Report to Conference 2021
Like all other areas of life in the Methodist Church in Ireland, Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the work of the Society and much of the planned programme of events had to be postponed. However, the Society has been keen to embrace new technology such as Zoom for meetings and lectures.
AGM 2020. This was postponed until October and was a virtual meeting. There was a large attendance and it was particularly pleasing to have members from Australia and England join the meeting for the first time.
Pilgrimage and Lectures. The annual pilgrimage, which had been planned to visit the historic churches on the Castlederg Circuit, has had to be postponed for a second year. Rev. Chris Skillen gave the Spring lecture entitled ‘Three Methodist ex-slaves in nineteenth century Ireland’. This was held online and was well attended. Following the AGM, which will be held the week after Conference, it is planned that Keith Haines, Belfast historian, will give a lecture on the subject ‘Sir Samuel Kelly: Coal merchant, gunrunner and Methodist benefactor’.
Archive work. Despite the archives having been closed to the public since March 2020, the number of queries via email has been escalating. Indexing work has been continuing at the homes of volunteers and Edmund Mawhinney has begun the transfer of the Irish Evangelist card index compiled by Beryl Johnston, to Cardbox, the in-house database.
The scanning of the Christian Advocate has been completed from 1883-1923. Funding applications have now been made to commercial and charitable trusts. The Society is grateful for significant donations already received from members for this important project.
The Society is as ever, appreciative of the prayerful and generous financial support received from our members and from circuits around the Connexion.