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.
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 It has been replaced by a new hall (built at the rear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.
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