Former Kilmore church
Service in the Old Church building now located at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra

Christ Church, Kilmore, has a long and fascinating history.

The ancient graveyard 300m west of our church may have been the site of a church since early Christian times. By 1622 the church was in ruins, and though later repaired the building was abandoned in the 1640s.

A new Church of Ireland church, known as ‘Kilmore Church’, was built in 1792 in the newer graveyard further west. In its time, this church served the local community as a place of worship, a village school and a parochial hall, before being deconstructed in 1976 and removed stone by stone to enjoy a new life at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.

Christ Church, our current church with its distinctive tower, was built in 1870. Costing £3,000, it was the last Established Church built in Ireland. The builder was Mr. James Murphy, of Belfast and the Architect Sir Thomas Drew.

Sir Thomas was the diocesan architect for the united dioceses of Down, Connor and Dromore. His most significant local legacy is St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, which was completed in 1899. He was also consulting architect for both St. Patrick’s and Christ Church Cathedrals, Dublin.

Christ Church Kilmore has played an important role in the lives of many individuals over the years. Bobby Nelson one of our oldest parishioners remembers helping his father, who was the Sexton at the time, fire up the boiler at 10pm on a Saturday night, lighting the oil lamps and ringing the bell for services.

Bobby died in October 2020, but lived well into his nineties and his reminisces include stories about rectors and Harvest Sunday Services when the church was full, being supported by all the other local churches. He also remembers the Belfast Blitz when they could see the flames from Church Road and evacuees arriving in the area.

See our list of Past Rectors