SMA Wilton Church gets overhaul
St Joseph’s SMA church in Wilton has been a landmark in the area for nearly 120 years. It has overseen all the major developments in the area: CUH hospital, Wilton Shopping centre, ESB and housing developments. It has witnessed the funerals of hundreds of SMA priests who gave their lives in the service of the Church in Africa. And, since 1982, as the parish church for the Wilton area [created by Bishop Michael Murphy], it has been witness to thousands of baptisms, marriages and burials of the laity who have been coming to worship for over a century.
The origins of the church go back to 1888 when Fr. Joseph Zimmerman [a Swiss SMA priest sent from France to help put the Irish SMA on a solid foundation] went to America to collect funds for its construction. Raising funds was as challenging then as today. Records show it was not till 1894 that the ground was cleared for the commencement of the building. The formal blessing and opening of St. Joseph’s church was on 14 December, 1897.
Our church is unique among Irish churches, being built of parallel courses of cut limestone from Ballintemple quarries and English redbrick. With the passing of time, like all good buildings, it needs upkeep and repair. The tower is showing signs of wear and tear and the interior walls are seeping from the rain. In order to address these problems we had to embark on the major work of repointing all the walls and fixing the tower. Total cost is estimated at €400,000. A major challenge!
With the assistance of the SMA and parish funds the work has begun. In order to complete the work we will have to rely on the help of our parishioners and friends. It’s estimated that €100,000 will be needed to complete the work. To date we have collected €8,750. We wish to make this challenge as painless as possible for everyone; if everyone does a little we can achieve a lot.
Click here to donate online and click on Wilton Church restoration
Other ways you can help:
- Restoration Envelopes are available in the church. We invite people to take one and be as generous as they can in their support of our cause. Envelopes can be returned to the sacristy or Mass Office.
- Could you organise a fundraising event, such as a coffee morning, amongst family, friends and neighbours?
- People can donate using the Online donation facility above.