The thirteen shields on the roof of the Church and Side Chapel are intended to represent various aspects of church life, and the church’s connection with the community. Thus eight of the shields have ecclesiastical connections, three have civil connections, one has an industrial connection and one a personal and family connection. The idea for the shields was conceived by the late Rev. Roy Cox who was inspired by seeing a similar set of shields on the roof of a church in England. They are believed to be unique in Northern Ireland, if not on the entire island. The shields were manufactured locally, and painted by a parishioner, Gweneth Moore. They were installed and dedicated in 1988.
The connections are as follows:
Ecclesiastical– the coats of arms of the five Northern Ireland dioceses of the Church of Ireland (i.e. Connor, Armagh, Down & Dromore, Clogher and Derry & Raphoe); the Royal School of Church Music; and the emblems of St. Bride and St. Patrick.
Civil – the coats of arms of the city of Belfast, and the former Boroughs of Newtownabbey and Antrim, all of which have or have had a bearing on church life. The Parish is now of course situated in the Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council area.
Industrial – the arms of the Guild of Weavers & Millers, representing Doagh’s long connection with spinning & weaving, and the linen trade. These industries had a substantial impact on the local community and parish, particularly in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Personal & Family – the coat of arms of the Glentoran Family. The family has a long and honourable connection to the church with the present Lord Glentoran and his wife living locally at Drumadarragh House.