St Andrews Presbyterian Church


Reverend James Don was inducted into the local parish on 11th May 1858 by Rev. Mr. Mair.

First services were held in the Courthouse. The next few years saw services held in the old Sturt Street schoolhouse.

In 1860 a start was made to collect funds to build a church. Mr. Mitchell gave the lead by donating one acre and two perches of land which was handed over to the trustees of the

congregation, Messrs, James Umpherston and John McFayden.

This building was capable of seating 150 worshippers. In 1863 another two acres were added

and finally one more made up the present site.

After The Reverend RA Caldwell was appointed in 1864 the congregation increased and a “T” Shape addition was added to the original building which now seated 250.

By 1868 this was still not enough seating and it was decided to build a new church.

Tenders were called and accepted and the new Church was opened on 10th December 1871 at a cost of £3,000.

1877 saw the debt on the new church cleared, an organ was purchased at a cost of £55, the Manse was renovated which cost £142, fencing was needed and a very finely toned church bell was purchased from Germany for £130.

In 1879 seating was still a problem and a gallery had to be built, thus allowing 600 worshippers

to be seated.

In 1884 the foundation stone was laid of a new Sunday school by Mrs. Gardiner, which was completed that same year at a cost of£ 1244.

The same year also saw Captain Gardiner of Mount Schank donate a new pipe organ which cost £700.

It was manufactured by Fincham & Co., of Melbourne.

After much discussion as to the suitability and size of the two storey manse which was built in 1862, it was decided to completely demolish it and rebuild a new one which would better suit the needs of the congregation.

It was described as “although of tasteful Middle English design, was much too small for general

requirements, and was held to be inconvenient in its arrangement, but the main indictment against it was that it was not as well built as it should have been.”

The foundation stone of the new manse was laid by Mr. George Riddoch of Koorine

on 26th October 1910.

It was officially opened on 26th April 1911 by Mr. John Watson; costing £1,640.

The Reverend G.M. Baird and his wife were the first to occupy the building. He was Minister from 1909 to 1913.

Source St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Mount Gambier; One Hundred

Years of Achievement 1858-1958.

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