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St Andrew's - a History

Portrait of George Bowman


This page gives a very brief history of St Andrew's Uniting Church, mainly drawn from the booklet (available from the church) produced for the 150th Anniversary of our church in 1995 from many sources.

For completeness, we should imagine an overlay including aspects of Australian history; the development of Richmond; local government; the influences of the Presbyterian, Free Presbyterian, Wesleyan and Methodist Churches; and the decisions and prayers of many local citizens.

The influence and generosity of local citizen, Mr George Bowman, and the spiritual integrity of Rev. Dr James Cameron, feature high in the events of our Church.

Memorial to James Cameron

17 May 1798:
George Bowman, then 3 years old, arrived in Sydney on board the "Barwell" with his parents John and Honora, brother John and sister Mary.
24 May 1820:
George Bowman married Eliza Pearce at Parramatta.
George Bowman donated land in West Market Street for a church, and paid for its erection, completing the project in this year.
12 Nov 1851:
Rev. W. Lumsdane was inducted as the first Minister of the new church.
28 Feb 1856:
Rev. James Cameron was inducted as Minister, and the following year married Eliza Bowman, George and Eliza's eldest daughter.
George Bowman erected a bell tower and clock at the front of the church, as a gift to the people of Richmond.
26 Aug 1878:
George Bowman died, and was buried in the family vault in Richmond Presbyterian Cemetery. Through the Will of his wife Eliza, a bequest of 2,000 Pounds exists (with interest) to this day, to assist with meeting the costs of a Minister's stipend.
Dr Cameron erected a private residence adjacent to the Church, and following its later service as a Community Hospital, Nursing home and offices it is now once more a private home.
The Sunday School Hall was erected, at a cost of 344 Pounds
An Assistant Minister (Rev. James Kinghorn) was appointed to assist Dr Cameron in the Parish.
8 Oct 1905:
Dr Cameron passed away, having served the Richmond Congregation for over 49 years. During his ministry he had twice been Moderator of the N.S.W. Presbyterian Church, and was a great leader in many aspects of ministry. A brass memorial to his life and ministry on the front wall of the Church, and a granite monument in front of the church, commemorate his life.
22 June 1977:
The Congregational, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches came into Union, forming the Uniting Church in Australia. After a short time of reduced services, the local services were soon all held in the Methodist Church in Paget Street, Richmond.
Work began on the restoration of St Andrew's, with assistance from the Heritage Commission, to install damp coursing, repair the foundations, restore the timber pews and panelling, and repaint the whole building. This process took five years to complete.
29 Nov 1992:
St Andrew's was reopened for worship with a celebratory Service, and the Methodist Church was advertised and then sold to the Reformed Church.
1 Dec 1996:
After over four years of planning and construction, the new multipurpose Centre was opened at a total cost of $853,000 (not including private donations), linking the Church and Sunday School Hall and adding new offices, a meeting room, kitchen, auditorium and utility areas.

George and Eliza Bowman
All Bowman photographs are reproduced here with the permission of Miss Elizabeth Bowman
An image of the Portrait of George Bowman is held in the State Library of NSW - Ref. 1090855

This page was updated on: 28 January 2007