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Past, Present & Future

 

Drogheda people have been worshipping God in the Presbyterian tradition since 1652, although the current church building at Colpe just outside the town was not erected until 2012. From 1827 until 2012 we worshipped in a building in Palace Street in Drogheda. As we begin a new period in our story with a new church building, we are aware of God’s guiding hand on our congregation in Drogheda, throughout the centuries and right up to the present day. Since the 17th century we have been meeting to worship God and serve our local community mainly without too much controversy – except on a few occasions...

 

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The new church building at Colpe, Drogheda, which opened in 2012.

 

From the 1690s onwards the Penal Laws were introduced, restricting the freedom of Presbyterians and Roman Catholics to assemble for worship. In the early 1700s, James Fleming from Drogheda Presbyterian Church regularly met with Drogheda people from Roman Catholic, Presbyterian and Anglican backgrounds in the Widow Ballantine’s Inn to pray and to read and discuss the bible. For this he was charged with disturbing “the tranquillity and peace” of the town.

Although James Fleming evaded imprisonment, a minister visiting from Bangor around the same time was not so fortunate. William Biggar spent 6 weeks in prison after being arrested for holding a similar meeting. Happily things have changed since then, and when Billy Patterson continues the work of meeting with Drogheda people from all (or no) religious backgrounds to read and discuss the bible in the Westcourt Hotel each Wednesday evening at 8:30pm, no-one fears imprisonment!

In 1798, the only Presbyterian minister hanged by the authorities in connection with the rebellion of that year was James Porter. He lived in Drogheda with his wife and family, working as a teacher in the town before going on to study for the ministry. Although he was not actively involved in fighting, he went into hiding because he was well known for his many newspaper letters protesting at the behaviour of landlords in the run up to the rebellion.

Up until the 1820s the congregation still had no permanent place to meet, although a house in Fair Street was regularly used for meetings. Over the years the number of people coming to these crowded meetings held by the then minister Josias Wilson grew until it became both necessary and possible to erect a church building in Palace Street with the support of Drogheda Corporation. That building first opened its doors on November 11th 1827, and served the congregation’s needs up until 2012 – when we again moved due to the same overcrowding problem as that faced by the congregation of the 1820s!

 

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The old church building in Palace Street, Drogheda, which opened in 1827.

 

Our new church building can accommodate the growing number of people from the many different religious backgrounds and nationalities who come to meet on Sundays and at other times throughout the week. A common thread running through the congregation’s history is how Drogheda people of Jewish, Roman Catholic, Anglican - indeed of any or no particular religious background - have always been welcome at our meetings and worship services. The sign outside our church building says All welcome, and it means exactly what it says! We meet on Sunday mornings at 10:30am, so you are always most welcome to drop in and join us as we worship God - and for a cup of tea or coffee afterwards.

 

 

Join Us

Sunday Service: 10:30 AM.
Communion: first Sunday of every month.
Creche, Sunday School and Bible Class: every Sunday while the sermon is taking place during Sunday Service.
Kids' Club: for those in 1st-6th class. Every Tuesday during school term from 6.30-8pm.
Youth Group: Friday 7:30-9.30 PM at the church.
Choir Practice: Friday 7:30 - 9.00 PM at the church.