St John’s church has perhaps one of the loveliest settings in Ireland. It is situated on a rock overlooking the bay and harbour of Newcastle, and to the rear there is the breathtaking vista of Slieve Donard and the Mourne Mountains.

The church was opened in November 1832, having been erected and endowed by the third Earl Annesley. The Church of St John was originally built as a chapel-of-ease for the Parish of Kilcoo at a cost of £1500. The Rev. John Forbes Close A.M. was the first Rector.

The church was enlarged in 1876 and 1902. The Rectory in King Street was completed in 1901. An organ by Messrs Nicholson & Lord of Walsall, England, was installed in 1902 and the current Peal of 6 Bells installed by Taylors of Loughborough in 1979.

The church now benefits from a new Parochial Hall complex that opened in 2006.


St Colman’s church on Tullybrannigan Road, Newcastle was erected and opened in 1927. Originally built as a churchyard chapel-of-ease , St Colman’s occupies a special place in the hearts of many parishioners. An evening service is held in St Colman’s each Sunday. The parish graveyard adjoins St Colman’s.