A warm welcome from the church family at St Aidan’s.
We are committed to serving God in this community, which comprises the Sandy Row and lower Donegall Road areas, reaching out in love and acceptance to all. Smaller numbers and financial restraints are simply opportunities for us to seek God’s guidance for the future.
In September 2016 the parish launched a Strategic Plan outlining aims and objectives for the next few years. The plan was developed with the assistance of Mr Trevor Douglas, the Diocesan Development Officer. During the course of several meetings, the mission of the church was identified as
‘Enabling People to find a living faith in a loving God’, with the continuing aim of ‘Serving Christ in the Community’. Full details of the Strategic Plan are available elsewhere under a separate heading.
We hope the information in this web site will encourage and inspire you to join us for worship where you can be assured of a warm welcome. Prayer is very much at the heart of our ministry and we invite you to pray with us for wisdom as we look to the future together.
We would love to hear from you – please use the details on the contacts page to get in touch. We also have a parish prayer line where you may leave a confidential prayer request – 07553 404711
We are part of the Church of Ireland and the greater Anglican Communion. Like most churches within inner city Belfast, our numbers are small, but our service to the worship of God is bigger and stronger than our small numbers may suggest. Located within Sandy Row we have one of the biggest and most challenging mission fields within the church and our response is stated in our aim: ‘Serving Christ in the Community’.
St Aidan’s was formed in 1893 with the present church building (in Blythe Street) completed in 1895, when the Rev Northridge formed the parish to meet the increasing number of people living in Sandy Row. In fact when the parish was formed there were over 10,000 people living within its boundary, with over 1000 children enrolled in the church Sunday school in the early 1920s.
The current church hall was purchased in 1898; adapted to its present layout in the 1940s, and has been used by all parish organisations ever since.
In the 1980s, the parish Thrift Shop was set up in the church hall to assist those in need by recycling furniture and clothing. Over the years proceeds from the Thrift Shop have been used to help the community and raise funds for the parish, helping with renovations of both the hall and church, and paying transportation costs for parish organisations.
While Sandy Row and the houses may have changed, St Aidan’s has been a constant, serving the community through two world wars, depressions, redevelopment and ‘the troubles’. We may no longer have large numbers, but we continue to serve the same community with similar issues, showing that although the times may have changed, sadly the need is still there.
We have much to learn from the past which we celebrate – but the content of this website also gives a picture of the present and our vision for the future.
St Aidan’s holds a special place in the lives of people in the local community.
A new generation is now making its own memories - the church hall is a hive of activity on Friday evenings for GB, and once a month for Messy Church. Mothers’ Union, Bowls and the Bible Study group all provide opportunities to share and grow together. The Mission Team meets regularly to pray and explore ways of engaging with the community. The Thrift Shop has been providing a service to the community for many years and recently we have partnered with South Belfast Community Food Bank. Life within the parish boundary may be different in many respects but the challenges of daily life are not so very different. People still struggle to find meaning and hope as they cope with unemployment, illness, grief or broken relationships.
The Church’s role is unchanging - to bear witness to the hope which we find in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, to be his hands and feet reaching out in love to those in need.