Sydney, NSW - Scot's Presbyterian
Year Built: 1824
Traditional Owners: Gadigal people
Last Updated: 12/03/2023
History and Architecture:
The Church was founded in the 1820's by the Reverend John Dunmore Lang and is the oldest Presbyterian Church in Australia. The foundation stone for the original church was laid by Governor Brisbane on 1st July 1824.
A stone church, with a plain tower, seating 1000 people, was opened on 16th July 1826. The actual cost was 3000 and it was opened with a debt of 1480.
The congregation has had to be relocated on several occasions to different sites in the Sydney CBD prior to moving back into its current site at 44 Margaret St, known as the Assembly Building in February 2006.
In 1918 the State Government wanted to widen York Street to facilitate the new bridge traffic. As a consequence Scots Church was resumed and a new building block was allocated for the new building.
The new Assembly Building became available. The building was opened in September 1930. The Building had originally been designed as a 12 storey building but due to the Depression only a five-storey were built.
Around 1930 the Congregation had decided on a Special Policy, which was an arrangement by which ministers from Scotland came to Sydney for six months or longer ministries. As a result 17 ministers came, and some came more than once.
The Scots Congregation in the post-war years found itself in a difficult position with the Trustees controlling the building. It did not have free use of the Church space and needed Church Offices approval to use any of the spaces within the building other than for the Church Services on Sunday.
This set of circumstances went on for many years until legal action was taken in the 1970's. After this action a 50 / 50 arrangment was made between the Congrgation and the Trsutees. And not before the congregation had moved to the Chalmers Street church and had used St Paricks Catholic Church on Church Hill for over 3 years.
This list may not contain every serving cleric, past or present, for this church.
Further submissions welcomed.
|1823 -||Dr John Dunmore Lang|
|1879 -||Alexander Milne Jarvie|
|1887 -||William Marcus Dill Macky|
|1915 -||Thomas Tait M.A.|
|1924 - 1930||Rev H. R. Grassick||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1930 - 1931||Rev Dr A. Boyd Scott M.C.||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1931 - 1932||Rev R. M. Gillan M.A.||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1932 -||Rev A. Wylie Blue||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1932 - 1933||Rev F. Cairns||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1933 - 1933||Rev W. J. Baxter M.A.||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1933 - 1934||Rev J. H. Duncan M.A.||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1934 - 1934||Rev J. Wright M.A.||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1934 - 1935||Rev L. A. Sutherland M.A.||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1935 - 1935||Rev W. W. Gauld M.A.||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1935 - 1935||Rev C. R. Andrews||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1935 - 1936||Rev Dr A. Boyd Scott M.C.||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1936 - 1936||Rev D. Blair M.C.||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1936 - 1937||Rev Dr A. Boyd Scott M.C.||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1937 - 1937||Rev G. M. Dunn||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1938 - 1938||Rev A. Wylie Blue||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1938 -||Rev R. G. McConnochie M.A.||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1939 - 1939||Rev Dr A.F. Scott Pearson D. Th.||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1939 - 1940||Rev Dr A. Smart M.A.||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1941 - 1943||Rev L. B. Fletcher||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1942 -||Rev H. Aitkin||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1951 -||Dr Malcolm Mackay|
|1965 -||E. Gwyn Miller|
|1972 -||Christopher Goy|
|1972 - 1982||Rev Dr Stuart Babbage||Visiting Minister from Scotland|
|1983 -||David J. Inglis|
|1994 -||Martin Levine|
|2000 - 2011||Rev Adrian Van Ash B.A|
|2012 - 2015||Rev Dr Iain C. Barclay|
Norman & Beard 1929-30, 3m. 47 sp.st., 18c., el. pn. The Organ was removed from Assembly Hall with redevelopment of the church building (c.2000). Sold to Scotch College, Hawthorn, Melbourne, restored and erected in the College Assembly Hall.
1. Rev'd Dr Iain C Barclay
2. Church website.
1. Organ Music Society of Sydney with permission.