Ashfield, NSW - Presbyterian

Year Built: 1885

Denomination: Presbyterian

Address: 3 Knox Street, Ashfield, New South Wales, 2131

Architect: A. L. Elphinstone

Traditional Owners: Wangal people

Last Updated: 06/05/2024

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History and Architecture:

The first Presbyterian service in Ashfield was held in the Oddfellows' Hall in October, 1875, On 12/3/1876 the first weatherboard church was opened by the Revd. Dr John Dummore Lang, the land having been given by John Pope, Ashfield's first Mayor.

In 1882, additional land was purchased and a building fund opened for a new church. Knox Street was formed in 1883. Elder A.L. Elphinstone was appointed architect, but the tower and spire had to be deleted from his original plan due to cost. The foundation stone was laid by Mrs Goodlet on 17/10/1885 and the church opened on the 3rd of December 1886. The cost was £5769.

Built of brick it was designed with a tower and spire but, though toothing for the tower is incorporated in the brickwork, it was not built. The north (Liverpool Road) facade has a large window with decorated tracery, below which is a double entrance. The masonry is notable for Its skilled use of polychrome brickwork as well as carved stone, especially evident in the bayed and buttressed side elevations. 


This list may not contain every serving cleric, past or present, for this church.
Further submissions welcomed.

Years Name Annotation D.o.B D.o.D
1876 - 1906 Rev John Auld
1907 - 1951 Rev Robert John Henry McGowan
1952 - 1956 Rev Ian White Ross
1956 - 1960 Rev William Charles Richard Moore
1961 - 1975 Rev Charles Stewart Petrie
2013 - Rev David Balzer


The organ was built by Matanle & Wood, a partnership formed about the turn of the century. Wood's father was one of the organ builders sent by Hill & Son to install the Sydney Town Hall organ ln 1890. As far as can be determined, this is the only organ by the partnership extant today. The organ was opened by City Organist Arthur Mason in 1902, and commemorated the semi-jubilee of the congregation. At that time it had 16 stops, 902 pipes, 4 couplers and mechanical action to the manuals.
For a complete description and photos click here.


1. Ashfield Heritage Study
2. Organ Music Society of Sydney with permission.
3. Ashfield Presbyterian Church, 1876-1976.