The first gold rush in the Gundagai area began in 1861 and with it so did the construction of St John’s Anglican Church.
Today the Gothic Revival style church, in asbestos stone, looks much more modern than I expected. This is due to the fact that since 1861 it has undergone a number of renovations including one in 1926 and another in 1975, the latter necessitated by a fire which caused significant internal damage and destroyed the roof.
The church like church hall within the church grounds, depicted in my second picture, was built in 1898 and rather more looks its age than does the church.
The now decaying entrance arch to the church grounds on the corner of Otway and Punch Streets bears the inscription ‘Dedicated to him that giveth victory onto kings’ – ‘him’ being God and the inscription being a reference to Psalm 144:10 or Psalm 18:50.
My final picture, taken by town doctor and local amateur photographer, Charles Gabriel, (see my separate review on the Gabriel Gallery) is of a tennis party at St. John’s in the latter part of the 19th century. The photo suggests that the church had a rather affluent congregation for a country town, providing a very clear indication of how the town, and presumably the church, benefited from the gold rush I referred to at the outset of this review. By the time of the 1926 renovation things must have changed as the then rector had a letter published in the Sydney Morning Herald (8 April 1925) seeking contributions towards the renovation – lamenting that church funds amounted to only £250 while the renovation would cost £600.
Address: Cnr Otway and Punch Streets