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To investigate the changing needs of the congregation of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Meeting House of Dunmurry

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Introduction

Introduction The purpose of this coursework is to investigate the changing needs of the congregation of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Meeting House of Dunmurry and how the Meeting house has been modified and changed to meet these demands. To enable us to do this successfully we were given a source booklet . The main sources we will be using are the Hugh Dixon 1974 survey, The Church booklet and the Fagan O.S memoir . I will be using this source booklet along with other notes that I have taken myself as well as a video showing the church in 1986 provided by the history department. We will also have to critically analysis the sources in order of their usefulness and relevance to the subject. The main focus is on the renovations, restorations rebuilding that has taken place on the church grounds between 1676 - 2001 and how they have affected the congregation of Dunmurry. The Foundation of the Congregation and Original Church Worship. Although we do not have an exact date for the first church building, we can safely say that that date lies between 1676 and 1683. We can state this because in the sources " History of Congregation" and the Church Booklet it states the first listed Minister , Mr. Alexander Glass. We are unaware of the original site today. In the Chichester patents we are informed that Lord Chichester came from England and was given land during the plantations. ...read more.

Middle

This information comes from the Church booklet from the source packs. Fig 1 From the outside the church looks more like normal house rather than a place of worship. This could be because the congregation did not feel the need to have to worship publicly .The church was built in Georgian style and was kept very plain but it is still a very elaborate building. Fig.2 We can also say that the entrance to the church had been completely changed. if we look back at the 1714 building we can see that the entrance had been at the rear of the church but it then was moved when the new building was built to the front of the church. There are several factors that can help us prove this fact. The boot scrapers, path and gates were all added when the new building was built and so therefore are all in their original placing and have not been moved since this time which indicates that the door has not been moved. Although the gates are not actually original (they have been changed from cast iron to wrought iron) they are still in their original placing within the church grounds. There are also 6 steps leading up from the ground to the entrance. Unfortunately we are unaware if these steps are original or a recent addition. Fig.3 Fig.3 boot scrapers In addition to exterior of the church we can also look at the changes made to the interior of the church when the new building was built. ...read more.

Conclusion

At the front of the church most of the changes are very minor. It seems that at the floor line the white rim that was around the perimeter of the church has now been changed to a more neutral colour so it will blend in more appropriately. Also in relation to that the 2 plaques above the front doors used to have a white rim but now it has been removed. The roof has been replaced and repair in some places. The notice board has been changed as the old one was damaged by bad weather. It is very easy to see that the back of the church needs restoration very badly. In the 1980's Rev. Mc Millian had builders to restore the church, but they made a mess of it. * They made 2 new plaques for above the door but unfortunately they spelt words wrong in them * They inscribed 1719 instead of 1779 on one of them Although they repaired the pebble dash on the back wall, it is not the same as the other walls and it now looks awful. Evaluation and conclusion. Overall I would have to agree that yes, the Non - subscribing church in Dunmurry has changed to meet the changing needs of its congregation. I have come to this conclusion after researching and cross referencing the sources provided for us. I believe that I have completed this coursework very well as I know that I have spent a lot of time researching all the documents and making sure that I have completed every correctly. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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