History

The story of Newtownabbey Methodist Mission begins in 1898 under the name of North Belfast Mission. It was 10 years after Belfast received its charter as a city.  The population was growing quickly.  New industries were developing.  The port was expanding.  In many of the poorer households the men were either unskilled labourers or unemployed.  Their wives were mill workers and their wages were essential to keep the family out of the workhouse.  Rev William Maguire was appointed to the Frederick Street Circuit.  From the moment he arrived he was disturbed by the squalor, the poverty and the need that was evident everywhere.  His loving concern for people and his efforts to relieve their distress and to improve the social conditions in which they lived earned him the title “Daddy Maguire”.

Over the years superintendent ministers changed, local demands changed, programmes changed and in the late 1960s and the early 1970s great changes in the layout of Belfast were taking place.  Families had started to move from the York Street area and many were being re-housed in Rathcoole. The Mission also relocated to Rathcoole in June 1974 and eventually changed its name to Newtownabbey Methodist Mission.