Enniskillen Presbyterian Church
  Enniskillen Presbyterian Church                    

Rev Laurence Wynne former minister of Scots Presbyterian Church.

Some of Rev Laurence Wynne’s sermons and talks by him and his wife Margaret were recently found by a member of the congregation when moving house.  Fortunately these tapes were offered to the church. After locating a tape player it was discovered that the tapes were of quality that could be reproduced on the website. This has now been completed 

A brief word about the Wynnes from information provided by their daughter Shelagh.

Laurence and Margaret first came to Enniskillen in 1947 when he was appointed as Assistant Minister in Scots Church, Enniskillen. Laurence, from Belfast, had recently married Margaret who was from London. – Shelagh provided some additional detail - “Mum was studying at Girton College, Cambridge, reading English Literature and Theology. She was on the Planning Committee for the CICCI (Cambridge-Oxford Christian Union) spring weekend. Army Chaplain Dad was attending with his best mate- Army surgeon Dr. Reggie- both from Belfast and both on their way to Germany. Dad was attracted to Mum, and told Reggie so. Reggie replied that he noted a boyfriend with her. (“Just platonic”, Mum revealed later). At the end of this weekend, Dad got Mum’s autograph in his autograph book, and invited her on a double-date next evening- to go punting- one of Mum’s skills! They saw each other- with a chaperone (of course- as was the then Christian tradition) each day until he left the next weekend. Dad’s kiss that final evening ‘did’ it!  Correspondence followed, a two year engagement and their wedding on November 29th, 1947. (PHOTO below), in Mum’s Anglican Church, Christ Church, New Malden, Surrey. Mum’s parents were both involved: her Dad as Churchwarden for 26 years and her Mum in ‘Women’s Own’ And CCNM supported granddaughter Shelagh for all of her 39 years’ service overseas! The newlyweds settled in a bungalow on the Sligo Road bought by the church because the retired minister was then living in the “old” manse on the Chanterhill Road and was not inclined to move. After six years, in February 1953, the congregation said farewell to the Wynnes who were off to Canada with their young family as Laurence was called to minister in Chatsworth Pres. Church, Chatsworth, Ontario Canada. In July 1956, the Wynnes moved to Victoria Pres. Church, Toronto, Ontario, Canada until May 1963 when they moved again to Grace Pres. Church, Montclair, New Jersey, USA.  Another move in 1976 took Laurence out of  church ministry to take up an appointment as First US Executive Director of the ‘Bible Medical  Missionary Fellowship’, which became ‘InterServe’ in 1978. The Wynnes remained in that work until September 1985. A trip home to Northern Ireland, earlier that year, led to Laurence and Margaret returning to Enniskillen to give a talk about their work in the Church. Many present recalled the joy of their first ministry and asked about their intentions in retirement as Laurence was now over 60.  On learning of their desire to return home the Clerk of Session suggested they come back to minister in Scots Church as there was a vacancy. That was a divine intervention as the Wynnes returned to Enniskillen to minister to our congregation in November 1985. It was a time of growth in church numbers and spiritual growth for the congregation. Laurence, with his gentle nature and soft Canadian accent will always be remembered for his blessing at the end of the service when he added his special touch to the doxology with “until we see Jesus face to face.“ These words are inscribed on his memorial plaque at the back of the church.   Margaret and Lawrence enjoyed engaging with those they had known previously in the church and Lawrence picked up his hobby of fishing.   Many in the congregation recollect this period in church life with great affection.  Tragically Laurence was killed in a car accident near Ballygawley, while driving to Belfast on church business, in October 1986. Margaret who was also in the car was severely injured and unable to attend his funeral. She recuperated in Enniskillen for over six months before returning to Philadelphia and a new life in the States. Laurence’s funeral was held in Scot’s Church and he is buried in Breandrum Ceremony.  His death was borne gracefully by his family and the church family who saw God as sovereign. The tragedy was the catalyst through which the Holy Spirit transformed lives during this difficult period. Margaret completed her PhD when she returned to the States and was subsequently appointed a Professor of Theology lecturing in Eastern Europe for some years before eventually retiring back to Philadelphia. In these interim years Margaret was a frequent visitor to Enniskillen where each               visit was very much a return home to our congregation. Margaret died in Pennsylvania in 2012 – again her daughter Shelagh provides some detail. “Mum’s funeral service was in Springfield Presbyterian Church, Springfield, Pennsylvania- her ‘local’ Church for the last 3 years of her life. Their Senior Minister, Rev. Robert, had been a theological student intern with Dad in New Jersey, several decades before, and was always very attentive to Mum. When looking for a Church nearer to her home than Tenth Pres. Church (in central Philadelphia), she recognized Rob’s name, and joined there (even though her son, Carroll, was one of Tenth’s Team Ministers.) Rev. Robert visited Mum on Good Friday morning- the day before she died on March 31st, 2012- to share his devotional for the noon service. “This day you will be with Me in paradise.” And so it was- next day for Mum! Our church was blessed by the Wynnes and their two periods of ministry, They were very much a team as can be evidenced in the talks they delivered together. Shelagh’s final comments echo our gratefulness for their ministry, it’s impact on our church and on individual lives. “I strongly believe in the Sovereignty and Omnipotence of God as a loving Heavenly Father, whose timing is always perfect. Therefore, I have always been thankful to God for my parents and forefathers, who prayed for me and my faith.”. 

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