Thursday, 25 August 2016


Bridlington Free Presbyterian Church, St John's Road.
 OK. It has been a while since I blogged. Apart from the fact that I don't blog as much as I used to anyway, I am just back from a great family holiday in Bridlington. "Brid" (as the locals fondly call it) is a seaside town on the east Yorkshire coast and home to one of our congregations in the Free Presbyterian Church. Numerically, it is not a large church, but very faithful people and it fell my lot (with a little bit of help on my side) to preach there for two Lord's Days (14th and 21st August) and two prayer meetings. We were joined on both Lord's Day by some visitors, including the McMullan family who were over on CEF business. Thursday morning is the outreach coffee morning in the church which is situated very strategically at a major T junction in an approach road to the city centre. The congregation has been pastorless since their previous minister, Rev. Dessie McComb, retired and so are dependent on relief preachers to supply the pulpit. Talking of pulpits, John Wesley preached in the pulpit here, although it was situated in another church at the time and obviously in another era. The present church was built around 1905 and carries the name of "Mount Zion" which is still incorporated into the congregational name. 

Castle Howard
We did the usually holiday things in glorious weather, including (among other things) two great day trips to York and took in the famous Minster, an hour long boat trip up the River Ouse, the Pickering to Whitby railway (out on one of the old diesel trains and back home on a puffer train), a visit to Eden Camp which housed German and Italian POWs in World War II, and a lovely visit to Castle Howard, best known for its use in the TV series Brideshead Revisited. All this costs a lot of money, but there is a 3 day York (and beyond) pass which works out tremendous value if you pick the right places to visit. It cost us £135 for 2 adults and 1 child, but when we totted up the admission prices and the food discounts, then we would have spent a total of £233, so you can see the value there. 

Did all the second hand bookshops but little to purchase when space on the shelves back home is at a premium. I did secure Authentic Christianity (IVP) which is an anthology of John Stott's works along with John Knox and the Reformation (Banner of Truth) by Martin Lloyd Jones and Iain Murray. I had taken a couple of books over with me and got time each evening to read JC Ryle - Prepared to stand alone (BOT) again by Iain Murray and The Legacy of Sovereign Joy (IVP) by John Piper. Both Stott and Piper would not be my cup of tea in many things, but the text that they author is pretty good and I just swerve round the odd pothole in the road.

Appleby on the Pennines
The trip home yesterday was glorious back to Cairnryan in Scotland to get the ferry back to Belfast. A total trip each way of 350 miles plus the sea journey. The trip over the Pennines from Scotch Corner to Penrith is breath taking. Even travelling all day didn't water down the holiday feeling any.  

All in all, a good time away, even if "a busman's holiday" and good to be back again and pretty relaxed. I am due to preach this Lord's Day and so on the only read wet day when we confined to the mobile home (graciously provided by a lady in the congeregation) I worked on the Lord's Day morning message. Still off the rest of this week, but will fit in another sermon preparation. 

So that's it for another while. 



  1. What a coincidence. I too was in Yorkshire during that same time, over from America. The weather was beautiful (sunny and dry!) and perfect for touring. Didn't make it to York or the coast, this time however. Mostly enjoyed the outdoors with a ramble or two and the blessing of worshipping with the saints in another land. ( to read of your travels; there certainly is a lot to see and do in the area, not to mention the stunning Yorkshire scenery.

  2. It certainly was beautiful weather. I am actually going back over again to preach in Bridlington in 3 weeks time. It will be a different place now that the touriss are all gone. But still, I am looking forward to it. Flying over and going by train up from Leeds, as opposed to driving over the lovely Pennines via Bonnie Scotland. Thanks for dropping by.


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