnified, super-sized, glorified!

It’s all about glorifying Jesus whether it’s our evangelism, the internal life of our churches, or our individual lives. Let’s super-size Jesus, make him mega, glorify him in the world, the church, and our lives.


Freewill Offering

In my letter dated 19th March I mentioned that in order to enable the work of the church to continue, anyone who gives by FWO envelope can either consider temporarily switching to a Standing Order or deliver their envelope to the Rectory. Given the current Government restrictions you can also post a cheque directly to the Treasurer with details of your FWO envelope number on the reverse of the cheque. Please contact Angela Sloan if you require any further details on the above.  
Do please keep safe and well.
Every blessing


Keeping In Touch

We have a number of things to keep the Lambeg and Hilden parish family in touch with each other on a regular basis.

We have a Lambeg Parish WhatsApp group set up.  To join, use your mobile to join What’sApp and once you’ve done that, contact me by text to add you to the group.  My mobile is 07484161345

We also have a Lambeg Parish Facebook page, which I’m using on Sundays (beginning this Sunday) at 11am to do a live, short broadcast and talk with the parish.


Watch this space

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