Sligo Centre of Mission
Sligo, County Sligo
The Sligo Centre of Mission is a partnership between Church Army and the Diocese of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh. In October 2021, Drumcliffe Centre of Mission was relaunched as Sligo Centre of Mission, reflecting a change of direction to better represent the vision of the project and the area which it serves on the west coast of Ireland.
A significant part of the work of the centre of mission is ReCentre Community Church, a fresh expression of church. Thanks to your support, on Sunday 3rd October 2021, ReCentre Community Church met for the first time for public worship with Bishop Ferran Glenfield sharing a service of blessing for ReCentre and the work of the centre of mission in the local area.
Alan Williamson, Lead Evangelist, writes “We have been working hard to get the building cleaned and decorated. This building has been secured through some generous Trust donations for the coming year. We would really appreciate prayers as we settle into our new home and listen to what Gods saying in the local community that we become good neighbours and serve the local community well as both a place of presence and a place of service.”
Historically, Mail Coach Road where ReCentre Community Church is situated was named after the mail delivery vehicle that brought news to Sligo in the 19th and early 20th century. It is the hope of the centre of mission that ReCentre Community Church will live up to the roads’ rich history and bring good news to the people of Sligo.
Alan Williamson Writes…
Our church meets in a shop front on a terraced street in an area designated as being of high social deprivation. It’s a vibrant local community. If we were in Northern Ireland, we could get a grant for being an interface area! (former area of violence during the troubles).
Drug dealers live close to our premises and their kids are often on the streets. They kind of tortured us at the beginning, but as we exercised kindness, we’ve started to build good relationships – some of the kids even come to our things now.
We’re quite small and we take time to make our gatherings as welcoming as they can be. We have some Ukrainian refugees attend our church. At first, we translated everything into Ukrainian but slowly realised that though they spoke Ukrainian, they mainly read Russian, and so we changed our slides into Russian and moved our own translation into the New Living Translation because there’s an NLT in Russian and we wanted everyone to be reading the same.
One of our ladies came to us through finding us on Facebook. She struggles a lot with her mental health and is heavily medicated. At first, she couldn’t even speak to us.
She has been coming now for three months, and about four weeks ago, she got to the point of talking with us and drinking tea; I think her meds have been reduced a tiny little bit, so she’s clearer. Recently, she even offered to do our reading, which she performed with gusto!
It’s now become a thing that she reads our bible passage, because it is obvious how much she enjoys doing so, and how it brings her alive.
WE KNOW THIS COMMUNITY IS BRINGING HER OUT OF HER SHELL AND HELPING HER RE-DISCOVER HERSELF AND WHAT SHE CAN DO.
Alan Williamson, Sligo Centre of Mission
• County Sligo has a population of 63,000, with the county town of Sligo accounting for 38,500 members of the population. 67 different languages are spoken in Sligo.
• Single parent households have doubled in the last 20 years.
• 28% of County Sligo’s population live alone.
• Sligo has experienced the fastest rate of urbanisation in Ireland across the last decade but most people live in rural areas.
• In the last 15 years, Sligo has seen a large increase in social deprivation, with 4 areas classed as “Very Deprived” and a further 31 “disadvantaged” areas.
• Social exclusion is experienced mostly by the unemployed, lone parents, new communities, Travellers, older people and people with disabilities.
• In Sligo, the population of Travellers aged 40+ decreases sharply compared to those 40+ in the overall population.
• Self-harm rates and psychiatric inpatient admissions are higher than the national average and are increasing faster than the national average also.
• Sligo has the third highest rates of treatment for alcohol misuse across Ireland.
Statistics courtesy of Sligo County Council.
Hannah O’Neill joins Sligo Centre of Mission
Hannah, pictured above, bottom right, is 31 years old, from East Belfast but for the last 4 years has been living and working in Craigavon as the Youth and Kids Pastor at Hope Church in Down and Dromore Diocese. In September she began training with Church Army and wholeheartedly believes in their vision “for everyone everywhere to encounter God’s love.
Hannah was previously in Kilmore diocese as the youth and Children’s co-ordinator and is very much looking forward to her return to KEA.
“Having grown up visiting Rosnowlagh every summer with family, South Donegal is my favourite place on earth. I am excited and expectant for the move to Bundoran and all God is unfolding through the Sligo Centre of Mission. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with old KEA friends and making new ones, and working together to build God’s Kingdom in the local area.”
Bishop Ferran Glenfield the Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh commented, “The Sligo Centre of Mission continues to thrive and we are delighted that Hannah O’Neill will be joining the leadership team in February. Hannah brings a passion for God and a deep desire for mission. “
Alan Williamson the Lead evangelist of the Sligo Centre of Mission commented, “I am so excited to welcome Hannah to the Sligo COM and the west of Ireland. Bundoran and North Leitrim is an area with many needs but much potential. I am looking forward to seeing God at work in and around Hannah.”
Isaac Hanna the Ministry Development Officer for Church Army in Ireland commented, “Hannah is the latest member of this growing and dynamic team, I am excited to see the next phase in this vital ministry. I wish her and the Centre of Mission every success.”
Support Hannah and the Sligo Centre of MissionDonate now
Type of Work
Church Planting /
Evangelists & Leaders
Alan Williamson, Lead Evangelist
Hannah O’Neill, Pioneer Evangelist
Diocese of Kilmore Elphin and Ardagh
The united dioceses of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh include parts of three Irish provinces: Ulster, Connacht and Leinster. The diocese of Kilmore covers most of County Cavan, north County Leitrim and small areas of the neighbouring counties of Fermanagh, Longford and Donegal. Elphin covers most of County Roscommon, north County Sligo and a small part of east Galway. Ardagh encompasses most of County Longford, the southern part of County Leitrim and a small area of County Westmeath.