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History of our Church

The village of Mossley, was always part of Carnmoney Parish. It was built around the Spinning Mill of Henry Campbell & Co., and most of the inhabitants worked there. In the late fifties and early sixties, however, things started to change, and new housing estates, public and private, started to spring up. Many of the old homes were demolished, completely changing the face of the village.

Early in 1967, the Church Extension Committee decided that a new church was needed in the area, and Carnmoney Parish would be responsible for it. Arrangements were made for Sunday Services to be held in Mossley Orange Hall.

Initially some sixty Church of Ireland families worshipped there. A site for the new church/hall was obtained on the Manse Road, and Messrs. W.D.R. & R. T. Taggart invited to prepare plans. Work commenced in January 1969. The 'Newcomers' to Mossley, who were employed mainly in Belfast and the new factory estates in Newtownabbey, now out-numbered the 'Old Residenters'.

To retain the historical link, the senior member of the Campbell family (who owned the mill and had built the original houses in Mossley), Miss Anna Campbell, was invited to lay the foundation stone at a service on 27th May. Present at the service were the Bishop of Connor, the Rt. Rev. R.C.H. Elliott, and Archdeacon W.J. McCappin, Secretary of the Connor Church Extension Committee.

The foundation stone provided a further link from the past as it came from the old Carnmoney Parish Church, demolished in 1856, when the present church was built. Under the stone was placed a copper container holding a Bible, The Book of Common Prayer, a set of decimal coins, and copies of the East Antrim Times and Belfast Telegraph.

The main features of the design were an imposing cross shaped window in the east wall with flame coloured glass, and all white sanctuary furnishings in a modern style. The church/hall which can accommodate 250 people cost 30,000 to build. It was dedicated by the Bishop of Connor, the Rt. Rev. A.H. Butler, on 5th December 1969.

Three notable firsts were scored that night. It was the first church to be dedicated by the new bishop, the first church in Ireland to be named The Church of the Holy Spirit, and the first permanent church of any denomination in Mossley. From the first 60 families who attended the first services in the Orange Hall, the number had increased to 300 such was the growth of the area.

At a meeting of the select vestry in Carnmoney in January 1970, it was decided that, subject to certain provisos, Mossley should become a Parish in its own right in 1972.

One of the conditions was the building of a rectory. A site was obtained on the Doagh Road, plans prepared, the work put in hand and completed by November 1972. The Diocesan Council decided that the new Parish of Mossley should be set up as from Whit Sunday 1971. Whit Sunday is the day on which we celebrate the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on the First Day of Pentecost, and therefore is the Festival Day of the Church of the Holy Spirit. On 30th May 1971, the Parish of Mossley was born.

Carnmoney select vestry sent the following telegram:- "The Mother Church sends the Church of the Holy Spirit greeting on your birth as a Parish. We wish you God's richest blessing in the future". The occasion was marked with Thanksgiving Services. The special preacher at Morning Prayer was the Vicar of Carnmoney, the Rev. E.A. Jones. On 1st June, the first meeting of registered vestrymen was held, and the link with Carnmoney Parish formally severed.

In the autumn of 1976, work started on the minor hall, and it was dedicated by the Archdeacon of Connor, the Ven. W.J. McCappin, on 5th February 1978.

In December 1990, work started on converting the present dual-purpose building into a proper church solely designed for worship. The present minor hall has been improved and become the parish hall. A smaller minor hall was built. The cost of this project was in the region of 200,000. The new building was consecrated by the Bishop of Connor, Rt.Rev.S.G.Poyntz on 21st March 1992.

Page last updated by Michael on 26th August 2014 at 2:32 pm

Church of the Holy Spirit :: Manse Road, Mossley, Newtownabbey, BT36 6TA

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