We witness to the gospel message of love, where all are welcome, regardless of colour, culture, creed or sexual orientation and who are supported on their journey of life.
St John’s Gospel chapter 13 vs 34-35
A new commandment I give you that you love one another;
even as I have loved you, that you should love one another.
By this shall everyone know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.
The Christ Church Cathedral Group of Parishes was formed in 1977 from a grouping of St. Andrew’s, St. Werburgh’s, St. Mary’s, St. Paul’s, St. Michan’s and All Saints’, Grangegorman. The churches are situated within the city boundaries of Dublin. The whole parish consists of an area from the Phoenix Park (Dublin Zoo) through Cabra, Phibsborough, O’Connell Street, Dame Street, along the quays to Heuston Station and across to the Phoenix Park.
Of the original six parish churches, three are still in regular use for worship:
All Saints’ Grangegorman
Church Street, Dublin 7
Werburgh St, Dublin 2
Phibsborough Rd, Dublin 7
The oldest parish church in the group, St. Michan’s was dedicated to a Danish saint and for 500 years was the only parish church on the north side of the Liffey. Most of the present building dates from 1685, with the exception of the 12th century tower. The church operates an active tourist ministry Mondays–Saturdays to welcome visitors who come to see the historic building and its crypts, the resting place of the Sheares brothers, heroes of the 1798 Rebellion. A service of Holy Communion takes place on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month at 10:00 am.
Built originally in the 12th century, St. Werburgh’s was totally rebuilt in 1719 and rebuilt again after a fire. It is without doubt one of Ireland’s finest Georgian churches and internationally renowned for its fine decoration and unspoilt interior. It is very much associated with the Irish rebellion of 1798, and its vaults contain the remains of Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Jonathan Swift and John Field were both baptised in the church. A service of Holy Communion takes place on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month at 10:00 am.
All Saints’ is the newest of the churches in the group. Built in 1829, the building was badly damaged by fire in 1966 and most recently underwent a major restoration in 2001. All Saints’ occupies an unusual place in the life of the Church of Ireland. It was the first church within the Church of Ireland to participate in the Catholic Revival movement, later known as the Tractarian Movement. This movement emphasised the importance of the sacraments, the liturgy and the doctrine of the Church. John Keeble and John Henry Newman were among those who wrote a series of tracts (hence the term Tractarian) which sought to reemphasise the Patristic and Catholic nature of the Church. An emphasis on the holiness of the Church and sacramental worship has characterised the liturgy and preaching in All Saints’ ever since. The service of Holy Communion takes place each Wednesday at 10:30 am and Sunday at 11:30 am. There is a service of Compline the last Sunday of the month at 7:00 pm.
For more information on the history of All Saints’ Grangegorman click here.
The current site and building date to 1862, following the destruction of an earlier church by fire. It was closed for worship on 20 November 1993. It now houses the Central Tourist Office.
St. Mary’s was designed by Thomas Burgh and built in 1697, taking its name from the medieval Abbey of St. Mary the ruins of which are in nearby Meeting House Lane. It closed for worship on 17 May 1981. It has been reopened as The Church, and is a popular restaurant and pub. St. Mary’s Chapel-of-Ease, locally known as the Black Church, was built in 1830, a design of Irish architect John Semple. The church was closed Easter Day in 1962 and the interior has been converted to office premises.
The parish of St. Paul’s was created in 1697 with a division of the parish of St. Michan’s. The current building dates to a reconstruction from 1821–24. Social decline in the area led to closure of the church on 22 September 1987. It was reopened in 1990 as an enterprise centre and operates now as the SPADE Centre.