St. Sinch's Church, Kilshine
Situated opposite the main gates of Mountainstown House, seven miles from Navan on the road from Dublin to Kingscourt, is the derelict remains of Kilshine church. The church was built in 1815 at a cost of £1,600 which was given by the Board of First Fruits. Lewis states: "The church, which is a very neat structure with a spire, was rebuilt by a gift of £1,600 from the late Board of First Fruits in 1815. The Glebe-House is in Clongill, where there is a glebe of 21 acres valued at £63 per annum, besides a glebe in the parish of Kilshine, of 7 acres valued at £21. There is a National School in which about 90 children are educated, and to which, Sir W Plunket de Bathe, Bart. Subscribes £15 per annum, besides allowing a house and ground."
Prior to the building of the present church there seems to have been an older building, which had fallen into ruin. Nothing is known about this building. Sometime around the year 1800, the Bishop of Meath, Thomas Lewis O'Beirne, inquired about the state of the parish of Clongill. The Rector of the Union wrote the following: "I do attend myself, and also have a curate, who is not licensed. My main reason for keeping him, is that the late Bishop of Meath desired I should do so, till he could procure some other situation for him as he (Mr. Garnett) was a worthy attentive man, and had been at much expense in settling himself as conveniently as possible to the parish."
We may never know the Bishop's response to the Rector's letter, but it seems the Bishop made every effort to improve the state of the parish of Clongill or Kilshine. A new church was erected, to replace the ruined church and it seems the Bishop also insisted that proper pastoral oversight for the parish was provided.
The new church opened in 1815 and a large commemorative tablet was placed on the wall. The text reads:
rebuilding and restoring of this Parish Church,
Were the effects of the pious exertions of
That excellent Prelate,
The Right Honourable and Most Reverend Father in God,
Doctor Thomas Lewis O'Beirne,
Lord Bishop of Meath,
Who in the conscientious discharge
Of the functions of his high and important office
Not only caused many other Churches in this Diocese
To be rebuilt and restored,
But procured for that most respectable Body,
The Reverend the Parochial Clergy,
Residences and Glebes within their respective Livings,
Suitable as far as it was possible to their situations,
Thereby enabling them duly to discharge the duties of
Resident Protestant Clergymen,
And to dispense to their Parishioners of that Persuasion
The invaluable comforts of
Our Blessed Religion.
Aided by a pecuniary grant of 1,600 from the Board of First
Obtained through the Intercession of His Lordship the Bishop
John Pollock, of Mountainstown, Esq.,
Accomplished the rebuilding of this Church,
Which was restored,
Ann. Dom. 1815.
As well as accomplishing the rebuilding of the church, John Pollock also presented a silver chalice for use in the church in 1815.
The Established Church Commission of 1868 states that Clongill was in a permanent Union with Kilshine with Thomas A Stopford as Incumbent (or Rector). The parish also employed a Curate, who received a salary of £90, including a house and garden, valued at £17. The Commission also stated that according to the 1861 Census returns there were 40 members of the Established Church (Anglicans) resident in the parish, and the parish consisted of 3,930 acres of land.
Kilshine in the modern era
In the present century Kilshine was united to Donaghpatrick, with the Rector of the Union living in Donaghpatrick Rectory. This was the case by 1939. By 1958 the Union was extended to included the Churches of Castletown-Kilpatrick and Ardbraccan. Kilshine Church was closed in 1958, due to the small number of parishioners in the parish. The Church was de-consecrated and the furnishings removed. The Pollock memorial tablets were erected in Donaghpatrick Church, but the large commemorative tablet erected in 1815, was sent to Ardbraccan Church. The tablet was erected in Ardbraccan and is now 'homeless' as Ardbraccan was also closed.
Kilshine Church and surrounding graveyard were transferred to the care of Meath County Council in 1972, who are now responsible for maintaining the building and grounds. The church is now in very poor condition and its roof is collapsing in places. The surrounding graveyard is overgrown with vegetation.