Alice Springs, NT - John Flynn Uniting Memorial

Year Built: 1953

Denomination: Uniting

Address: 50 Todd Street, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, 0870

Previous Denomination: Presbyterian

Architect: Arthur Philpot

Traditional Owners: Arrernte people

Last Updated: 06/04/2024

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History and Architecture:

The Church, set in the heart of Australia, is a national shrine. It is outstandingly significant as a memorial to the life and work of the great Australian visionary John Flynn (1880−1951), the founder of the Australian Inland Mission (AIM) and its aero-medical offshoot, the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia. Opened in 1956, the church was erected by the AIM to fulfil Flynn's prophesy of 'a central AIM Cathedral' in Alice Springs to serve people of all religious denominations.

The church opens to the north, signifying Australia's front door, and is entered via a forecourt which has an outdoor pulpit signifying Flynn the Preacher without a Church.

Arthur Philpot of ‘Evans and Bruer, Philpot & Partners’ was asked to design The John Flynn Memorial Church to specifically reflect the life and achievements of John Flynn, a Presbyterian minister and one of the founders of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The foundation stone was laid by the Prime Minister, Mr. R.G. Menzies, on 26 June 1954 and was opened by the Governor-General and dedicated by the Moderator General of the Presbyterian Church in Australia on 5 May 1956. The church is listed on the Northern Territory Government’s Heritage Register. As an artist, Philpot created The Mantle of Safety mural in the John Flynn Memorial Church (with the assistance of Adelaide sculptor, Max Textor)’.

A highly symbolic, Modernist building built by J.J. Richards of Sydney the roof evokes the wings of a flying doctor plane.

A wall plaque reads, FOR CHRIST AND THE CONTINENT This Church has been erected by the Australian Inland Mission of the Presbyterian Church of Australia to the Glory of God and in memory of THE VERY REVEREND JOHN FLYNN, O.B.E., D.D. "FLYNN OF THE INLAND" First Superintendent of the Australian Inland Mission, 1912-1951 Founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia Moderator-Genera I of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, 1939- 1942 "HE SPREAD THE MANTLE OF SAFETY OVER INLAND AUSTRALIA.


There are currently no clergy recorded for this church. Submissions are welcomed.


No information currently available. Submissions welcomed.


1. 2024 Simon Saunders for ref to Architect.


1. Australian Heritage Database.
2. Monument Australia website.
3. NT for photo
4. Ref to Architect Arthur Philpot.