When anyone asks where St Michael’s church is, your answer is Shankill Road. They haven’t seen it. That’s because it’s at the top of Cravan Street. The church was build among the congregation. People lived beside the church. It was the heart of the community.
In June 1893 a few people gathered in the Deacon Memorial Hall. McTier Street to worship God, also to form a new parish. The Parish was founded first as a mission District out of the parishes of Trinity off Clifton Street and St Mary’s Crumlin Road.
The Rev Richard Ussher Greer was appointed Curate – in change. A committee was formed to oversee the running of the we parish. So they began with a congregation of 24. Within three months the numbers had grown to 265 in the morning and 370 in the evening. A petition was sent to the Bishop of the Diocise requesting he take action as may be necessary to provide a new Church for this Parish, as McTier Street had become too small. It is a name well known how the Parish got the name of St Michael’s but it is a name well known throughout N.Ireland and further afield. St Michael’s needed to sit to build a church.
In September 1897 plans were drown up for the new Church. On 4th March 1899 the foundation stone was laid. On 4th November 1899 the Church was consecrated for worship. In April 1908 the general vestry was informed that the debt of the church had been cleared. The congregation had grown in to 500 in the morning and 700 in the evening.
Many things have changed over the past 120 yrs. houses had been pulled down and people have moved out of the area, St Michael’s is still there. New halls built around the church can accommodate lots of activities. There is always a friendly welcome, there is lots of room for everyone. God wants everyone to come to Him. It says at the front of St Michael’s ‘Ye are all one in Christ Jesus’
The Rev Ussher Greer first Rector of St Michael’s was attributed with saying:
“I’ll bring you and you’ll bring me and we two will bring another and they will bring another and fill St Michael’s Church.”
Jesus says come unto Him.