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History

1697
Congregation founded 

1719
The church roof at Ballyclander collapsed

1720
The site at Ballee was found at the cost of 4 shillings

1721
The new church was built. No outside help was sought in the building of the church. Memel pine from the Baltic was used in the construction of the roof

1736
First renovation of the church including:

  1. the height of the walls increased and
  2. the thatched roof removed and replaced with a new slate roof


1783

Members of Ballycruttle R.C. church granted the use of Ballee Church while their church was being built. The Ballee congregation was presented with copper collection boxes in gratitude. They are still used to this day

Collection Boxes

1830
Minister and people withdrew from the synod of Ulster 

1837
Library opened for members and residents of the locality of Ballee 

1839
The day school was established

1878
Re-opening of school building following extensive alterations and repairs

1887
The Congregation decided to build a manse

1890
Substantial renovations were made to the church

1912
Re opening of church following more extensive work including:

  1. the rough hewn flagged floor replaced with one of patterned maple.
  2. new tinted glass windows which were set in Castlewellan granite
  3. the purchase of the manual pipe organ with a solid oak surround


Organ  Organ

1914

The Rev Bibby generously bought out the claim that the Irish Land Commissioners had on the 5 acres 1 rood and 15 perches of land. Thus the land is self contained and rent free forever

1920
Tennis and mixed hockey clubs inaugurated

1921
Club opened to non members

1922
Club pavilion opened

1923
Fund started to enable alterations and repairs to be undertaken to the National school

1936
Gas lighting system in the church dedicated

1944

  1. School transferred to Regional Committee and
  2. Register of burials compiled and graveyard mapped


1949

Joint ministry with Clough established

1954
Following repair works a re dedication of the church organ took place

1965
Electric installed in the church

1966
School closed

1971
250th Anniversary Service (church building)

1972
The organ fitted with an electric blower

1981
Joint ministry with Clough and Downpatrick established

1994
Elders ordained for the first time

1996
Extensive repairs to the church roof

1997
300th Anniversary Service (congregation)

2000
Re-dedication Service held following major repairs and alternations to the church hall including:

  1. new roof over kitchen and Sunday School room
  2. new ceiling in main section of hall
  3. kitchen re fitted and
  4. new toilets provided


2004

September 2004
A special anniversary was marked on Sunday 25th July in Ballee.
It was the 25th anniversary of the appointment of John Strain our organist. Since Sunday 25th July 1979 John has been playing the organ almost each and every Sunday. The anniversary service was a favourite hymn service with the hymns chosen by the congregation members. Rev Steers introduced each hymn with a few words about the hymn.
A presentation of a silver pocket watch was made to John by Rev Steers as an appreciation of his 25 years service