Godshandiwork Puppets at Clough


On Sunday, 2nd July 2017 we were again delighted to welcome Sam and Silvana Shaw and Godshandiwork Puppets to Clough to lead our worship. This was a joint service with Ballee and Downpatrick and there was a good attendance of adults and children.

It was a lively occasion with music, songs, puppets and Sam’s pictures as he told with great enthusiasm the story of Joshua, Rahab and the spies.

At the start some children came out to wear some of Sam’s great collection of hats from all around the world, all of which have particular stories and meanings. In this case the children tried on hats from Ukraine, Cameroon, Peru, Russia and Kazakhstan.

Alfie McClelland also played the organ and during the collection Clough Sunday School member Sarah Rooney sang ‘For God so Loved the World’. It was a great occasion and was hugely enjoyed by everyone there.


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Clough Children’s Day 2017

There was an excellent attendance for the wonderful service at Clough on Sunday, 18th June which was led by the children of the Sunday School. During the service the children gave readings, led prayers, sang, and acted out various Bible stories. It is so encouraging to see the Sunday School growing so much and taking part in worship with such enthusiasm.

Clough Sunday School 02

Molly and Kayla introduced the service. Thomas read from Exodus chapter 14, helped by Hannah, Olivia and Abi. Kayla, Ethan, Sarah, Thomas, Zak and Molly led the prayers. Ethan read from Matthew chapter 8 with help from Harry, Eva, Anna and Lexie. Poems of Thankfulness were given by Charlotte, William, Sophie, Ethan and Lexie. The whole Sunday School sang ‘Who’s the king of the jungle’, ‘My God is so big’ and ‘If I were a butterfly’. Sarah sang the solo ‘For God so loved the world’.

Clough CD interior 03

Singing ‘My God is so big’

Also during the service the minister presented the Sunday School members with prizes for attendance over the year as well as prizes won for their work entered into the denominational Sunday School Exhibition held at Holywood on 2nd June at which Clough won no less than 17 prizes. The work was on show in the church for everyone to see.

Clough work 01

Clough work 02

Clough work 03

Clough work 04

Over the year the children had also been raising money for their chosen charity and this year raised the magnificent sum of £300 which Ethan presented to Kirsty Smith for the work of Shine Northern Ireland.

Special thanks was extended to Sunday School Superintendent, Elsie Nelson, and to all the teachers and helpers who have contributed to the success of the Sunday School. Alfie McClelland played the organ for the congregational hymns.

Clough presentation 03

Ethan presents a cheque for £300 to Kirsty Smith of Shine Northern Ireland on behalf of the Sunday School

Murland Mausoleum

Clough Vault diagonal front

The Murland family vault at Clough Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church will be the focus of a public lecture by Dr Finbar McCormick on the topic of ‘Mausolea & Memorials to the dead in Ireland’ at Clough NSP Church on Wednesday, 13th March 2019 at 7.30 pm. Everyone is welcome and the talk will be followed by refreshments. The tomb is in need of conservation which will be undertaken by the Follies Trust in the forthcoming months.

Dr McCormick is a senior lecturer in the School of the natural and Built Environment at Queen’s University, Belfast and former Chair of the Discovery Programme. The Follies Trust writes:

The talk will look at the history and development of memorials to the dead in Ireland and beyond. It will show how the Reformation changed people’s attitude to commemorating the dead and will demonstrate how Presbyterianism in Scotland played such an important role in the development of the modern mausoleum. Dr McCormick will also show how classical ideas had such an influence on mausoleum design as can be seen in the magnificent Murland mausoleum at Clough. The Ulster list describes the mausoleum as ‘the phenomenal Murland vault of about 1860, furnished with all the pompe funebre of the classical manner, with trimmings.’ It was designed by Thomas Turner and is a fine example of the genre.

Clough Vault urn

To see more pictures of the Murland Tomb and find out more about the project click on the above image

Candlelight Carol Service at Clough

Joint Candlelight Carol Service

On Wednesday, 12th December Clough hosted the annual joint candlelight Carol Service between the congregations of Clough, Ballee and Downpatrick. The Christmas story was re-told through a succession of readings which were given by readers from each of the churches – Thomas Rooney, Elsie Nelson, Sarah Rooney, Sophia Cleland, Marion Moffett, Jayne Caven, Tierna Kelly, Annabel Cleland, and Mary Stewart. Musical accompaniment was provided by the Laganvale Ensemble conducted by Gareth Downey. Alfie McClelland played the organ. Thanks go to everyone who took part and to those who helped to decorate the church.

Candlelight Band 02

Gareth Downey conducting the Laganvale Ensemble

Candlelight Readers 01

Readers at the service including the band with Gareth Downey on the right and church organist, Alfie McClelland, on the left

Children’s Day Sunday, 17th June 2018

On Sunday, 17th June the members of the Sunday School led an excellent service and received their prizes for attendance over the year and for their work in the denominational Exhibition held in 1st June at which they won a fantastic 19 prizes, including Committee Award for Best Written Entry awarded to Molly Rooney. During the service the children delivered readings, read poems, sang songs, including a solo by Sarah Rooney.

Over the year the Sunday School had also raised £300 for Knockevin School and William Rooney presented a cheque on behalf of the Sunday School to Diane Watson for the work of Knockevin School.


Clough Children's Day June 2018

Sunday School singing.

Clough Presentation

Presentation to Knockevin school.


Telling the story of Joseph and his coat of many colours.