St Patrick's Church, Ballymena

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
St Patrick's Church
St Patrick's Church, Ballymena.jpg
LocationCastle Street, Ballymena
Country United Kingdom
DenominationChurch of Ireland
ChurchmanshipBroad Church
History
StatusParish church
Consecrated1855
Architecture
Functional statusActive
StyleEarly English
Completed1881
Construction cost£5,000[1]
Specifications
Capacity800
MaterialsScrabo sandstone
Bells12
Administration
ParishKilconriola and Ballyclug
DioceseConnor
ProvinceArmagh
Clergy
Priest(s)Rev. Mark McConnell

St Patrick's Church is a Church of Ireland church, located on Castle Street, Ballymena, Northern Ireland. It is the main Parish Church in Ballymena's Anglican parish of Kirkinriola and Ballyclug, and is the main civic church of the town. The current church replaced an older church dating from the early 18th century (of which the tower and graveyard can still be seen) on Church Street, and was opened in 1855. The new church was destroyed by fire in December 1879, and it was restored by the original builder, keeping to the same design. It reopened in 1881.

Bells[edit]

The Church is noted for holding the only peal of twelve bells in Northern Ireland, and also the only twelve in an Irish parish church (peals of twelve exist elsewhere in Ireland, however these are in cathedrals). A bell was in use in the old parish church by the time it was replaced by St. Patrick's, and this bell can be seen, and rung, in the car park of the present church.

A new bell, made specifically for St. Patrick's, was cast in 1866 at the Sheridan Eagle foundry, in Dublin. This bell was moved when a new ring of bells was installed in 1895, and now resides in the church at Lambeg, County Antrim. Change ringing was introduced to the tower in 1895, as a ring of eight bells in the key of E were installed, in memory of Dean Murray, rector from 1865 until 1883. These bells were cast by Mears and Stainbank (of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry).

In 1987, the old bells were sent away to Whitechapel, and recast into a ring of twelve, in the key of F-sharp. The new bells were hallowed on November 8, 1987, and rang out for the first time for the Holy Communion service on Christmas Eve of that year.

The bells are still rung today by a faithful band of ringers, twice on Sundays for the 11.30am and 6.30pm services, and for practice on Friday nights.[2] [3]

Interior, showing the fine east window and wooden ceiling.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About St Patrick’s | Parish of Kilconriola and Ballyclug". ballymena.connor.anglican.org. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  2. ^ "St Patrick Ballymena". BellringingIreland.org. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  3. ^ http://www.stpatricksballymena.co.uk