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Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

New Magheraknock Mission Hall replaces one built in 1927

End of an era at Magheraknock

GOING: This picture taken in July shows the once familiar landmark of the old Magheraknock Mission Hall (in the foreground) and building work in progress on the new hall. GOING: This picture taken on Wednesday 11th October shows the old Mission Hall being dismantled ready for removal from the site.

GOING: This picture taken in July shows the once familiar landmark of the old Magheraknock Mission Hall (in the foreground) and building work in progress on the new hall.

GOING: This picture taken on Wednesday 11th October shows the old Mission Hall being dismantled ready for removal from the site.

The once familiar landmark of the old 1927 Magheraknock Mission Hall on the corner of the Magheraknock Road and Laurel Road (near Ballynahinch) was dismantled and removed last week. It has been replaced by a new hall (built at the rear of the old hall), which will be officially opened by Trevor Matthews of the Faith Mission on Saturday 11th November at 3.00 pm. The erection of the new hall is a clear sign of the vision of a vigorous Christian fellowship that has developed here since it was formed eighty-two years ago.

The fellowship was formed in 1924 following a Gospel Mission held in Magheraknock Orange Hall. A Sunday School was held in Magheraknock Primary School and Prayer Union meetings in the house attached to the late Billy Reid’s blacksmith shop. When the fellowship saw the need to build a more permanent meeting place, Billy Reid gave some land and the original mission hall was built in 1927. In later years, Billy Reid’s son, the late George Reid, gave some more ground and a car park was added. In October 2003, it was decided to replace the old mission hall and building work commenced in May 2006.
 

GONE: This picture taken on Sunday 15th October shows the old Mission Hall removed from the site in preparation for a new car parking area.

GONE: This picture taken on Sunday 15th October shows the old Mission Hall removed from the site in preparation for a new car parking area.

The old and new halls were built on opposite sides of the Mill Race River, which in bygone days powered a large water wheel at the now disused mill on the opposite side of the Magheraknock Road.  (The old mill has been renovated and is now a private dwelling.)  For many years local people felt that the river divided Lisburn and Down council areas and it was therefore assumed that the old hall on the Lisburn side of the river was in Lisburn City Council area and that the new hall on the Ballynahinch side of the river would be in County Down.  However, recent phone calls to each council office revealed that the centreline of the Laurel Road divides the council areas meaning that neither the old or new hall was in Lisburn.

Ronnie Douglas is pictured holding a piece of wood found in the cavity wall of the building with a hand written note showing the start and completion date and year that the hall was built. Close up of the piece of wood found in the cavity wall of the building, the hand written note says, “In the year of our Lord - 6th Dec to 21st Nov 1927”, it is unclear what the last symbol is. It looks like ‘d’ - perhaps it is the builder’s initial.

Ronnie Douglas

Close up of the piece of wood found in the cavity wall.

The old hall was dismantled last week and removed from the site on Wednesday 11th October for re-erection by a private purchaser. During dismantling a piece of wood found in the cavity wall had the following note handwritten in pencil, “Erected by J Donaldson and R J McKelvey, Tullywest”. On the reverse side of the piece of wood is handwritten, “In the year of our Lord - 6th Dec to 21st Nov 1927”. This would clearly indicate that in 1927, it took nearly one year to erect the solidly constructed building and would also help to explain why it took such a lot of hard work to dismantle it last week. The site of the old hall has now been levelled and prior to the official opening of the new hall the area will be tarmaced, creating a new car parking facility.

Under the present leadership of Ronnie Douglas and Sam Sommerville, gospel meetings are held on Sunday afternoons at 3.30 pm and Prayer Union meetings on Friday evenings at 8.00 pm. The first Prayer Union meeting was held in the new hall last Friday evening (13th October) and the first afternoon gospel meeting was held in the new hall last Sunday afternoon (15th October).