Who We Are
We are located in South County Dublin just off the N11, 2 Km south from UCD. We are an independent church with associations with other churches and mission groups throughout Ireland.
Life is a journey and our passion is to reach the community with the love of God as we travel through life’s journey together. At the heart of South Hill Evangelical Church is a desire to serve the community and provide a spiritual home for families, students and internationals.
We believe in the life-changing power of God to change individual people’s lives. We focus on teaching that provides answers to life’s many questions. The Christian life is about helping others to discover the love that God has for them.
We’d love to meet you, why not drop in!
History & Background
The history of South Hill Evangelical Church stretches back some 153 years to the year 1865. In the early part of the nineteenth century there was a movement of the Holy Spirit which led Christian believers from different existing denominations to gather together for communion. Soon they did this on a regular basis, meeting in homes and other places. This movement started in the Dublin area. Initially they had no intention of leaving their respective church affiliations and continued to attend their ‘normal’ church services.
It was not long, however, before those attending these informal gatherings gave up membership of their respective churches, and the new groups which were formed became local churches in their own right. These groups came to be called Assemblies or Christian Assemblies. These Assemblies appointed elders (at least two) in accordance with what is recorded in the New Testament. These elders oversaw the preaching and practice of sound doctrine. The members of these Assemblies became known as Brethren or Christian Brethren. Because one such early group sprung up in Plymouth in the south of England, the term Plymouth Brethren was applied by those outside the movement. This term was not used by those who belonged to the Assemblies.
One of these groups was established in the suburb of Blackrock, County Dublin. In the year 1865, a group of believers began to meet in a private house owned by Miss Gainsford at 1 Anglesea Avenue, Blackrock. After a while, the meeting place was moved to Waltham Terrace and sometime afterwards to Waltham Place. In 1876 a Mr Henry Garrett bought two houses – known as 22 Sydney Avenue and used the name Sydney Hall to designate the Assembly. Christian Assemblies frequently used the word Hall to identify their premises because it was believed the word Church had a strong link with those who had abandoned evangelical principles.
At 22 Sydney Avenue the Christians remembered the Lord in the breaking of bread each Sunday. They held Sunday Schools, youth work and engaged in evangelism. On Sunday evenings members would assemble at the gates of Blackrock Park to hold ’open air’ meetings where the gospel of salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus was proclaimed. As the Dublin to Dun Laoghaire/Dalkey tram line went right past the Blackrock Park entrance gate, there was often quite a battle to be heard when the trams accelerated away. Gospel meetings were sometimes held in what is now the car park beside Blackrock railway station. When evenings were dark, some people would walk from Sydney Avenue to the preaching location carrying a specially adapted box lit inside with candles. These candles illuminated Bible messages that were written on the panels of the box. There was an invitation to join and listen to the gospel.
By the early 1950s it became clear that a better and bigger premises was needed. The Assembly did consider altering and enlarging the premises in Sydney Avenue but determined that it would be too costly and difficult. After much discussion and prayer, all under the chairmanship of a Mr. Cyril Hardman – a well known solicitor and elder in the fellowship – a decision was made to move to Mount Merrion. A young person is credited with making a strong plea for the Assembly to move to Mount Merrion where hundreds of new homes were being built. A number of sites were considered and finally a decision was made to obtain a site in South Hill Park a cul-de-sac which was being developed with new houses at the time. Although more expensive that other ones, the site that was bought provided ample car parking space. A fine attractive building was erected.
The official opening took place in 1953. Mr. Montague Goodman – a well-known Bible Teacher from the UK – spoke and he conducted a series of meetings during the week following the opening. The name of Sydney Hall was transferred to the new building.
During 1980, consideration was given to changing the church name to one that would be more readily understood and to reflect the church emphasis. The name Sydney did not convey to the public the mission of the church. So from 1st January 1981 the name was changed from Sydney Hall to South Hill Evangelical Church. Today the church continues as an independent church with a Leadership Team which manages the affairs of the church.
As a church we acknowledge the guiding hand of God over the years. The Leadership Team prays that South Hill Evangelical Church may continue to be guided by God and that the Holy Spirit will enable the church to grow its witness for the Lord Jesus Christ in Mount Merrion, Booterstown, Stillorgan and further afield.
In South Hill Evangelical Church our mission is to serve and honour God by serving and reaching out to the Community and to encourage and strengthen the Church. Our focus is:
- To present a clear understanding of the Bible
- To share the Gospel message.
- To serve the Community by meeting the spiritual, social and practical needs.
- To strengthen and encourage the believing Church.
- We must worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth. Our mission is to honour God in our worship.
At South Hill Evangelical Church our vision is
- To serve and interact with the local Community
- To share our faith and love of the Lord Jesus
- To be a Family Church that meets the needs of all family members
- To have a deep concern for those who don’t yet know the Lord Jesus
- To be a vibrant Church of Believers
- To teach the Bible with power and anointing of the Holy Spirit
- To develop, strengthen and encourage each Church member
- To be a source of encouragement and support to other Church groups and missionary organisations.