Old stone churches are beautiful and Sydney has its fair share of them. My fiancee and I recently scouted out the churches from the foot of Sydney’s Blue Mountains to the top at Mount Victoria. I’m hoping this will be a useful summary for others. Our methodology was comprehensive, if not a little unimaginative, and involved setting aside 2 weekends, pulling out the UBD map and visiting every little church icon in the areas of interest. I’ve listed the ones that caught our eye. If you’re after stone or a cute rendered church, this list covers just about all your options.
For convenience, I’ll describe a church that looks like it’d hold less than 100 people as small and more than 100 as large. My estimate is based on a vague estimate of the number of rows of pews and might be a little off but should be helpful. Most, if not all, churches that we called required the minister of the church to take the ceremony. If you have your own minister, they may be able to do a small part of the service but don’t hold your breath. We only obtained hiring charges for a few churches and they were of the order of \$650 to \$800 (thank liability insurance for a slab of that).
- St Stephen’s Anglican, Penrith: Large grey rendered stone/concrete church on a main street. The stone/rendering isn’t in the best of shape, in part due to a few pieces of graffiti that have left marks after removal. It has plenty of parking though the grounds aren’t particularly pretty.
- St Thomas’ Anglican, Mulgoa: Lovely, small-ish, yellow sandstone church set way back from the main road, surrounded by bush. Mid 1800’s era building, full of character. The grounds were locked when we drove by but the minister was very friendly on the phone.
- St Paul’s Anglican, Emu Plains: Cute, classic, small-ish, yellow sandstone church on spacious grounds in a residential area. Has a little grove of trees. Based on our conversation with the minister, is only available to parishioners or local residents (Emu Plains to Lapstone).
- Christ Church Anglican, Castlereagh: Very small, white-washed, rendered concrete church with brilliant views over the Hawkesbury. Very cute and well maintained. Simple grounds, as one would expect.
- St Andrew’s Presbyterian, Wentworth Falls: Small, yellow sandstone church on a reasonably small block surrounded by pine trees. Looks like it’s well maintained but we didn’t think it as pretty as some.
- Catholic church, Leura: Very cute small chocolate and cream coloured, rendered concrete church. Has some lovely trees and grass on the grounds along with a little off street parking. I’ve heard that you need to be attending a local catholic church to use it, but your mileage may vary. [Picture below]
- Presbyterian church, Springwood: Very well kept, larger yellow sandstone church with a tall spire. Has a gorgeous, large jacaranda tree near the church entrance and is quite beautiful despite being on the main street. It was a little difficult to get in contact with the minister due to limited office hours.
- St Peter’s Anglican, Mt Victoria: Charming, unassuming little yellow sandstone church. Has a simple and well kept grounds and a bell outside. This is classic simplicity and was our favourite. Cute. [Picture below]
- Leslie Memorial Presbyterian, Blackheath: Classic, smallish brick church. Hidden behind a few trees on large but uninteresting grounds.
- St Alban’s Anglican, Leura: Clean looking larger brick church, with classic looks (recently rebuild after fire). Surrounded by plenty of lovely trees but on the main street.
- St James’ Anglican, Pitt Town: Small, beautifully maintained, classic yellow sandstone church. Has Moreton-Bay fig trees on well kept grounds with a nice amount of grass and lovely views. The most beautiful we saw (but wasn’t as cute as St Peters, Mt. Vic, for our money). [Picture below]
- Scots Church Uniting, Pitt Town: Tiny sandstone church, on reasonably small grounds across the road from St. James Anglican. Cute and well kept.
- St Matthew’s Anglican, Windsor. Very large, regal, red-brick church. Building dates from mid-1800’s. Surrounded by a cemetery. Very large windows, bell-tower and high roof.
- Uniting Church, Ebenezer: This was too distant for us to bother seeing but is worth mentioning anyway. Apparently it’s Australia’s oldest church building, is stone and is very picturesque.
In order: Catholic church (Leura), St Peters Anglican (Mt. Victoria), St James Anglican (Pitt Town)
Hope you find this useful. Email me if you’d like any more info.