Playtime turns to pray time for former toy store

A place where children once went wild with delight is now being turned into a retreat of quiet contemplation.

Playtime turns to pray  time for  former toy store

The closed-down Smyth’s Toy Shop on Limerick’s Henry St is being taken over by the Abundant Life Christian Church in a €460,000 deal.

The building has been mostly unused since Smyth’s closed in 2008.

Pastor Kevin Fitzgibbon said: “This is a dream come true for our congregation, which is drawn from 25 nationalities. We see it [as] more than a church. We see it as a place where people can come and make contact with us.”

The new premises will enable the church move from its current place of prayer in Post Office Lane.

However, Pastor Fitzgibbon said his members do not want to confine themselves to the church.

“We want to go out and help the community by engaging in clean-ups and other work,” he said.

He said they were delighted to get the building.

“You don’t get many buildings like these around the city. So this is a dream come true for us,” he said.

The Abundant Life Christian Church was founded in 1995 and, due to rising numbers, has had to increase the number of Sunday services.

As well as being a place of prayer, the new church will enable church volunteers meet and hold classes.

Pastor Fitzgibbon said: “A lot of fundraising must now take place. There is a lot of renovation to be done in the building and we will need funds for this. We can get helpers and volunteers to work on this, but we have to do it right.”

Limerick Youth Service used the building for educational training and woodwork classes, and Pastor Fizgibbon said the church is happy to see the service continue there.

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