Celebrating 175 years of Groomsport Parish Church
Advent Sunday 2017 was a significant day in the life and history of Groomsport Parish as the congregation and guests celebrated the 175th anniversary of the building of the Church.
The Church was designed by the noted Irish architect Sir Charles Lanyon and was established in 1842 as a Chapel of Ease for the Perceval–Maxwell family of Finnebrogue, who summered in Groomsport. Within 10 years Groomsport had been granted Parish status.
The 175th celebrations brought together the great, great, great grandson of Robert Perceval–Maxwell, Bill, and his cousin Norrys, as well as a previous Rector, Canon Derek Tyney and his wife Gwen. Also at the service of celebration and the Parish Lunch was Patrick Freeman, the son of another previous Rector, the Revd George Freeman who died suddenly in 1944, and Mary Moore, the widow of Bishop Jimmy Moore who was Rector of Groomsport from 1969 to 1975.
The congregation was delighted to welcome the Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, who preached at morning worship.
The Parish is marking this significant milestone by undertaking a major programme of refurbishment in 2018, work that is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is hoped that this work will enhance this lovely little gem of a Parish Church, and that the ministry of the Church will carry on for another 175 years!