Cullybackey College Crest
  • Principal:
  • Mr D Donaldson
  • B.Ed., M.Ed., P.Q.H.

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Scripture Union


Last SU of 2017 (05/04/17)

This week, Cullybackey SU had their last meeting. It was a small gathering as a lot of pupils were at other school events (Cullybackey College is a very busy place!), but we had a lot of fun together, with Miss Sheppard leading us in games. It was very special too as it was the last meeting for Y12 pupil, Rebecca Graham and Y14 pupil, Katie McQuillan, both of whom will be leaving the college next year. Both girls have been to nearly every SU meeting in their time at school. We will miss them a lot and we wish all the very best for wherever God leads them next. “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3

Last SU of 2017

Rachel Sheppard from SUNI (15/03/17)

Thanks to Rachel Sheppard from SUNI for speaking at Scripture Union last week. We had fun competing to see who would be quickest at building and demolishing a bottle pyramid. Small groups were then challenged to think about putting their trust in God above all else. Our last meeting this year will be on Wednesday 5th April which will be party time!

SU 15th March

Danny from Methodist Youth (01/03/17)

Scripture Union met again on Wednesday 1st March and was led by Danny from Methodist Youth. He shared his testimony with us and Mrs Smyth ran a quiz. Thanks to both for their valuable contributions.

SU - Methodist Youth

Danny from Methodist Youth (15/02/17)

Scripture Union met on Wednesday 15th February and our speaker was Danny from Methodist Youth. Thanks to him for the range of activities provided.

SU - Danny from Methodist Youth

Joel Hutchinson from SUNI (18/01/17)

Scripture Union met again on Wednesday 18th January and was led by Joel Hutchinson of SUNI. The topic was Being Wise Online and we were challenged to examine our behaviour on social media in the light of Scripture. Thanks to Joel and his helpers Melissa and Paddy from Stranmillis College for their input.

SU - Joel Hutchinson

Christmas Party (07/12/16)

Scripture Union met on Wednesday 7th December for their Christmas party. There was fun, food and fellowship to be had, all organised by our Sixth Form pupils. Party games, a time of worship and a message on the Prodigal Son, capably delivered by Neill McClearn, rounded off proceedings. Thanks to all involved for a successful meeting.

SU 7th December

Miss Sheppard shares the message(16/11/16)

Scripture Union met after school and was led by Miss Sheppard who spoke about our verse for the year from Jeremiah. There was a fun "guess the character" game to get everyone talking and of course hot chocolate! Thanks to Miss Sheppard for sharing the message and organising activities.

SU 16th November

Sixth Form lead SU (19/10/16)

Scripture Union met after school and was led by our Sixth Form. Mrs McFarlane introduced a Sword drill. The message was delivered by Neil McClearn and Ryan Purdy. Thanks to all involved!

SU 19th October

Miss McKillop leads SU (05/10/16)

Scripture Union met on Wednesday 5th October and was led by an appropriately and beautifully attired Miss McKillop! She gave us a fascinating insight into life in India, gained through her work teaching and sharing God's love there over the past few summers. We learned about the main faith, Hinduism and had the opportunity to try on some Indian clothing. Thanks to Miss McKillop for sharing her experiences!

SU 5th Oct 2016


SU enjoy some thought provoking activities (16/03/16)

Thanks to Rachel Sheppard and Joel Hutchinson from SUNI for providing a range of thought provoking activities for our final meeting of the year. The Easter theme was developed through an exploration of the meaning of forgiveness. Presentations were made to Year 12 students Dean Armstrong and Steven McLeister for their committed attendance at SU throughout their years at Cullybackey College.

SU 16th March with Rachel Sheppard and Joel Hutchinson from SUNI

Ivan McClean leads SU (02/03/16)

Thanks to Ivan McClean who spoke to us once again at SU today about the importance of trusting God in our lives and believing in His promises.

Ivan McClean addresses SU

Andrew Dickson leads SU (03/02/16)

Scripture Union met on Wednesday 3rd February and was addressed once again by Andrew Dickson. Thanks to Andrew for providing a challenging message and activities.

SU with Andrew Dickson

Sixth Form lead SU (20/01/16)

Scripture Union met on Wednesday 20th January and was led by our Sixth Form pupils. They led a Sword Drill and had a time of prayer and praise. They also shared their Testimonies and a message about how God works to overcome our issues if we allow Him into our lives.

SU 20th January

Andrew Dickson

Andrew visited us again on Wednesday 6th January. Pupils were challenged about what is most important to them in life. We would like to thank Andrew for leading and providing activities.

SU 6th January - Andrew Dickson

Andrew Dickson

Scripture Union met on Wednesday 4th November in Room 30 after school. Our speaker was Andrew Dickson from High Kirk. We discussed what God means to us and our everyday lives.

SU 4th November

Philip Kerr - Romania

Scripture Union met on Wednesday 21st October and pupils heard an interesting talk by Year 13 pupil Philip Kerr about his trip to Romania with Exodus. There was also a time of praise and the obligatory hot chocolate and snacks were enjoyed by all!

SU - Philip Kerr talks about his trip to Romania with Exodus

Harvest Assembly

We had our special Harvest Assembly in school on Thursday 15th October. Members of Scripture Union took part. We thanked God for all his goodness and faithfulness to us.

Members taking part were Maia White, Philip Kerr, Ryan Purdy, Mekah Sabu and Sarah Courtney.


"Getting To Know You" - Wednesday 7th October

Scripture Union met today for the first time this year after school. The theme was "Getting to Know You" and pupils participated in a number of fun activities where they had the opportunity to find out interesting facts about the teachers, meet new people and enjoy refreshments. There was a time of praise and Mrs McDonald challenged us with a message about the importance of ensuring that we have a right relationship with God.

SU - Getting To Know You




12th February: Colin Jenkins talks about Faith, Love and Hope

Click to enlargeOn Wednesday 12th February Colin Jenkins from the Seamen's Christian Friend Society attended the SU meeting. He talked to us about Faith, Love and Hope. He talked to us about how important and evident they are within our everyday lives. He showed us that we live and do things in hope, with faith, through love and that it is amazing that sometimes we are tempted to give up, God reminds us of his limitless love and power that he has for us.

29th January: Rachel Sheppard visits SU

On Wednesday 29th January Rachel Sheppard attended the SU meeting. She told us about how often we make decisions to get ourselves out of different situations such as home, work and getting out of bed in the morning to go to school. She then talked to us about how Moses made excuses to get him out of witnessing for the Lord, but God told him that he is with him and will help him through. The most important thing for us is that God never makes excuses when it comes to helping us and loving us and we shouldn't make excuses when it comes to reading our bibles and witnessing for him.

18th December: Important message at Scripture Union Christmas party

Click to enlargeOn Wednesday, the Scripture Union held their Christmas Party. After sharing sweets and home-made buns Hannah and James showed two videos about the importance of the Christmas story and the birth of Jesus. The videos demonstrated the Christmas story through modern technology and social networking sites. They showed that even though times change the feelings stay the same.

4th December

This week at Scripture Union our guest speaker was Ivan McClean, he spoke to us from Genesis and his topic for the day was "A perfect design requires a great designer".

Come along next week to Scripture Union on Wednesday in Room 70. Everyone is warmly invited.

27th November

Click to enlargeThis week at Scripture Union we had an ice breaker where the committee introduced themselves to the rest of Scripture Union by showing baby photos of themselves. Hannah McLarnin then gave her testimony and told us what God has done in her life.

13th November - This week at Scripture Union, The SU committee introduced themselves, telling them about themselves and the roles they will carry out throughout the year.

Scripture Union takes place on Wednesdays at Room 70. Everyone is welcome to join in on the fun and fellowship with friends as we Praise and learn about God!"

9th October - Scripture Union took place on Tuesday 9th October during lunchtime in Mrs Armstrong's room. Philip Moffett from the Reformed Presbyterian Church was our guest speaker. We also enjoyed a time of food and fun together.

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Release International (5th February 2013)

On Tuesday 5th February at SU Mr Wilson from Release International came to speak to us about the work he does. He told us all about the persecution faced by Christians in different parts of the world. He particularly focused on the hardships and mistreatment experienced by Christians in North Korea. In this country the only hymns that are allowed to be sung are those that praise the supreme leader and ruler Jim Jong Il. If a North Korean decides to make Jesus the supreme ruler of their life instead, that person and often their family will suffer.

Mr Wilson asked us to pray for his safety as he seeks to bring bible teaching to Christians in China in a forthcoming trip. Before we left we received magazines telling us about the persecution faced by Christians in different parts of the world and also the work done by Release International.

By Bethan Millar (9A2)

Making Your Mark - Identity/Influence/Impact (January 2013)

Esther Blair (Head Girl), Rebecca Speers and Alana Duff represented the school at the annual gathering of pupil leaders from SU groups all across Northern Ireland. Making Your Mark is a pupil leadership weekend run by Scripture Union. Designed to invest in, inspire and equip pupils who take a lead within their school SU groups. The weekend brought together over 200 pupils from all over the country for a program packed full of worship, teaching, workshops, small groups and banter.

Making Your Mark equipped us as leaders for the upcoming year ahead of us in Scripture Union. Getting us to dream big, have a vision, think outside the box, plan ahead, start something new and most of all focusing our eyes on God.

'If we did the
Things we are capable of doing,
We would literally
Astound ourselves.'

Everyone has their own gifts and no matter if that's speaking in public or being creative, everyone's piece, no matter the shape will find its place in the jigsaw.
"Honestly the best youth weekend I've ever been on, learnt so much! Can't wait to go back to school and put it into practice"-Esther Blair

'Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young,
But set an example
For the believers in speech, in life, in faith and in purity '
1 Timothy 4:12

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Bethlehem Village Experience, 13th December

On Thursday 13th December 2012, S.U. visited Bethlehem Village Experience at Ballymena North Business and Recreation Centre. There was about 30 of us went. Mrs Houston, Miss Peacock and her sister Valerie went as well.

When we arrived we were given juice and biscuits before we actually started our tour. They split us into two groups. Our group was group two; Mrs Houston went around with our group.

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We started off by going into a time machine, of course Einstein was there. We all had to hold on to each other because it was a rather bumpy sail in a rocket to get us back 2000 years ago!!

When we arrived in Bethlehem we were walking through the streets. The Roman Emperor said that Mary and Joseph were here and registered, and then she gave birth to a baby boy. We all had to sign a census, to register us to Bethlehem.

The next stop was Simeon's house. Simeon is a nice man and he is a softly spoken man. In the Old Testament it was written that a Messiah would be born. God made a special promise with Simeon and said that before he died he would see the Messiah. It all came true Mary and Joseph brought baby Jesus to the temple and Simeon held baby Jesus and blessed him.

The next stop was a woman who sold scarves and bracelets. She was telling us all about King Herod wanting to find baby Jesus and kill him. After she said this Herod and two of his soldiers appeared. They questioned the lady and she said she saw a star in the sky the night Jesus was born, then he questioned us and we said we didn't know where he was. The lady spoke up again and said she thinks the star was west. Herod set off in that direction. The lady had to go and hide after this.

We left the stall immediately and went to the stable were Jesus was said to have been born. There was two ladies standing there, we asked them if they knew were Jesus was. They started to tell us the story. Mary and Joseph came to see if there was any room for them in the Inn, but there wasn't. We told them the only place was the stable, but there was sheep, goats and donkeys in it. (They were actually real and stinky)!! Mary and Joseph said it would be fine, so Jesus was born in a feeding manger. Imagine a baby being born in a feeding manger, who is going to be King of the world...

We walked on round to see the Shepherds. They said that there was this really bright star in the sky and then a host of angels started coming down. We left our flocks immediately in the stillness of the night and followed the star. After they told us this they started singing about what they saw and about Jesus the Messiah being born. The Shepherds were the first people to visit baby Jesus. In those days Shepherds weren't thought much of, so this was a real privilege.

After they had told us all about their experience we moved on to a tent with wise men sitting in it. They told us about when they went to visit Jesus. The wise men went to visit Jesus at his house in Bethlehem about two years after his birth. The wise men showed us the three gifts they gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh.

To finish off with we were allowed free time and we got to throw snowballs at a board with holes in it. This was a really good trip and we would love to go again!

Check out their website here by clicking here!

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas, but as you open all your presents you would remember the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus' birth. God sent the gift of eternal life to us at Christmas, so as we could repent of our sin and have eternal life in heaven.

1 John 5:11
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is his own Son.

By: Emma Hoy & Claire McDowell

Challenges 27th November

On the 27th of November at Scripture Union it was bring a friend day. The fifth years had planned challenges for those who were up for it to take part in. Are you up for the challenge?? The first challenge was the after eight challenge. This challenge involved you placing an after eight on your forehead and only using your facial muscles to get it into your mouth. After that it was the polo mint challenge, which you had to pass a polo mint down the line on a straw, and no hands were allowed! After many attempts we found a winner. These are only some of the challenges that were undertaken.

In the last 10mins Laura Coulter shared a few thoughts with us about who God means to her. Laura played the song 'In Christ Alone' and talked about how she loved the words "No power of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand; Till He returns or calls me home, Here in the power of Christ I'll stand." As Christians we have a hope that no matter what happens God will never leave us nor forsake us, as it says in Joshua 1v5.

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Table Quiz 16th October

On 16th October some Year 12s took Scripture Union. As usual it was held in room 29 at lunch time. James Gailey kicked it all off with a thought for the day, then there was a table quiz in which "Team Name" won and received prizes. All round, everyone had great banter and interacted with different year groups. I'm sure everyone learned at least one interesting fact!

Next in line was a talk lead by Esther Blair! She spoke on how Christians should shine their light before others and everyone received bookmarks with the verse Matthew 5:19 on it. Check it out!

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What is happening this term at S.U?

"What really is Scripture Union all about?"

Scripture Union is BACK and better than ever!! Before I go any further I'm going to answer the question… 'What is Scripture Union all about?'

Scripture Union is a group of both pupils and teachers, who meet together every Tuesday at lunchtime (Room 29) to learn more about God. Run by teachers and helped by a group of fifth year students. We have so much planned for this incoming school year, including the Head Boy and Head Girls testimonies, Senior Bible Studies, prayer meetings, Quizzes', Guest speakers, Games, trips and loads of BANTER! Everyone, from all year groups are very welcome.

Senior Bible Study

The senior bible study is available for those who are in Year 11 right up to Year 14. Meeting once a month on a Tuesday. We cover up to date topics and answer questions affecting Christians today, for example, Evolution, Who is God?, Who am I? What is my identity in Christ? To name a few. Come along, to be challenged and join in the fun and friendship that goes along with it.

Getting involved

This year some fifth year pupils have come forward and are keen to get involved with the work of Scripture Union. All of them are Christians and have the same vision. Their vision is to shine the light in our school, through the work of Scripture Union, (as it says in Matthew 5v16). You may know some of them, they are as followed: Esther Blair (Head Girl), Kyle Crawford (Head Boy), Alana Duff, Rebecca Speers, Laura Coulter, Amos Kennedy and James Gailey. This group has a vital role to play in the planning and organization of S.U. this year, holding prayer meetings and also taking individual leadership roles. If you are a Christian and are in Year 12 please talk to some of us if you are interested in getting involved.

What does Scripture Union mean to you?

"I love going to Scripture Union because it's a place where you can learn about the Lord Jesus and meet with other pupils within the school that go to S.U. Different people every week come to share with us on varying topics. Sometimes a teacher will take it or other times pupils will speak and organise S.U.- it can take the form of giving a testimony (what God has done in their lives), having a quiz, playing games, ice-breakers and listening to talks on the bible. On other occasions we hear about outreach work in other parts of the world. On one of the most recent meetings, a lady came from Wycliffe Bible Translators to tell us about her work; she translates the Bible into different languages for people who have never read it before so they can learn about God who made them, and the Lord Jesus who can save them from their sins. If you come along you'll be sure to find it a friendly, interesting and fun place to be during lunch time."

Bethan Millar – Year 9

"The things I like about S.U. are that it's a friendly atmosphere where you can talk to friends whilst eating lunch. It's also great if you want to find out more about God, as there are different speakers who come, as well as people from different Christian organisations. You are never put under pressure to do anything and it's a good place to make new friends."

Andrew Millar – Year 11

"Scripture Union means a lot to me, as it just a great way of meeting up with your Christian friends in the middle of a stressful school day, have a laugh and learn about God. I look forward to the senior Bible study as it is really encouraging as well as challenging at the same time. Being a part of S.U. and getting involved this year is a class way of sharing my faith and is helping me grow in my relationship with God. This is our chance to shine, in Cullybackey High"

Esther Blair –Year 12

"I find S.U. is a good way to meet with friends and learn more about God. S.U. is laid back, relaxing and it's a place to come to sit back and enjoy your lunch while hearing about God. This year I am looking forward to it as there are seven other fifth year pupils, including myself who have planned out a fun and interesting year of Scripture Union. Everyone is welcome to come along! "

Kyle Crawford- Year 12

"Sometimes being a Christian at school isn't easy. S.U. is a great place where you can relax and be yourself in a friendly environment surrounding by other Christians, who will encourage you in your faith. Scripture Union is also a place where you can come if you have a question, any of us will be very happy to talk to you and answer any questions you may have, or just come along to chat and discuss topics with Christians to find out their point of view on things. This is what I like about S.U."

Laura Coulter- Year 12

"S.U. is a great way to spend my lunchtime as it is were fellow Christians can join together in fellowship."

James Gailey- Year 12

"I love S.U. because you get to hang out with your Christians friends which are a big encouragement for helping you grow in your faith. Its great bant, as there's plenty of fun and games. So come to S.U. guys, we promise you won't be disappointed!"

Rebecca Speers – Year 12

"Don't worry; S.U. is not a long sermon that lasts the whole of lunch. It's a short talk and is entertaining and encouraging. I like S.U. because it is a place to get together with other Christians and to learn more about God and grow in my faith."

Alanna Duff –Year 12

"I enjoy S.U. as it is a great way to share about what I believe in, with non-Christian friends. S.U. is a great way to hear about God in a way that applies to us. This year, S.U. is going to be packed full of stories and plenty of fun and games, or 'Banter' if you will!"

Amos Kennedy – Year 12

"I like S.U. because it's a great opportunity to hear about different organisations, like the Wycliffe Bible Translators, Scripture Union its self, different churches, CEF, etc.… Also it's a great opportunity to get to know pupils in other years, by hearing there testimony's. It's a relaxed environment as you can bring your lunch and have a chat too your friends. I find that S.U. has helped me to grow in my faith because everyone has a different story to tell, from pupils to teachers, to outside originations."

Hannah McLarnin - Year 13

This Year of Scripture Union is not to be missed!!

Matthew 5:16
'In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.'


Scripture Union meets every Wednesday at lunchtime in Mrs McDonald's room. Around 60 pupils and teachers attend. We have lots of different activities each week, including games, bible studies, praise, "Quiz the Teacher" and guest speakers. We also organise various trips and outings throughout the year. The photos are from our Christmas trip to Ballymena Sportsbowl. Everyone is welcome to attend SU, even if you've never been before!

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Scripture Union Christmas TripScripture Union Christmas TripScripture Union Christmas Trip
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