Friday, December 2, 2011

St Ninian's, Lyneham

Not all of Canberra is modern public art and Brutalist concrete 1980s buildings. St Ninian's Uniting Church in Lyneham is an example of Canberra's early European settlement. Opened in 1873 as the district's second permanent church building (after St John's Church of England at Reid), it replaced an earlier (1862) slab and bark building used by the Scottish Presbyterian settlers. The stone was quarried locally - from Black Mountain - and the original building was a simple rectangle with two arched windows down each side. The church was extended in 1901, using the same stone and adding another arched window on each side, but attendances declined for several reasons, and the building was closed in 1920.


For over 20 years the building served as a hay barn, and then was completely abandoned and left to decay. But in 1941 it caught the attention of the minister of St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Canberra, and he was instrumental in its restoration and reopening in 1942, under the new name of St Ninian's.

A church hall was added in 1961, and there were further extensions in 1978-79 (using Black Mountain stone), after St Ninian's had become part of the Uniting Church in Australia (formed by Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational churches) in 1977. For those interested, there's more information on the church website and in the 2011 ACT Heritage Notice.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Such a beautiful church.