Service of Dedication and Thanksgiving








The 10 am Sung Eucharist on Sunday 10 December 2017 was a Service of Dedication and Thanksgiving for a programme of work carried out over the last three years:

-       Church stonework

-       Nave altar

-       Organ

-       Seaver hall

Details of each follows:


Service of Dedication and Thanksgiving








Restoration of the Church Stonework

In .......the Select Vestry commissioned a stone by stone survey by the firm of S McConnell & Sons of Kilkeel. A Century of weathering had eroded the sandstone blocks especially on the East and West sides. Some stones had surface spalling which could be dressed whereas other stones had been so significantly eroded that it would be necessary to cut out the front of the block and set in a new block. This would be a major operation requiring the walls of the church to be encased by scaffolding.

The Finlay family offered to pay for the work to be completed in memory of their mother Iris who had  been a member of the church choir, flower arranger, and organiser of a Lunch club and many other events.

The work commenced in ...... and was completed in about ...months.


Dedication plaque








Stonework around window


Spalling stonework






Scaffolding South Transept


Scaffolding East End


  The Nave Altar area  
  Heating pipes For a few years on the third Sunday of each month our Family Eucharist has used a portable altar on a raised platform in front of the chancel steps or at the top of the steps. Plans were agreed to create a permanent platform level with the middle step. An area was cleared at the front of the nave and above surface heating pipes were relocated below the concrete floor sub-base. A semi-circular platform was created at second step level. The work was carried out by the plumber and joiner working for Hugh J O’Boyle in the Seaver Hall.

The work was a gift of Molly McDonald, Canon Edgar Turner and an anonymous donor.
  Nave altar platform  
  Nave Altar and Candlesticks   Credence Table  
  The new altar and candlesticks were the gift of an anonymous donor. The altar was made from the wood of a pew.   Similar in design to the alter and created from a church pew the table was a gift in memory of Lily McKee  
  Nave altar   Credence table  
  Organ Refurbishment  
  When our previous organist Dr Donald Davison died the organ had been partially restored. Our new organist Richard Campbell agreed a new specification and the work was carried out by Alistair McCartney of the Pipe Organ Preservation Co and Stephen Hamill. The work was funded by gifts from individual parishioners, friends of St John’s and the Select Vestry.   Dates   Organ  
  Seaver Hall Refurbishment  

The Seaver hall is a listed building built in 1938. It consiats of a main hall with stage area and entrance hall and toilets located in a flat roofed block at the front of the hall.


Refurbishment of the entrance and toilet block commenced in the summer of 2015 by replacing the original toilets to provide two unisex toilets, an accessible toilet with baby changing facilities and store room with gas combi-boiler sufficient to heat the main hall when it had been refurbished.


Windows were replaced by similar Crittal metal frames with thin double-glazing. Externally the brickwork and stonework were cleaned and pointing renewed. Additional work was required to renew the failed roof covering and to replace the entrance doors.


The work was carried out by ME Crowe and various sub-contractors.

  Seaver Hall before refurbishment   Seaver hall after refurbishment  
  The Seaver Hall before refurbishment   After refurbishment of toilet block  
  Entrance hall before refurb   Entrance hall after refurb  

Entrance hall before refurbishment

– Door to ladies toilet and electrical switchgear

  Refurbished Entrance hall – Doors to Store room with electrical switchgear and gas boiler, to disabled toilet and new entrance doors  
  Entrance before 1st stage of refurb   Entrance after 1st stage of refurb   Unisex toilet  
Entrance hall before and after first stage of refurbishment Former Gent’s toilet converted to two Unisex toilets
Ladies WC Ladies whb Store room Accessible toilet

Interior of ladies toilet

Store room with combi-boiler and switchgear Accessible toilet with baby changing facilities
  The Second Stage – refurbishment of the Main Hall  
  Seaver hall before refurb 1   Seaver hall before refurb 2  
  Refurbishment of the main hall had to wait about two years until autumn 2017. Listed building approval did not allow walls to be insulated internally. The stage was removed and the space used to provide three store rooms for tables and chairs and other equipment. New lighting and power and central heating radiators were installed. Windows were replaced as had been done for the toilets and blocked up windows in the front wall were opened up.  Externally brickwork and rainwater goods were refurbished. This work was carried out by Hugh J O’Boyle Ltd Downpatrick and various sub-contractors. This phase was made possible by the generosity of the late Jean Cochrane.   Seaver hall - work in progress  
  Dedication of Seaver hall 1   Dedication of Seaver hall 2