Opposite the Old School is the Parish Church of St Philip and St James. The overcrowding in the Old Priory Church in the late 1830s had forced the Church of Ireland to seek alternative accommodation and the decision was made to erect a completely new Parish Church here was taken in April 1842.
Charles Lanyon who was already undertaking a major Church building programme for the Diocese of Down, Connor & Dromore was appointed as the architect. The new Church was consecrated in 1844. However it also became too small for the rapidly expanding town and in 1869 it was enlarged by building a new nave and north aisle and converting the original structure into the south aisles That is why the tower and spire are at the end of what is now an aisle, instead of the more usual position at the end of the nave. If you walk round to the far side of the Church the difference between the original and the extension is clear to see.