Our History

St Columba’s parish was created in 1963 from the adjoining parishes of Lisburn Cathedral, Lambeg and Derriaghy. The first Rector was the Rev. (now Canon) Bertram Livingston, previously rector in charge of five churches in Co. Monaghan. When he came to Lisburn, there was neither a church, nor land available for it. His home was used for Sunday School and a Bible Class and in January 1964, Sunday services and Sunday School commenced in a vacant shop on the Moss Road. In May of that year, a hut was built by parishioners to be used until a church could be built to cater for the needs of people moving into the area of Derriaghy, Lambeg and Lisburn.

Plans were prepared, and work commenced on the new church/hall in October 1965. The foundation stone was laid on 11th December 1965 by Sir Ivan Ewart. The new building was dedicated by the Bishop of Connor, the Rt. Rev. R. C. H. Elliott, on 10th September 1966. Also taking part were the Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev. C. I. Peacocke, and the Archdeacon of Connor, the Ven. John Mercer. The sermon was preached by the Ven. W. L. M. Giff, Archdeacon of Meath. The cost of the new building with furnishings was £23,500. The parishioners contributed £6,500, and the Connor Church Extension Fund gave £7,000. A loan of £10,000 was obtained from the R.C.B. The pulpit and prayer desk came from a church in Eire, which had been closed, and a number of gifts were presented by parishioners.

St. Columba’s achieved full parish status in January 1978. In 1979 Canon Livingston was succeeded by the late Canon Noel Wilkinson, who continued the work of expansion of the parish and its activities into the wider community. Canon Wilkinson was well respected as a talented musician, particularly in church circles. During his Incumbency, parishioner Jack Hassard was commissioned Diocesan Reader on 20th November 1980. On Canon Wilkinson’s retirement, Rev. Chris Pollock was appointed Rector on 15th October 1993. Rev. Donna Quigley, was instituted on All Saints Day, 1st November 2004. Dorothy Jackson was commissioned Parish Reader on Sunday 4th June 2006. Emma Fleming was commissioned Parish Reader on Sunday 17th May 2009. Interim Ministers, Rev. John Dinnen and Rev. Don Gamble from January 2010.  Stephen McElhinney, our current minister, was commissioned in September 2011, and has been a great part of the church’s growth.