RPCI | Western Presbytery | 207 Victoria Road, Bready, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland
Session: Rev Paul Wallace (Teaching Elder), Mr Stephen Davis, Mr William Lynch, Mr Johnny
Roulston, Mr William Roulston (Ruling Elders)
Attendance : 55 on average
Reformed Presbyterians have been meeting in Bready on the present site on the Victoria Road since 1771, but met in the open air at nearby Cullion since 1765. The current building we meet in was 100 years old in 2023.
Bready is a small village, of around 100 people, which lies in the midst of good farming country half-way between the city of Londonderry and the town of Strabane, and sits less than a mile from the River Foyle which forms the border between the North of Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. A number of our members have roots in nearby Donegal (in the Republic of Ireland). We have the benefit of being close to the city with its extensive retail business and industry, while also being set in the heart of excellent rural County Tyrone landscape.
Today, Bready RPC has about 25 families with about 55 worshipping on Sabbath. This number includes people from Bready village itself, Donegal, the city of Londonderry and other surrounding villages. While the numbers aren’t large in Bready services we often see our building well filled when we are joined by Reformed Presbyterians from other congregations in our area. During the summer months we also see an increase in visitors travelling to the North West of
Ireland on holiday.
Rev Paul Wallace was installed as the minister of Bready in April 2022 after the retirement of Rev Blair McFarland. The names of previous ministers are as follows:
- Rev William James 1765-1779
- Rev Samuel Alexander 1783-1793
- Rev John Alexander 1803-1809 (joint with Faughan)
- Rev Alexander Britten 1815-1846
- Rev Josiah Alexander Chancellor 1847- 1865
- Rev Charles Toland 1866-1886
- Rev Archibald Holmes 1887-1892
- Rev Robert Adams Mcfarlane 1893-1896
- Rev Joseph McEwen 1897-
- Rev John Know Dickey 1911-1919
- Rev Thomas Hanna 1919-1924
- Rev James Calderwood 1924-1971
- Rev Malcolm Ball 1977-1985 (with Clarendon Street, Derry)
- Rev Samuel McCollum 1990-2004
- Rev Blair McFarland 2007- 2019
The congregation has also raised up 11 men who went on to to serve as ministers elsewhere in the Covenanter church.
You can read more about the history of Bready Reformed Presbyterian Church in a book entitled “Foyle Valley Covenanters” by Dr William Roulston (Research Director of the Ulster Historical Foundation).
Nowadays the congregation has 2 services and Sabbath school each Lord’s Day, as well as meeting for Bible study and prayer on Tuesday evenings. The church family keep busy with their various outreach activities; Good News club for primary ages, Saturday Night Light for secondary age, Music and Rhyme for babies to pre-schoolers. The Women’s Fellowship meet regularly to study Gods word and encourage each other in the faith as well as catering for many events throughout the year. We are thankful to invite many from outside of the congregation to these events and pray that relationships built will encourage others to worship with us and seek the Christ we serve.
We are thankful for opportunities to serve in the community through the local schools and cricket club and pray we can be salt and light in these establishments. The congregation enthusiastically serve God is this little hamlet in the North-West corner of Ireland and pray that God would draw in many from our local community to build his church in this area once again!