‘You will be made most welcome’: Belfast’s small evangelical halls.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Despite a significant impact from Belfast’s history of conflict and division, and even from post peace process redevelopment, small streetside Christian worship halls exist, sometimes precariously, in a complex network across many parts of the city. With exteriors that are visually distinguished by their use of biblical text, their lack of ostentation, and, often, by their expediency, these buildings are overlooked as meaningful places. They are largely disregarded by architectural discourses and by the flourishing scholarship on evangelical culture in the region. Triangulating photographic evidence, maps and documentary sources, this paper focuses on exploring the ways in which the halls have interacted with transformations on the streets of Belfast. Considering how material changes relate to efforts to maintain and interpret 'sacred' space,1 whilst adapting to a changing environment and changing population patterns. The paper examines a set of three responses to change: halls that have remained, been reintegrated, or that have been displaced. The paper finds that the designs of mission hall exteriors have been responsive to changes on the city streets, displaying concerns with blending-in to daily life,2 visibility and scale, and reflecting wider changes in the permeability and accessibility of Belfast’s streets.3
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCity Street5, The time of streets: incisions, overlaps and rhythms
EditorsAlessia Allegri, Francesca Dal Cin, Luis Miguel Ginja, Sergio Barreiros Proença
Place of PublicationLosboa
Number of pages28
VolumeCity Street
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-53462-4-0
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 28 Feb 2024
EventCity Street - The time of Streets: incisions, overlaps and rhythms - Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 12 Oct 202214 Oct 2022


ConferenceCity Street - The time of Streets


  • evangelical architecture
  • design
  • building


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