Outing to the ‘Holy Mile’ of Craigavon

The June outing of the Dromore Diocesan Historical Society was a unique occasion.

Joined by friends from Craigavon Historical Society, Killultagh Historical Society and Portadown Family History Society, members were entertained to two outstanding talks within the ‘Holy Mile’ of Craigavon’s Bluestone Road where four faiths worship within one statute mile.

Society Secretary, and noted Lurgan historian, FX McCorry spoke with great learning and feeling about Lynastown Quaker Burial Ground and of the role the Quaker community had played in the life and history of Craigavon.

He paid particular tribute to Pastor James Green - the saviour of North Armagh during the Famine. Indeed he said ‘the Quakers created Lurgan’.

The large attendance – about 100- then moved 300 yards to Bluestone Methodist Church where they were warmly welcomed by the incumbent Rev Leslie Spence.

They heard a superb talk by Jack Gilpin on early Methodism with special reference to Bluestone itself and the Malcolmson and Kershaw families.

Despite his self-deprecating title ‘Other Men’s Flowers’ Jack brought to his audience a width and depth of learning and understanding which was very much appreciated.

After two brief presentations to Rev Spence and Jack Gilpin, the meeting moved to its final venue St John’s RC Chapel at Lylo.

There FX McCorry again gave a brief talk on the church and the adjacent old schoolhouse before all were treated to an excellent supper.

This was a very special occasion with such wide cross-community support bearing witness to their common history.