Development of the Parish
Prior to Catholic Emancipation the very sparsely populated area of Churchtown formed part of three quite remote parishes – Donnybrook, Booterstown and Kilgobbin. Later, however, as more churches were built and new parishes established, the Churchtown district formed part of the parishes of Dundrum and Rathfarnham. In the mid 1950s the population had risen to the point where a parish of its own was clearly needed for Churchtown.
In 1957 the just-completed Church of the Good Shepherd was consecrated. For eight years the church was a Chapel-of-Ease to Rathfarnham Parish, but in 1965 it gained full status as the centrepiece of an independent Parish. Then, in its turn, the Good Shepherd Parish in 1974 became responsible for the development of a new Church at Marley Grange, towards which the Churchtown parishioners contributed £120,000 (or some €150,000). In 1981 Marley Grange itself became an independent Parish
The Parish Boundaries
The Parish boundaries are shown on the sketch map below. They extend from the Dodder River (which forms a natural boundary) at Orwell Gardens and Orwell Bridge, to the top of Beaumont Avenue, past Churchtown House, on the Weston area, and the Upper Churchtown Road to the junction of Lower Churchtown Road; to the west the parish extends to the rear of Grange Road. Major residential areas included in the parish are Braemor, Landscape and Nutgrove
Highlights of the Parish
Good Shepherd Church is naturally the focal point of the parish, but there are several other important highlights which form an integral part of everyday life for parishioners. Adjacent to the church is the Good Shepherd Parish Centre which has become indispensable for a multitude of church and other parish activities. [See our Groups / Community page].
Good schools are an essential element of a vibrant parish, and Churchtown is very fortunate to have a range of excellent schools in the parish or adjacent to it. The Good Shepherd Primary School (for boys and girls) and the De La Salle College for boys have deservedly good reputations, built up over years of dedicated service to our young people.
Another glory of the parish is Mount Carmel Hospital, run by the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary. The first Mount Carmel Hospital was opened in 1950, in what had previously been the House of Studies for the Carmelite Order, and the demand for its services was such that 10 years later a completely new “Mount Carmel” was opened. The hospital is a much-loved body, not least because of its role as a maternity unit.