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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Foundation of Church: Frazer Memorial Presbyterian Church

The Hon John Frazer MLC, merchant and owner of the Silva Plana estate Springwood, donated three and a half acres of land in 1880 for the establishment of a church.  On his death - in 1884 - it was found that he bequeathed five hundred pounds in his will for the 'provision of a church.'  However his trustees were reluctant to grant the bequest because they considered the number of Presbyterians in the district did not warrant the outlay. 

Rev James McKee was responsible for the release of the bequest which was reported at a Presbytery meeting in June 1895. The architects are thought to have been Slayter & Cosh.  In 1895 a tender was accepted from Mr Neil Livingstone, and local shopkeeper William Rayner agreed to donate sandstone for the construction.  Rev  John Walker of Woollahra preached the first services in the new building on 8th December 1895, while Miss Edward Deane directed the choir and Mr Rayner lent his American organ for the occassion.

Today the church is an important and much valued part of the streetscape of Springwood and a heritage item on Blue Mountains City Council's Heritage List.  

Ref: John Maddock, The Frazer Memorial Presbyterian Church, Springwood Historical Society Inc. 1995. (Still available - contact Springwood Historical Society Inc.)


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