New Church Buildings at Moira Presbyterian
The Presbyterian Moderator was invited to officially open the new church buildings at Moira Presbyterian Church in Co. Down. Rt Rev Dr Frank Sellar took part in the special service to open and dedicate the new premises at Moira Presbyterian on Friday 21st April 2017. He and his wife Claire along with minister Rev. D. Howard Gilpin, were joined by representatives of local churches. These included Rev. David Bruce, Acting Moderator of Dromore Presbytery and also local political representatives.
The new Church buildings at Moira Presbyterian include a modern meetinghouse with gallery, which can seat up to 400 people. Also a fit for purpose upper room for church meetings, a church office and a large welcome area with coffee bar. The £1.2 million project is the first major building project for the congregation for nearly half a century.
While the building is new, Moira Presbyterian is one of the older congregations within the denomination. It dates back to the late 17th Century. The first recorded minister was Samuel Ferguson who was ordained in 1693. The previous church building was built in 1829. It housed the congregation for almost 190 years before being demolished in spring 2016.
Speaking of the attractive new church site Dr. Sellar said.
“The opening of a new church building is a splendid thing and the temptation now is to sit back and relax. While it’s a marvellous achievement to construct a new building, it’s even more vital to live faithful, vibrant Christ-like lives.”
Using the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12: 11, the Moderator also encouraged the congregation saying, “Never lack in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serve the Lord”.
More people have been attending the church over the last number of years. This resulted in the congregation embarking on this ambitious building project. They first considered extending and renovating the old church building, but this would not have met future needs and wasn’t economically viable.
The new Church Buildings at Moira Presbyterian will be used ‘as a tool for accommodating spiritual growth in the congregation. Also for reaching out to the local community’.
The Kirk Session recently produced a vision statement entitled ‘From Maintenance to Mission’. Elaborating on this Rev. Gilpin said, “Our focus is on utilising the new church premises as a tool for accommodating spiritual growth in the congregation. Also for reaching out to the community around us as we seek to share the good news of Christ with them. The ‘Welcome’ area will be particularly beneficial for encouraging both fellowship between existing members and making contact with newcomers.”
“The preaching of the good news and the importance of corporate and individual prayer have been key emphases in the congregation for a number of years. Moreover, they have been seen as especially vital, both in the lead up to the completion of the building project. Also in the days that lie ahead, we seek to proclaim Christ by lip and life. We want to see many in the local community experience God’s transforming grace and power.”