A brief history of St John's Church of Ireland, Ballyclare

Friday, 15 July 2016

A brief history of St John's Church of Ireland, Ballyclare

St John the Evangelist Church of Ireland on the Doagh Road in Ballyclare was built in 1903. It replaced an iron structure which had been erected by the Rev Canon E J Hartrick. 

The original Parish Church was actually built in Ballyeaston in 1786. It was dedicated to St. Augustine who is reputed to have originally given Ballyeaston its name (although this is disputed by some scholars). The church served the outlying congregation until the formation of the joint parish of Ballynure and Ballyeaston (Ballyclare) in 1888 and subsequently the building of St John’s.

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Some of the slates on St John’s were taken from the original church in Ballyeaston.

The Rev S T Nesbitt was responsible for building the church on the Doagh Road at a cost of £940. Pews cost £50. The extension of the church in 1986 cost £150,000.

Below is a photograph of the laying of the corner stone at St John’s in 1903. Interestingly, you can see the National Schools’ Building in the background, without its northern extension and the inscription stone can be seen on the front facing gable between the middle windows of the upper storey.

St Johns

Apparently, the corrugated, temporary church was moved on rollers in one piece from its original position where the stones are being laid to its new site on the right of the picture. It was later to be a temporary school annexe.

You can see the church in this photograph of the Doagh Road in Ballyclare taken in 1910.

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