Not to be confused with Scottish synthpop trio ‘Chvrches‘.
The church in question is the remarkable ‘John’s Lane Church‘, I remember clapping eyes on this magnificent building, when I first came to live in Dublin in the 90s. My thoughts then, were the same as now: “Why does Dublin not do more to celebrate and highlight wonderful structures such as this?”. Sure, we have plenty of churches in Ireland, but many of them are what I would call ‘common or garden’ churches, which don’t compare well with (for instance) the beautiful stone churches you find in almost every small town and village in France.
I’ve always loved churches, fascinated by the sheer vision, artistry and craft that went into building those mighty edifices, the high ceilings, the unsupported domes, the paintings, the statues and the stained glass. Speaking of which, some of the most memorable images within John’s Lane Church are the Harry Clarke designed stained glass windows, in particular, ‘The Great Window’ over the entrance to the church. It’s quite simply, an awe inspiring spectacle, one which needs to be seen in person to be truly appreciated. Indeed Clarke himself was, in my opinion, a visionary genius, a man possessing of an extraordinary artistic imagination. I highly recommend the ‘Darkness in Light’ account of his life and work.
I’ve always thought of churches as a snapshot of old Ireland, a step back in time, in a sense. And John’s Lane Church is no different, in this respect, it retains a quiet unspoken magnificence, for those looking for a few minutes of peace and inspiration.