The Parish Church
Divine Service on Sundays at 11:30am and 7:00pm. Also on leading Church Festivals.
Holy Communion On the First Sunday of the month after Morning Prayer, the Third Sunday of the month after Evening Prayer, and on Church Festivals.
Divine Service on the First and Third Sundays of the months of June, July and
August at 7:00pm instead of the Parish Church.
Sunday School Sundays at 10:15am in the Church Hall.
The Rector, the Rev Trevor Clelland - 028 9265 0134
A bit about us:
Middle Church has been called Jeremy Taylor's Church because of its association with that famous theologian and bishop of the 17th Century.
Born in Cambridge in 1613 Taylor was a lecturer in divinity at St Paul's Cathedral, London. In 1638 he was installed as Rector of Uppingham in Ruthlandshire and later became Chaplin to the Royalist army of Charles I.
Following the defeat of the Royalist forces by the Cromwellin Roundheads at the battle of Marston Moore in 1644 Taylor fled to Wales.
He was introduced to Lord Conway who had vast estates at Portmore in Killultagh as this area was called in those days. Lord Conway was anxious to have someone of Taylor's stature and eloquence as his Chaplin and eventually he came here in 1658 having been given a special pass by Cromwell.
When Charles II came to the throne and with the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 Taylor was rewarded for his loyalty to the crown by being made Bishop of Down, Dromore & Connor. But the North East of Ireland was in ruins. When he became Bishop and called a meeting of the clergy only two turned up. He decided to reordain those ministers who had embraced the Presbyterian system during the Cromwellian period. Many ministers refused to be reordained and over 30 left their rectories, went to some corner of the Parish and built their houses and meeting houses.
You can see that here in Ballinderry today. If you go up the road you come to the Meeting House Lane where you will find the Ballinderry Presbyterian Church and Manse.
Taylor instructed that Middle Church should be built in 1664 and gave the money to have the church built. At that time the Parish Church was down at Portmore on Lough Neagh. He felt the new church should be in a more central position in the parish, half way between Upper and Lower Ballinderry, hence the name The Middle Church. The roof timbers, the Pulpit and the pews of the old church at Portmore were removed and used in this new building.
Bishop Taylor died at the age of 55 in 1667, a year before his church was consecrated.
The Middle Church is puritan in style, simple and unadorned, the finest example of a plantation church in Ireland. It is said that in no country church can better examples of the conditions under which worship was held over 300 years ago be found.
The ceiling of this church is Medieval in design - probably based on the old Portmore church. We still have one piece of communion silver used in this church in the 17th century, the large chalice on the communion table. It bears the inscription ‘The Ballinderry Chalice.'
This church ceased to be the Parish church in 1824 when the present parish church was consecrated. In 1822 there was a debate in the parish as to whether this church should be demolished and a new one erected on the same site or a new church be built elsewhere. Happily Lord Connor gave the parish land to build the new parish church thus saving Middle Church.
Jeremy Taylor's fame today rests mainly on his devotional writings, especially his two books, ‘Holy Living' and ‘Holy Dying.'
The following are two prayers written by Jeremy Taylor which give an
insight into his spirituality.
Oh God, whose days are without end and whose mercies
cannot be numbered. Make us, we beseech thee, deeply
sensible of the shortness and uncertainty of human life; and let thy Holy Spirit lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days, that when we shall have served thee in our generation, we may be gathered unto our fathers, having the testimony of a good conscience, in the communion of the church, in the confidence of a certain faith, in the comfort of an assured hope, in favour with thee our God, and in perfect charity with all men. Grant this, we beseech thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
O thou who dwellest in every humble heart, and consecrate it for thy sanctuary. Hallow we pray thee, our hearts within us, that they may be houses of prayer, the dwelling places of thy spirit, wherein thou dost reveal thy holy mysteries, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Middle Church is still regularly used as a place of worship, in the summer months of June, July and August on the First and Third Sundays at 7:00pm. The grave yard at Middle Church is still the Parish Grave Yard.
Organisations in the parish:
Bowling Club Mondays at 7:30pm
Ladies Keep Fit Mondays at 7:30pm
Ladies Bible Study Tuesdays at 10.15am
Good News Club Tuesdays at 4:00pm
Badminton Club Tuesdays
Rainbows & Brownies Thursdays
Girl Guides Thursdays
Ladies Fellowship First Wednesday of each month at 8:00pm
Bible Study and Prayer Wednesdays at 7:45pm Except 1st Wednesday.
Thursdays at 7:45pm except 1st Thursday.
Martins Wednesdays at 6:30pm'7.45pm
Church Lads' Brigade Fridays
Youth Club Second and Fourth Saturdays
Prayer Meetings First Saturday of each month at 8:30am
Sundays 11:00am. 1st Wednesday Men's prayer meeting 8pm
F.A.B. (Youth Fellowship) First & Third Sunday.
After 8 Second and Fourth Sundays.
Lower Ballinderry Road
A map of where we are
Directions to the church:
If you are unsure of how to get to Ballinderry, make your way to one of two local landmarks just outside Lisburn, The Nutts Corner roundabout or the Moira Roundabout on the M1.
From the Moira Roundabout take the A26 signposted International Airport. Follow the road for three miles, at the bottom of the hill there is a staggered crossroads, (you have priority) to the right Lisburn, to the left, Lower Ballinderry. Turn left and follow the road for 200 metres, the Parish Church is on the right hand side. Continue past the Parish Church for about another mile to find Middle Church on the left hand side.
From Nutts Corner take the Moira and M1 turnoff, continue along this road for approximately 5 miles, past Crumlin and Glenavy and continue to Ballinderry. Once at Ballinderry you will see a Texaco filling station on your right hand side, once past this take the next turning on your right (at the bottom of the hill) signposted Lower Ballinderry, continue along this road for 200 metres, the Parish Church is on the right hand side. Continue past the Parish Church for about another mile to find Middle Church on the left hand side.