The Old Union Church ~ Marrangaroo Prayer Chapel (Circa 1897)
This small, beautiful church was opened for worship in 1897 by the Hon Joseph Cook.
It was several years in the planning and building and was built by, and to serve, the local residents of Marrangaroo from donations of material and money. Many of the donors still have descendants in the region. Fund raising concerts were held in Wallerawang in 1896 & 1898 and in Lithgow in 1897.
Mr W Knight (who was the community school teacher) organised construction. Mr L Brown (son of the first settler of Lithgow west) gave one acre of land on which to erect the Church. Mr Mylecharane surveyed the land, Mr Barton gave the flooring boards, Mr Sandford (owner of the ironworks, later the Hoskins steelworks - BHP) gave half the iron for the roof, Mr Morris the plans, Mesdames Hankins, Hughes & Knight fibre for the front of the chancel, Mesdames B & R Knight the pulpit (which can still be seen in the church today) Mr Gannon the Bible, Mr Hambler two collection plates and the Primative Methodist Body a pair of chandeliers. Messrs Knight & Arter the ceiling boards, and Messrs Lewis & Wilson gave time & labour. Mr Kirkwood did the stonemasonry.
Presbyterian, Methodist and Church of England services and Sunday School were all held regularly. The last Presbyterian service was held in 1956, the last Methodist service in 1948. Both these churches ceded their title to the Anglican Church in 1979. Services continued until 1980.
The Gateway Christian School occupied the site and in 1983 the building was used as a library block for the School (which moved to Blackheath in 1987)
The building was used for storage until 1989 when the little church was cleaned out and was once again used for worship. It became a Parish Prayer Chapel which remained in regular use until 1997. The “Marrangaroo Prayer Chapel” was heritage listed in 1994.
The stone gateway at the entrance is a memorial to Edward Hankins and was erected by his family in 1959. The plaque of dedication is still on the west side.
Much is made in this short space of the physical building, however many members of the local community have connections to the prayer chapel through attending for worship, school, Sunday School, everyday life events, and involvement in construction of the adjacent Littleton rectory.
Our Thanks and appreciation to Michael & Kate Jameson - for the contribution of his short history of 'The Old Union Church' and 'Marrangaroo Prayer Chapel'.
A Short History of The Old Union Church - Marrangaroo Prayer Chapel (circa 1897)
- situated on the Great Western Highway Marrangaroo - Lithgow NSW.