174 Trust and the former Duncairn Presbyterian Church

On Wednesday 15 April at 2.00pm the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland is to visit the 174 Trust. We will have a tour of the former church building and the new facilities and a talk. This will be followed by a cup of tea.  We hope you will take the opportunity to find out about the work of the Trust.

174 Trust LogoThe 174 Trust is located at Duncairn Avenue in what was once Duncairn Presbyterian Church that has now been converted into Duncairn Centre for Culture & Arts.   The Centre is North Belfast’s first purpose built Arts and Culture shared space venue.  Costing £3.5 million it consists of art studios, an exhibition area, a community meeting room and a 170 seater theatre/performance area, a café and conference rooms.

The 174 Trust was founded in 1982 by a group of concerned Christians including members of two local churches – Duncairn Presbyterian and Antrim Road Baptist.  It offers opportunities and assistance to people of all ages and supports community development based on building relationships with local people, working together to identify and meet local needs.

Location map – Metro 1A/B/C/D Bus Service from Upper Queen Street to New Lodge Road.

In the PHSI Library:
Duncairn Presbyterian Church, 1862-1962 – Tom A Cromey – 1987
Community History of Duncairn Presbyterian Church – Duncairn Centre for Culture and Arts – 2014

174 Trust on Facebook

The Duncairn Centre for Culture and Arts


The Bulletin – Volume 39 (2015)

Volume 39 (2015) of The Bulletin of the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland has been published.

Bulletin 39 2015


  • ‘Poor Dark Connaught': an Irish Presbyterian case study
    – by Rev Prof Laurence Kirkpatrick
  • The Presbyterian Mission in Kerry 1840-1860
    – by Mr Hugh O’Reilly
  • The Reverend Samuel Dunlop: an early pioneer in Irish Mission
    – by Very Rev Dr A W G Brown

Book Reviews

Reviewer: Rev Douglas Armstrong

  • The Church outside the Walls – Compiled and Written by Rev W Derek Weir, MBE, BA, BD.

Reviewer: Dr Joseph Thompson

  • Dr James Denham: Preacher, Pastor and Defender of Presbyterianism – by Rev Ivor Smith
    Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland

Reviewer: Rev Ivor Smith

  • Kirkpatrick Memorial Presbyterian Church – 100 Years
  • Dr Robert Stewart ‘Cooke’s Lieutenant’ – by John Lockington
    Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland
  • Presbyterianism in the city of Armagh – by Rev Joseph Thompson BA, BD, MTh, PhD, DD, FRHistS.
    The Mall Presbyterian Church and Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland

Enquiries about purchasing The Bulletin may be made to the Librarian by email to phsilibrarian@pcinet.org or by telephone to 028 9072 7330.


PHSI Field Trip 2015 – Itinerary and Programme

Field Trip to visit Presbyterian Churches
in Counties Monaghan and Cavan
on Saturday, 13 June 2015

   9.00 am Coach departs from Malone Presbyterian Church
 10.30 am Castleblaney Presbyterian Church, Co. Monaghan
Morning Coffee
 11.30 am Frankford (2nd Castleblayney) Presbyterian Church, Co. Monaghan
 12.45 pm Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bailiesborough, Co. Cavan
 2.15 pm 1st Bailiesborough (Corglass) Presbyterian Church, Co. Cavan
 3.15 pm Corraneary Presbyterian Church, Co. Cavan
 4.30 pm 2nd Ballybay Presbyterian Church, Co. Monaghan
 5.10 pm 1st Ballybay Presbyterian Church, Co. Monaghan
Evening Meal
6.30 pm Coach departs from Ballybay
8.00 pm Coach arrives at Malone Presbyterian Church

Cost – £30 for the ‘Wheels and Meals’ option, £16 for the ‘Meals Only’ option.

Participants with special dietary requirements should advise the Society of these by Thursday 4 June 2015.

For booking of places on the Field Trip or any related enquiries – please contact
The Librarian, PHSI, 26 College Green, Belfast BT7 1LN,
by email to phsilibrarian@pcinet.org or by telephone on 028 9072 7330.


PHSI Events Programme for 2015-16 Published

PHSI Programme 2015-16

Thursday, 19 March 2015
May Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast – 8.00 pm
(7.15 pm – Annual General Meeting)
Early Historians of Irish Presbyterianism
by Dr Robert Armstrong, Trinity College Dublin

Wednesday, 15 April 2015 – 2.00 pm
Visit to the 174 Trust and
the former Duncairn Presbyterian Church, Belfast

Thursday, 7 May 2015
Union Theological College, Belfast – 8.00 pm
The Robert Allen Lecture:
Archibald McIlroy 1859-1915
by the Very Rev Dr Donald Patton

Saturday, 13 June 2015
Society’s Field Trip
to Counties Monaghan and Cavan
Departing at 9.00 am from Malone Presbyterian Church, Belfast

Thursday, 24 September 2015
Rosemary Presbyterian Church, Belfast – 8.00 pm
Anne Jane Carlile 1775-1864
by Mr Leslie McKeague

Saturday, 17 October 2015 – 11.00 am
Visit to Belfast City Cemetery with Tom Hartley

Thursday, 19 November 2015
Bloomfield Presbyterian Church, Belfast – 8.00 pm
The Very Rev Dr Jack Weir
by the Rev Dr Bill Addley

Thursday, 18 February 2016
Lisburn Reformed Presbyterian Church – 8.00 pm
Presbyterian Protest and the Pentland Rising, 1666
by the Rev Prof Robert McCollum

Thursday, 10 March 2016
McCracken Memorial Presbyterian Church, Belfast – 8.00 pm
(7.15 pm AGM of the Society)
The Rentouls: A Presbyterian Dynasty
by the Very Rev Dr John Lockington

Thursday, 21 April 2016
Malone Presbyterian Church, Belfast – 8.00 pm
Symposium on the First World War
with Mr Paul Gray, Mr Nigel Henderson, Mr Philip Orr and Dr Colin Walker

Thursday, 5 May 2016
Union Theological College, Belfast – 8.00 pm
The Robert Allen Lecture:
150 Years of the Presbyterian Orphan and Children’s Society
by Dr Paul Gray

Saturday, 18 June 2016
Society’s Field Trip
(to be arranged)


PHSI Lecture – Our Earliest Irish Presbyterian Historians

On Thursday 19 March 2015 at 8.00 pm
at May Street Presbyterian Church, 13-29 May Street, Belfast BT1 4AN

Our Earliest Irish Presbyterian Historians

This lecture will be given by Dr Robert Armstrong, Head of Department, Senior Lecturer in History, Trinity College Dublin.

He will take a look back at some of the early historians and writers of memoirs on Presbyterianism in Ireland, from Robert Blair, Andrew Stewart and Patrick Adair in the 17th century, to John McBride and James Kirkpatrick at the start of the 18th century. Already in the 17th century Presbyterians in Ireland had begun to look back on their past and try to understand it.  Sometimes that meant reassessing the events of recent decades, occasionally stretching all the way back to St Patrick.

May Street Church Car MapAccess to the May Street Church will not be by the front entrance on May Street, but rather by the rear entrance in Little May Street beside which there is a car park that you can use if you are attending the lecture.

As there is an extensive one-way traffic system in the locality, the route to the car park is illustrated in this sketch.

Venue Location map


The Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held at 7.15 pm.

The Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland has re-printed Adair’s Narrative Irish Presbyterian Church 1623-1670 (Price £10) and published the autobiography of Robert Blair of Bangor (Price £20).


The Ulster-Scots Hub and the Discover Ulster-Scots Centre

Ulster-Scots Agency - HubA new Ulster-Scots Hub and Discover Ulster-Scots Centre was opened on 27 November 2014 at the Corn Exchange building at the Victoria Street / Gordon Street corner in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, providing a one-stop shop for all things Ulster-Scots.

The Ulster-Scots Hub – for the Ulster-Scots Agency, the Ulster-Scots Community Network, the Ulster-Scots Language Society, the Ulster-Scots Library and Archive and the Ulster-Scots Academy Ministerial Advisory Group all now in the one building – is at 31 Gordon Street.

PHSI at Ulster-Scots HubThe Discover Ulster-Scots Centre, its public entrance on Victoria Street, has an exhibition area highlighting the many ways in which Ulster-Scots culture, history, heritage and language has shaped Ireland and the province of Ulster in particular. The exhibition covers various themes including the Hamilton/Montgomery settlement in North Down, the 1798 Rebellion, American Presidents with Ulster-Scots connections, and the arrival of Presbyterians in Ulster.

Details of a number of organisations with Ulster-Scots connections are on display including the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland.

Why not drop in to view the exhibition in the Discover Ulster-Scots Centre at the Corn Exchange, 1-9 Victoria Street, Belfast.

And there’s more…

The Ulster-Scot – January 2015 edition (PDF, 24MB)

Visit Belfast: Discover Ulster-Scots Centre

Cathedral Quarter – a visitor guide to its historic buildings (PDF, 5MB)


The Bush that Burned – New Edition of a Presbyterian Novel

by Lydia Mary Foster (Author), edited by Derek Rowlinson with an introduction by Dr Colin Walker. The Bush That BurnedThis novel is more than just the story of young Oliver Whiteside leaving the family farm in Co. Tyrone to study for the ministry.  It is an invaluable record of the essence of Irish Presbyterianism in day to day life as experienced by regular ministers and members of their congregations during the mid-19th Century.  It also provides a wealth of words and expressions used by the ordinary folk of that time which add great charm and humour to the book. First published in 1931, this third, annotated edition published in 2015, includes an Introduction by Dr Colin Walker, footnotes to the text, and a glossary of words and phrases to enhance the reader’s understanding and enjoyment of the work. A Kindle Edition is also available.



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