In October 1884 a meeting held at the residence of Mr E. Deas-Thompson and chaired by the Reverend R. Young agreed to purchase land and build a church for members of the Church of England living in the shires of Redmyre and Homebush. A temporary, unlined weatherboard church was built on a block of land on the Vernon estate, Redmyre, which was generously given by Mr J.B. Jones. The dedication by the Bishop of Sydney, the Right Reverend Alfred Barry, took place on Sunday morning 3rd May, 1885, with 170 people present.
The Reverend David Ruddock was an interim minister for several months. The district was formed into a parish and the first Rector, the Reverend Herbert John Rose was appointed in December 1885. At the time, there were fewer than 40 families in the area belonging to the Church of England.
As the population of the area grew, it was clear that the initial facilities would prove inadequate. Although the Rectory remained in Vernon Street for some years, a decision was made to sell the church and land and erect a new building in a more central location. The foundation stone of St Anne’s was laid on 25th August, 1892, and the partly finished building was dedicated by the Bishop of Sydney, the Right Reverend William Saumarez Smith in July 1893. The church was completed in stages, with the final section dedicated in December 1914. A church hall was added and extended, and the current Rectory was built adjacent to the church in 1921.
In late 1905, the foundation stone for a new church at Flemington (Homebush West) was laid. Services at St Columba’s began in March 1906 and it remained a branch church of St Anne’s until October 1938, when it became part of the Provisional District (and later, parish) of Homebush and Flemington. St Columba’s flourished especially during the 1950s & 1960s. Changing demographics eventually led to St Columba’s being recombined with St Anne’s in 1999. Regular Anglican services at St Columba’s ceased for the time being in November 2004.
As is true of every church, St Anne’s has had its share of both prosperous and lean times over more than 125 years. For much of its history, it has been a hub of community life, offering wide-ranging activities for all age groups. The changing nature of Sydney’s inner west has brought new challenges which stretch our resources. But the essential task of proclaiming Christ is unchanged and remains our priority.
Rectors of St Anne’s
Reverend Herbert John Rose (1885-1930)
Reverend William Gordon Nisbet (1930-1955)
Reverend Charles Edward Hulley (1956-1962)
Reverend Neville James Chynoweth (1963-1966)
Reverend Angus Cornwell Tipping (1966-1987)
Reverend Lance Andrew Johnston (1988-2000)
Reverend Philip George Gale (2001-2006)
Reverend Dane Howard Courtney (2007-
Read more about St Anne's from the Strathfield Historical Society.