United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough



St Ann’s Community Café Offers New Ways to Engage With Church

A city centre church is opening its doors to one and all and inviting them in for coffee. St Ann’s Church on Dawson Street, Dublin, has opened a community café in which they will offer free tea and coffee and a friendly face every Thursday from 11.00 am until 2.00 pm.

St Ann's Cafe
St Ann's Cafe

The church (which is open every weekday) is also offering visitors to its café the opportunity to listen to some wonderful music with free lunchtime recitals each Thursday in March at 1.20 pm, after the daily Eucharist which begins at 12.45 pm.

The Vicar of St Ann’s, Canon David Gillespie, hopes that the new initiative will introduce people to a different side of church. “The café allows people to engage with church in a different way and shows a different side of church,” he explains. “People can come here on a Thursday and leave with a different impression – it’s not just about a service, prayer and hymns.”

The café is staffed by a team of volunteers from the parish and refreshments are free although anyone can leave a donation if they wish to do so. With the café, Eucharist and recitals, David adds: “We are feeding people physically, spiritually and culturally and everyone is welcome”.

St Ann’s is known as ‘the Church in the Heart of the City with the City at its Heart’ and many visitors to Dublin come in to look around the church. The café offers an opportunity to engage on a deeper level with those visitors as well as with local people and those who work in the area.

St Ann’s has long been serving the needs of people in the community and for some time Mervyn Jones has been operating a cyber café offering the opportunity for the over 55s to learn internet skills.

cyber cafe
cyber cafe

Mervyn says that while society has, in general, moved comfortably into cyberspace there is a sector that has been left behind and he aims to equip them with online skills. Among the many topics covered are: how to access the internet, set up an email account, browse the internet, use online banking, pay bills online and book and pay for airline tickets online. However, small group sizes mean that Mervyn can tailor his courses to suit individual needs that will enable them to get the best from their laptops, tablets or smartphones.

Courses take place in St Anns’s on Mondays from 12.00 midday to 4.00 pm and on Wednesdays from 10.45 am to 3.00 pm. Contact St Ann’s Parish Office for further details on (01) 6767727 or email

Photo captions:

Top – Paraic O’Toole, Canon David Gillespie, Joan Wadsworth and Fred Deane in St Ann’s Community Café.

Bottom – Mervyn Jones and Cecil Kirk in the cyber café at St Ann’s, Dawson Street.


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