Northern Ireland churches are listed for UK awards

Church of the Holy Trinity, Waringstown County Down. Photo: Michael CousinsChurch of the Holy Trinity, Waringstown County Down. Photo: Michael Cousins
Church of the Holy Trinity, Waringstown County Down. Photo: Michael Cousins
​Seven churches in Northern Ireland have been submitted to the finals of the United Kingdom's National Church awards.

​The awards are organised by the National Churches' Trust with different Christian faith denominations able to nominate their places of worship for consideration on the various aspects of architecture, maintenance, volunteering and tourism.

Claire Walker, chief executive of the National Churches' Trust, explains: "Churches have an amazing story to tell – from their beautiful buildings to the faithful volunteers who keep them open and serving everyone in need.

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"Through our research, we know that churches contribute £55billion towards economic and social good each year and reading through the submissions, it was clear that churches are active across the UK in using their buildings to bring communities together and to help them to thrive.”

Ms Walker adds: “The finalists for the National Church Awards show the innovative ways that churches can use their buildings to the benefit of all. All are shining examples of churches being open and welcoming and making a significant difference in their local communities.”

The Northern Ireland churches nominated are:

* Sinclair Seamen's Presbyterian,, Belfast for the tourism award.

* Christ Church (Church of Ireland), Londonderry for tourism and volunteering awards.

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* Roman Catholic church of the Immaculate Conception, Strabane for tourism award.

* St Bestius church, Termonamongan, Killeter, Co Tyrone (Church of Ireland) for volunteering award.

* St Mary's Roman Catholic, Altinure, Park, Co Londonderry for maintenance award.

* Killinchy Presbyterian, Co Down for maintenance award.

* Holy Trinity (Church of Ireland).,Waringstown, Co Down for maintenance award.

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Nina McNeary, Northern Ireland support officer for the UK National Churches' Trust, says: “It is great to see so many Northern Ireland churches listed as finalists in the awards. Last year, Northern Ireland won two awards and the overall church of the year award."

The awards' ceremony will be held on Monday November 6 at Mercers’ Hall, London with representatives of shortlisted churches invited.

The ceremony will be presented by actor Hugh Dennis and Canon Ann Easter, former chaplain to the late Queen Elizabeth II, with guest of honour,the Duke of Gloucester, vice-patron of the National Churches' Trust.

National Churches' Trust works in partnership with churches across the UK to keep them open and in use. Whether seeking quiet reflection, access to critical community services, a warm welcome, a place to worship, or a space to explore,

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The Trust says churches should be loved and supported, and available to all. Working together with Christian churches across all four nations, we help to maintain these wonderful historic buildings and keep them thriving.