Michael Humphries and
Jim Neill outside St.John the Baptist
Church Of Ireland which is coming up to
150 years old. US4407-523C0
THE historic church of St. John the Baptist
(Parish of Upper Falls) will celebrate its 150th Anniversary on
May 27 2011.
The church, which sits at the junction
of Stewartstown Road and Suffolk Road,
intends to mark this major milestone with the publication of a
book commemorating a century and a half of Church of Ireland
worship within its walls.
The book will be compiled by local historian
Michael Humphries and Diocesan Reader Jim Neill and they are
keen to hear from current and former parishioners with memories
of special events at the church.
Stories about life in the various
organisations linked to the parish will also be very welcome as
will old photographs and other memorabilia.
Marking the parish's 130th
anniversary in May 1991 - Jim Neill,
Honorary Treasurer, Mrs Mary Gillian,
Archbishop Robin Eames and Canon John Nolan.
The history of the church stretches back to
the 1830's when Church of Ireland members living in the area
worshipped at St. George's in Belfast's High Street.
This church held the title 'Perpetual Curacy
of Upper Falls'.
However, there was recognition of the need to
create a parish at Suffolk and in 1836 the Rector of St.
George's, Rev. R. W. Bland, gave his curate Rev. Joseph Rawlins
special responsibility for the spiritual welfare of the people
of Upper Falls.
St. George's lost its 'Perpetual Curacy'
title with the creation of the new parish which grew steadily.
As the 20th century progressed many new
homes, including the Suffolk Estate, were built in the area.
Presbyterian and Methodist churches were also constructed.
However, the Troubles saw a dramatic drop in
numbers and St. John's Parish Hall was destroyed in 1977.
Mortar bombs caused major damage in the early
1980's when they were fired at Woodburn Army Base and the church
was closed for a time to allow repairs to be carried out.
Anyone wishing to contribute material to the
book currently being planned should contact Jim on 9267 4895 or
Michael on 9080 7703. Michael's e-mail is