Carrington Ave Uniting Church

by Cathy Jones (2021)

The Carrington Avenue Uniting Church (formerly Methodist Church) is located at 13 Carrington Ave Strathfield and was built in 1908.

With the increase of local population and Methodist families in Strathfield, meetings were convened in 1907 by the Rev. C T Newman to discuss building and financing a new Methodist Church in Strathfield (Methodist 1929). A suitable site was available in Carrington Avenue Strathfield from Mrs Fraser’s estate. Joseph Vickery representing the Church negotiated purchased of the land measuring 134 feet frontage by 140 foot depth for £700 (Methodist 1939). The Church was built to a design by architect Alfred Newman and built by E C Lusted, of Petersham (Methodist 1929). The architect Alfred Newman was the son of the Rev. Charles T. Newman, the Minister in Charge.  Alfred Newman, lived in Strathfield and was a member of the Church.

The Foundation Stone was laid by E. K.Bowden Esq. MP on February 1 1908 in the presence of large and representative gathering (Methodist 1929).  The Church was opened on April 11 1908 by the NSW Governor Sir Harry Rawson RN GCMG (Daily Telegraph 1908).

The Sunday School Hall was built in 1910 and the kindergarten hall was built and opened in November 1921 (Methodist 1929). Extensions to the School Hall were built in 1934 and designed by architects Morrow and Gordon (Methodist 1934).

Beautiful memorial windows and plaques are a feature of this church. The windows on the eastern side commemorate the service of Mabel and George Davey and Charles T. Newman, the first pastor.  The south panel erected by the Nesbitt and Murphy families in honour of Ethel L. Nesbitt.     On the western wall is a window for Joseph and Emily Vickery and the second to Amy A. Vickery and Elizabeth, wife of the Rev. C. Newman.

Plaques commemorate the Rev. Benjamin Meek, Ethel G. Thompson, Mr. Robert H. Nesbitt, Joseph Vickery and his daughter Lilian.

A tablet in memory of the members of the church who died in the World War 1 conflict was erected in 1923 and unveiled by Mrs. Joseph Vickery. The tablet is of marble on a trachyte base, with four scrolls In cast bronze bearing the words “Love, Duty, Honour, Sacrifice”. It is Inscribed 1914-1918 and designed by Mr. A. Lanyon Clark, architect, and executed by Messrs. T. Custom and Co (SMH 1923). The names on the plaque include (information on service is from the Australian War Memorial follow links for individual service details):

NameService detailsService No
Reginald Harrison, StrathfieldAIF – Private. 56th Australian Infantry Battalion. Killed in Belgium on 30 September 1917. 2959
Raymond Jordan, Leigh CollegeAIF – Private. 14th Australian Machine Gun Company. Killed in France on 20 July 1916.2934
William Curry, StrathfieldAIF – Private. 19th Australian Infantry Battalion. Killed in Belgium on 7 October 1917.6651
Frank Curry, StrathfieldAIF – Sapper. 1st Field Company, Australian Engineers. Killed in Belgium on 4 October 1917.1891
Joseph Ranson, BA LLB, StrathfieldAIF – Lieutenant. 8th Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery. Killed in France on 4 July 1918.link
Walter Rogers, Leigh CollegeAIF – Corporal. 55th Australian Infantry Battalion. Killed in France on 1 September 1918.2987

The 1914-1918 War Honour Roll lists the names of all church members who enlisted.

J H A SorrellG A LittleHarold Walter
W C FrancisJ R RansonJack S Shearston
Fred RansonR L FergusonArthur Harley
Reg. G WordsworthR F MattersPhillip Kelly
Reginald WalterF CurryWill G A Kelly
W H ArthurW CurrySaml. F F T Kelly
C Roy SmallJ Alan VickeryH J Orr
Arthur RansonNorman ThomasW Ashby
Sefton HendersonEldon MoranR T H Colbourne
R C KeastA Leslie NewmanHartley Squires
L B PenmanWilliam S RylandsW T Cross
W RogersArthur H MooreL V Hall
E W WilsonHarold FiniganWalter Reidy
W J Colborne


The Carillon was dedicated in 1946 as a memorial to those who died in the World War II conflict at a ceremony presided by the superintendent of the Circuit the Rev. P. L. Black). The Carillion was constructed by Mr. L. I. Martin of Concord and Strathfield, and the cabinet, which is made of polished Queensland maple, was designed by Messrs. Morrow and Gordon, Architects (Methodist 1946). The making of the cabinet was undertaken by Messrs. Kell and Rigby of Burwood (Methodist 1946). A bronze tablet attached to the cabinet bears seven names in alphabetical order. They are — James Watkins Douglas, Harold Samuel Evans, William Stanley Hancock, Donald Hood, John Henry Roberts, Trevor Glynn Rowsell and Ronald George Smith with the words ‘At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, We will remember them’ under their names (Methodist 1946).

A carillon was installed as a memorial to those who made the supreme sacrifice in the 1939-1945 War – James Douglas, Harold Evans, William Hancock, Donald Hood, John Roberts, Trevor Rowsell and Ronald Smith. A Memorial Book lists the names of all who enlisted.

in 1977, most of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches in Australia merged to form the Uniting Church of Australia. This Church is known as Strathfield Uniting Church or Carrington Ave Uniting Church. The Presbyterian Church Memorial book was transferred from the former Presbyterian Church on Homebush Road Strathfield to Carrington Avenue. This book records the names of those who served from that congregation.

The Church Organ was transferred from the the former Strathfield-Homebush Congregational Church, Homebush Road and Albert Road Strathfield in 1977. Links:  Carrington Avenue Uniting Church Organ

References

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour WWI at https://www.awm.gov.au

New Methodist Church (1908, 10 February). The Daily Telegraph, p. 10. Retrieved August 7, 2021, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article238103042

Methodist  Church Strathfield., 1929, ‘Our Coming of Age’ 1909-1929

Strathfield opening of extensions to school hall (1934, July 28). The Methodist (Sydney, NSW : 1892 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved August 16, 2021, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155311282

Strathfield Methodist Memorial. (1923, 23 July). Sydney Morning Herald, p. 5

’Strathfield Church commemorates its fallen’, (1946 30 November). Methodist, p2

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