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St John the Evangelist's Church, Coolock

St John the Evangelist Church, Coolock was built in 1760 on the site of a really old church called St Brendan's Church. 

This video is designed as a resource for primary and post-primary students up to Junior Certificate.

Church of St John the Evangelist, Coolock

If you were a law breaker on the run many centuries ago you would probably have been very happy to see St John’s Church, because there is a very old stone cross in the grounds of the church, which may have been a sanctuary cross.

A sanctuary cross meant that if you had broken the law you could stay within the area it marked and be safe from the authorities. You see they were not allowed to come into this area and take you to jail. Usually four crosses marked an area of sanctuary but the other three might have got lost. Experts say that the remaining cross is probably there since the ninth century.

St John’s was built on the site of a really old church called St Brendan’s Church. Over the years the old church fell into ruin, and in 1760 a new church was built. At first it was smaller than it is now and did not have a tower which was added in 1791. The oldest gravestone in the church grounds dates from 1688 and marks the grave of a man named Thomas Ward who lived in Kilmore.

Some well-known people from the area were involved with the church. The first Arthur Guinness and founder of the brewery, for example, was a church warden in 1777 and in 1782.

The church, which can be seen from Tonlagee Road, has colourful stained glass windows. The windows in the porch were made to honour the people from the area who died during the First World War, among them Captain George C. Colvill who came from a well-known wealthy family in the area.

The church which belongs to the Church of Ireland is still in use today.

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