Our Church

Our church, our history, our mission & team
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Who We Are

Our Team & Leadership

We are a Church of Ireland (Anglican) Parish in the diocese of Down and Dromore. Our Rector is the Reverend Mervyn Jamison and our assistant is Dr. Ryan David Hawk. Our Select Vestry is a dedicated and diverse group of people who have been elected by their church community to serve their church and the wider community with integrity and accountability.

Rector: Mervyn Jamison

Rector: Mervyn Jamison

Reverend

Mervyn spent over 30 years working in the public sector. In 2007 he was ordained as a Non Stipendiary Curate and served in Ballybeen and Comber.

He helped “plant” a new church community in Moneyreagh in 2013.

This grew into a thriving community and in September 2017 he was appointed to Ballylesson on a mission licence.

Following a sustained period of growth and renewal he was appointed as Rector in March 2019.

Mervyn is married to Rosemary and has three grown up children – David, Rory and Rosalind.

He loves Land-Rovers, cutting the Rectory’s grass and tries a bit of fast walking which he likes to describe as jogging!

E: rector @ ballylesson.church

Ryan Hawk

Ryan Hawk

Assistant

Ryan spent 10 years as a professional recording artist in Nashville before talking on post-graduate studies in theology. Ryan has worked in ministry contexts for 20 years in various church roles in the USA and in Northern Ireland. He is an ordinand within the Church of Ireland completing his training at CITI in Dublin as part of his ministry in Ballylesson.

His background in music, academia, and ministry are a blend of gifts that serve the community well with intentionality, depth, and never knowing what is going happen next. Discipleship, community, and faith formation are things that Ryan is interested in sharing and growing within the life of the church for all ages. Ryan looks after our youth and community projects with an incredible team of volunteers. He is always up for banter whether you are nine or ninety.

E: assistant @ ballylesson.church

Our Mission & Vision

Our vision and mission is to help connect people to faith

We warmly welcome visitors and families to Holy Trinity, Ballylesson and we are delighted if you want to stay and be part of God’s family along with us. Some may join us from other churches, having made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ already. Our door is always open!

Stained glass

History Of Our Church

The church has existed on this site from 1791. At the instigation of the Marquis of Downshire, Wills Hill, a site was chosen and work was commenced.

The architect, on the Marquis’ advice, was Charles Lily of Dublin.

The work commenced in mid 1789. The land belonged to one James Beers, who gave the land for free and forever to the Parishioners of Drumbo. A church had existed in the village of Drumbo, but had fallen into ruin in the sixteenth century.

The parish was part of the Archdeaconry of Down and the pastoral needs were looked after by a curate.

Horatio Maunsell became the first rector in 1834 when Drumbo was granted full Parochial status.

Robert Batt, whose father was Narcissus Batt, a founding partner of the Belfast Bank, was instrumental in having the church enlarged by adding two transepts and the chancel in 1863/64.

This followed the 1859 revival, which saw a great increase in church attendance which necessitated many churches to be extended, including Drumbo.

The grandson of Narcisus, Robert Narcisus Batt, re-roofed the church and extended the windows in the nave in 1874.

F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do We Join?

Come gather with us in person and if you feel welcomed and think that this is a place where you can grow in faith and friendship, then you are more than halfway there. Joining HTB is simple and we’d love to have you. Membership in the Church of Ireland formally consists of joining the general vestry of a parish. If and when you feel like doing this with us, we can get you all sorted. Until then, just come along on the journey with us, you are most welcome.

How do we donate to the Church?

Donations can be made to the church in a few ways. Cash, cheque, standing orders, and EFT (electronic fund transfer). We can provide set up forms and financial account information if you wish to set this up upon request.

Can I find out more about family relations?

Yes! We have a long history in the community and there are several generations that have some history in our parish and our churchyard. We are working on making more historical records available in digital formats for your research, but until they are completed, send us a general request and we can look in our historical records and get whatever information we can for you in advance of a visit.

Can we bring children?

Most certainly! We believe that a church service is first and foremost a celebration that is for the whole community, no matter what age you are. We have Sunday school that begins after our service starts because we believe that it is good for children to be involved in the life of the church because it is their church too! We have colour sheets and an area in the church that is set up for our young ones with soft play mats, books, and some toys. A quiet room crèche is also available. Come one, come all!

How do we arrange a Baptism?

We would love to welcome you into the wider family of the Church in baptism. Whether you are coming to baptise your child or you are an adult and are making a public declaration of faith, we stand with you and will encourage you and your children in the faith journey. Please email or ring the rector and we can walk through the process.

How do we arrange for a burial ?

We have a small number of graves for burial available to non-parishioners. We also have a large plot for the burial of ashes. For more information on graves or an ashes plot, please contact Mr Edward Dodds on 07591 885620.

Help & Serve

Being part of large vibrant congregation there is always lots to do and one way to get to know people is to serve alongside them. If you want to be involved, we would love to hear from you.

How can we get married?

Congratulations! Our church building is a wonderful setting for such an important day in your life. We are very happy to walk with you on this journey, which starts by contacting the Rector for a wee chat!

Can we book the Church Hall for a non church event?

We are happy to have folks use our halls when we aren’t using them. That’s what they are there for! Currently our halls are used for church events and gatherings, toddler’s group, fitness classes, pilates, tai chi, badminton, and table tennis to name a few! Our most common question regarding hall usage are family events or birthday parties, but we are always interested in community engagement and want our spaces to be utilised as your spaces too. Get in touch and we can talk about your event, class, or party and see if it works for us and for you.