31 July, 2022
St Ambrose Church celebrates centenary
Marking a century of existence, St Ambrose Memorial Anglican Church celebrated 100 years on last Sunday morning.
Beginning as a humbling £1200 peace and thanks-giving
donation made by parishioners of St Ambrose Church
in Bournemouth, England, it was the support from community
members that made St Ambrose in Gilgandra what it is
St Ambrose in Bournemouth, England, judged Gilgandra
as “the town in the British dominions with the greatest
record of achievements in the war”, happily passing on
Locals rallied with the same community spirit and
determination Gilgandra people still have today, to raise
enough funds to re-build the existing church.
“There was a church already there, but the ground the
church is built on is not great soil, and there was an issue
with the original building,” said St Ambrose Memorial
Anglican Church treasurer, Julie Sawley.
The foundation stone was laid in 1920, however the
church was consecrated on July 26, 1922. The original
stone in 1920 states; “To the Glory of God - Nov 22nd,
1920 - This foundation stone was laid by His Excellency -
Sir Walter Davidson KCMG - Governor of New South
Wales - and blessed by The Lord Bishop of Bathurst -
George Merrick - A memorial to the fallen and a thank
offering for peace.”
Last Sunday, July 24, St Ambrose was also officially
renamed from St Ambrose Anglican Church to St Ambrose
Memorial Anglican Church.
“We have to have some major works down in the next few years because of the building’s age, and it’s been renamed it to be a part of the RSL group, in order to acknowledge our history; the church was built because of the men who fought in WWI,” said Ms Sawley.
Celebrations of 100 years began with a church service on
Sunday morning, as well as a Welcome to Country by
Larry Towney, followed by a ribbon cutting and morning
Representatives from each church in Gilgandra turned
out for the occasion, as well as the Anglican Bishop of
Bathurst, Mark Calder.
“It was a real blessing, the bishop is a wonderful man of
God and he spoke a great message to us,” said Ms Sawley.
“I think everyone felt really blessed to just come together.”
St Ambrose Anglican Memorial Church in Gilgandra is
a much-loved church by the whole community," she explained.
She said that it’s not just an Anglican church,
it’s a church of the Gilgandra community.
“Because of that history, because of the Coo-ee’s, people
affiliate that as part of Gilgandra. People come from
other towns just to take photos of St Ambrose church
because of its unique history.”
The church was filled with many community members on Sunday morning, and the official renaming was consecrated by Bishop Mark Calder.