carrickfergus methodist

Carrickfergus methodist Church History

The Methodist Church in Carrickfergus has a long history. The Rev John Wesley visited the town on eight occasions between 1756 and 1778. In 1773 he records ‘there was a lively congregation’ at Carrickfergus. There still is today.

It is beliIeved that the first class meeting of Methodists in Carrickfergus took place among men of the Black Watch Regiment

In 1808 permission was given to build a new church, which was opened in West Street in 1812. It was a fine building for its time though the roof required regular repairs. This did not hamper the outreach work in the area and new churches were opened at Lame in 1827, Ballyclare in 1828, Hyde Park in 1829 and Islandmagee in 1829.

In 1884 the old church was showing its age and was unsuitable for the growing congregation, so it was replaced. By the end of the 19th century Carrickfergus could claim to have excellent premises, consisting of a fine church, a schoolhouse with daily and Sunday schools and a comfortable manse.

The story of the 20th century was of consolidation and outreach. Buildings were changed to suit more up to date needs, and in 1970 a suite of halls was opened in memory of the Rev S D Ferguson and a new gallery was added to the church.

Through time the buildings – once so fine – are now in need of repair. Planning and discussion are taking place towards a replacement church.