A Tyrone father and son have written a comprehensive new history of the Parish of Camus-Juxta-Mourne. It’s called ‘Upon this Rock’ and its authors, Gordon and Trevor Smyth, are both parishioners of Christ Church Strabane.
The book takes readers back to the foundation of the Parish of Camus-Juxta-Mourne on a Franciscan monastic site at ‘the bend of the river’ in Camus, three miles south of Strabane, through the building of the old church at Patrick Street, and up to the opening of the current church on the Bowling Green.
The authors say that since the laying of the foundation stone on 17th November 1874 by the Duchess of Abercorn, Christ Church Strabane has been at the heart of the local community. They say it has enjoyed the support of all denominations and that it is important to record its place in history. “What started out as a simple idea – to compile an inventory of gifts and presentations made to the church – was to become a most interesting journey into the history of the parish and its people”, the writers say.
“Over the years, families have grown up and, while many have stayed, some have perhaps moved away. It is hoped that this book will rekindle their interest and strengthen their association with the church. We hope this book will also inspire the younger generation, just as we have been inspired by our predecessors.”
The authors have thanked all those who shared their memories, provided photographs, supplied information or contributed in others ways to the production of ‘Upon This Rock’. It is a full colour publication, priced at £20, with all profits going to church funds.
The Bishop’s Curate in Christ Church Strabane, Rev Mark Lennox, has congratulated his two parishioners on producing their new history. “This book captures wonderfully the history and stories of the Parish of Camus-Juxta-Mourne,” Rev Lennox says, “and in particular the life of Christ Church, the current church building. It is intertwined with personal accounts of what life is like as a member of the Parish.
“From the very first page, the reader is introduced to how the parish and the ministry is grounded in Jesus Christ, and how everything which takes place is placed firmly ‘on the solid rock’.
“I wish to acknowledge the hours of work and dedication – and the many miles travelled – by Gordon and Trevor in penning this book. I trust that readers will be enriched, as I have been, on reading this book”.