In the early 1990’s the Christian Community known as Swords Baptist Church began the journey of finding a permanent residence. Some 25 years after having rented widely in Swords, the dream was finally realised in October 2012.
In 2001, a member of the church family offered to sell SBC a field from their family farm in Donabate. The field had historically been known by the family as The Marsh, as before the building of the Belfast Dublin Railway, this field was flooded daily by the tide.
In 2007, at the height of the celtic tiger, The Marsh was rezoned by Fingal County Council for the purpose of building a ring road around the village of Donabate. An agreement was reached with the council which saw SBC's initial investment increasing by 1000%. Some people said “you were just lucky”, but the Church Family of SBC clearly saw God’s gracious care of them coming in it all.
The resulting building, The Riasc Centre, and the planned Liam Rogers Centre to the east of the Riasc Centre were all paid for out of the sale of The Marsh. These two facilities are designed to compliment each other, providing long desired amenities that will benefit both church and local communities, long into the future.
The first sod was turned in August 2011, and SBC moved into the Riasc Centre in October 2012.
The word Riasc is an focal gaeilge (the Irish word) for The Marsh. In calling the building The Riasc Centre there has been a definite desire to link the story of God’s goodness to His people in 2007 with the name for posterity. It also happens that there is a 6th Century monastic site outside Tralee in Co Kerry, called The Riasc. Thus the name also links the Christian community that uses the building in these years with our Celtic forebears.
Buíochais mór le Dia .