This is a posting I made on another site which I thought might be useful to Rootschatters.
It attempts to explain the shifting CoI parishes within the Civil Parish of Shankill (Belfast). The parish name on civil records for all marriages etc in these churches will be "Shankill", but Church records will use the religious parish name (e.g. St Anne's or St Mark's) causing some confusion. It should also help trace likely churches to search if you know where your ancestors lived in Belfast. Remember until 1870 the CoI was the established church and many members of other religions can be found in their records.
"Shankill is the name of the civil parish in Co Antrim where the town of Belfast began. It covers the city centre and practically all the city west of the Lagan - east Belfast is mostly in the civil parishes of Knockbreda and Holywood. Other civil parishes within the urban area of Belfast are Carnmoney, Derryaghy, Drumbeg and Drumbo.
There is a separate civil parish in the Lurgan area of Co Armagh named Shankill which includes neighbouring parts of Co Down but is not connected to the Belfast Shankill.
St Anne’s Cathedral is the successor to the original parish church, which I understand was original located close to the old graveyard on the Shankill Road. The parish church moved to Donegall Street in the 1770s. St George’s church is the successor of a chapel under the jurisdiction of St Anne's parish which stood at the ford of Belfast in ancient times and became a separate church early in the development of the town, known as “the Corporation Church” as it was used for civic functions in the C17th and C18th. The old civil parish now contains 26 Church of Ireland parishes, several with more than 1 functioning church. The main church in each current parish is marked with an asterisk in the list below.
The Churches, with date of separation from the old parish of Shankill are as follows:-
* St Anne's Donegall St
1811 * St George's High St
1833 Christchurch College Sq North
1839 * St Mary Magdalene's Donegall Pass
1839 * St Matthew's Woodvale Rd
1843 * Holy Trinity Oldpark Rd formerly Clifton St
1851 * St Paul's York St
1856 * St Mark's Ligoniel Rd
1859 * St John the Baptist Stewartstown Rd
1863 St Luke's Northumberland St
1869 * St Stephen's Millfield
1870 St Andrew's Hope St
1870 * St Thomas's Lisburn Rd
1871 St James's Antrim Rd
1872 St Philip's Grosvenor Rd
1892 St Barnabas' Duncairn Gardens
1892 St Matthias's Glen Road
1894 * St John's Malone Rd
1895 St Aidans Blyth St
1898 * All Saints' University St
1898 * St Mary's Crumlin Rd
1899 * St Michael's Craven St
1900 * St Peter's Antrim Rd
1901 * St Nicholas's Lisburn Rd
1908 * St Colman’s Church Avenue, Dunmurry
1912 Holy Redeemer Riga St
1929 * St Bartholomew's Stranmillis Rd
1929 St Saviour's Wilton St
1929 * St Simon's Donegall Rd
1932 * St Polycarp's Lisburn Rd
1944 * St Katherine's Dunlambert Park
1958 St Silas's Cliftonville Rd
Bef 1961 * St John’s Shore Road
1961 * Epiphany Sicily Park
1962 * St Columba's Ballygomartin Rd
1963 Immanuel Ardoyne Rd
1963 St Ninian's Whitewell Rd
1964 * St Hilda’s Seymour Hill
1982 * St Andrew's Forth River Rd
Demographic shifts in Belfast since the start of “the troubles” have lead to the closure of several churches and the merging of some into grouped parishes. St Matthias’s became a Roman Catholic church after closing as a Church of Ireland in 1970. St Barnabas’s was merged with St Paul’s in 1992 and subsequently demolished. Christchurch merged with St Stephen’s and closed in 1993. The church has been converted into a library for the neighbouring Royal Belfast Academical Institution (“Inst”). St Silas’s also closed in the 1990’s and the parish was merged with Holy Trinity. The original Holy Trinity Church was destroyed in the Blitz in 1941 and rebuilt in it’s new location. Holy Redeemer closed in 1995 and this parish was merged with St Mary’s. The original St Andrew’s was on the site of the car park behind Great Victoria Street Railway station and closed before a new congregation was formed in Glencairn, bearing the same name but created out of part of the parish of St Mark’s. St Saviour’s merged with St Luke’s which closed in 2006 and is being converted into a cross community facility still under the Church of Ireland within the parish of St Stephen’s. St Philip’s merged with St Simon’s and is also closed.
All these parishes/churches are in the parish of Shankill for purposes of civil registration."