FOR the past 22 years, the Ballywillan Men’s Fellowship has provided a weekly meeting-place for the retired and semi-retired men of the district.
During that time, several hundred speakers have entertained and enlightened the members through varied talks and presentations. Just as importantly, hundreds of friendships have been made in the informal atmosphere of the pre-meeting gatherings where tea, coffee, biscuits and chat are enjoyed in equal measure.
Never intended as a strictly Ballywillan Only gathering, nor confined to any particular religious leanings, the Fellowship has lived up to its initial expectations and can claim members from every church denomination in the area, as well as many with no church connections at all.
Members come not only from the Portrush district, but from a wide area extending up to a dozen miles away and including Coleraine and Portstewart. All are welcome, for encouraging friendship has been a principal aim of the Ballywillan Fellowship.
Meetings are held in the Octagon and Link areas of Ballywillan Presbyterian Church Hall on Thursday mornings from September to April, starting at 10.30am.
Lunch is also enjoyed several times during the year by Fellowship members, their families and friends, as well as occasional outings to places of interest throughout the Province.
There is a small annual fee (£12) and another £1 per meeting, which helps to defray speakers’ expenses and subsidise the outings, but the Fellowship also aims to make donations each year to two charities selected at the annual meeting.
In recent years, charities supported have included Stand By Me, Oasis, the Children’s Hospice, Willie’s Orphan Fund, Romanian Orphans and LIFT. This year (2016/2017) the Children’s Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support are the chosen charities.
Membership and attendances have been well maintained over the years, but the Fellowship is always keen to welcome new members.
The programme of speakers is advertised on the HOME PAGE of this website.