ST MATTHEW’S Anglican Church Windsor, the oldest remaining government-built church by foundation stone in Australia, turned 200 on October 11, and grand celebrations are planned this weekend.
Governor Lachlan Macquarie directed the building of the church, started under architect Henry Kitchen and completed by Government Architect Francis Greenway.
Its commanding presence in the upper Hawkesbury valley came early in Australia’s European history. It has NSW State listing as one of the finest and earliest Christian precincts in the country, comprising an 1810 burial ground, an exquisite church with the first organ assembled in Australia, remaining glebe land and 1823-1825 rectory and stables.
The much later Parish Centre is also within the original setting prescribed by Governor Macquarie overlooking his ‘great square’, now McQuade Park, the site of Saturday’s celebration party.
Three events are commemorating the anniversary.
School service – Wednesday, October 11. Students from surrounding schools will attend a special service with puppets instead of a sermon. hildren from surrounding local schools will fill the church for a special children’s service. The church’s patron the Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO will lead the formal birthday wishes.
Big Birthday Bash – Saturday, October 14. Blues and stage bands, a re-enactment by Richmond Players, Aboriginal dancers and a RAAF flypast will be held at Don’t Worry Oval , opposite the church in Moses Street from 10am to 3pm. The patron of the celebrations, Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO will lead the formal birthday wishes at 1.45pm. All welcome.
Celebratory Church Service – Formal service at 11am, conducted by the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Reverend Glenn Davies, assisted by St Matthew’s rector Reverend Chris Jones. Special guests will be His Excellency, the Honourable TF Bathurst AC, the Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales, Macquarie MP Susan Templeman Mayor Mary Lyons-Buckett, Hawkesbury MP Dominic Perrottet and a number of councillors.
A deluxe souvenir booklet will be available at the weekend celebrations and on request after at the church. It is $10, with proceeds going to the separate National Trust & St Matthew’s Conservation Appeal, so you will be contributing to the iconic church’s critical conservation.
The booklet features a letter of congratulations from Queen Elizabeth II, and a message from the Bicentenary Celebrations Patron, Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO.