Connor churches take part in European Heritage Open Days

Thursday September 8th 2022

A number of churches in Connor Diocese will be participating in this year’s European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) programme which runs from September 10-11.

More than 200 of Northern Ireland’s historic buildings and monuments, landmarks and hidden gems are offering free entry with many also adding special activities. 

The EHOD programme includes virtual and open door in-person events and activities ranging from guided tours and walks to talks and lectures, from living history re-enactors to community fun days, from musical events to screenings to brand new places to visit.

The 2022 theme is ‘Sustainable Heritage: Learn Use Enjoy,’ encouraging people to consider the environment and its impact on our heritage, how to conserve our built and cultural heritage to develop a more sustainable future, to value the natural world and landscapes around us, and highlights climate change and how it impacts every part of life.

The Connor buildings taking part in this year’s EHOD programme are:

St Stephen’s Church on Millfield in Belfast, open on Saturday from 10am-5pm. Everyone welcome to come along and hear about the history of the church and see the beautiful interior! Refreshments available.

St Catherine’s Parish Church, Killead, is open both Saturday and Sunday at various times. The church was erected in 1712 and restored 2003-2004. JJ Philips was the architect for major alteration to the building. A fine gothic revival church with Bellcote and Lych gate. Interesting stained glass windows including one by WM Morris of Westminster. There are 46 war graves dating from the First World War. Historically the Church has been connected with the RAF/Army Air Corps. The AAC have two memorial windows in the Church. A former Schoolhouse serves as the Church Hall. As the church property is within a Military Compound, id such as a passport or driving license is necessary.

St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, will be free to visit on Saturday from 11am until 4pm.

Lisburn Cathedral invites visitors to come and see the memorials and windows dedicated to key people and events associated with the development of Lisburn since 1623. The Cathedral will be open on Saturday from 10am-4pm.

The construction of the Middle Church, Ballinderry, began in 1664 at the direction of the Bishop of Down, Dromore and Connor, Jeremy Taylor, who also financed its construction. It will be open to visitors on Saturday from 10am-4pm.

St Matthew’s, Shankill, Belfast, was built from 1869-1872 to replace an older church located on the Farset River. Outside the church is the Balluan stone moved to its present site c.1911. It will be open at various times on both Saturday and Sunday.

Gartree Parish Church, Crumlin, will open to visitors on Saturday from 10-am-4pm.  This refurbished 19th century church with its private family pew is located in the grounds of Langford Lodge which also acted as Northern Ireland Base Command for United States troops during World War 2.

St George’s Parish Church in High Street, is the oldest Anglican church in use in Belfast.  It is the third church to be built on that site, worship having taken place there since the 10th century if not earlier. The present building was designed by John Bowden, a Dublin architect, in the neo-Classical style then prevalent and was opened in 1816, initially to take the overflow from St Anne’s Parish Church in Donegall Street. It became a parish church in its own right in the 1820s, serving the immediate area which until the late 19th century had a substantial resident population. St George’s will be open on both Saturday and Sunday.

Full Northern Ireland European Heritage Open Days programme.

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