THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: From the News Letter of March 1936

Cookstown’s two ministers in 101 years

Friday, 19th March 2021, 10:00 am
Cookstown looking north. Picture: Linda Bailey/Geograph.ie
Cookstown looking north. Picture: Linda Bailey/Geograph.ie

During this week in 1936 The Roamer wrote a fascinating piece note on Presbyterianism in Cookstown.

The Roamer wrote: “The Reverend John Entrican, who presided at the annual meeting of the Second and Third congregation last week, succeeded the late Reverend John Knox Leslie in 1893, as the minister of Third Cookstown, the service of these two ministers covering the long period of 101 years.”

The report continued: “Mr John Glasgow, JP, in his admirable centenary book of the Third Presbyterian Church, Cookstown, issued last year, stated that until 1835 Presbyterians in Cookstown and district associated with the General Synod of Ulster met for worship in a building now known as First Cookstown, but which was then as the Cookstown Meeting-house.

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“Another body of Presbyterians, associated with the Secession Synod, worshipped in what for many years after 1840 was known as the Second Presbyterian Church.

“In 1831 a number of Presbyterians in connection with the General Synod of Ulster worshipping in the Cookstown congregation memorialised the Presbytery to form them into a separate congregation, and, their request being granted, the new congregation was known from 1835 until 1840 as the Second Presbyterian Church.

“In 1840 the General Synod of Ulster and the Secession Synod having united under the designation of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the description of two of the churches was altered.

“The Secession Church, being the older, was styled as the Second Presbyterian Church, and the new church was changed from Second to Third.”

Roamer concluded: “The union of the Second and Third congregations took place in 1929. After the services in the Second Church ceases, the memorial tablets were removed to the Third Church and re-erected there.”