2015 was the 150th anniversary of the construction of the original church of St Stephen, at 383 High Street Road, Mount Waverley. It is believed to be the oldest building still in use in the area and the oldest continuing church in the City of Waverley/Monash.
The Church of St Stephen was built in 1865 at a cost of 330 pounds and was designed by well-known architect and St Stephen’s Parish Treasurer, Nathaniel Billing, who also designed All Saints, East St Kilda and various other buildings around Victoria.
The parish enjoyed a wonderful year of celebrations marking 150 years of Christian worship and mission.
January – Prayer and Launch
When the church of St Stephen was built in 1865, most parishioners walked to church across the fields, whilst the lucky ones rode on horse back or by horse and cart.
On Sunday 25 January we celebrated the launch of the 150th Anniversary year with the lighting of the anniversary candle and reciting the sesqui-centenary prayer written for the occasion by parishioner Michael Mosley (pictured below right with Jenny, both holding the anniversary bookmark).
March – Recital
On Sunday 15 March, parishioner Joan Janka and David McNicol gave a two piano music recital with afternoon tea served in the garden.
April – Anzac Day
On Sunday 26 April, the parish marked Anzac Day with a beautiful service remembering all those parishioners, past and present, who served this country.
We heard from three parishioners who had served our country – the late John Hobbs, Michael Mosley and Rev’d Kate Lord, and we welcomed many other ex-service men and women from the area to this very special service.
July – Anniversary Celebrations
We enjoyed a wonderful service with the Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne and Primate of Australia, presiding, with a host of previous clergy attending, and a congregation of around 350.
The service included the confirmation of 6 of our parish young people, and the reception into the church of 6 adults of the parish.
Sunday 26 July – Book Launch – ‘Threads of Memories’
We thank Archbishop Philip Freier for officially launching our new history of the parish, ‘Threads of Memories: A Tapestry of Faith Created Over 150 Years’.
If you have not yet bought one, please click on the link below to open the order form and order now!
July – Library Display
During July, the Mount Waverley Library held a display about the 150th Anniversary. We were delighted to have a number of local residents come and visit the church as a result.
The 150th Anniversary Parish Dinner was a fun evening of entertainment, with a colonial theme running through it.
Zelda was this year’s lucky winner of the major raffle prize, one of Avril Foenander’s beautiful paintings.
See photos (on Facebook)
Saturday 24 October – Old Fashioned Fete
Thanks to a truly lovely spring day, the fete was a fabulous affair, with a great turnout, great stalls and great activities.
Parishioners got fully involved, clearing out their trash and treasure, baking, growing and providing for all sorts of requests over the preceding months.
Big thanks to everyone for a brilliant event and especial thanks to Irene Donohoue-Clyne and her team for their organisation and everyone who helped with the very many tasks involved.
150 Anniversary Subcommittee
The committee is made up of:
- Elizabeth Mounas
- Norma Schultz
- Michael Mosley
- John Russell
- Joan West
- Judith Gibson
- Howard Brown
A number of projects are being carried out in support of the 150th Anniversary:
- Writing – Marg Taylor: updating the Parish History from 1965 to 2015
- 150 Anniversary Merchandise
- Parish Archives – Howard Brown and Judith Gibson: collecting documents, stories and photos
- Fourth Sunday Focus: a different aspect of the 150th Anniversary was highlighted at each Fourth Sunday
- Display of historical artefacts – Mount Waverley library in July