Strean Presbyterian Church has been in existence since 1865 when Thomas Strean provided the money for some local people to form a new congregation and build a centre for worship. The beautiful Gothic-style building made from Scrabo stone can be found in the town centre of Newtownards. Its spire can be seen from miles around.
In 2016 we, as a church family, celebrated 150 years as a Presbyterian congregation in Newtownards. It was difficult to know exactly which date to pick for our celebrations! As above, Strean was founded in 1865 and met initially in the Market House (now the Town Hall in Conway Square). The foundation stone of our church building was laid on 6th March 1866. And the church was officially opened on 26th May 1867. All important dates in the history of the formation of Strean.
And so we chose the middle date – 1866 – as our starting point and 150 years later in 2016 we celebrated this important anniversary. We enjoyed a weekend of events to celebrate not just our anniversary as a church, but to reflect on our history down through the decades and to re-commit ourselves individually and as a congregation to the glory of God.
Our theme was God’s Love Endures Forever and this was displayed through our activities, events and celebration service.
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9
Included in our celebrations were The Windows of Reflection – each organisation prepared a display of items, photos etc from the past which are below the stained glass windows in the church.
God has been good to us down through the ages – His love endures forever. When we reflect back on the nine ministers who have faithfully preached God’s word and the various preachers who have come to bring us God’s message – from Horatio Bonar who preached the sermon when the church building was first opened to Eric Liddell who preached here in the 1920s. And when we think about events that the congregation has had to overcome, such as the devastation to the building from an IRA bomb planted in Newtownards town centre in July 1993. The interior of the building was destroyed with around £250,000 damage being done. The newly restored building was opened in March 1995.
Strean exists today as part of the worldwide family of God, committed to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, worshipping, serving and learning in a loving church community, and seeking to advance the gospel in the town of Newtownards and in the wider world.For a long period of time now, Strean has sought to work alongside other churches and organisations in the mission God has given us.