Beecroft-Cheltenham History Group

Anglican Church – St Johns

The beginning of an Anglican congregation was started by Jemima Margaret Hull who lived with her family in a house which still stands on the northern corner of Beecroft Road and Kirkham Street. Mrs Hull commenced these services in 1890.[1] At a meeting in her home on 15 November 1890 of Rev George McIntosh, William Gratus Coward, Charles Churchill Tucker, Mrs Alfred Cox and Mrs Hull a decision was made to purchase land for a church building. [2] 

Within just 3 months a site on the southern corner of Beecroft Road and Hannah Street was purchased, architectural plans of William Coward were accepted and building by Hart & Sons of Parramatta of a small timber church was completed. An opening ceremony was held on 7 February 1891 although it was not licensed as an Anglican Church until 18 January 1892.[3] Due to the rapid growth in the size of the congregation the church was doubled in size during 1894 to 1895. Services were conducted twice a month by the Rev McIntosh from the neighbouring parish of St Paul’s Carlingford. The church continued to grow in size and a Sunday School was formed followed by the first confirmation service in 1899. A Sunday evening service commenced in 1902.  Services at this site continued until 1906.

The present site was purchased in 1905-6 during a period of considerable growth in the size of the church congregation and wealth. In February 1906 the church building was relocated to this site after being towed by a steam traction engine.[4] William Nixon designed a new Gothic church of which the first part was commenced in 1907. The earlier building now became the hall and continues to have this function to this day.

The congregation continued to grow and in 1912 Victor Abram, who had come to faith in Beecroft is the first member of the congregation known to enter Moore Theological College.[5]  

Ministers

G McIntosh

JRL Johnstone  1942-1982

AM Blanch           1982-

  GN Collison

  J Smith

[1] Beecroft Cheltenham History Group Beecroft and Cheltenham: the shaping of a Sydney community to 1914 (privately published,   Beecroft, 1995) p 213

[2] Beecroft Cheltenham History Group Beecroft and Cheltenham: the shaping of a Sydney community to 1914 (privately published, Beecroft, 1995) p 213

[3] Beecroft Cheltenham History Group Beecroft and Cheltenham: the shaping of a Sydney community to 1914 (privately published,  Beecroft, 1995) p 214

[4] Beecroft Cheltenham History Group Beecroft and  Cheltenham: the shaping of a Sydney community to 1914 (privately published, Beecroft, 1995) p 220

[5] Beecroft Cheltenham History Group Beecroft and  Cheltenham: the shaping of a Sydney community to 1914 (privately published, Beecroft, 1995) pp 222-3 

  Anglican Church – St Andrews

The foundation stone for this church was laid on 8 March 1924. Located on Beecroft Road the land (and surrounding sandstone wall plus a cash donation of 25 guineas) was donated by Mr W Harris of ‘Edensor’ as a ‘spontaneous’ gift. The architect was Mr N H Broderick. The foundation stone was laid by Mrs Harris. The members attending the church “were not great in numbers but they displayed a warmth of interest and great generosity.” Ministers presiding were Rev J Young and Archdeacon Harris the latter of whom “in eloquent terms he dwelt upon the Church as being the Symbol of God’s presence.” The church secretary was Mr J W Mackaness and Treasurer Mr W R Cave. [1]

 The church closed in 1972 with certain internal plaques installed in St Johns and the land sold for the building of a residential home in the Spanish mission style.

 1] Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrower Advocate 8 March 1924 p 11 

Anglican Church – St Peters

This church was located on the corner of Murray Farm and Orchard Roads. It was sold to the Brethren.

 For many years Rev Dennis Kirkaldy was the assistant minister who presided part time.

 

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