Churches: Findlater's Church, Dublin

By 1864, growing numbers made a larger building necessary. The congregation acquired a site on what was then Rutland Square, and took the 'Abbey' name with them. A prospering grocer and wine merchant, Alexander Findlater (1797-1873), whose shops were prominent in O'Connell Street and Rathmines into the 1970s, paid for the Gothic revival church building. Dubliners called it "Findlater's Church". A large memorial window containing texts from the Beatitudes, on an ornamental background, was erected to him by the grateful congregation. His portrait hangs in the small tower. The family still run a successful wine-distributing business in Ireland.

Designed in the early English style by Andrew Heiton of Perth, it is built of Dalkey granite and dressed with Portland stone. Its lofty, slender spire stands high over Parnell Square. Inside there is a great sense of space and light. The organ is one of the largest in Dublin with over 2,000 pipes. It takes a central position rising up behind the chancel and communion table, to reach the rose window. The large oak pulpit, on the left, reflects the importance of preaching and scripture in the Presbyterian tradition.

A vibrant congregation, about half of them "New Irish" from Nigeria, Europe and the Far East, holds service at 11am on Sunday mornings. A neat hospitality space holds refreshments after the service. On Sunday afternoon, three other groups hold separate services: the Romanian Bethel Church, French-speaking Pentecostals and English-speaking Pentecostals. During the week, the building hosts a range of social activities – a day nursery, an employment resource centre (Dolebusters), drama and music groups and adult education events.

Paddy Duffy

Abbey Presbyterian ("Findlater's") Church, Situated at the Corner of Parnell Square and North Frederick Street, Dublin