Methodist Church
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Centenary of
Seymour Street Methodist Church 1975
Updated 2000

Mr. George E. Orr






Early Days

Lisburn holds a position of some distinction in the history of Irish Methodism. The first Methodist preacher to visit the town was Rev. George Whitefield who, in July 1751, came north from Dublin. According to Crookshank's History of Methodism, "on the evening of July 3rd he arrived at Belfast, and intended to embark immediately for Scotland, but the people prevailed on him to stay. In about an hour's time thousands assembled to hear the Word. He preached here morning and evening on the following day; and subsequently at Lisburn, Lurgan, Lambeg and the Maze."
Clearly Whitefield's visit had a significant impact because at the First Irish Conference held at Limerick in August 1752 it was decided that quarterly meetings should be held during the year at Cork, Limerick, Coolalough (in Westmeath) and Lisburn, on the first Tuesdays after Michaelmas, Christmas, Lady Day and Midsummer.
John Wesley, who had made the first of his twenty-one visits to Ireland in , 1747, first came to Ulster in 1756. After preaching in Newry, he visited Lisburn. In his journal Wesley says of Thursday, 22nd July, "We drove through heavy rain to Lisburn. I preached in the market-house at seven. One man only gainsayed but the bystanders used him so roughly that he was soon glad to hold his peace." The following day Wesley had a visit from the local rector and his curate. They spent about two hours with him, arguing with him in "free, serious, friendly conversation." Wesley clearly appreciated this calm, rational, unemotional reaction to his visit as he comments, "How much evil might be prevented or removed would other clergymen follow their example."
Amongst the first to come under Wesley's influence were Mr. and Mrs. Hans Cumberland, "a decent, worthy couple who kept a bakery." After some initial hesitation and considerable soul-searching they embraced his teaching. They opened their home to him and his preachers and offered it as a centre for the preaching of the Gospel.
After visits to Belfast and Carrickfergus, Wesley returned to Lisburn where he "spoke very plain both to the great vulgar and the small." However, he felt that little had been accomplished. "Between Seceders, old self-conceited Presbyterians, New Light men, Moravians, Cameronians and formal Churchmen, it is a miracle of miracles if any here bring forth fruit to perfection."

Despite this pessimism a small cause was established and, unlike many other areas, there was little active opposition or persecution. It seems likely that this fact can be attributed to the widespread respect for Mr. and Mrs. Cumberland and to the enlightened response from the local clergymen.

On Wesley's return in May, 1758, he says that "abundance of people attended the preaching." However, on his third visit, in May, 1760, he writes, "The people here are `all ear', but who can find a way to their heart?" Some indication of Wesley's remarkable energy is given by the casual comment in his journal that he preached to a large congregation at seven in Lisburn before hastening to Comber, "in order to be at church on time."

In 1762, Wesley paid a further visit to Lisburn, where he had many "rich and genteel hearers." On Sunday evening, 25th April, he had a large congregation, "and yet I saw not a scoffer, no, nor a trifler among them."

Wesley next visited Ulster in 1765. He arrived at Donaghadee after a five and a half hour sea crossing from Portpatrick on 1st May. Two days later he rode to Lisburn where he preached in the market-house. He writes, "The wind was as keen as in December; yet a large congregation attended. I then met what was left of the society; and the spirit of many that were faint revived." On the evening of the following day he preached in "the Linen Hall, so called, a large square, with piazzas on three sides of it." The present Post Office is built on the site of this Linen Hall.

During his visit to Lisburn in March, 1767, Wesley again preached in the area of the Linen Hall. Afterwards he administered the Sacrament to about forty or fifty persons, nearly all the Methodists in the counties of Down or Antrim. The editor of John Wesley's Journal, Nehemiah Curnock, writes, "This was probably the first Methodist Sacramental service in the north of Ireland."

Following the now established practice of biennial visits, Wesley returned to the Lisburn society in 1769 and again in 1771. Of July 1, 1771, he writes, "I preached at Kilwarlin where, a few weeks ago, Thomas Motte died in peace. In the evening I preached in the Linen Hall at Lisburn to a numerous congregation." Wesley was clearly pleased with the response on that occasion because in his Journal for the following day he notes, "I preached on the Green at Newtownards; but the people had not the spirit of those in Lisburn."

Wesley's comments on his visit to Lisburn in 1773 throw light not only on current medical practices but also on his own wry sense of humour. He writes of Monday 14th June, "I preaches in the evening at Lisburn. All the time I could spare here was taken up by poor patients. I generally asked, `What remedies have you used?' and was not a little surprised. What has fashion to do with physic? Why (in Ireland at least), almost as much as head dress. Blisters, for anything or nothing, were all the fashion when I was in Ireland last. Now the grand fashionable medicine for twenty diseases (who would imagine it?) is mercury sublimate! Why is it not a halter or a pistol? That would cure a little more speedily!"

It was on this visit that Wesley met Mrs. Henrietta Gayer, wife of Edward Gayer, Clerk of the Irish House of Lords, who lived in a beautiful mansion at Derriaghy, described by Wesley as "one of the pleasantest spots in the kingdom." Mrs. Gayer had been converted during the previous year and, together with her daughter, had been received as a member of the Lisburn Society. Mr. Gayer appears at first to have been hostile towards Methodism but after meeting Wesley, who had walked out to visit his wife at Derriaghy, he was much impressed by him, his prejudices were removed and the Gayer home was opened to Wesley and his preachers.

It was to the Gayer home that Wesley came on Saturday, 17th June, 1775. For about four days he had been ill but had insisted in carrying out a rigorous programme of preaching appointments. However in Tandragee he eventually agreed to being examined by a doctor, who diagnosed fever and prescribed rest. This, Wesley at first resisted but finding himself unable to preach, his "understanding being quite confused" and his "strength entirely gone", he decided to make for Derriaghy. Here he lay apparently at death's door. Great concern was felt for his well-being and much prayer was offered for his recovery. One day, during his illness, Thomas Payne, one of the preachers, with a few friends, prayed that God would prolong the life of His servant, and that, as in the case of Hezekiah, He would add fifteen years to his life. Mrs. Gayer suddenly rose from her knees and exclaimed, "The prayer is granted!" Shortly afterwards Wesley recovered and, interestingly, lived a further fifteen years and eight months. He astonished his friends by setting out for Dublin within a week, where he resumed his normal activities, preaching twice each day.

He returned to Lisburn and Derriaghy in June, 1778, where on this occasion he was more able to enjoy his visit. On Tuesday 16th June, he "preached at eight to a lively congregation, under the venerable old yew, supposed to have flourished in the reign of King James, if not of Queen Elizabeth." The venerable old yew still stands and flourishes, though more venerable now by almost two hundred years.

It was seven years later, in June 1785, that Wesley again visited Lisburn. Writing of Saturday 11th June, he says, "At six I preached in the Presbyterian meeting, a large and commodious building; and I was now with the most lively society that I had seen for many days." The following day he 'had what he calls a "solemn opportunity" when he preached in the open air to a congregation of between seven and eight thousand.

His preaching in Lisburn was clearly highly regarded because on his next visit in 1787, once again a large congregation assembled to hear him. It was, he declared, the largest that he had seen since leaving England, "and all, excepting a few giddy children, behaved as men that heard for life."

On the same Sunday afternoon Wesley visited Lambeg House, the home of Richard Wolfenden, husband of Mary Gayer, daughter of Edward and Henrietta Gayer. Lambeg House, which is situated amongst a bluff of trees just north-east of Lambeg Parish Church, is today known as Chrome Hill and is occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Robert McKinstry. In its grounds there are two beech trees which have grown together as one. It is said that as saplings they were intertwined by John Wesley and that he did so in order to demonstrate his hope that the Methodist Church and the Church of Ireland would eventually unite. Of the following day, Monday 11th June, he writes, "It being the Quarterly Meeting I preached at eleven in the Presbyterian meeting-house, a large and handsome building, freely offered both by the minister and his elders; and it then contained the congregation. But in the evening the multitude of people constrained me to return to my old stand in the Linen Hall; and I have hardly had so solemn an opportunity since we came into the kingdom."

Wesley's final visit to Lisburn occurred in June, 1789 and of this he writes, "In the evening I was at the new chapel in Lisburn, the largest and best finished in the North of Ireland."

This, in fact, was not a new chapel but the old one which had been enlarged and improved through the liberality of Mr. John Johnson. The original Methodist chapel had been erected about 1774, though possibly as early as 1772, mainly through the instrumentality of Mrs. Gayer, who had seen the need for a central preaching-house. It was built during the course of a year and in that period about seventy people from the town and neighbourhood joined the Society. One of those who helped to build it was Mr. John Johnson. Johnson had been born of Roman Catholic parents in Somerset in 1725. He became a shoemaker and after leaving the Roman Catholic Church he became a member of the Church of England. Following a period of depression and the death of his wife, who had deserted him, he was converted under the preaching of George Whitefield. He joined the Methodist Society and was called to Ireland to be a preacher. In 1768 he retired from the active itinerancy owing to poor health and in 1771 he settled in Lisburn where he continued to act as a local preacher. When, in 1788, the congregation became too large for the building, Mr. Johnson undertook its enlargement and renovation. With the support of the Society, and through a generous gift of �150 of his own money, he produced a building which well merited Wesley's praise. This building served the Society for just over one hundred years, until it was replaced by the present building in Seymour Street in 1875, It is still in existence as the Christian Workers' Union Hall in Market Street.


Days of Division

With the opening of the newly enlarged chapel in 1788 and with the final visit of Wesley in 1789 we come to the end of the opening chapter and the beginning of a new era in the story of Lisburn Methodism. This new era was not without its controversy. After Wesley's death in 1791 there was an increasing demand throughout Methodism for greater control at a congregational, rather than a Connexional, level. In particular, many members of the Methodist Church felt that their own Methodist ministers should be given powers to administer the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. Other members opposed this suggestion on the grounds that it would have the effect of separating them from the Established Church, the Church of Ireland. However, a large proportion of Methodist people had never been connected with that church. Prior to their conversion to God through the preaching of Methodist missionaries they had been Presbyterians and continued to receive the Sacraments from the ministers of their former churches. To them, separation from the Church of Ireland was a matter of indifference. In many cases, Methodists who had formerly been members of Church of Ireland or Presbyterian churches, were refused opportunity to participate in the celebration of Holy Communion as their former ministers disowned them. Thus, many Methodists were denied access to the Sacraments in their former churches and were forbidden, by the ruling of the Methodist Conference, to receive the Sacraments from their own ministers in the Methodist Chapels.

This situation was partly resolved in England in 1795 when the British Conference decided that, in certain circumstances, the Methodist preachers in England might administer the Sacraments, In the same year, 1795, a memorial was sent to the Irish Conference from the Lisburn Society requesting that the Sacraments should be administered but the Irish Conference replied that it was not expedient to grant such a request.

A further area of disagreement was the matter of lay representation. Many members of the Irish church felt that laymen should be represented in the various governing bodies of the church, membership of which was the prerogative of the itinerant ministers. Once again, members from the Lisburn Society took the initiative in this matter and thirty-two stewards and leaders from Lisburn sent a memorial to the Irish Conference in 1798 requesting that lay representatives might be introduced into the District Meetings and the Conference. Not only was their request rejected-Conference considered such a request rebelliousness of spirit, "founded on the principles of Jacobinism." The reply of Conference stated, "We are determined in the most resolved manner, and with the most unanimous spirit, to reject the plan of delegates, in whatever shape or manner it may be proposed." The thirty-two Lisburn leaders were expelled from the Methodist Church in these words, " We can on no account have any further connexion with you."

The thirty-two men, thus expelled from the Methodist Church, formed a new society an ca led out Mr. John McClure as their first preacher. Shortly afterwards they became affiliated to the Methodist New Connection in England, a body which had been formed under similar circumstances in that country.

This society flourished and soon there was a membership of about two hundred. Among them were William Black, a godly and conscientious Christian from Lisburn, and George Carlisle of the Maze. The break from the Wesleyan Church was not effected without some bitterness and jealousy-a matter of great regret to Mr. Black, who, when he died in 1835, aged 90 years, was a patriarchal figure, a man beloved and respected by all.

This was the origin of the Methodist New Connexion-a branch of the Methodist Church which continued independently in Ireland for over 100 years-until in 1905 it was re-united with the Methodist Church in Ireland. Lisburn, where it all bean, was one of the leading areas of influence of the New Connexion and two of the churches on the present Lisburn Circuit, those at Broomhedge and Priesthill, were originally chapels of the Methodist New connexion. Other places where New Connexion Societies had been formed by 1800 included Bangor, Newtownards, Belfast, Knockbreckan, Milltown, Maze, Kilwarlin; Magheraga and Moyrusk; there was also a small society in Dublin.

This split in the Methodist Church anticipated a further and more significant division in 1816 when Conference decided that, on certain circuits and in certain circumstances, the Methodist ministers might, after all, administer the Sacraments. Again, members of the Wesleyan Society in Lisburn-the direct antedecedents of Seymour Street Congregation-had a contribution to make in this discussion. A meeting on 26th December, 1814, of Lisburn trustees, stewards and leaders resolved that "those Dissenters and others amongst us, whose minds are dissatisfied for want of the ordinances administered by our own preachers, may have these ordinances, as the wisdom of the Conference may direct; and that under existing circumstances, such a measure would relieve the minds of our dear and respected brethren from much painful exercise, and in our judgment promote a general union amongst us." This wise and liberal counsel was accepted by the Conference in 1816 but, unfortunately, it did not command general acceptance. About 7500 members of the Wesleyan Church in Ireland, who wished to retain the current position, rejected the innovation of the administration of the Sacraments, seceded from the Wesleyan Methodist Church, and set up an independent system of itinerancy, the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Church.

Meanwhile, the, Wesleyan Methodist Church in Lisburn had flourished and an important event occurred in 1814-the founding of a Sunday School on the Circuit. Crookshank, in his History of Methodism, describes how Mr. John Collier, of Ballynacoy, near Lisburn, noticed, on his way to religious services, "numbers of boys and girls living in ignorance and sin, and strolling about the fields with none to care for them." Although he knew nothing of Sunday Schools he resolved to organize one. He commenced the School in his own premises, but so great was the interest in the project that before long it became necessary to move to a more suitable building and to seek the assistance of other teachers. Crookshank says that "within two years a marked change was apparent in the moral state of the neighbourhood."

The Wesley Tree
in the grounds of
Chrome Hill, Lambeg


Lisburn Methodism-Three Churches

Of the next sixty years-until the building of the present church in 1875-records are rather sparse. There were in Lisburn throughout this period three distinct denominations of Methodism: the Methodist New Connexion Church, the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Church , an the one with which we are most concerned, the Wesleyan Methodist Church-and, indeed, in 1832, a fourth denomination made its appearance: the English Primitive Methodist Church sent some missionaries to Ireland. One of these came to the Lisburn area, where, Crookshank says, "he extended his labours to many places in the neighbourhood, in which small societies were formed and encouraging prospects of success appeared."

The Methodist New Connexion Church was now firmly established in the Lisburn area. When, in 1833 Rev. William McClure was appointed to the Lisburn Circuit by the New Connexion Conference there were meetings in Broomhedge, Ballinderry, Ballyskeagh, Priesthill, Moyrusk, Englishtown, Moira and Halftown, as well as in Lisburn. some evidence of progress appears in the minutes of a Quarterly Meeting in July, 1841, when it was resolved that Priesthill should be constituted a separate circuit and that a new chapel should be erected in Lisburn. However, neither of these resolutions produced positive results. The change in status of Priesthill was short-lived as in April, 1843, a re-union of the two circuits was agreed. The plans for a new chapel in Lisburn were also dropped as a convenient site could not be found; instead it was decided to alter and renovate the existing Salem Chapel in Linenhall Street. This chapel was later, in 1847, registered for the solemnizing of marriages. During this period the membership of the Lisburn Division of the New Connexion remained fairly constant at around sixty; there were about fifty members in Broomhedge Division and about ninety in Priesthill.

The Primitive Wesleyans made considerable progress, after some initial difficulties. Crookshank states that when, in 1827, a Primitive Wesleyan preacher, Mr. Edward Sullivan, came as a missioner to Lisburn he "found very few places prepared to receive him and therefore for some time laboured under considerable disadvantage." He moved on to more profitable areas, such as Banbridge, Dromore and Hillsborough. However, a few years later, in 1836, Mr. George Stewart, who had been appointed to the Primitive Wesleyan Mission in Lisburn and Antrim, reported, "This mission, with the exception of the town of Antrim, continues in a state of growing prosperity. During the last quarter we have formed four new classes, besides having obtained six additional leaders." This encouraging report appears justified by the fact that a new Primitive Wesleyan Chapel was completed in Lisburn in 1836. The foundation stone was laid at the close of 1835 by William Gregg. In February, 1836, it is recorded, "A commodious new preaching-house and residence are in a state of considerable forwardness. The site is very convenient and beautiful." By October, this new Primitive Wesleyan preaching-house was in use. In 1844, Mr. John Carlisle of Lisburn wrote in the Primitive Wesleyan Methodist Magazine, "We held our quarterly meeting here on Sunday, March 24th, and such a day has seldom been witnessed in this country. So great was the power of Divine influence that rested upon the people that all present felt it. About forty persons, some of whom were old, grey-headed men, were deeply convinced of sin, and came forward seeking salvation."

In 1851, according to Crookshank, "in Lisburn it appeared that the influence of the Gospel supplanted the love for horse-racing, and the institution of Temperance Societies bade fair to reclaim many from slavery to strong drink." The interest in the Temperance Movement in the Lisburn area appears to have been particularly strong among the Primitive Wesleyans and the members of the New Connexion. The great evangelical revival in Ireland occurred in 1859. According to Crookshank its influence in Lisburn appears to have originated in the Primitive Wesleyan Chapel. He writes, "Mr. George Hamilton preached in the street, night after night, and then invited his hearers into the house, until it was unable to accommodate the crowds, sometimes amounting to two thousand persons, who desired to be present."

The Wesleyan Methodist congregation continued to worship during this period in the church in Market Street. Records indicate a thriving, active church. The church was, like all Methodist churches, organised in the Class system. Each class, consisting of from four to thirty members, met weekly for prayer and fellowship under the guidance of a Class Leader. 4n 1828 these classes met at the following venues: Lisburn Chapel, 8 a.m.; Lisburn Chapel, 10 a.m.; Monday (in the home of Mrs. Delacherois); Females (in the home of Mrs. Barnsley); Troopersfield; Carnbane; Racecourse; Legmore; Clogher Hill; Tullyard; Dunmurry; Bainestown; Kilcorig; Quarry; Loughleek; Crew Hill; Killultagh; Steel's Hill; Ballinacoy; Stoneyford; Dundrod; Stroudspark; Pawnpark(sic); Upper Maze; Lower Maze; Lisadian; Flatfield; Broomhedge; Moyrusk; Magheragall; Redhill; Mileflush; as well as eighteen classes in the Dromore and Drumlough Divisions. By 1835 the Dromore and Drumlough classes disappear from the Lisburn Circuit records so it is probable that the Dromore division became a separate circuit at that time. Other centres for class meetings which appear in later years include Lisnestrain; Hill Hall; Magheralave; Ballymacleward; Lurgantaneel; Ballinderry; Causeway End; Annahilt; Piper Hill; Collin Mountain and Clontarf. This wide coverage of the Lisburn area gives some indication of the extent of Wesleyan Methodist influence around Lisburn about the middle of the nineteenth century.

During this period an important event was the opening of Magheragall Chapel. The land and property were granted in 1837 to Bennett Megarry of Kilcorig by the Marquis of Hertford and in turn leased to the following trustees: Robert McCall, Merchant, Erskine Neely, Pawnbroker, Redmond Jefferson, Gentleman, all of Lisburn; Henry Shillington, Jun., Aghagallon, James Megarry, Magheramesk, Alexander Magee, Killultagh, and Andrew Kernaghan, Slievenacloy, Farmers, on payment of an annual rent of One Shilling.

In Lisburn a new manse was purchased around 1860; a "large and commodious house in Castle Street was purchased from Mr. Barbour for the sum of �435 and �215 was expended upon it to fit it for the residence of both ministers of the circuit. It was occupied in November, 1861. The trustees of this property were: Rev. Henry Price, Rev. Robert Wallace, Rev. William Cather, Robert Cordner, George Thompson, James Kearns, Joseph Bell, John Stevenson, James Maze, Richard Megarry, James Megarry and Samuel Smyth.

Lambeg House (now Chrome Hill, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Robert McKinstry) which was visited by John Wesley in 1787


The Building of Seymour Street Church

The church in Market Street, which had been erected about 1774 and enlarged and renovated in 1788 had served the congregation well for almost one hundred years but in 1873 it was felt that new premises should be provided. The old church had for some time been unsatisfactory, partly because of natural decay and partly because of its situation. Owing to the repeated raising of the public roadway, Market Street, the ground floor of the church was in a sunken position and the walls were consequently damp. I n addition to this discomfort there was the added disadvantage of the very close proximity of slaughter-houses and a stream which received much of the town sewage.

The congregation had for some time been contemplating the erection of a new building but the chief problem was that of procuring a suitable site. An approach was made to Sir Richard Wallace and he made a very generous offer of a valuable plot of ground, free of rent for ever, at the junction of the Belfast and Hilden roads at the Northern end of Seymour Street. On this site it was planned to erect a church, a school, two ministers' residences and office houses. The total cost was expected to be less than �4,000.

A committee was formed to undertake the necessary arrangements and to invite subscriptions. Alexander Stevenson of Market Square was the Secretary and George Thompson of Bow Street and John Stevenson of Market Square acted as Treasurers. Other members of this committee were Rev. Robert Collier, Rev. Francis Douglas, Messrs. Henry Hart, Hugh McCall, David Carlisle, James Cairns, Matthew Totten, Edward Allen, Alexander Mayes, Samuel Nelson and William John Bailey. A subscription list was opened and this was headed by a gift of �250 from Philip Johnston & Sons, Belfast. Messrs. William Campbell, Belfast, Henry Hart, Ravarnet House, George Thompson and John Stevenson each contributed �100. When the first subscription list was published in The Irish Evangelist of October 1st, 1873, it amounted to �1017 and contained 50 subscribers. A second subscription list was published in the same journal on December 1st, 1873, when the total had reached � 1552.12.6 and there were a further 155 subscribers; these included the firm of William Barbour & Sons, Hilden, who subscribed �100. A third subscription list, published on July 8th, 1875, showed that a further 50 subscribers had raised the total to �1,760.15.9. When the church and school were opened in November, 1875, at a cost of almost �2,700, they were free of debt.

No time was lost in building operations. In November, 1874, the work was undertaken by Messrs. J. & R. Thompson, Belfast, who had the building ready for worship one year later. The ceremony of laying the foundation stone took place on Wednesday, 18th November, 1874. It was performed by Mr. Philip Johnston J.P., Dalriada, Belfast, whose initial generous gift had given encouragement and impetus to the appeal. The weather was very poor and much of the proceedings took place in the nearby Female School, the Belfast Gate School. A very large and representative gathering attended the ceremony. Rev. Robert Knowles, one of the ministers on the circuit, gave a detailed account of the origins of Methodism in the Lisburn area, the visits of Wesley, and the events leading up to the opening of the new church. Mr. Alexander Stevenson, the secretary of the Building Committee, introduced Mr. Johnston and presented him with the trowel to perform the ceremony. The stone which he laid was the south-west corner-stone and in a cavity beneath it was placed a large bottle containing copies of the Northern Whig and Newsletter, Methodist Recorder, etc., and several documents giving particulars of the congregation and the building.

The church was opened for Public Worship on Sunday, November 21st, 1875, when Rev. W. P. Appelbe, LL.D., preached at the morning service and Rev. Joseph W. McKay in the evening. The special opening services continued on Sunday, November 28th, when Rev. James McGarry, M.A., LL.D., D.C.L., preached at the morning service and Rev. William McMullen in the evening. The third and concluding series of services was held on Sunday, December 5th, when Rev. William Gorman, of Dublin, preached at both services. These services were well attended and the offering amounted to more than �400.

A description of the new church appeared in The Irish Evangelist of  1st January, 1876, and is included as a contemporary account of the building. "The new church is a very conspicuous and ornamental building, occupying an excellent site at the extreme end of Seymour Street, at the junction of the Belfast and Hilden roads. The main front is approached by a gradual incline, and a flight of steps leading to a large open vestibule, having bold, massive columns of the finest County Down granite, the carved caps and other enrichments being of Dungannon stone. The vestibule is surmounted by an encircled cornice, over which there is a large circular stone window in the principal gable. The front is flanked by wings, which form gables at the sides. The ornamented accessories of both sides of the building correspond with those of the main front, so that no portion of the building is enriched at the expense of the other. Throughout the building no special style is strictly followed, the principle governing the style being an appropriate employment of inexpensive materials, with strict regard to fitness of purpose. A very bold and pleasing architectural effect has been successfully secured by means of broken masses and well proportioned general outline rather than by a redundance of ornamental embellishments.

The very appropriate site was somewhat irregular, and being judiciously treated, added very much to the effect of the building. The advantage taken of the slope of the ground enabled the architect to provide a large airy school-room below the church. The school is entered off the Hilden Road by a common entrance, which also leads to the caretaker's house, committee-room, etc. The church, entered off the Belfast Road, is 51 feet long, 36 feet wide, and 30 feet high, and, with the end gallery, will accommodate over 400 persons. It is lighted by large circular-headed windows at each side, glazed with coloured cathedral glass of subdued tints, which, with the warm shade of the highly varnished woodwork, produces a very pleasing effect. The ceiling is panelled between the exposed roof timbers, and the windows are furnished with detached columns on each jamb. The recess at the back of the pulpit and the end wall are panelled to correspond with the ceiling, and thus the broken surface of walls and ceiling aid in securing good acoustic properties, and prevents that bald, naked appearance too often noticed in our provincial places of worship. Indeed, this church has the comfort and furnished appearance of a private room. The platform-pulpit, 16 feet long, and 5 feet wide, with the communion rail and furniture, are unusually elaborate, exhibiting very superior workmanship, and contributing very materially to the general elegance of the interior.

Ample provision is made for heating, lighting, and, above all. ventilation. The heating is very effectively secured by a simple arrangement of hot water pipes. The gas fittings consist of a corona from the ceiling and neat brackers springing from the side walls, which produce a brilliant effect when lighted. The ventilators in the ceiling, and all the large windows, open in at the top by a peculiar arrangement, which directs the fresh air upwards and prevents draughts. The same system is applied in the school, so that an ample supply of fresh air is always available. The school, caretaker's residence, committee room, vestry, etc., have been fitted up with all necessary requirements, so as to render the establishment as complete as possible.

During the series of opening services just concluded, the new building has been visited by a very large number of persons, and the general testimony seems to be that this church is so effective in appearance, tasteful in its appointments, and perfect In all its arrangements, it may be considered a typical example of a complete Methodist Church, and the testimony of the numerous visitors' approval was confirmed by the liberality of their contributions. The church was designed and built under the direction of William Gray, Esq., M.R.I.A. architect, Belfast. Messrs. Thompsons, of Ballymacarrett, were the contractors. Messrs. Musgrave and Co. carried out the heating, and Mr. Carlisle, of Donegall Street, provided the gasfitting; the total cost being under �2,700."