Derriaghy Christ Church

Christ Church

Some 6 miles south west of Belfast and situated in picturesque surroundings overlooking the Lagan Valley Regional Park to the east, Colin Mountain to the northwest and Black Mountain to the north.

Derriaghy, County Antrim

Opening times

If the church is not open during normal working hours, visitors may request it to be opened by the sexton working on site.


Derriaghy Road
County Antrim
BT28 3SQ

A Grade A listed building consecrated in 1872, and one of the strikingly original churches designed by William Gillespie, architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

The present building replaces a former church and stands on or adjacent to a site associated with Christian worship since the 11th century. It is noted for its outstanding architectural beauty and stands on a sloping site.

The name of the parish, Derriaghy, derives from two words in the Irish language meaning 'the valley of the oaks'. It formed part of the estate of Sir Richard Wallace (of The Wallace Collection fame) and parish records date back to 1696. The church was built at a cost of £3,600 and can seat about 500 people.

The spire standing at some 134 feet above ground level is a notable land mark in the area and has been described as 'a rocket waiting to be launched. It is bedecked with a superb Virginia Creeper and has proved to be a favourite subject for artists and photographers. The boundary wall and former stable building are also listed.

The interior of the church is of simple design. The most notable features are the boat shaped ceiling and the Rose Window directly above the main entrance. Unlike most Anglican churches, there is no central aisle. It has been replaced by two side aisles.

The choir and organ were situated in the gallery until 1904 when the organ chamber was moved to its present position. The chancel, sanctuary and choir stalls were added at the same time.

There are five stained glass windows dedicated to the memory of local people. The most conspicuous is on the east wall above the altar. It was presented by the Charley family which had notable connections with the linen industry founded by Huguenot refugees who settled in the area towards the end of the 17th century when they were forced to flee from France.

The memorial tablets on the north and south walls commemorate the long and distinguished services given to the church by former rectors in the 18th and 19th centuries. The most notable was the Revd Philip Johnson who was also a Justice of the Peace and a Deputy Governor of County Antrim who gave leadership to the community during the 1798 Irish rebellion and for which, a number of attempts were made on his life. A decorative memorial in wood, also on the north wall, stands in memory of all those parishioners who gave service to their country in the First World War.

Visitors to the church will come away with memories of the church's beauty, simplicity and the effect it has on the local landscape.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Famous connections

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Social heritage stories

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Car park at church

  • Level access throughout

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Concerts are held in church several times throughout the year. A series of weekly Wednesday evening talks on Irish history and other subjects of interest began in late summer 2018 and continued until February 2019 when work began on the spire restoration. It is planned to recommence concerts and talks when current restoration work has been completed.

  • The church participates annually in the European Open Day programme .

  • Church of Ireland

  • Repair Grant, £20,000, 2018

  • Our Repair Grants funded urgent repair work to help keep churches open.

Contact information

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