Derryloran Parish - October/November & December 2020
Rev Canon RJN Porteus 867 62261
Canon WJA Dawson 867 37151

December 2020

Who would have thought that when Lockdown 1 began back in March we would still be in the current Coronavirus Crisis all these months later! Parishioners are asking "When will we ever get back to normal?" Many are still fearful of returning to church even with Covid 19 protocols in place and risk assessments having been carried out.. Meanwhile we endeavour to enable parish life to continue at its restricted level. This has affected us at all levels and will continue to do so for some time to come...

As we consider Christmas in this issue, we are uncertain as to what our celebrations will be like in church and family life. Harvest and Remembrancetide services were so different to past years.

HARVEST was celebrated was celebrated with just 1 service at 11am on Sunday - and this was the first year the rector has missed Harvest in 45 years due to having to self-isolate as a routine precaution!

REMEMBRANCE: Covid 19 restrictions meant that the usual comunity service at the Cenotaph was cancelled. Various groups laid wreaths individually throughout the day, and in derryloran our customary Act of Remembrance continued with RBL and UDR standards present, marking the 50th Anniversary of the Ulster Defence Regiment which was formed in 1970.

BAPTISMS: We have had a steady stream of baptisms since services resumed in July, restricted to 1 child per service

WEDDINGS too suffered from restrictions, but one bride had over 2500 hits as her ceremony was streamed live! Imagine feeding that lot at a Reception!

CHRISTMAS will be different this year too for obvious Coronavirus reasons, so please note the following provisonal details:-

  • Sunday 13th Dec: Annual Carol Service at 11am - please bring your Hymn Book;
  • Sunday 20th: Holy Baptism at 11am;
  • Fri 25th: Christmas Day Family Service and Holy Communion at 11am;
  • Sunday 27th: Holy Communion 1 for St John the Evangelist' Day at 11am;
  • Sunday 3rd January: Holy Communion 2 at 11am replacing our New Year Watchnight and Feast of the Circumcision Services.

ANNUAL GENERAL VESTRY Postponed from Easter, this meeting duly elected the following to their very responsible positions in this Triennial Election year:- The following were made at the meeting:-

Church Wardens: Rector’s:– Edgar Carson; People’s:- Trevor Rollins

Glebe Wardens: Rector’s: William Stewart; People’s: Nigel Ferguson;
Supplementals: Raymond Bradford (R) - Robert Stewart(P).

Select Vestry:
Karen Anderson, Trudy Anderson, Norman Bennett, Raymond Bradford,
Beata Dunn, Sam Glasgow, Ron Griffin, Ivan Johnston,
Eileen McCartney, Stephen Slaine, Robert Stewart, Simon West

Secretary: Trudy Anderson; Treasurer: Ivan Johnston;

Diocesan Synod Persons
Ivan Johnston,Gordon Johnston, Eileen McCartney, Sandy Spiers
Supplemental: Edgar Carson, Trevor Rollins, Raymond Bradford, Simon West

Parochial Nominators Ivan Johnston, Ron Griffin, Norman Bennett, Raymond Bradford
Supplemental: Karen Anderson, William Stewart, Simon West, Beata Dunn

DEAN'S RETIREMENT: Sadly we bade farewell to our beloved Dean Gregory on his retirement.. Foe nearly nine years he carried out his Cathedral duties to the highest order and always sought to promote its central role in the Diocese and Community. We wish him a long and fulfilling retirement! The Rector, as Precentor, currently seeks to ensure the smooth running of the cathedral in these difficult days of Coronavirus...

Janet and I take this opportunity of wishing you all a blessed Christmas and a healthful New Year!


What an unprecedented experience Lockdown has been over the past 6 months! Our last corporate service had been St Patrick's Day Holy Communion with Mothering Sunday on 22nd March becoming our first virtual service on Facebook. Our thanks are due to Robert Stewart and Mervyn Glasgow for their respective roles in what has proved a very popular production.. It meant that our church never closed during Lockdown with the bell continuing to ring out each Sunday morning, reminding people that we were at worship! The rector continued visiting with a mail drop of parish communications and protocols as part of his permitted daily “exercise”.

We welcomed our new Archbishop to Derryloran on the first day of re-opening for public worship on 29th June for St Peter's Day Holy Communion and the rector's 45th anniversary of Ordination, which was duly marked by a presentation. The archbishop returned on the following Sunday to preach and celebrate Holy Communion for our first Return to Worship. A further visit followed to produce a video on Return to Worship Protocols using Derryloran's materials as a visual aid. We wish him every blessing as he continues his ministry within the diocese and beyond!

Organisations and Sunday School closed prematurely in March with no indication as yet of possible re-opening dates. Christian Aid was another casualty with only 3 Lenten Lunches and no house to house collection.

With Social Distancing in place, we were able to mark VE and VJ Days with Acts of Remembrance. Virtual services were also held in church to host Cookstown Orange District and East Tyrone Black Institution.

Derryloran Online with Facebook was a new direction with the rector posting daily prayers, verse for the day, bible study and readings, Kidz Korner and Just Thinking... and concluding the day with evening thoughts and prayers. He thought it would last only a few weeks – but here we are 6 months later!

Since Lockdown eased we have returned to corporate worship and are getting used to wearing face-coverings and other precautions. We have had 2 weddings and several funerals, which at first were rather difficult for all involved with Coronavirus restrictions in force. We have been catching up on baptisms which were deferred due too the pandemic and quite a few weddings pending – with 3 in one week! The situation remains fluid week to week with sanitization and social distancing key factors in church. Still, life goes on, and we are getting used to it!

October is the traditional month for Harvest Thanksgiving, but this year will be so different in Derryloran due to Coronavirus with one service at 11am. For those unable to attend it will be streamed as usual on Derryloran's Facebook. Our Treasurer reminds us:- “As our Harvest Thanksgiving Services are limited this year we do not intend to have Harvest Appeal envelopes circulated in the normal way. In order to contribute to the Harvest Appeal please place your donation in your Building Fund (pink) envelope.”

During the Pandemic please remember to use your weekly Freewill Offering Envelopes and either bring or send them to church, or drop them off at the Rectory post box.

Likewise the Remembrance Sunday Commemoration on Sunday 8th November will be limited to the 11am traditional Service of Remembrance in Church.

Morning Services continue to be the norm at 11am during the Pandemic with our services streamed live on Derryloran Facebook for those who cannot attend in person.

"Derryloran Online" continues on our Facebook Page with the usual daily verse, Bible readings, thoughts and prayers, and news updates each morning and evening.

Sunday School and Organisations are on hold at the moment due to Coronavirus precautions.

And so as we have been saying daily online, Stay safe! Stay alert! Keep your distance! Wash those hands! Wear your mask!

Derryloran Coronavirus Protocol in Worship

  1. Singing: While "singing softly is recommended only if wearing masks", we have not done so yet, and are grateful to our Organist, Laura, for her musical contribution.
  2. Do not attend if you or your family have symptoms of Coronavirus.
  3. Bring your own Prayer Book. Service sheets will be provided. Don't worry about your hymn book as there will be NO singing.
  4. Use the Main Door only and fill from the front of the church.
  5. Please sit in allocated and marked seating.
  6. Families may occupy a pew, otherwise observe social distancing of 2 metres.
  7. Collection points are available for your offering.
  8. Please fill in the contact tracing form in your pew and leave it on your seat as you are leaving.
  9. Leave in turn by the pew nearest the door.
  10. You may wear a mask if you so desire.
  11. Avoid bottlenecks even though you may wish to chat!
  12. Clergy will not be at the door in order to enable a free flow entering or exiting. Do not take this as a snub, but as a matter of health and safety!
  13. To receive Holy Communion you are asked to come to the Chancel steps in file, again observing social distancing.
  14. Baptisms will be conducted at the front of the Church and can only be done with one family per service, a parent holding the child for the rite.
  15. Weddings and Funerals: continue in line with Government directives on precautions...

Our Coronavirus Pandemic Parish Prayer

O God, our Father in Heaven, we pray for all who are suffering from Coronavirus both at home and abroad
– for all those whose lives are at risk and for all who are anxious about their health and well-being.
We remember those who mourn their dead, all who are nursing those who are ill, and those who are quarantined or feel isolated..
Give wisdom to politicians and policy–makers, and skill, sympathy and patience to doctors, nurses and all who are engaged in healthcare and medical research...
Bless the young people and all who are affected by closures of schools, businesses and churches, and keep them safe day by day...
Grant reassurance to everyone in these days of uncertainty and the desire to help those who are unable to help themselves.
Teach us all to be sensible and responsible in our shopping and careful in our interaction with those around us.
Enable us at all times to be loving to everyone and considerate in our care for those who are vulnerable.
Above all, help us to shed abroad the love of Jesus in our land and further afield by reaching out as His Hands in our world today – to His praise and glory. Amen

July/August 2020 News