The first weatherboard Methodist Church in St Marys was located on this site.
The foundation stone was laid on the 14 June 1860 and the opening service was conducted on the 10th October 1860.
Methodist Church, St Marys c 1884-1917
Photographer: Charles Kerry, unknown date
Source: The Tyrrell Collection, NSW Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences
The first Methodist Church
The first Methodist church erected on this site was a weatherboard one. The ground on which the church was built, a quarter of an acre, was given by Mr. George Matthews.
The foundation stone was laid on the 14 June 1860 and the opening service was conducted on the 10th October 1860. The building was erected at a cost of £100.
This timber building became infested with white ants and was replaced by a brick church in 1893 and additions were made to the Sunday School in 1925 and again in 1955. The church was later demolished in 1972.
When the Methodist Church closed its doors the members worshiped with the members of Mt Druitt Methodist Church at the corner of Mt Druitt Road and Ropes Creek Road for about eighteen months until the completion of the new church in Brisbane Street, Oxley Park.
The ‘Wesley Memorial Christian Centre’ was officially opened on 28th February 1976, uniting the Congregations of Mt Druitt and St Marys. In June 1977 the Congregational Union and the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches came together as one to establish the Uniting Church in Australia.
Penrith City Library - Penrith Methodist Circuit Centenary 1861-1961 "Upon this Rock..."
St Marys Uniting Church Elder, Barbara Porter.
Caroline Volkiene with her husband Victor after their marriage ceremony at the Methodist Church St Marys in 1972
Interview with Caroline Volkiene
My name is Caroline Volkiene and I am retired and currently the president of the St Marys and District Historical Society.
I attended Sunday school in the church from the age from about five along with my two older brothers. I have a lot of childhood memories, and a lot of friendly memories growing up and attending church.
I was 19 turning 20 and my husband and I decided to get engaged in July that year. Of course once everything was set in motion you got to get a move on to get your church appointment and of course your reception place. Now that was in 1972 so we approached the local minister and to our horror we discovered that the church was in the process of being demolished - they were pulling out all the pews and the decorations that they had in the church.
So he said that he’d talk to his boss and they would come to a decision to put it on hold to stop it and they’d bring back in some of the pews and some of the demolished furniture.
We got that and so it was to be held on the 11th of March in 1972. I got to say some of our photos do reflect in the reception part of the church of the dismantled furniture that was in there but on the day it looked lovely and we were really thrilled.
One of the members for the council back in the 1930s, I think it was, did a description of the church mentioning how many windows and how many doors it had, and that it could sit up to about a hundred people. He also mentioned that he felt the doorway was a little bit on the narrow side especially for married couples to stand there and have their photograph taken and one of my wedding photos does depict that, that very doorway and you can see just how narrow the doorway was.
The 70s was very progressive especially with textiles. So I had a guipure lace coat over a crystal satin a-line dress and the bridesmaids were very similar. They were in a very bright, deep pink crimson colour, so that was lovely with pink frangipanis flowers. My husband had the rented tuxedo with the maroon velvet bow tie and the white gloves which was all the go then, I have to say.
The church as I said, has a lot of fond memories and I think that’s why people do get married where they do.
My mother happened to say to me prior to getting married that at the time when she got married just after the war, she was married in civilian clothing. But she felt that if you ever meet with hard times you always had fond memories to look back on if you had a lovely wedding. So I did and I still have fond memories of that.
Researcher: Caroline Volkiene
Caroline is a descendant of the Hackett family, one of the older families in St Marys.
Caroline grew up in one of the “Duration Cottages” at the highway end of Carinya Ave.
Born and raised in St Marys she attended St Marys Public School then St Marys High School. For many years Caroline was a student at the local Cuckson’s Bodenwieser School of Dance. She also attended Sunday School and Church in the old Methodist Church that once stood on Queen Street.
In 1972 Caroline was married there - the marriage ceremony was the last one performed as the church was demolished later that year. Her wedding reception was held in Sirrah House (now the Major Oak). The couple bought a home in South St Marys and raised three children there. During these growing years the children participated in rugby league, softball, netball and music. They also became involved by helping out in the steak/drinks tent and later on various committees or as coaches, scorers and referees/umpires. Caroline’s working career was in Office Administration.
Caroline is a member of St Marys & District Historical Society and enjoys the many shared memories about growing up in St Marys. By recording and sharing these stories, photographs and memorabilia of those past St Marians’ she believes it helps keep alive the spirit of the many people who have contributed and believed in this place.
Caroline is particularly interested in sharing memories of her growing up in St Marys during the 1950s and 1960s as it was a very special time.
- Written by Adam Gatt Penrith City Council (02) 4732 7777 (02) 4732 7958 firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.penrithcity.nsw.gov.au 601 High St Penrith NSW 2750 Australia
- Back to QSRT 2018 - Windows on Queen Project