One of the oldest buildings in Bray, on the site of the original Bray settlement, St Paul’s Church is now open again to public view for the first time in decades. I went along for a look – at the 10.30am Sunday service of the Born Again Christian Church ‘The Well’, the congregation that has leased St. Paul’s.
Many Bray people feared that the building would fall into disrepair when the previous occupants, an organ manufacturing business, vacated. It is good to see that this historic building, located at the end of Main St., across from the Royal Hotel, is now being cared for.
Parts of the existing church date from 1609, although there is evidence of an oratory existing at this location prior to 1173. The interior as it exists now dates mainly from a renovation carried out in 1912. The existing tenants have cleaned, painted and carpeted the building (over the old mosaic floor presumably) and intend installing heating prior to next winter.
‘The Well’ welcomes all visitors, even daytrippers like me checking out the architecture and the the beautiful stained glass window. Their bookshop (with coffee) opens at 10am on Sundays, a half hour before their service. If you want to stay and worship - I can report that last Sunday there was a live band, gospal music, some bible reading and lots of homebaking with tea.
Read more here about the historic Broderick family of the Valley of Diamonds, whose final resting place since 1826 was St. Paul’s Graveyard. http://diamondvalley.ie/Broderick.HTML