“Helping our church to be big on mission, even though small in number, and to make known the Good News of Jesus wherever the people are”
Malin Presbyterian Church is a small country church nestling on the banks of Trawbreaga Bay on the Inishowen Peninsula in North Donegal. The Peninsula covers an area of 26 miles length and 26 miles across (676 square miles). The church is 2 miles from Malin town on the main Malin Head tourist route and is the most northerly Presbyterian Church in Ireland with a history spanning 300 years. This church has lived through the times of plenty and the times of famine, the times of war and the times of peace. Throughout all, the country folk in this part of the world have shone through with their deep faith and hearts of gold. As Presbytery comments in its 2009 Mission plan, “in rural congregations loyalty to Church has always been high and attendances good”.
Malin has seen very little change over the last 50 years. Congregational records for 1959 show that 38 families had connections with the church – in 2013 there are 39 families.
The changes that have occurred have included families having fewer children and young people continuing their education further afield. However we have been compensated as the Lord has brought others to the area. We have seen church members returning and building homes in the area for their retirement and we have seen some of our young people settling in the area and travelling to work around Donegal and the North. Many holiday homes have been built in the area, and congregational figures each Sunday during the summer months would reflect this – all are most welcome!
In 1994 the Presbytery Consultation for Malin commented that “both Session and members are commended for their Presbyterian witness in this most northerly part of Donegal and is happy to see that the number of families and communicants is similar to 15 years ago”.
We have a good feeling of togetherness and empathy with others from different backgrounds as we welcome many groups to use the church hall – scouts using the hall for a stay-over, the Fennel Shed members displaying their selection of Quilts, Cyclists having a stop-over during their charity ride from Mizen head to Malin head, a Walking Club etc.
(At the last Presbytery visitation in 2005 the congregation was congratulated “on the atmosphere of good neighbourliness with the local community”).
Ladies take pleasure in providing teas each Saturday afternoon during July and August in the Church Hall, and this is supported both by passing visitors and our local friends.