Sadness and hope as Finglas church to be replaced

by Dublin Gazette
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One of the city’s largest Catholic churches, in Finglas, is set to undergo a major downgrade, hosting its final mass in the current building on Sunday, October 7.

The Church of Annunciation in Finglas will undergo a massive downscale, taking the maximum congregation size from 3,500 people to 350.

The current church is set to be demolished and replaced with a much smaller one.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is set to celebrate the current church’s final mass on October 7 at 11am, according to an announcement made by the church on its Facebook page last Sunday.

The church is set to close its doors after years of falling attendances, with structural problems also affecting ‘The Annunciation’.

During ‘the Beast from the East’ storm earlier this year, church events were forced to be moved to a local primary school or other areas in the parish due to the weather’s impact on the building and its poor infrastructure.

An announcement was made by the church in early 2017 on the fate of the current building, which garnered mixed reaction from parishioners.

While many mourned the future loss of the well-known building, the church said that the parishioners’ reaction was mostly in favour of a smaller church on the existing lands.

Plans for the remaining land following the rebuild of the new, smaller church are as yet unconfirmed; however, the church has previously said that a pastoral centre and storage space for the parish would be provided on the grounds.

Speaking at the time of the initial announcement, The Annunciation said: “We look to the future with hope and to those who continue to practice their faith we will work tirelessly to ensure that our new church is a welcoming and nurturing environment of faith for you and your families.

“A church is its people, not bricks and mortar.”

Many parishioners remarked of fond memories from their childhood spent around the church, with many saying that the current building will be missed.

Karen Murphy said: “I am very sad to see this go. It’s always been a place steeped in childhood and family memories.

“I don’t mind admitting that on many a trip back to Finglas I’d drop in because after many years in England it made those memories feel closer. Sad time for Finglas – end of an era.”

Lorraine Agnew Martin said: “I was married there 43 years ago on the sixth of this month. Sad to see it go, but it’s in a very poor state and after the cold of last winter we couldn’t have another winter there.”

The Annunciation said that it “has been discussed” that the land may be used for a senior citizens complex, like that of the Blood Church in Cabra, but that the decision is ultimately up to “the diocese and the developers, further down the road”.

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