History



Whitechurch Parish is traced back to the 12th century, when it was under the oversight of St. Mary's Abbey. Today, the ruins of the old Whitechurch church stand about half a mile down the road from the present church and where two decorated and very rare slab crosses are found, probably dating from the 10th or 11th century.
In 1823, Whitechurch National School was established in the grounds of the present church. In 1827, a new church (the present church), officially titled 'New Whitechurch', was consecrated, blessed and opened for public worship by Archbishop William Magee, Archbishop of Dublin. The church's architect was John Semple, the architect of several churches in Dublin and some other towns in Leinster. The most notable features of Whitechurch - its slender graceful spire, the tall, thin lancet windows and very large internal thrust arches are very typical of Semple's work.

In succeeding years, a gallery (1834), a funeral door and chancel (1868) and a Vestry Room (1876) were added to the church.

In 1952 and in 1968, the parish undertook major repairs and extensive restoration works to the church.

The church's stained - glass windows include four windows linked to bible incidents concerning angels. One of these windows is the work of Joshua Clarke, the father of Harry Clarke and it commemorates those parishioners who died in World War 1.

In 1990, due to considerable expansion, a new National School was blessed by its then Patron Archbishop Donald Caird and officially opened by Mrs. Mary O'Rourke, the then Minister for Education, on a new site across the road from the church.

In 2007, and due to School's continuing development, a new School extension was built and subsequently blessed and officially opened by the then Patron, Archbishop John Neill. In 2016, a second School extension was added and built. This extension was officially opened by a very valued former Board of Management member, Mr. Stewart Paul, and blessed by the Patron, the most Rev. Dr. Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin.

The Old School was subsequently completely rebuilt and extended in 1999 and today serves as a very valued centre for parish and wider community activities and service. It was blessed by the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Rev. Walton Empey, at its official opening by him.

There are two organs in the church, both dating from the later end of the nineteenth century. The original organ, a two manual, tracker - action Browne (Dublin) pipe organ, remains in place. In 1993, due to increasing liturgical demands, the two manual Connacher (Huddersfield) organ from the redundant St. Mary's Church, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, was transported, restored and re-built in Whitechurch, on a now extended gallery. A quite key figure in this whole project was the parish organist of the time, Stephen Adams, who is himself a noted organ - builder by profession.

In 2002/2003, a further major church restoration took place. The whole church was re-roofed, the gutters were replaced and pointing was replaced on the tower and spire. The bell headstock was also renewed.

A major and overdue internal restoration of the church was successfully undertaken in 2006. This has resulted in the fresh and very attractive features of the church interior which can now be viewed on the introductory page of our Website.

In 2008, part of the church boundary wall collapsed on to Whitechurch Road. Following professional advice, there was no option but to re-build the entire boundary wall. This major project was completed in 2010.

In 2014, a major re0building nad refurbishment of The Stables (1823) was undertaken and completed. This new facility was blessed and officially opened by the Most Rev. Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin. Like the Old Schools(1823), both it and The Stables are valuable, restored facilities for serving the needs of both the parish and the wider community.


Local publications produced by Whitechurch Parish include:

  • Behind the Scenes' (the story of the Whitechurch district in south county Dublin) by Ernest Shepherd (1983). It is now out of print, though it is available in some public libraries, and also the Representative Church Body Library, Braemor Park, Churchtown, Dublin 14.


  • Old Schools (1823) 'Souvenir Brochure 1999', the story of Whitechurch Old Schools, 1823 - 1990 ( available in R.C.B. Library).
  • People and Steeple' brochure (Whitechurch 175 years), Editor, Patrick Comerford (copies are still available at parish office and also in the R.C.B. Library).
  • 'A School Story - some reflections on Whitechurch N.S., 1823-2016', written by Canon Horace McKinley. (available in parish office and R.C.B. Library).
  • In addition, some very old record books (accounts, attendance) of Whitechurch National School for the period 1827 - 1841 are on permanaent loan in the records of the Church of Ireland College of Education, c/o Church of Ireland Centre, under auspices of Dublin City University (D.C.U.).

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