The Parish of Kilconriola and Ballyclug, Ballymena, marks its 300th anniversary this year and the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has officially launched a special commemorative booklet to mark the tercentenary.
Councillor Peter Johnston was joined for the launch by the rector, the Rev Canon Mark McConnell; curate, the Rev Emma Carson; and members of the congregation who produced the booklet with council’s support.
The Mayor said: “We are delighted to mark this significant milestone with St Patrick’s Church of Ireland in Ballymena. The present church and its predecessor church, now known as the Old Church Yard off Church Street in Ballymena centre, are woven into the fabric of the history of the town, being two of Ballymena’s well known Seven Towers.
“Given the difficulties of the last year, Council also recognises the valuable role that our local churches play in their congregation’s wellbeing but also wider community life.”
Mark said that the tercentenary brochure had been made possible by the support of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, and the parish was very grateful.
“This brochure is an excellent resource and I hope many people will take the time to enjoy it and visit us at St Patrick’s after our planned renovation works are complete,” Mark said.
The attractively produced brochure provides a brief history of St Patrick’s Church and the wider parish, including referencing the Old Church Yard site where the predecessor St Patrick’s Parish Church served generations of families after being consecrated in 1721.
The present St Patrick’s Church on Castle Street welcomes people today. It was constructed after fundraising, generously supported by the local landowner Adair family in the 1850s.
The booklet also includes a visitor guide to enable visitors to appreciate the church building and fine interior.
This article was contributed by Karen Bushby, Communications Officer for the Anglican Diocese of Connor