Thanks are due to the Archives Committee of Ulster Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends for access to records in their collection and in particular to Muriel Cameron and Ross Chapman.
Appreciation must also be expressed to Elaine Hill and Paul Henry of the Craigavon Museum Project for their constant assistance. The Local History Library of the Southern Education and Library Board provided useful source material.
Many individuals also supplied useful information, notably Jack Shemeld on his grandfather and Lilian Murphy on her grandparents, William and Mary Coulthart.
Special thanks are offered to members of Portadown Friends Meeting for their encouragement and advice and the loan of photographs which add greatly to the interest of the publication.
A grant from the ROBERT AND KEZIA STANLEY CHAPMAN TRUST has made a significant contribution to the production of this book and our thanks are due to the trustees of the Fund.
Published in 2005 by Lurgan Friends Meeting, Lurgan, Northern Ireland
ISBN: 0 9530622 1 X
Designed by In-House Publications, Portadown.
Marking the centenary of the building of the Friends' Meeting House in Portadown in 1905 is an important landmark. This is being done in a number of ways and one of the most noteworthy is this publication.
We, as a Meeting, are grateful to Arthur G. Chapman, who has painstakingly researched and written this history. He has had an association with Portadown Friends' Meeting since the 1930s. He was at one time on the teaching staff of Portadown College and from 1970 until 1989 was Headmaster of Friends' School, Lisburn. He is also a former Chairman of Craigavon Historical Society.
The book is more than a document detailing the insular aspects of our 100 years; it is a comparative history of Friends in the locality over their 350 years of presence in County Armagh. Further it highlights the impact of Friends in the community and is therefore a very useful reference document.
The book endeavours to make mention of many of our members, especially those who contributed significantly, in so many ways, to the life of our Meeting, both those who are active at the present time and those in the past. At the same time we remember that all members are valued and particularly visitors who join with us in worship from time to time.
Our theme chosen for the centenary is 'New Beginnings'. We look forward, trusting in our Lord and Saviour to meet all our needs. 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.' (Heb. xiii, 8). 'He is all sufficient for our continuing needs in every position in life. It is to His mighty power, His pardoning love, His gift of peace, that we are to call men (and women) who are weary of dead forms. May we all come to an ever deepening knowledge of Him, seeking to realize, according to our measure, the fulfilment of the prayer of the Apostle for the early believers, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.' (a)
I commend this book to you thanking you for your interest and trusting it will encourage you to seek more information and above all will lead you to a deeper personal relationalship with our Heavenly Father.
R. DONALD POOLE
Elder of Portadown Friends' Meeting
(a) Extract from Minutes & Advices, Part 1, Christian Doctrine p25, Dublin Yearly Meeting 1905.