Two Charming Stories from Ireland, by Rev. Desmond Porter

Tales of Horses - or Tail of a Horse

My Dad had upwards of 30 Clydesdale horses, used for pulling his coal carts. 

In size they were absolutely giganticus! Extremely strong, yet by nature, very gentle and docile creatures. However; I was ever so slightly afraid of them. I hasten to say, this was not their fault. It was just that I was young, and smallicus! 

Every summer, around the 1st of May, some 15 of these wonderful beasts would set off, for their summer holidays! 

With heads held high, clip-clop, clop-clip, in single file, they would set off from the coal quay to walk almost 30 miles. Accompanied by the carters, they were journeying to a farm where they would spend their time eating and doing nothing, in the lush green fields! 

The 1st of July comes. The remaining batch of 15 horses made the clip-clop to the farm. The holiday makers would return. Once September arrived they were all back together to begin the busy winter season again. 

It was one of my childhood memories. The sight, the sound of these lovely animals, as I watched them going by. In strict single file. Nose to tail. Well tucked into the side of the road. Along with their minders. Plod, plodding, rapidly, to and fro, their well earned summer holidays. In the country! 

The Wrong End of the Stick !

Let me tell you something about a late dear friend. An exceptionally happy and most kind colleague Minister of mine in Ireland. He was born in Saskatatchewan in the very northern part of that cold Province of Canada. 

He became a skilled lumberjack in the vast Churchill River area. Felling, sawing, the tall trees. Leaping from one to another, guiding them thru the ferocious river waters to the saw mills. In the early thirties, he, with his wife and family, emigrated. To (you'll not believe this !) Ireland! From whence his forbears came. 

The following years saw him become, an extremely wealthy man. Owner of two supermarkets, plus a couple of post-offices. He set all this aside. Leaving his family, he studied at the Unitarian College Manchester for the Church, and was Ordained at the age of 66. 

He was as happy as the day was long, and was a much beloved Minister; for 12 years. After which he bought a farm. 

One day, driving over his land, he spotted a mischievous tree branch. Fetching a saw, next thin he was up on the branch, zzzzz cutting away. Suddenly! Too late! He realised, he was on, TH WRONG END! 

He fell several feet into long grass, then rolled down. Plop, into the shallow waters of a strean All without any hurt, hindrance, or harm. Except! From that day, right up until his late ninetie he ever sparkled and laughed at the lumberjack, who FORGOT, to be a lumberjack. 

Upcoming Events

  • Upper Chapel has now returned to a full programme of services, events and groups.: We do however still ask for caution under certain circumstances - please do not attend if you have Covid 19 symptoms. Please also bring a mask as we encourage them to be worn in certain circumstances (though mask wearing during services is optional). More events
  • Sunday services are in Chapel and one, normally the morning service, is Zoomed: Most Sundays we have services at 11am and 6.30pm but not all. Please check the Worship Calendar or contact the Minister if unsure. More events
  • Wednesday Lunchtime openings are in Chapel: 1130-1300 approx. with reflection at 1215 More events
  • Wednesday afternoon activities have now started.: From 1345, depending on which Wednesday of the month, we have Discussion, Life Spirit, Poetry and Sharing groups. More events
  • The twice monthly Alternative Gathering is currently paused.: But it'll be back. More events
  • Upper Chapel Strollers: Next walk Saturday 6th November - Treeton Dyke/Catcliffe etc. 11am at the start.Normally first Saturday of the month. More events
  • Upper Chapel Striders: Walks on an ad hoc basis. More events
  • Music Together: Next meeting Wednesday 27th October 7pm 'Castaway Daryl Bennett'. Normally fourth Wednesday of month. More events
  • Women's League: Next meeting Monday 8th November (a second Monday) 11am for 11.30am. Normally it is the first Monday of month. More events