In 1877 an Irish acre of ground was presented by Mr. Edward Rooney as a site for a parochial house and here, through the untiring energy of Fr. Lynch, the present church of St. Andrew was built. It was the ideal site, central in the parish, high and dry in what was otherwise a low-lying area. It is related that when he thought of building a new church there was no money in hand for such a purpose, times then were difficult and money was in very short supply. However, one of his parishioners, with a gesture of great confidence that the Almighty would not allow such a project fail, started a fund with half a crown. Small though it was, it was a beginning and when we look now at our beautiful church, we can see how well such faith was justified.
The plans of Mr. Ashlin were sanctioned by Dr. Nulty, Bishop of Meath, in July 1898 and he promised to lay the foundation stone. His death a few months later prevented this. The work went on during the next few years and it was dedicated on the 16th October 1904, by the new bishop Dr. Gaffney. The very Rev. M.O’Farrell, C.M., a native of the Diocese and afterwards Bishop of Bathurst was the preacher and the choir of All Hallows College sang the music at the mass. The building cost £4325. The Sanctuary was decorated in mosaic in 1931-32 at a cost of £1379. It was the donation of the late Mr. Peter Moran of Blackwater. The work was carried out by a team of artists from Italy, who it is said, worked behind curtains lest anyone should learn their trade secrets. How good their work was can be readily seen today in St. Andrews Church.
The Crickstown Medieval Baptismal Font
Nothing is recorded of the early history of the Crickstown Font. In the early 19th Century it was taken from the ruined Manor of the Parish Church of Crickstown and brought to the then newly erected Church at Kilbrew. It was transferred to its present site about 1904 when the new Parish Church of St. Andrew was dedicated. In the early 15th Century the lands of Kilbrew and Crickstown passed by marriage into the possession of the Barnwalls, so it is likely that this family provided the font.
It was on display at the Great Exhibition in Dublin in 1853 and is thought to date back to the 15th Century. There are three parts, bowl, pedestal and base, all octagonal. Two panels on the sides of the bow show the Crucifixion and opposite the Annunciation, and the remaining six are divided vertically to show the twelve apostles. The sides of the pedestal show eight figures, some tentatively identified as Ss. Catherine of Alexandria, Margaret of Antioch, Brigid, Patrick and Colmcille, John the Baptist, Michael the Archangel and some unidentified bishop. The base was ornamented with grotesque figures representing evil.
We also have a book printed about our parish which is available to buy from the Parish Office or any member of the PPC for €10.