Skip to main content

This news post is more than 2 years old

12 February 1922: The Nicholson Revival

Read Andrew R. Holmes’s essay on ‘Popular Protestantism in Belfast’ on Century Ireland.

Ireland 1922, edited by Darragh Gannon and Fearghal McGarry, features 50 essays from leading international scholars that explore a turning point in history, one whose legacy remains controversial a century on. Building on their own expertise, and on the wealth of recent scholarship provoked by the Decade of Centenaries, each contributor focuses on one event that illuminates a key aspect of revolutionary Ireland, demonstrating how the events of this year would shape the new states established in 1922. Together, these essays explore many of the key issues and debates of a year that transformed Ireland.

In collaboration with Century Ireland, we are making the 50 essays freely available online. Today’s essay is by Andrew R. Holmes and it covers evangelistic mission that began in the Shankill Road area of west Belfast on 12 February 1922:

“Against the backdrop of sectarian violence, economic depression and attempts to consolidate the new state of Northern Ireland, an evangelistic mission began in the Shankill Road area of west Belfast on 12 February 1922. At the end of the first week, The Witness, the Presbyterian newspaper of record, reported overcrowded venues and that ‘Large numbers’ had ‘entered definitely into a new relationship with God’. The lively meetings were a welcome challenge to ‘the dull, prosaic, ordinary services’ that were said to have deterred the working classes from attending church. The success of the mission led to rejoicing among ‘the people in Ulster who love the Lord’ and who were ‘looking with wistful longing to a similar visitation in the districts where they live’. The Witness concluded that the gospel was ‘still the Divine dynamite to change men and women, and to bring in the brighter and the better day which multitudes of hungry hearts are longing…It would be a terrible thing if our want of faith or our prayer should hinder the rising tide of God’s boundless grace from visiting the stricken land of Ireland.'” Continue reading (you will be redirected to the website of Century Ireland)

Ireland 1922, edited by Darragh Gannon and Fearghal McGarry, is published by the Royal Irish Academy with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 programme.


Ireland 1922