A major project which has been over a decade in the making is drawing close to completion at Carnmoney Presbyterian Church.
New church halls at the Carnmoney Road church are set to open next week with a number of activities scheduled to take place between Friday, September 2 and Sunday, September 4 to usher in the usage of the new building.
The £2.5 million scheme, which has completely transformed the site, includes a number of state-of-the-art facilities.
One of the new features is a full-size five-aside pitch, which will cater for the hundreds of young people, including the members of the Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Brigade who attend the church site each week.
A designated youth area, which will be used by the many programmes geared at young people at the church has also been constructed.
The new halls will also include a children’s area, which has been designed with the needs of some of the youngest members of the congregation in mind. There are child-friendly toilets and sinks as well as ample storage space to house the toys and games which are used by the various groups made up of babies and toddlers.
Modern office facilities for the staff members at the church have also been constructed. As well as a number of desks, which were donated by a local business, there are shower and washroom facilities.
This period of change has come under the stewardship of Rev. John Dickinson, who has been the minister at Carnmoney Presbyterian for almost 15 years.
Speaking to the Times, Rev. Dickinson said: “We wanted to build for the future and what we wanted to be. We want to get the message of the Gospel out to the 84,000 people in the Newtownabbey area and these new buildings will hopefully help us to do this.
“The buildings are resources - a church is not buildings, but they will allow us to do plenty of new imaginative things.”
Rev Dickinson added: “Our new church building was completed 13 years ago and over the past number of years we have experienced a period of growth, with a number of young families joining the congregation.
“We have seen a number of developments and we had to ask ourselves ‘what kind of halls do we need?’
“We have worked under the idea of 2020 vision, with three cycles running for four years at a time. This commenced in 2008 and will conclude in 2020.”
Rev. Dickinson, the committee, elders and congregation would like to thank everyone who assisted them while the building project was ongoing.
For details on news and events from Carnmoney Presbyterian Church, check out www.carnmoney.org.