St Mary’s Parish Church, Ballybeen invests half a million with support from Ulster Bank

St Mary’s Parish Church, based in the heart of loyalist Ballybeen just outside Belfast, has invested more than a half million pounds as part of a major refurbishment programme with support from the Ulster Bank.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 11:40 am

The investment enables St Mary’s to meet church needs and that of the wider community through outreach programmes it facilitates and in its vital work as Castlereagh council-backed Covid response relief centre for Dundonald/Ballygowan communities.

Church treasurer David Manning confirms: “Essential to the delivery of church and community services in a modern ministry is modern facilities that adequately support our work. The pandemic shows the importance of having access to support networks in our communities.”

Keith Thompson, Ulster Bank business development manager, said the bank was pleased to fund a package enabling the St Mary’s team to progress with its redevelopment programme.

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St Mary’s, Ballybeen runs a range of support and outreach ministries and programmes for the local community, including an ‘over- 60s’ lunch club, boys’ and girls’ brigades, a parent and toddler group and junior youth club.

During the pandemic it became the area’s response relief centre and has facilitated delivery of almost 1,400 food parcels, 700 meals and 500 meat parcels to vulnerable members of the community. At Easter it distributed 107 afternoon tea boxes to seniors and the most vulnerable in the church community and 180 pizza boxes to children and young people.