Journal Volume 3 2000
Places of Worship in Greystones (continued/5)
Church of the Nazarene
The Church of the Nazarene is, I believe, the newest worshipping society in Greystones, having begun in 1987 over a shop on Church Road, the town's main thoroughfare. After eighteen months this venue proved too small for the number of worshippers and they moved to the Young Women's Christian Association conference hall in the grounds of Coolnagreina on Trafalgar Road. But, once again because of increasing numbers, another move was made about two years ago to Newcourt School in Bray, pending the completion of a new place of worship on a site close to the Tennis Club on Mill Road, Greystones, where building work is proceeding apace.
The Church of the Nazarene is an international church, which began in Britain, Canada and the United States. Eleven denominations all sharing the Wesleyan heritage came together in a series of unions between 1896 and 1958. One of those unions in 1908 is taken as the official beginning of the Church. Nazarenes are most like early Methodists. They tend to be simply Bible believing Christians. Their doctrines come within the framework of classical Christian evangelicalism and are in essential harmony with the Christian faith of all ages. They believe that the provision of redemption through Christ ensures salvation 'for all men from all sin'. The Church stresses the importance of a holy life and of a positive Christian witness before the world.
Fifty years after the Church's official beginning (that is to say, in 1958), a worshipping society was established in Dublin. It survived till the late 1970s when, the lease of its place of worship having fallen in, it moved to house-church here in Greystones. This was suspended at the decease some fifteen years ago of Mr James Hogan. The Revd Henry A Stevenson, who had been a missionary of the Church in Bolivia and Spain, on coming home on furlough from the latter country, was asked to re-establish the Church in the Republic of Ireland. He did so in 1987 and served as pastor here till his removal to Israel some little time ago. No successor to Mr Stevenson has yet been chosen.
The Church of the Nazarene caters for many young families in the Greystones area with a varied programme for children and young people of all age groups (below adult). Young people outside the immediate Church fellowship are also ministered to with a variety of clubs. In this Church special emphasis is placed on building forms of worship with the entire family in mind.
In the early 1970s the Cooneyites, or Dippers, as they are often called because of their belief in adult baptism by total immersion, used to meet in one of the rooms of what was then a large private dwelling house in Kindlestown Lower; but they did not long continue there. The latest account I heard of them is that they are, or were until recent times at any rate, strong in the Redcross area of Co. Wicklow.
I am grateful to those members of all the local churches who so helpfully supplied information for, and verified statements contained in the updated version of, the foregoing paper. I also thank most heartily the living historians whose works I have consulted The President and Committee of Greystones Archaeological and Historical Society, before whose members the paper was originally read, deserve my gratitude too for making the material available to the public in permanent, printed form. My object has been to make the article as accurate as is humanly possible within my limitations, and at the same time studiously to avoid any statement which might be construed as giving offence or causing hurt to any denomination of Christ's followers. Such mistakes as the paper contains are my sole responsibility.