Saturday 22 July 2017

No matter who you are, or what reason you may have for coming here, you are welcomed

Emmanuel Might, Pastor of Solid Rock Pentecostal Church, Dublin

Pastor, Emmanuel Might of The Solid Rock Multicultural Pentecostal Church, Inchicore pictured during a service.
Pastor, Emmanuel Might of The Solid Rock Multicultural Pentecostal Church, Inchicore pictured during a service.
John Meagher

John Meagher

Originally from Cameroon, Pastor Emmanuel Might has lived in Ireland with his wife and children for the past 14 years. He ministers at one of the pentecostal churches that mushroomed in Dublin in the 2000s and although the Solid Rock church is off the beaten track - it's based in a nondescript building in an industrial estate in Inchicore - it pulls in large attendances twice a week.

"There are up to 20 nationalities in our congregation," he says, "a lot of African people but also those from Brazil and some Irish too. No matter who you are, or what reason you may have for coming here, you are welcomed."

He says churches like this are often the first port of call for new immigrants. "People can arrive in Ireland and know nobody, but through a belief in God, they can meet other people quite easily. Like any church, there is a social dimension, too, and for many people new to Ireland they soon find that this becomes their family."

Although part of the Protestant community, services at pentecostal churches such as this feel very different to the 'established' churches. There's a heavy emphasis on using audio-visual materials and services can be impassioned affairs, running to two-and-a-half hours long.

While Census figure show a slight decline in the numbers calling themselves 'Pentecostal', Pastor Might has seen little sign of this in his own Church.

"It feels as though we are busier than ever," he says. "A lot of people are seeking God's message. And we really reach out to people - a lot of it is word of mouth. People start coming because one of their friends has told them about us."

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