Design of Our Church
The Holy Spirit church was built in the late sixties. It is very modern in design, but retains some continuity with architectural tradition. On 3 November 1968 the foundation stone for the Church of the Holy Spirit, Greenhills, was laid by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid. The Sisters of Charity of St. Paul the Apostle donated 3.413 acres of land to the parish for our church. The architects were Mr. Louis Peppard and Mr. Hugo Duffy who produced a most unusual design. The main plan of the church is that of an elongated hexagonal shape forming the nave and an interlocking pentagonal shape forming the sanctuary. Ancillary wings either side of the sanctuary house the sacristy, vestry and kitchen to the south-east and services such as the boiler house, toilets, and hallway to the belltower to the north-west. The south-east wing has an upper floor consisting of a small assembly room and storage area.
The basic floor plan of nave, side aisles and sanctuary area relates to the early basilicas, but the expression of this space in three dimensions is thoroughly modern. The exterior walls are reduced to one storey, and the roof seems to reach down to the congregation. There are no vaults, no traditional window shapes and the space of the nave and the space of the sanctuary flow into each other in a new way, creating one large sacred space for the whole congregation, people and priests.
A visitor to the church will immediately be aware that all lines seem to converge on the altar and the eye is drawn up the centre aisle to the altar and to the large wooden crucifix on the wall behind.
The church is beautifully designed to cater for the liturgy of the post-Vatican II era, with its emphasis on the vernacular and increased involvement of the laity in the liturgical services. The nave is a large clear space with an unobstructed view of the altar. This space allows for an ease of movement up the centre aisle and down the adequately wide side aisles. Seating has been spaced to leave a transverse passage to assist this flow. The nave and the sanctuary flow into one another in the absence of altar rails and the stone altar faces the congregation. The altar itself is beautifully carved in elegant simplicity. There is no pulpit or elaborate throne in the sanctuary and little to distract from the celebrations on the altar. There is a simple but artistic ambo done in bronze with a solid oak inset. The furniture does not intrude on the liturgy, thus leaving the sanctuary with a great sense of space.