Our Story Con­cludes: Part 3

Galston, Glenorie and Hills Rural News - - History - Caryl Turnidge for the Gal­ston Unit­ing Church

In pre­vi­ous in­stal­ments we dis­cussed the ori­gins of the Du­ral par­ish and a small num­ber of the cul­tural and prac­ti­cal con­tri­bu­tions that the church made to the lo­cal com­mu­nity. This brings us to the present time.

In 1977 we be­came The Unit­ing Church in Aus­tralia, when the Pres­by­te­rian, Con­gre­ga­tional and Methodist churches en­tered into a for­mal union. Mem­bers of the con­gre­ga­tions were given a vote on the union and this great fun­da­men­tal change was achieved with­out con­flict or fric­tion.

Care­ful and prayer­ful con­sid­er­a­tion went into be­com­ing the Unit­ing Church in Aus­tralia. By the mid -1970s Aus­tralian so­ci­ety was be­gin­ning to change. It was wise for the smaller protes­tant churches to unite and share the hon­our and priv­i­lege of join­ing to­gether as Christ’s peo­ple in Aus­tralia.

The In­au­gu­ra­tion was cel­e­brated at Du­ral Church on 26th June, 1977 with 200 peo­ple in at­ten­dance.

This union saw old or­gan­i­sa­tional tra­di­tions re­placed with new ways. The con­gre­ga­tion now elects Church Coun­cil­lors and El­ders, and all mem­bers of the con­gre­ga­tion have a much wider in­volve­ment. West Pen­nant Hills was no longer part of our par­ish but Ken­thurst was still with us, to­gether with churches at Ar­ca­dia, Glenorie and Du­ral.

It was de­cided at some point to move with chang­ing times and con­sol­i­date into a sin­gle par­ish cen­tre at Gal­ston. The Du­ral prop­erty was sold in 1986, the Ar­ca­dia prop­erty in 1988 and the Glenorie prop­erty in 1995.

In Septem­ber 1985, the former Du­ral con­gre­ga­tion - with many mem­bers of Ar­ca­dia and Glenorie - be­gan to wor­ship as the Gal­ston con­gre­ga­tion in the Gal­ston Sev­enth Day Ad­ven­tist Church. A site had been cho­sen for a new church build­ing on School Road, and ser­vices were held at the Ad­ven­tist site for three years while con­struc­tion took place.

We were very grate­ful to the Sev­enth Day Ad­ven­tist peo­ple for al­low­ing us the use of their church on Sun­days for a pe­riod of three years.

Gal­ston Unit­ing Church was opened on 22nd Oc­to­ber, 1988. The build­ing in­cludes the church, au­di­to­rium, meet­ing rooms, of­fice, kitchen, Sun­day school ac­com­mo­da­tion, and a Long Day Care/ Early Learn­ing Cen­tre ad­join­ing the church com­plex. (Our min­is­ter Rev Ge­off Smith is Chair­man of the Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee of the Gal­ston Early Learn­ing Cen­tre.)

Out­stand­ing fea­tures of our church are the Stained Glass Win­dow de­signed by Ter­rence Plowright. This is a very modern and colour­ful con­cept and proves that stained glass win­dows do not have to be old.

What is old is our glo­ri­ous 1887 Fos­ters and An­drews Or­gan built in Hull, Eng­land orig­i­nally for the Con­gre­ga­tional Church, Bourke Street, Dar­linghurst. The or­gan was gifted to that church by three sis­ters, the Misses Bax­ter. The for­mal un­veil­ing of the or­gan was on Sun­day 10th June, 1888, in the Dar­linghurst church, and served that con­gre­ga­tion for eighty years - un­til the prop­erty was sold.

How did this her­itage or­gan come to Gal­ston? A small group from our con­gre­ga­tion be­gan to in­ves­ti­gate the pos­si­bil­ity of in­clud­ing this or­gan in our new build­ing. Pur­chase of the or­gan by Gal­ston con­gre­ga­tion was con­cluded on 25th Au­gust 1986, and the or­gan was re­moved from Dar­linghurst and stored for re­fur­bish­ment.

This re­fur­bish­ment, a long and la­bo­ri­ous task, con­tin­ued over the next six years with vol­un­teers from the church, un­der the guid­ance of Mr. Ian Brown. Mr Brown was a mem­ber of our con­gre­ga­tion and also hap­pened to be a pro­fes­sional or­gan builder.

The or­gan was in­stalled in its new home with the spec­i­fi­ca­tions un­changed from when it was built. On 6th June, 1993 the or­gan was reded­i­cated at Gal­ston Church.

What do we do now:

• Fam­ily ser­vice ev­ery Sun­day 10am in­clud­ing a spe­cial time for kids

• Wed­dings, bap­tisms, fu­ner­als, spe­cial ser­vices (eg Messy Church to which farm an­i­mals of­ten visit; Bless­ing of the Ru­ral Fire Ser­vice Fleet)

• KUCA (a kids club, for kin­der­garten to grade 6)

• The Power (a youth club for grade 6 to grade 10)

• Men's and ladies choirs

• Over 55s meet­ings – 2nd Mon­day of ev­ery month, 10am • Craft group, Thurs­days 7.30pm-10pm

• Healthy liv­ing for se­niors on Tues­day, Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day • Clas­si­cal con­certs: The Gal­ston Con­cert Series

Your par­tic­i­pa­tion will al­ways be wel­comed.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the many ac­tiv­i­ties for all ages, please see our web­site www.gal­sto­nunit­ingchurch.com or tele­phone our of­fice on 9653-2039. The of­fice is at­tended on Tues­days and Fri­days.

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