Creating a Church Home in West Cork, Ireland

Creating a Church Home in West Cork, Ireland

Mid-morning light pours into the living space at the Attridge home. The hills of the Irish coast loom beautifully out the large windows as the sun rises over them. Rob and Amy laugh and speak excitedly as they tell the story of how God has worked in ways they could have never dreamed. 

Rob talks about the culture and the needs in West Cork, Ireland, knowing them well as he spent his entire life in this rural context. He and his American wife, Amy, are planting a church and ministering to the very people Rob grew up with. Rob, with his thick Irish brogue and Amy, with a half-Iowan, half-Irish lilt, speak with wisdom and compassion for the people and the needs around them. 

Creating a Church Home in West Cork, Ireland

Rob and Amy met when she was studying abroad in Ireland. After a year of long-distance dating, they married, and Amy moved to Ireland, where they’ve lived for the past 11 years.  

“We always knew we didn’t want to be comfortable Christians,” said Amy. 

From the beginning, Rob and Amy were involved in local ministry, Bible studies, and discipling relationships in their local towns in Ireland. They began to see many people show up to these ministries, and many seemed hungry for the gospel.  

Creating a Church Home in West Cork, Ireland

At that time, the Attridges had been attending a church an hour away from their home and realised that it was hard to do ministry locally while travelling so far for church.  

“Initially, we were praying that someone else would come and start a church near us,” said Rob. 

After years of Rob and Amy pouring into people who were coming to local ministries and Bible studies, an older and wiser friend challenged them. “Have you considered, is there going to be a long-term home for these people,” he asked. 

Creating a Church Home in West Cork, Ireland; Amazing Grace Community

“That was when we realised it was something God was calling us to do—to start a church that could be a home for the people in our local area.” 

So, in January 2021, Rob and Amy planted Amazing Grace Community Church in their local town of Skibbereen. 

Creating a Church Home in West Cork, Ireland

Rob and Amy have seen so many people grow in their faith in the past few years. Most recently, a sixteen-year-old girl named Aisling. She found the church through a family friend and started coming regularly. 

“I’d never been connected to a church before, I always just used to walk in and out of church,” Aisling said. “But this community is amazing and has made such an impact on me!” 

In late October, Aisling was baptised at a local beach with two other young girls from the church. Aisling lights up with joy, sharing how much this church has meant to her and how much she loves going every Sunday. 

“In the beginning, we didn’t have all the puzzle pieces,” Amy said. “We didn’t fully know what we were doing or where we were going; we were just faithful to do the next thing.” Rob and Amy were just faithful to step out and follow God each step along the way.  

Are you interested in church planting in Europe? Contact us to explore GEM’s church planting opportunities. 

About the Author: Hannah Ruth Branson is a storyteller in Europe.