Author Topic: Falls Road Methodist Church  (Read 8218 times)

RabRow

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Falls Road Methodist Church
« on: January 07, 2007, 04:12:00 PM »
Has anybody any idea whereabouts this church was on the Falls Road.

I have a book that shows a church on the Falls. Its a small church and appears to have a church notice board outside it. Which is usually seen outside Protestant churches.

So just wondering would it be Falls Road Methodist.

Oh forgot to mention Barney Hughes bakery is also in the photo.  But I don't know where that was either. :-\

AL CAPONE

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Re: Falls Road Methodist Church
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2007, 04:28:08 PM »
i think it was the church just past broadway on the falls

giannineo

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Re: Falls Road Methodist Church
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2007, 04:54:42 PM »
Rabrow,try the St.Peter's Catholic Churc website- it has info on the various churches on the Falls Road.

arkie

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Re: Falls Road Methodist Church
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2007, 05:16:35 PM »
RAB, BARNEY HUGHES BAKERY WAS ON THE SPRINGFIELD RD.THE ONE CHURCH ON THE FALLS WAS JUST PAST BROADWAY.THEN THERE WAS ST. PAULS, R C. AND ST. JOHNS R C. ::)

RabRow

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Re: Falls Road Methodist Church
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2007, 05:37:56 PM »
I think the one you's are talking about was Broadway Presbyterian which is now an Irish language centre or something like that.

The photograph shows the bakery alongside the church. It says underneath the photo.

'The Hughes-Dickson Flour Mill on the Falls Road had arrived in Belfast from Co Armagh by the early 1830s and quickly became established as a major entreprenur in the provision of bread for the city's population,particularly when the potato crop failed so calamitously in the late 1840s. His innovative ideas provided cheaper bread for Belfast's growing population,immortalised in the famous 'Barney's Baps' which formed a staple diet for much of the city's workforce. Hughe's other claim to fame is that he was the first Catholic representative elected to Belfast Corporation'

RabRow

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Re: Falls Road Methodist Church
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2007, 05:39:13 PM »
Rabrow,try the St.Peter's Catholic Churc website- it has info on the various churches on the Falls Road.

I'll give it a visit giannineo. 

AL CAPONE

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Re: Falls Road Methodist Church
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2007, 05:43:51 PM »
Falls Road Methodist Church   
 
 
Falls Road Methodist Church

For a number of years prayer meetings and other religious services had been held by the Methodist in the Falls Road district.  In 1842 a room was secured in a factory belonging to Mr William Stewart for the use of Sunday school and preaching services.  A year later in 1843 preaching services were begun near Whiterock and one of the families connected with the Falls Road church from its earliest days was the Kirkwoods of Whiterock farm.

In 1850 a new preaching place was opened in the loft of an old bark mill in Greenhills Court, off Falls Road.  A Methodist ‘class-meeting’ was formed in it by Mr John Caruth.  Mr James H Beattie also commenced a Sunday school, and as a result of these efforts, congregations began to grow which necessitated new premises.  The site chosen was opposite some large flour mills in a district, described at the time as ‘one of busy industry rather than aristocratic pretensions’.  The mills owned by Messrs Alexander, who granted a plot of ground at a merely nominal rent.  The architect was Charles Lanyon, the then County Surveyor.  The new building was opened on Sunday 26th March 1854.

For a number of years Falls Road congregation formed part of the Belfast South Circuit, but at the Conference of 1862 it was separated and formed into a circuit for one minister.  In this period classes met in and around the churches, at Andersontown, Ballygomartin, and Whiterock.  In 1864 a house (Manse) for the minister was purchased next to the then Model School.

Sunday school work played an important part of the church activity and schools were to be found in Falls Road, Wilson Street, Andersonstown and Hutchinson Street.

The membership of Falls Road at this time numbered about 250, but the congregations seem to have been large enough to fill the church at both services.  During the ministry of the Rev Robert G Jones (1868-71) the church was enlarged by the addition of a gallery to give seating for an additional 250 persons at a cost of £500.

One of the church stewards at the time was Mr John Horner, proprietor of Clonard Foundry on the Falls Road. He and his family were among the most loyal members of the congregation.  The schoolhouse which was built attached to the church was erected and furnished in 1867 for about £700 at his sole expense.

The church became noted for the quality of its choir which sang unaccompanied with remarkable precision, and was in great demand at religious meetings ally over Belfast district.  The choir leader was Mr Henry Taylor whose business premises as a machine maker was close at hand and was later transferred to Brown’s Square. 

During the ministry of the Rev. W. J. Christie (1894-98) additional premises were erected at the rear of the church where he established a Medical Mission and employed a Deaconess who carried on a kind of surgery where prescriptions where made for poorer people.

Change patterns of population and the riots of 1886 and particularly the conflicts of 1920-21 greatly affected the Falls Road congregation.  During 1886 the neighbourhood was desolate for weeks and the church itself was ‘somewhat injured’.  One memorable Sunday no service could be held.  Similar difficulties during the 1920s meant that the church was again closed for a few Sundays though it is recorded that Catholic neighbours exercised care of the Methodist property.

The diminishing Methodist (and Protestant) community in and around the church found it increasingly difficult to sustain the work in Falls Road.  As early as 1903 permission was granted to sell the Manse and Falls Road ceased to be a separate circuit.  The work at Andersonstown was given up in 1936 and the premises were disposed of and passed to the hands of the Catholic Church and became known as St Lawrence’s Hall.

In February 1966 the annual congregational meeting voted with regret to dispose of the Falls Road church buildings to the Belfast Corporation at such a price as shall be agreed by our professional advisors.

Closing services were held on Sunday 26th June 1966.

 

RabRow

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Re: Falls Road Methodist Church
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2007, 06:01:02 PM »
Aye looks like thats the one AL.  I visited the St Peter's site too. The drawing/picture of the church looks similar to the photo in the book.

In that article it does say that it was built near a mill. But it was a Mr Alexander who owned it. Still can't fix it in my mind though where it was actually situated.

Doesn't the Falls Road only go down as far as Northumberland Street and then it becomes Divis Street. So I'm guessing it was maybe around the lower Falls somewhere.  Wasn't the New Northern mill somewhere about there too...maybe it was near it.

Christopher

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Re: Falls Road Methodist Church
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2007, 06:17:22 PM »
Al, you omitted to mention that you found your information on the St Peter's Cathedral website and that it had been written by Robin P. Reddie who is the Wesley Historical Society Archivist. If someone takes the trouble to do so much research for the benefit of others seeking information on the internet it's courteous to give them an acknowledgement.

There are two other Churches mentioned on the St Peter's site ...

Albert Street Presbyterian and the Drew Memorial Church at Durham Street.

AL CAPONE

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Re: Falls Road Methodist Church
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2007, 06:18:49 PM »
Sorry Christopher you are quite correct!

giannineo

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Re: Falls Road Methodist Church
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2007, 06:55:44 PM »
Ha Al, caught on ye wee glory seeker ;D

AL CAPONE

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Re: Falls Road Methodist Church
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2007, 07:00:54 PM »
Je sais paresseux ;D

giannineo

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Re: Falls Road Methodist Church
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2007, 07:02:59 PM »
J'ai un pardessus.

eddiec

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Re: Falls Road Methodist Church
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2007, 12:58:51 AM »
A [url-http://www.luton-lambeg.org/events/2006/orangefest/orangefest2006/fallsroadlol1433orangebanner.html]photo[/url] in relation to Falls Road Methodist
Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.  <i>Mark Twain</i>

Christopher

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Re: Falls Road Methodist Church
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2007, 01:40:17 AM »
A [url-http://www.luton-lambeg.org/events/2006/orangefest/orangefest2006/fallsroadlol1433orangebanner.html]photo[/url] in relation to Falls Road Methodist

Here's the photo Eddie. It should have been [url= and not [url- Eddie. It's a great picture. See my reply to Mallorcalackeys about Belfast in the 1800s re all the Churches in Belfast. In 1852 the Methodists had seven Belfast Churches and were about to build the one on the Falls and another on the Shankill.