New minister overwhelmed by warmth and kindness

AFTER 12 years of service as minister of Rathfriland Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Hugh Cubitt has moved on to pastures new in Ballymoney, writes Carla Speer.

Rev. Cubitt is continuing his ministry at St. James’s Presbyterian Church. He arrived in Ballymoney a fortnight ago, and already he is overwhelmed by the warmth and kindess from his new congregation.

“At the minute, it is very new, and I am trying to get to know the congregation and what is going on in the area. I am suffering from information overload, especially with names etc, but I have definitely found the people of Ballymoney very friendly and welcoming, said Rev. Cubitt.

Rev. Cubitt moved here with his wife, three daughters Cherith, Karis and Kelsey and his son Ellis.

The whole family have been heavily involved in the Church. In his last congregation his wife Jane was instrumental in working with the ladies’ group -PULSE.

“That group has grown significntly over the years and has developed into a real fellowship of ladies,” said Rev. Cubitt. And not only has Rev. Cubitt and his wife been integral in the Church, but so have his children.

“My three daughters, have been heavily involved in the development of the praise group and band.”

Rev. Cubitt went on; “While I have thoroughly enjoyed the wider community life of Rathfriland, we know we are doing the right thing in moving on as we are going in God’s will. Twelve years is a long time and we go to our new church with the memories of a lot of lovely people in the church.”

Rev. Hugh Cubitt was installed on September 16.

He told the Times; “There comes a stage in the Ministry when it is the right thing to move on, and I felt this was the time.”

This minister didn’t always have a calling for God. In earlier years, he followed a career in accountancy.

“When I started off in the working field, I began in accountancy, I planned to train in that field, however it did not last very long.”

Afterwards, he decided to pursue his calling to the faith. “I went to Bible College in Edinburgh, and I worked for a year in the beautiful landscape of the Lake District in England. I then came back to Northern Ireland and studied education at the Univeristy of Ulster, Coleraine. Following that, I applied for the Ministry and studied at the Presbyterian College at Queen’s, and my first post was as an Assistant Minister at the First Carrickfergus Church. I then took up a post at the First Presbyterian Church in the Ards Peninsula in North Down.”

Rev. Cubitt says he is happily settled here already in Ballymoney. “I moved here with my family two weeks ago, and everything is very new for us. I was brought up not far from here in Rasharkin, so it is nice to be back home and living near my family. I was familiar with the area of Ballymoney, but not with the Churches, so I’m really looking forward to getting to know my congregation more, and I hope to have many happy years here in at St. James Presbyterian Church.”