Cornerstone grant for Northern Ireland church
Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
The refurbished Church of The Holy and Undivided Trinity in Magheralin, Craigavon, will provide a warm and bright welcome.
In January 2014, the National Churches Trust awarded a £40,000 Cornerstone Grant to the Church of The Holy and Undivided Trinity, situated in the village of Magheralin, Craigavon, some 20 miles southwest of Belfast. The grant was the first Cornerstone Grant awarded by the National Churches Trust to a church in Northern Ireland.
Ken Forbes member of the Parish Select Vestry, writes about its history and mission and describes the repair work which has been part-funded by the National Churches Trust grant . You can view a slideshow of photographs of the church at the bottom of this webpage.
“The Church of The Holy and Undivided Trinity is High Victorian in appearance and is a Listed Building Grade B+.The Foundation Stone was laid on 15 August 1890 by Mrs. Christie-Miller, a parishioner and generous benefactor to the Parish. Work was completed the following year and a Consecration Ceremony took place on 21st September 1891.”
“The architect was Thomas Drew from Dublin and the builders were Messrs Collen from the neighbouring town of Portadown. The chief feature of the church is a magnificent Chancel built in Caen stone and dedicated to the memory of Bishop Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down and Connor from 1661 – 1667. A table in the chancel is reputed to have been used by Bishop Taylor. The building cost was in the region of £5,500.”
“The area served by the Parish is mixed in nature. Up until the 1970s, it would have been largely rural with farming being the predominant means of income. Since then, and primarily due to its proximity to neighbouring large towns as well as Belfast, much housing development has taken place. The Parish has some 650 families with an average number of worshippers each Sunday of just over 500. The Rector is Rev. Canon Gareth Harron and the Associate Minister the Rev. Harry Zeiders. It also has a Youth Ministry Co-ordinator and support team.”
“Although the church building was in reasonable condition, there has been, for some time, an underlying problem with rainwater penetration to the walls and the roof. Failing guttering and lead detailing on the roof has allowed rainwater to penetrate, whilst the use of cement pointing in an earlier refurbishment has caused moisture to be trapped within the core of the walls. The repairs, currently under way, involve the replacement of leadwork and the renewal of some slates. The external pointing has been replaced and extensive areas of damp internal plasterwork renewed.”
“When this phase is complete, it is hoped to carry out further work to improve the internal layout and provide additional facilities. These will involve a renewal of the electrical and heating systems in order to make them more efficient. New toilets, a coffee area and facilities for younger children are also planned.”
“The National Churches Trust’s £40,000 Cornerstone Grant has been of enormous benefit and the Parish gives Glory to God for the Trust’s generous support. Other funding received was as follows:”
Northern Ireland Environment Agency (Listed Building grant)……………£40,000
Listed Places of Worship (VAT refund)……………………………………£24,000
Parish reserves together with individual fundraising projects………………£76,000
“Our fine Church building is right at the centre of community life in the village of Magheralin and in the wider Parish area. Not only is it used for Sunday worship, but other pastoral services held as well as it being used for services by youth organisations, schools and charities.”
“The refurbished building will provide an environment where people will feel warm but also warmly welcomed whilst the lighting scheme will considerably brighten the building and create a more pleasant place to gather.”
“Following on the success of a major Christmas Trees Festival in December 2012, we have plans for further events and displays which we hope will encourage people from right across Northern Ireland to visit us. We also are keen to explore opening the Church as part of the European Heritage Days programme.”
“The Parish will be playing its part in a wider Diocesan Mission in 2015. This is seen as an opportunity for the Parish to grow and to look for areas where it can extend the reach of the church and where we can challenge people to commit to Christ and grow as disciples. We are particularly keen to deepen existing relationships within our church family and to create new ones with those outside.”
A refurbished church
“While we believe there are many things we do well in Magheralin, equally, we recognise that there are areas where we can improve. For example, we have to be more welcoming to visitors, ensuring that we retain them and encouraging them to become regular worshippers and active participating members of the Parish. There are housing areas where more people can become engaged with the church. We must identify and train committed members in personal evangelism and discipleship. Family ministry can also be better developed.”
“We believe that a refurbished church is a key goal on the road to achieving these and we feel we will have this when our works are complete.”
“For this reason again, we are sincerely grateful to the National Churches Trust for their generosity in awarding us such a significant grant.”