History of Parish of East Wall, North Strand St. Joseph’s Church

Although St Joseph’s parish was not established until 1941, there was a church in the parish area from 1919. ‘The Tin Church’, as it is affectionately remembered by parishioners, was located on Church Road opposite Seaview Avenue.

Because of the growing size of the Parish, Fr Fitzgibbon, (Parish Priest in 1941), believed that a bigger Church was needed so plans were put in place for the present Church. This is located at the corner of Church Road and St. Mary’s Road. When Fr Fitzgibbon died, Fr Frederick Hooke continued with the building.

The Foundation Stone was blessed on 8 November 1954, and on the 29 July 1956 the then Archbishop John Charles McQuaid blessed and officially opened the new Church of St Joseph, East Wall.

Changes and development

St Joseph’s church has seen significant changes since it was built. Many of these changes are reflected in work that has been carried out on our church building over the years.

The Sanctuary, which is the main altar and its surrounding area, was reordered. The railing that separated the Sanctuary from the body of the church was removed and a new altar, ambo and chair were built. This enables the priest to celebrate Mass facing the people. The reordered Sanctuary is a much bigger space and facilitates the active involvement of lay people, who now read the Scriptures, and assist with the distribution of Communion.

In the late 1980’s, the mortuary chapel was converted to a Blessed Sacrament Oratory that could accommodate small groups for the celebration of Mass. At the present time, the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in this area.

In the 1990s, the marble baptismal font was moved from its original location off the front porch area to a position in front of the Sanctuary where Baptisms are now carried out in front of the Sanctuary.

One very important change in society is our attitude to people with disabilities. People realised that any building needs to be inclusive of the needs of all people, whatever their disabilities. New ramps have been constructed outside the front of the church, elimination of the step at the main door. Special toilet facilities are available inside the main entrance. Changes for people with hearing and visual impairments have also taken place: improvement of the sound system and the introduction of a loop system, and improvement of lighting within the church.