• Martin Wickens

Prayer Focus - Lisburn

Updated: Oct 16, 2018

Population: 120,165


Introduction: 

Lisburn, the 4th biggest city in Northern Ireland, lies about 8 miles southeast of Belfast. Over 130 churches meet in Lisburn.

Average Summer Temperature: 16c/60f

Typical Annual Rainfall: 900mm/25 inches, with at least 1mm falling 154 days of the year.


Spiritual Need: 

We can fall into the trap of considering a town such as Lisburn so covered in churches that it no longer feels a great need for the Gospel and for prayer. However, it is often the case that the most religious people are still lost and in some cases harder to win to the Lord. Lisburn has a great advantage over many other places in that it has a strong Gospel witness, but there is still a great need to pray for this town.


History

Formerly known as Lisnagarvey, the town of Lisburn lies on the east side of Northern Ireland. The name changed when the English, Scots, and Welsh settled in the area in the 1620’s.

The original name is derived from the Irish, Lios na gCearrbhach, or “Ringfort of the gamesters/gamblers”.

The castle these settlers built was besieged and destroyed by the local Irish in 1641, along with most of the town.

Despite a troubled start to the century, by the end of the 1600’s Lisburn was a thriving manufacturing centre. The English government had invited Huguenot refugees to settle in the area in 1698. They brought with them Dutch looms and bolstered the linen industry. This led to Lisburn becoming a centre for linen manufacturing in the United Kingdom.


The Huguenots came to Ireland as a part of the army of William of Orange when he fought against King James II.


Due to a large number of Huguenot settlers, Lisburn had a congregation, minister, and church which held services in French. The only Northern Irish town to do so.


Many disturbances erupted in Lisburn during the Irish War of Independence in the 1920’s. At this time almost all Catholic businesses were destroyed and the local Catholics fled the town.


During the Cold War Lisburn was the HQ of No. 31 Belfast Group Royal Observer Corps. Among other things, they were responsible for the four-minute warning in the event of a nuclear attack against the UK.