Sion Mills The Good Shepherd Church
Strabane County Tyrone

BT82 9PY

Who we are

Urney Parish is a Church of Ireland Parish in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

Whilst we are ONE parish we have TWO beautiful church buildings serving the communities of Sion Mills and Urney.

We strive to provide a balance between traditional and contemporary music and liturgy, including a more informal service for ALL the FAMILY once a month in BOTH churches.

We believe that the Bible is one of the chief ways through which God continues to speak to us today, so the reading and exposition of the Scriptures is a real focus in all our services and Bibles are available for the congregation to follow readings, in BOTH churches

There is a great deal happening in the parish, aside from our Sunday worship, including Sunday Schools, Mothers Union, Ladies Fellowship and the annual Strawberry Fayre.

Church Address

Sion Mills The Good Shepherd
Melmount Road
Sion Mills
Strabane, County Tyrone BT82 9PY
Download vCard with Service Times   Edit

Church Pastor

Rev J McFarland
Rev J McFarland
Parish Priest
Melmount Road
Sion Mills
Strabane, County Tyrone BT82 9PY
Download Parish Priest Rev J McFarland vCard   Edit

Quote of the Day
Isaiah 26:4

Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:




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Sion Mills The Good Shepherd Church on YouTube


Leader Name:
Rev J McFarland   Edit
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Parish Priest   Edit
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Melmount Road Sion Mills, Strabane, County Tyrone
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Service Times

Worship on a Sunday at the Church of the Good Shepherd is as follows:

8.30am Holy Communion - Order 1 (Traditional Language)
There is a short address at this service

10.30am Holy Communion - Order 2
On the FIRST and THIRD Sundays of each month

Service of the Word
On the SECOND Sunday of the month
(A slightly lighter, typically shorter and livelier service for the WHOLE FAMILY to enjoy)

Morning Prayer
On the FOURTH Sunday of the month

Most services last between an hour and an hour and a quarter

Other services take place throughout the year, and on special occasions.

Service Times last updated on the 2nd of April, 2020
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Worship Languages


Dress Code


Children and Youth Activities

Under 12s:
How dull would life be if we all liked the same things, or expressed ourselves in the same way?

Messy Church IS Church, but done in a refreshingly new way. It’s NOT instead of the music or words or tradition that many love and are most familiar with, but IN ADDITION to it.

There’s still prayer and Bible reading, there’s still singing, although perhaps a little louder and more energetic than we’re used to. But there’s much more as well… art and craft, messy games AND a decent cooked meal.

Messy Church takes place FOUR times a year, and is widely advertised in local shops and through our schools.

Look out for the next one, we’d love to see you, and all the family there.   Edit
Under 18s:
Sunday School and Uniformed Groups for Children

We have Sunday School both in Sion Mills and at Christ Church, Urney, beginning an hour before the main Sunday Service.

Using all kinds of different materials, crafts and games we strive to grow in our children a sense of God’s love for them, and the knowledge that through Jesus we can enjoy a personal relationship with God today.

Rather than simply read stories taken from the Bible we encourage children to explore and read the Bible for themselves.

Children from BOTH Sunday Schools work together to present their own take on the Nativity Story at Christmas and at the end of the School year they thoroughly enjoy a day-out with their leaders.

Those involved in teaching or helping to lead our children in Sunday School are fully trained and vetted in accordance with best practice and Safeguarding Trust - the Church of Ireland’s guidelines for the care of young people.

Sunday Schools DO NOT meet when there is a FAMILY SERVICE in Church.


Beaver Scouts are the youngest members of the Scouting family. Their activities are based around making things, outdoor activities, singing, playing games, going out on visits, investigating nature, listening to stories, learning how to be safe, and most importantly, making new friends.

Beavers are usually aged between six and eight years old, though they can be as young as five and three quarters. Earlier entry is at the Beaver Scout Leader’s discretion.

Beaver Scouts meet in the CHURCH HALL on a MONDAY evening from 6.30 - 7.30pm (term time only)

Cubs are the second section of the Scout movement, for young people aged between eight and ten and a half years old.

During their time in the Pack, Cub Scouts will get a chance to try lots of different activities both indoors and outdoors. There’s loads of everyday scouting adventures from knots, crafts, games and camping, and there are a range of badges available which Cub Scouts can wear on their uniforms to show everyone how they’re doing.

Cub Scouts also get to go on trips and days out, to places like the zoo or a farm. Sometimes they will be able to go on short camps with the Scouts and take part in all kinds of outdoor activities.

Cub Scouts meet in the CHURCH HALL on a THURSDAY evening from 6.45 - 7.45pm

(term time only)

Scouts are the third section of the Scouting movement. From the first experimental camp for 20 boys in 1907, the movement now has an estimated 28 million members worldwide, and in the UK alone there are over 499,000 boys and girls involved in Scouting.

The Scout section is for young people usually aged between ten and a half and fourteen years of age.

Scouts are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities as part of their programme.

Scouts meet in the CHURCH HALL on THURSDAY evenings from 8.00 - 9.15pm

(term time only)   Edit

Local outreach & community activities


Other activities & ministries

Groups for Adults and Special Events

The Bible Study Group meet on a Wednesday evening from 8.00pm at the Rectory.

At present we are reading through the Acts of the Apostles and reflecting on what is necessary for the local church to grow and thrive as it did in first century after the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus.

Just come as you are, prepared for good fellowship, frank discussion and the challenge of the Holy Spirit as we read God’s word together.


The aim of the Mothers’ Union is the advancement of the Christian religion in the sphere of marriage and family life.To uphold Christ’s teaching on the nature of marriage and to promote its wider understanding.

To encourage parents to bring up their children in the faith and life of the Church.

To maintain a worldwide fellowship of Christians, united in prayer, worship and service.

To promote conditions in society favourable to stable family life and the protection of children.

To help those whose family life has met with adversity.

There are more than four million members of Mothers’ Union today in 83 countries around the world.

Our Mothers’ Union Group meet in the Church Hall, beside the Church of the Good Shepherd, Sion Mills, on the last Tuesday of every month. We are a modest little group but thoroughly enjoy our evenings of fellowship together. The bond between different Mothers’ Union branches across the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe is a very strong one and the annual Festival Service in the Cathedral there, is always well attended


New faces are always most welcome in the Ladies Guild. We meet for fun and fellowship on the Second Monday of every month, in the Church Hall in Sion Mills.

In addition to welcoming a wide variety of Guest Speakers, the group have enjoyed cookery and flower arranging demonstrations, and listened to presentations on subjects including healthy eating and crime prevention.

Trips out are also a popular part of our programme and these have included visits to the theatre, garden centres and shopping.


This years’ Strawberry Fayre on 22nd June marked 25 years of an event that every year attracts hundreds of people from right across our community.

The fayre includes something for everyone, from the traditional fairground attractions like the bouncy castle and swingboats that are always popular with the children, to the strawberries and cream and the Ricketty Wheel, where there’s many a decent prize to be had.

Celebrities that have previously attended the Strawberry Fayre included UTV presenter Paul Clarke, and we were thrilled to welcome country singing sensation Robert Mizzell to the stage beside the Church of the Good Shepherd, in 2013.   Edit

Special Needs


Prayers and Hymns

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Church Photos

History of Sion Mills The Good Shepherd Church Strabane

The Church of the Good Shepherd was consecrated on 15th May 1909. It’s architect, W.F Unsworth of Petersfield in Hampshire. He chose to model Sion’s new centre of worship on a church near Pistoia, in Tuscany and the design is in elaborate Italian renaissance. Sion House and the Gate House adjacent to it, just a short distance from the church were also designed by Unsworth for the Herdman family (owners of the flax spinning mills after which Sion Mills today is named) in 1884.

The roof of the Church of the Good Shepherd was replaced in time for the church’s centenary in 2009. And subsequently, thanks in part to a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund it has also been possible to completely refurbish the interior of the church.

Whilst these works took place the congregation returned to St.Saviour’s (now the church hall, but originally built to be the village church).

Beautifully restored, the church of the Good Shepherd was reopened at Easter 2012 , although without a Rector as Revd. McKnight whose care and administration in seeking funding etc had largely made the whole extraordinary project possible had by this time retired due to ill health.   Edit

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The power of Christian prayer Make me stand out
Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.
This page was last updated on the 2nd of April, 2020
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