History of May Street Church
May Street Presbyterian Church is well on its way to celebrating 200 years of continuous worship and prayer. The church was opened on the site of a former millpond used by Cromac Paper Mill at Joy’s Dam in 1829 on the periphery of Georgian Belfast. Over the years, the city has grown up around the church which now finds itself in a pivotal position in the city centre.
The church was a building of its time, a hall church built in the Greek revival style with its distinctive Ionic columns at the top of stone steps. It is recognised for its architectural excellence and is a Grade II listing building. It is one of the few Georgian buildings in Belfast still being used for its original purpose.
When it was opened May Street’s sanctuary was packed to the doors Sunday by Sunday as crowds of worshippers thronged in to hear Dr Henry Cooke, the legendary Presbyterian reforming preacher. He is the subject of the famous Black Man statue in College Square East in the city centre.
Generations change but the church’s vision is the same today as it was in 1829 – to reach out to the wider community and to act as a catalyst in the economic, spiritual, social and cultural renewal of Belfast by supporting and engaging with people in community, commerce and crisis.
- About us in a nutshell
- We hold a traditional Sunday service each week, starting at 11am, and a lunchtime service on Thursdays, starting at 1.05am. On Sundays, our hall plays host to a lunch for the homeless. At weekends, May Street’s Urban Soul provides an operational base for Street Pastors, who go out to various nightspots to help keep young people out of harm’s way at weekends.