Spa Presbyterian Church
Ballynahinch County Down

BT24 8YY

Who we are

Spa Presbyterian Church welcomes Christians and those who seek to connect to Christianity in the Ballynahinch area.

We aim to make contact with and encourage others to join us in our life-changing Christian journey.

We are a friendly Christian community where we welcome others to join us in our worship and service to God.

Our vision is to make an impact for God, here in Ballynahinch, County Down by helping people understand the enriching messages of eternal hope given to us by Jesus Christ through His words and deeds.

Everyone is welcome, no matter your age, beliefs, or background. Come just as you are - we'd love to get to know you better.

Church Address

Spa Presbyterian Church
70 Spa Road
Ballynahinch, County Down BT24 8YY
United Kingdom
Phone: 028 97562639
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Church Pastor

Rev David Hyndman
Rev David Hyndman
70 Spa Road
Ballynahinch, County Down BT24 8YY
United Kingdom
Phone: 028 97563208
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Quote of the Day
Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.




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Rev David Hyndman   Edit
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Margaret Broome   Edit
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70 Spa Road, Ballynahinch, County Down
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Spa Presbyterian Church Ballynahinch Service Times

Spa Sunday Service 10:00am

On Sunday's we come together as a church family to worship our Saviour at 10:00 am at Spa and 11:30 am at Magherahamlet. Our children join with us for the first part of the service which is specifically geared toward their understanding. Children then leave for their own time of ministry in Sunday School. Creche facilities are available from the start of the service.


The Sacrament of the LORD'S SUPPER is observed on the 1st Sunday in January, the 2nd Sunday in May and the 1st Sunday in November.

Service Times last updated on the 20th of November, 2020
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Spa Youth Group

We meet together on Sunday mornings and all young people who are secondary school age are very welcome to come along!

We go to Church to worship with the whole congregation for the first half of the service, and then we move to the Arnold Hall for Bible Study, discussion, prayer and some fun!

On the last Sunday of each month we meet together for breakfast before Church at 9:30am in the Arnold Hall.   Edit

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Office open on Friday mornings from 9:30am to 1:30pm   Edit

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History of Spa Presbyterian Church Ballynahinch

A Brief History of Spa Church

The middle years of the 19th century saw the brightest period of the fame of The Spa as a fashionable health resort. For 200 years the valuable properties of the waters had been known and appreciated by local people but now it was patronised by the wealthy classes throughout Ulster.

Among the patrons in the 1860's was Mr James Robert McQuiston, a prominent Belfast merchant and a keen churchman. Feeling the want of a meeting house for both visitors and the Inhabitants of the district, he decided to provide one and his spontaneous generosity led to the building of our church. The foundation stone was laid on July 27th, 1871 by the Rev. David Edgar and the sermon preached by the Rev. Dr. Morgan. The building was designed by Messrs. Young MacKenzie of Belfast and built by Mr. John Russell of Newcastle.

On July 16th, 1872, the new meeting house was dedicated and opened by the Right Rev. William Johnston, the Moderator of the General Assembly. On the following Sunday, the Spa Sabbath School commenced its work, the officiating ministers being the Rev. John Davis of 3rd Ballynahinch and the Rev. Mr Law, U.S.A.

On Sunday July 28th, morning and evening services were conducted by the Rev. Mr. Woods of Ballygowan and for the next two years the congregation at the Spa was ministered to by the members of the Comber Presbytery and other visiting ministers. The minister of 1st Ballynahinch Church, the Rev. John McIlveen, officiated at the first baptism in the Church in 1872 of John Robert McQuiston McCoubrie, son of William Bell McCoubrie of Mount Pleasant and Annie, his wife.

The congregation was officially recognised and given leave to call a minister on December 11th 1873 and Mr William Wilson of Belfast was ordained on May 5th 1874. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was celebrated in the Spa Church for the first time on October 25th 1874 when 120 communicants participated. Mr. Wilson's ministry continued until the summer of 1879 when he accepted a call from a congregation in Ayrshire. The Manse was built during his ministry.

Mr. Wilson's successor, Mr James Knowles of Ballymena, was ordained at the Spa on December 30th 1879 and ministered here until April 21st 1895 leaving to take up work in Church Extension and to gather a .congregation and build a Church at Castleton, York Road, Belfast.

The third minister was the Rev. John McAdam, B,A" ordained on October 8th 1895. Mr McAdam remained in the Spa for a long and faithful ministry, resigning in May 1925 to facilitate the union of the congregation with Magherahamlet. Among many improvements to the property during his time were the installation of central heating to replace the two oil stoves of earlier years and the enclosure of the grounds with wall and railing. At the time of the union the congregation of Spa was transferred to the Presbytery of Down.

The first minister of the joint charge was the Rev. S. D. McKee, B.A., minister of Caledon and Minterburn in the Clog her Valley. He was installed here on October 14th 1925 and is re- membered by all who knew him with great affection and respect. The first recorded ordination of elders took place on July 19th 1926 when the following were ordained:- William Brown, Richard H. Cromie, Louden McCoubrie, Arthur W. McCoubrie, and Arthur W. Moss.

In 1928 electric lighting was installed, and on January 12th 1930, dedication services were held to mark 'improvements to the Church building which included the provision of a choir room and vestry. Mr McKee's ministry in Spa and Magherahamlet continued until his death 'on August 2nd 1945, after an illness of several months borne with courage and serenity.

The Rev. J. Munce Drennan, RA., was 'ordained as Mr. McKee's successor on 1st February 1946 and remained here until May 1955 when he accepted a call to Norwood, Ontario. In 1951 Mr Drennan produced a short and valuable history of the congregation since its 'inception. During this time the Arnold Hall, built through the benefaction of a former member, Mr John A. Arnold of Los Angeles, was opened in October 1954. Mr Drennan's ministry is remembered with gratitude and there was deep sorrow at his death in June 1967.

The sixth minister of the Spa was the Rev. C. D. Adams, BA, formerly of Smithborough and Scots town, Co. Monaghan who was installed on October 12th 1955. In 1964 modifications and alterations were carried out to the front of' the church and many gifts were presented and a pipe organ installed. The Rev. C.D. Adams retired in 1985 after 30 years of faithful ministry to Ballywalter with his wife Anne and died peacefully at home on 12th August 2007.

His successor, Rev John Loughran Keenan was ordained in 1986 having worked for many years in the teaching profession before entering the ministry. He served his assistantship in First Comber before being installed as minister of Spa and Magherahamlet in 1987. During his time in the congregation Rev Keenan put his teaching experience to good use, and was committed to the youth and children’s ministry. During his ministry the Arnold hall was extended and modernised. Re-opening in January 2000. The congregations were greatly saddened by the Rev Keenan’s sudden death on 19th February 2005 just a few years short of retirement. His death was followed by a vacancy which lasted 2 years until the appointment of the current minister Rev. David Hyndman.

Completing a brief History of the congregation at Spa in 1981 Rev Adams had commented:

“Faithful men and women have served in this congregation for 100 years, many long since have left this life, some so deeply mourned more recently.

The work begun in Jesus' name 100 years ago is carried on today by others. The old pastures are still being tended and new fields opened. We must all show our thankfulness for the heritage into which we have entered by increasing our awareness of new opportunities for serving our Lord and our fellow men.

We echo the words of an 'old hymn and say:-

"We love the venerable house Our fathers built to God In heaven are kept their grateful vows, Their dust endears the sod. They live with God, their homes are dust, Yet here their children pray And in this fleeting life-time trust To find the narrow way."

And so the history of our congregation began and has continued for 100 years. Let us remember and give thanks.

Let us worship and pray and work that those who follow us may enter into an even richer and fuller heritage and that, recalling the words of the Moderator of 1872, referring •to Mr. McQuiston at the Opening Service, "May the Church cause his name to be valued and blessed in the grateful regard of generations yet unborn who shall in this building eat of the Living Bread and drink of the Living Water and be fitted by the Spirit and Grace of God to shine in the beauty of holiness and to show forth the praises of Him who has called them out or darkness into His marvellous light."

A Brief History of Magherahamlet Church

On the nineteenth of June 1826 the foundation of the meeting-house situated in the townland of Drumgavelin, Parish of Magherahamlet, and Barony of Kinelarty, in the county of Down, was laid by Robert McIlwaine of Drumgavelin, The walls of it, fifty feet long by twenty four wide and fifteen feet in height raised by him on his own ground and at his own expense for the Congregation, who roofed it with a substantial slate roof and opened for public worship on the twelfth of October 1828. In the interval from the commencement of preaching to the opening of the meeting-house, preaching was held in the school house adjoining, which was also built by the same above-named benevolent individual at his own expense for the benefit of the young and rising generation.” This is the first written account of the building of our meeting –house, the name Magherahamlet means “the plague burying ground”. The first minister was the Rev Thomas Clarke who was installed on May 24th 1831, died on June 9th 1861 and was succeeded by Rev John White who was installed on 31st December 1861. Rev White resigned and returned to his home in Scotland to be succeeded by Rev Henry McMeekin who was installed on 2nd December 1862 and remained until his resignation on 13th April 1874. During his ministry the manse was built and occupied. His final sermon was on 19th April after which he left for mission work in Canada. The next minister was Mr Alexander Whitely from 14th July 1874 to 4th September 1877, followed by Rev D.S.K. Coulter from 5th December 1878 to 7th July 1885, who was succeeded by Rev William Carse from 24th November 1885 to 1911, during which time the Teacher’s residence was built. The next minister was Rev J.H. Coulter who resigned in 1924, having served as a Chaplain to the Forces during the Great War, after Rev Coulter’s resignation Magherahamlet formally joined with Spa and was transferred from the Presbytery of Comber to that of Down. A new chapter for Magherahamlet began with the installation of Rev Samuel McKee on 14th October 1925 under a joint charge with Spa. He served the Church well throughout the years which included the Second World War, dying on 2nd August 1945. His successor was Rev J. Munce Drennan who was ordained on 1st February 1946 and served until receiving a call to Canada in April 1955.

Rev C.D. Adams was installed on 12th October 1955 and completed 30years of faithful service. During his ministry the church flourished and established even stronger links with the local community. The church was kept well maintained, a new car park built and also a new hall, opened on 15th May 1983, which has greatly enhanced the work of the church. He continued his ministry until retirement in September 1985 but maintained strong links with Magherahamlet as Minister Emeritus until his death on 12th August 2007. His wife Anne, who supported his work in every way, kept those links until her death in May 2011, both are very greatly missed. Rev John Keenan answered a call and was installed on 16th April 1987; Magherahamlet continued to thrive under his dedicated leadership until his untimely and sudden death on 19th February 2005. The congregation was in shock after his death but, as with most families, they drew closer together and, despite quite a long vacancy, maintained the status quo. Rev David Hyndman was installed on 20th April 2007 and continues to be a faithful and inspirational minister to us; we pray that this may continue for many years.

In 2011 we celebrated our 180th anniversary with a wonderful weekend of reminiscing and looking forward. It ended with a special service when most of the congregation dressed in clothes from a bygone age. Our photos show Rev Hyndman with his wife Deborah and daughters Imogen and Lois dressed for the occasion, Kirk Session Ian Wallace, David Whan, Clerk of Session, Rev Hyndman, David Barr and Leslie Broome and a section of the congregation at the front door of the Church (this door is dedicated to the memory of the late Lord Brian Faulkner, last Prime Minister of Northern Ireland who worshipped in Magherahamlet and is buried in the graveyard).   Edit

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The power of Christian prayer Love me, Lord, just for today
Lord, for tomorrow and its needs, I do not pray; Keep me, my God, from stain of sin just for today. Let me both diligently work, And duly pray. Let me be kind in word and deed, Just for today. Let me be slow to do my will, Prompt to obey; Help me to sacrifice myself Just for today. And if today my tide of life should ebb away, Give me thy sacraments divine, Sweet Lord today. So for tomorrow and its needs I do not pray, But keep me, guide me, love me, Lord, Just for today.
This page was last updated on the 20th of November, 2020
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