New St Hilda’s will be ‘a blessing to the whole community’

Wednesday May 14th 2014

The new St Hilda's, Dunmurry.The new St Hilda’s Parish Church, Hazel Avenue, Dunmurry, will be consecrated on Sunday May 18 by the Bishop of Connor, The Rt Rev Alan Abernethy.

The original dual purpose church and hall was dedicated in May 1958 as a daughter church of St Colman’s, Dunmurry, and with the expansion of the parish a new separate church building was consecrated in December 1970.

But by 2005 it had become apparent that the buildings needed to be upgraded and repaired and a roof appeal got underway in 2008, raising £40,000.

A year later Bishop Abernethy put St Hilda’s in contact with a developer interested in building a nursing home on the site and offering to build a new church and hall in return.

Agreement was reached in 2011 but subsequent delays meant the parish was ‘homeless’ for three years.

Parishioners have just moved into their new home, a modern, user–friendly building suitable for emerging outreach ministries. As well as the church, it includes offices, a prayer room, a café, a hall and a minor hall.

The rector, the Rev David Boyland, said: “The development, whilst benefiting the church directly, will also make a very significant impact on the community. The overall cost of the project is in the region of £5.3million, with the church and hall costing in the region of £800,000.

“During the construction phase there have been a significant number of jobs created with permanent jobs coming on stream with the imminent completion of the nursing home. This has and will continue give a great boost in an area that has very high unemployment.

“The nursing home will provide 76 beds that are greatly needed in an area with an ageing population.”

David continued: “Our vision for the new church and hall is that it will be a blessing to the whole community as they come in and experience the love and healing power of Christ as we seek to serve them.”

Sunday’s Service of Consecration gets underway at 3pm.

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