SUNDAY SCHOOL

Sunday School Party held in the schoolroom to celebrate the Coronation of George VI & Queen Elizabeth 12th May 1937

Sunday School Choir - Feis Winners
c.1938

Senior Sunday School Class c.1938

Sunday School Excursion c.1939

Sunday School Teachers & Leaders of Youth Organisations 1961

Report 1973

  

Sunday School Class 1998

 

THE SUNDAY SCHOOL (at the time of the 1998 Exhibition)

The first recorded Superintendent of Strand (2nd Derry) Sunday School was Mr. Robert Gray Headmaster of the Strand Road National School attached to the church.
From the early 1920's until 1938 Mr Gray built a dedicated band of Sunday School teachers who catered for all ages from five years ( the current age for school enrolment) to 12 - 14 year olds who would then pass to Bible Class and preparation for Communion Class their full membership of the church.

Mr. Robert Neely, a long-serving elder in Strand, also Sunday School teacher, succeeded as Superintendent after the retirement of Mr. Gray. Mr. Clayton, Headmaster of the new Model School, became Superintendent of the Sunday School in 1940.

Once again, on the retirement of the Superintendent, an experienced teacher from the Sunday School was prepared to take on the responsible task. In 1960 when Mr Clayton retired and left the city to reside in Bangor, Mr. Alex Canning was appointed.

The programmes of work used in the Sunday School were developing with the changes in life-style over the early Fifties. Children's Church had been started in 1954 which enabled the young children, up to eight years, to leave Morning Service before the Sermon, and take part in Junior worship under the guidance of Children's Church leaders.

Mr. Canning's service as Superintendent lasted until 1983 - a record of 23 years. During this time the civil unrest in the city caused a decrease in attendance on Sunday mornings. Parents, especially those now residing in the Waterside, found it more practical to come as a family to the church service than to risk double journeys to bring children to early Sunday School and return to church.

Because of this the Children's Church was a substitute during those years for the fellowship of the children of the congregation, which was previously found in the Sunday School where all the children gathered.

An important annual event of the Sunday School was the Excursion to Portrush. This originally was an exciting train journey for all the children accompanied by parents and friends. Children travelled free and their tickets included a lunch of sandwiches and buns prepared by caterers and distributed out of doors (weather permitting), or in a local church hall.

By the late Sixties the outing had become a bus trip to Portrush with the same eager anticipation of the delights of the sea-side resort. Lunch was served in the precincts of Barry's Amusements and the individual white cardboard lunch boxes contained tasty cold chicken portions, with buttered baps and the traditional Paris buns.

After Mr. Alex Canning's resignation, his brother Sydney, Bible Class leader,  became the Superintendent and continued from 1983 until 1987.

Numbers in the Sunday School stabilised over these next years but never returned to the large enrolment of the early Seventies. 
On Mr. Sydney Canning's resignation in 1987, Mrs. Ann Pinkerton became Superintendent for two years until Mr. John Reid, the present Superintendent, took over responsibility on 1st January 1990.

During Mrs. Pinkerton's time as Superintendent, the use of Drama was introduced into the special Christmas and Children's Day services. Sunday School teachers all prepared suitable musical and dramatised themes. Older children from the Sunday School were encouraged to lead the congregation in worship from the pulpit while Rev. Bolton became a pew member.

These ideas are still a feature of the Sunday School contribution to the life of the congregation of 2nd Derry (Strand and Buncrana) church.

With a faithful band of teachers, Mr. John Reid devotes much time to the care and religious instruction of the children. The Portrush excursion eventually faded out to be replaced by outings more appealing to the present genera-tion.

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