third oldest church in australia

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We have just returned from a long weekend to Port Macquarie. Port Macquarie is about a 4-hour drive north along the coast from Sydney. We had unusual weather – from rain, winds to sunny days. It was a good 3 days away.

We visited St Thomas’ Anglican Church, it was across the road from where we were staying. It is a beautiful church and intriguing as well. The day we were there, a wedding was due to start, so our visit was very brief. Partly a good day because it was also decorated with beautiful flowers especially on the pew doors.

Looking up out the front
Looking up out the front
View from the side
View from the side

St Thomas’ Anglican Church is the third oldest church in Australia. It was built by convicts in 1824 and the first service held 4 years later in 1828.

The most fascinating thing about this church were the raised family boxes (see photo).

Down the aisle, note the family boxes on either side
Down the aisle, note the family boxes on either side
Family boxes with wedding decoration on the door
Family boxes with wedding decoration on the door
Looking back to the gallery at the organ.
Looking back to the gallery at the organ.

The church goers once included convicts as well as the “free” people. The family boxes were rented to parishioners to protect them from the convict onlookers. Inside the boxes are standard pew seating as well as knee rests for kneeling. Towards the back of the church were the usual seating one would be familiar with in a church.

According to the brief history leaflet that is provided inside the church, the 1856 Walker Pipe Organ, in the gallery, is the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

The organ at the back of the church. And the normal church pews we are use to seeing
The organ at the back of the church. And the normal church pews we are use to seeing

The winding stairwell up to the Muniments room was closed off when we visited. Within the Muniments room, there are historic documents, photographs, records, old Bibles and Prayer Books. However, we did get to see some of these things at the entrance of the church. Lots of interesting artefacts were housed in the cabinet.

Closed off stairwell to Muniments room
Closed off stairwell to Muniments room
Historical documents: layout of church
Historical documents: layout of church

St Thomas’ Anglican Church is open Monday to Fridays between 9.30 am to noon and 2 pm to 4 pm. Admission is a gold coin donation (i.e. $1-$2 Australian dollars). 

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6 thoughts on “third oldest church in australia

    theundergroundgourmet said:
    January 27, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Love the stairwell. Cheers

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 28, 2014 at 5:48 am

      We would’ve loved to have been able to go up. But looking up from below was pretty cool 🙂 – thanks so much for reading!

    Forestwoodfolkart said:
    January 27, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Some of my ancestors were baptised here. Nice to see it close hand.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 28, 2014 at 5:46 am

      Oh really?! That’s so great to know. It really is a lovely church!

    Just Another Nature Enthusiast said:
    January 27, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Beautiful church for a wedding!
    Thanks for including the history- very interesting.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      January 27, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      The history is so fascinating and beautiful! We really enjoyed it there. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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