Waverley, NSW - St Mary the Virgin Anglican

Year Built: 1890

Denomination: Anglican

Saint: Mary

Address: 240 Birrell Street, Waverley, New South Wales, 2022

Architect: Edmund Blacket

Architectural Style: Gothic

Last Updated: 30/03/2024

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History and Architecture:

Built in 1890 this church was one of Edmund Blacket's earlier churches. Built by W Bailey its stone church in Ecclesiastical Gothic style. It boasts a long nave with chancel, vestry and two side porches. Dressed sandstone with concrete tiled roof (originally shingled). Paired lancet windows between buttresses. Stained glass with label moulds over. Good belfry above western parapet gable.

On 15th May, 1857, the school house at Randwick was licensed for public worship in the united Parishes of Waverley and Randwick. The whole district was placed in the spiritual charge of Rev. W. H. McCormick. In the same year a small stone building was erected in Church Street, Waverley, and was dedicated to S. Mary the Virgin, now the site of St Clare's College, Waverley. The Rev. Stanley Mitchell, became priest in charge on the passing of Rev McCormick. In 1863 the districts were separated into the Parishes of Waverley and Randwick, and the Rev. Stanley Mitchell became the first Rector of S. Mary's, Waverley.

In the meantime the building in Church Street had become inadequate for the needs of the district, and on 5th June, 1863, the foundation stone of a new church, was laid by Sir John Young, K.C.B., K.C.M.G. On the 19th May, 1864, the Church was dedicated by the Bishop of Sydney, Dr. Barker. The original design envisaged a tower and spire, which were never built.

During the term of Reverend McKeown's occupancy the Parishes of S. Matthew's, Bondi, and S. Barnabas, Mill Hill, were carved out of S. Mary's, Waverley, leaving the mother parish considerably smaller.

Today an impressive grey sandstone wall along Birrell Street frontage exists, possibly from c. 1925.

More historical information on Wikipedia here.



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
1857 - 1859 Rev W. H. McCormick 1826 1859
1859 - 1884 Rev Stanley Mitchell 1833 1898
1879 - Rev Stephen Henry Childe Locum 1844 1928
1880 - 1881 Rev Henry Auriol Barker Locum 1852 1943
1884 - 1920 Rev Robert McKeown 1847 1936
1908 - Rev John Mellar Devenish Locum 1856 1939
1914 - 1915 Rev Leslie Arthur Hudson Curate 1885 1961
1918 - 1919 Rev Frederick Maurice McKeown Curate 1885 1959
1920 - 1928 Rev Egerton Augustine North-Ash 1888 1954
1920 - Rev Francis Robert Powles Carrick Curate 1889 1975
1921 - Rev Roland Woodger Curate 1883 1943
1924 - Rev Kingston Dudley Andrews Baxter Asst Curate 1888 1956
1924 - 1926 Rev Lennox Thomas Newton Hamilton Curate 1893 1969
1927 - 1928 Rev Leonard William Slade Curate 1894 1941
1928 - 1937 Rev Frederick Riley 1874 1960
1930 - 1933 Rev Noel Morris Clout 1901 1973
1935 - 1937 Rev John Alfred Cable Curate 1910 2005
1937 - Rev Edward Pattison-Clarke 1896 1981
1967 - Rev Terence Dicks
2006 - Rev Cliff Stratton


The original organ was built by August Gern in 1888. Gern was a foreman of Cavaill-coll, who set up business for himself in England after supervising the erection of some Cavaill-Coll instruments. In 1960 Noad rebuilt the instrument, providing new cone chests under the Richardson upper-boards, but leaving the Gern ventils and Pedal chest untouched. By 1979 the instrument was almost unplayable and in 1980 Peter Jewkes electrified the action.
For a complete description and photos click here.


1. Peter Brough 2021, via A brief history of S. Mary's Waverley 1857-1933.


1. Organ Music Society of Sydney with permission.
2. Cable Clergy Index with permission.