BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PARISH AND PRESENT CHURCH BUILDING
The Anglican Church has been part of Sydney since white settlement in
1788. Services were held on the Manly-Warringah Peninsula as early
St John’s was originally one of the churches in the North Manly
district of St Matthew’s Manly Parish. It included the churches
of St Luke’s Brookvale (1887) St Andrew’s Oxford Falls and
St Martin’s Allambie Heights.
The first St John’s Church (used as the Parish Hall since 1958) was built in 1922.
In 1935 Dee Why/Brookvale became a provisional district and in 1949 a full parish with
the Rev. K.F.Saunders as its first rector.
The foundation stone for the present St John’s Church was laid
on 16 June 1957 by Archbishop HWK Mowll. The church was dedicated on
29 March 1958. (The architects were Fowell, Mansfield & Maclurcan,
and the master builder was E Spring Brown). St John’s was finally
consecrated on 1 April 1979.
On entering the church, visitors are often surprised to discover its
sense of space. Another remarkable feature is the collection of stained
glass windows, all designed by Philip Handel of Beacon Hill. Every window
is now in stained glass.
The nave’s entire south wall contains the most arresting of all
the windows, with its magnificent figure of Christ in Glory in the centre
and symbols of the twelve apostles and and women of heroic faith flanking
The building is open all day, inviting all who enter it to draw close
to the wonderful mystery of God. It is the experience of many that when
people gather in it to celebrate the liturgy that Presence is even closer.
A new chapter for St John's has begun with the completion of the new Parish Centre. This major new development was built during 2007 and finished early this year. It includes a new chapel, library, new halls, offices, vestries and sacristies, meeting rooms and spaces for children's and youth ministry.