Take a look at all of the fantastic events that are held at the Livingston Centre at Killinchy Parish Church or get in touch to book your own event
Ulster Generals during WW2
Our thanks to Bryan Johnston of the Francis Hutcheson Institute for his interesting and entertaining talk on Ulster’s Generals and their role during World War Two.
Bryan shone a light on the characters, careers and contribution of Montgomery, Auchinleck, Brooke, Alexander and Dill. The latter, Dill, was orphaned as a boy and came to Killinchy to live with his uncle Rev Dr Burton, who was Rector of Killinchy at the time.
We were delighted with the turnout on what was a cold and blustery evening. Civic guests included Mukesh Sharma MBE, Chair of the Northern Ireland Committee and Trustee on The National Lottery Heritage Fund Board, and Councillor Philip Smith.
The Rector brought the evening to a close by praying for the people of the Ukraine and the peace of the world.
Livingston Days Festival: 11 August 2021
AN evening of words and music was held at Killinchy Parish Church to celebrate the amazing connections between Ulster and America.
The event was part of the Livingston Days Festival sponsored by the Ulster-Scots Agency with guests welcomed by church rector, the Rev Dr Stanley Gamble.
There was also a special welcome for Susan and Henry Livingston of Massachusetts, eleventh great grandchildren of the Rev John Livingston, the first Protestant rector of Killinchy in 1630.
Mr Bryan Johnston, former chief executive officer of TSB Northern Ireland, delivered a fascinating lecture on ‘The impact of Ulster on American Independence and Beyond’ and charting the various waves of immigration from Ulster to America, he provided the background to the War of Independence.
Lord Rogan, Mr Shannon and Ms McIlveen formally thanked the lecturer and musicians for an enjoyable evening and praised the Livingstons for their support of the Ulster-Scots community in Northern Ireland.
Former Killinchy rector, Canon Raymond Fox, closed the evening with prayer before visitors and guests enjoyed refreshments in the new Livingston Centre.
Word & Music Evening
A special evening of ‘Word and Music’ took place in Killinchy Parish Church on Friday 6th August 2021 to celebrate the amazing connections between Ulster and America.It was part of the Livingston Days Festival and sponsored by the Ulster-Scots Agency.
The Reverend Dr Stanley Gamble, current Rector of Killlinchy, welcomed everyone to the event, especially Susan and Henry Livingston of Massachusetts, USA, 11th great grandchildren of Reverend John Livingston, first Protestant Rector of Killlinchy (1630).
Notable guests included Lord and Lady Rogan of Lower Iveagh, Jim Shannon MP, and Michelle McIlveen MLA, Minister of Education as well as Alderman Robert Gibson.
Dr James Dingley, Chairman of the Francis Hutcheson Institute opened the evening with an introduction to the life and contribution of the renowned political philosopher who was born in Saintfield, County Down in 1694. ‘The Father of the Scottish Enlightenment’, Francis Hutcheson is widely recognised in the universities of the United States as a founding philosophic influence, inspiring both the Declaration of Independence and the foundational principles of the American Constitution. Both of the precedingwent on to inspire the French Revolution and constitution, and then the general development of liberal-democratic constitutions and ideals throughout the world.
After Dr Dingley’s very interesting talk, Jack McCabe, Organ Scholar Elect, Queens’ College, Cambridge, performed J.S. Bach’s Sinfonia (from Cantata No. 2) and The Londonderry Air arranged by Richard W Elsassheron The Reverend John Livingston Memorial Organ. Jack is currently the organ scholar at Killlinchy Parish Church and plays for divine services each Sunday.
Bryan Johnston OBE, former CEO of TSB Northern Ireland, delivered a fascinating lecture on ‘The impact of Ulster on American Independence and Beyond’. Charting the various waves of immigration from Ulster to America, Bryan Johnston provided the background to the war of independence, focusing on key figures of the Ulster-Scots community across the pond and the contributing factors that led to the formation to the United States of America. Leading figures from the Ulster Scots community who were the grandchildren and great children of Reverend John Livingston, played a significant role. Robert R. Livingston was involved in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.
On April 30, 1789, under the new Constitution, Chancellor Livingston administered the oath of office in New York City to the nation’s first president, George Washington.
Bryan Johnston pointed out that the Ulster-Scots community, when they crossed the Atlantic, became known as the Scots Irish. This distinctive body of people continued to make a positive contribution to the life of the United States beyond the formation of the States, with famous names including Neill Armstrong, Dolly Parton and John Wayne. He said seventeen of America’s presidents are generally accepted as being of Ulster-Scots ancestry.
Following the lecture, Dr Joe McKee OBE, Organist & Choral Director, at St Columba’s, Knock, explained the history and pedigree of the Reverend John Livingston Memorial Organ.
Dr McKee explained that the Harrison & Harrison organ of 1899 was built for High Spen Methodist Chapel in Northumbria 14 years after the church opened (1885). Sadly the church closed in 2003. The organ was rescued and fully restored and installed in Killinchy Parish by the Pipe Organ Preservation Co. The organ was unveiled on 29th September 2018 by Henry & Susan Livingston who donated the organ in memory of their 11th great grandfather.
Dr McKee then performed Handel’s Variations (from Organ Concerto Set 1, Op. 4, No.1), The Cuckoo by Claude Daquin before playing two pieces by Samuel Wesley; No. 1 Air (Andante) and No.2 Gavotte (Allegretto). Dr McKee brought the recital to a close with John Thompson’s arrangement of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, and The Washington Post by John Philip Sousa.
Lord Rogan, Jim Shannon MP, and Michelle McIlveen MLA, Minister of Education formally thanked the lecturer and musicians for a most enjoyable evening and praised the Livingstons for their support of the Ulster-Scots community in Northern Ireland. Canon Raymond Fox, former Rector of Killinchy, closed the evening with prayer before visitors and guests enjoyed refreshments in the new Livingston Centre.
Take a look at some photos of our events
Discover the transatlantic story of the Rev. John Livingston