Portaferry Methodist Church

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, first came to the Ards Peninsula in 1778 and visited Portaferry and Strangford. He returned in 1789 and preached to packed congregations in ‘a large meeting house’ in Portaferry.

Permission to build this modest stucco meeting house was given at the 1786 Methodist Conference and, with subscriptions from members and other subscribers, was built in 1788. In 1836 the church could hold 200 people.

From 1830-1870 a school was held here and pupils of all denominations attended. In 1904 the church interior was completely renewed in its present form. Twenty-two new pews were designed and six leaded light windows were installed. All work was carried out by the Beck family of Portaferry for the sum of £299. 5shs. The church was reroofed in 1910, at which time Rev. George Robinson was the Minister.

Portaferry Methodist Church

You are standing on Ferry Street, where some of the oldest houses in Portaferry are to be found. Across the road is a building that was the Royal Irish Constabulary barracks in the 19th century. For most of the 20th century it operated as the post office. Portaferry had been a Post Town from 1767 and from 1810 the postmark was Portaferry 101 – that being the number of miles from Dublin.

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