UK’s first ever ‘bomb-proof' church opens in Northern Ireland

UK’s first ever ‘bomb-proof' church opens in Northern Ireland

A NEWLY-OPENED Presbyterian Sunday School in Northern Ireland is claiming to be the first of its kind in the UK.

Dungiven Presbyterian Church in Co. Derry bought the former police station, complete with a cell, from the PSNI for £175,000 last year.

The three-storey building is to be retained for church activities despite initial plans to turn it into a car park.

But parishioners believe they now own the only bomb-proof Sunday School in the UK, due to its reinforced walls owing from its past as a police station built during the height of the troubles.

"This was a real fortress, up in the roof there is six inches of reinforced concrete to protect against mortar attacks," church committee member Ian Buchanan told the BBC.

"The walls are three foot thick with reinforced concrete.

"Everything is reinforced to the highest degree to make it totally bomb-proof."

He added: "I think I can safely say we have the only bomb-proof Sunday School in the whole of the UK."

The church has spent more than £200,000 renovating the building – which is one of a number of police stations sold off by the PSNI in recent years.

Some of the children attending the Sunday school will be taught within what was once a cell for prisoners.

The building has been renamed 'The Station Presbyterian Church' and will be opened officially later this month.

Parishioners have carried out much of the renovations on the structure, which includes a new kitchen, elevator, crèche facilities, gym space and meeting rooms.