Annual Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of Sport
Sunday 22nd March 2015 @ 7pm
St Anne's Church, Dawson St.
History of the Annual Ecumenical Service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of Sport
Over sixty five years ago the first service of thanksgiving for the gift of sport took place in Dublin. The idea for holding such a service arose following discussions between the Revd George Crummy and Bob Graves, the Irish rugby international. It was decided to hold an annual church service to thank God for the gift of sport and to hold the service in the evenings to allow for maximum attendance from the sporting fraternity. The first such service, supported by the Association of Schools’ Unions took place in 1949 in St Peter’s Church, Aungier Street, long since demolished.
In the early years the service alternated between St Peter’s church, Abbey Presbyterian Church and the Methodist Church, St Stephen’s Green. It then found a home for a number of years in St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street. The service became increasingly ecumenical and rotated between St Patrick’s Cathedral, St Andrew’s Church, Westland Row, Sacred Heart Church, Donnybrook and Christ Church, Taney. The 60th anniversary in 2009 saw the service returning to the city centre and to the historic surroundings of Christ Church Cathedral. For the last three years the Service was held in St Ann’s Church on Dawson Street where it will take place again on Sunday 22nd March 2015 at 7 pm.
The service continues to be the focus of thanksgiving for all men, women and young people whose lives have been enriched and blessed by the gift of sport; whether through active participation, patronage or through the media of radio, television or attendance at sporting events and fixtures. Over the years many sportspersons of note have been invited to speak at the service and those who have spoken include Ronnie Delaney, Lord Killanin, Jack Lynch, Jack Kyle, Willie John McBride, Tony O’Reilly, Cliff Morgan, Mícháel Ó Muircheartaigh, George Hook, Jimmy Magee, John Delaney (F.A.I.) Tommy Carr, the former Dublin GAA All Star, Liam Harbison, CEO Paralympics Ireland and last year Senator Eamonn Coghlan.
The collection is traditionally donated to charity.