Sunday, 14 May 2023
St Augustine’s Anglican Church launch of Centenary preparations
Rod and I are delighted to be with you at St Augustine’s Anglican Church to mark the commencement of the preparations for your Centenary Year.
I have fond memories of being at this church during my student days at Walford: unlike now, the school then didn’t have its own chapel, so we were privileged to use St Augustine’s.
I always then, as today, found this a beautiful place for quiet reflection, giving thanks in worship, and for the community to come together, as when we gathered here in October last year for the anniversary of the Bali Bombings.
And for almost 100 years, this has been a site to connect us to our past and with those pioneers who built this community from the days when Unley was a farming district.
The first church, having been built in 1870, quickly became too small for the congregation, and very much so after World War I.
The then Lieutenant Governor of South Australia, Sir George Murray, laid the foundation stone of this second church in 1922 and, when dedicated by the Bishop of Adelaide, the Right Reverend Arthur Nutter in August 1924, it was the largest Anglican Church in South Australia.
Since then, it has been at the heart of a vibrant and growing Unley community and an iconic landmark on Unley Road.
Between 1928 and 1948 were installed the 14 stunning Morris-stained glass windows which depict not only religious scenes but capture our history – the proclamation of South Australia at the Old Gum Tree, the endurance of the colonists: their commitment, and passion not only to life but their faith
In 1930 the church purchased the magnificent organ which then had pride of place in St Peter’s Cathedral.
And, in 1933, the town came out in force to hear the newly installed bells ringing proudly from the Memorial Bell Tower that commemorates those parishioners who fought and died in the Great War.
Over its history, St Augustine’s has been witnessed important milestones in the lives of many many thousands of South Australians. It is here they have been baptised, married, worshiped, farewelled friends or loved ones, or themselves been farewelled.
I thank the members of the congregation for your heartfelt commitment to ensuring St Augustine’s remains a vibrant and welcoming spiritual home and for ensuring its upkeep.
The appeal that is being launched today will enable restoration of the church windows and organ to ensure they can be enjoyed by many more generations.
I wish you all well for the Centenary preparations.