The Old Town Community

letterfinlay view

The ‘Old Town’ is the old name for a small clachan in Ballydugan, just outside Downpatrick. The site consists of a 90 acre farm in a beautiful setting at the edge of Ballydugan lake with views of the Mourne mountains. There are three cottages which are rated as four star by the Tourist Board; Letterfinlay, a large three-bedroom house; and an old stone walled barn which has been renovated for use as a multi-purpose space.

As the Old Town Community we are seeking to live a life of faithful Christian discipleship. Alone and together as the Old Town Community

  • we tend the garden: we care for and cultivate the land around the Old Town; cooperating with God in the vegetable garden and experiencing his abundance; believing that the simplicity of manual work and connection with creation are restorative and healing, bringing us into contact with God
  • we open the home: creating and holding a place of safety, security, welcome, acceptance and hospitality; this space includes the buildings and houses (our own homes, Letterfinlay, the cottages and the barn); it is a space where life is shared; a space where the life of faith is learned through sharing and imperfect modelling
  • we pray: seeking growth in our relationship with God as ‘the one thing necessary’; not that we pray more than others or deeper than others, but that we see the relationship with God through prayer as at the heart of everything; we draw from and learn from traditions of prayer throughout church history, seeking an authentic way of life in current context.

We are seeking to live by some core values:

  • prayer
  • hospitality

  • sustainable simplicity

  • loving-kindness

  • a concern for, and connection with, God’s creation, especially the Ballydugan area

There is a core community, made up of people who live within, or close to, Ballydugan. Others are part of the community by attending our ‘Community at the Weekend’, The Settling or helping out in the community garden (see ‘Our community‘ page).