Generations of parish folk celebrated 130 years of faithful Christian service and witness to God at St John’s Anglican Church in Nagambie on Sunday.
St John’s was consecrated in 1887, and the 130th anniversary morning service was honoured with the presence of its oldest parishioner, Edie Perry (nee Welch), aged 101.
Mrs Perry was joined by Strathbogie Shire Mayor Amanda McClaren and her sons, visitors and current Central Goulburn Anglican parishioners from Avenel, Nagambie and Seymour, as well as members of the Nagambie Lakeside Larks who led the singing.
It was a big milestone in the small church’s history, and a bring and share lunch was enjoyed in the church hall after the service.
In the past 130 years, many changes have occurred at St John’s.
Mrs Perry’s family has been attending the small parish church since 1887, when it was Church of England, and as Anglicans since the 1970s.
Her mother Ellen (Nellie) Sullivan was born in 1887, the sixth child of Leah Sullivan.
Leah was a Church of England member and may have helped establish the church.
The original family of 10 was regular in attendance, including Mrs Perry’s mother and her siblings.
Mrs Perry turned 101 in September and was asked to cut the 130th anniversary cake at the end of the service on Sunday.
Alongside her was Ruth Underwood, whose father Reverend Glenn Weidermann was the first rector to live in the new rectory beside St John’s in the 1950s.
Mrs Underwood remembers living there with her family from the age of six.
Fr Gary Atherton, the current priest of the Anglican Parish of Central Goulburn, conducted the service and stood with both women at the cake-cutting ceremony, while Cr McClaren was there to represent the civic community.
Maybe violence, addictions, domestic violence, drugs and alcohol abuse, wars, sickness, homelessness, poverty, family breakdowns and sexual abuse have all taken a toll on people’s beliefs, but one of the missions now in this ever-changing world is for churches to reach out to the community and help them spiritually, physically and practically.
For details about the Anglican parish, phone Fr Gary Atherton on 5799 0283.
— By Diane Grant