All Saints Church, New Lambton

Within a year of New Lambton beginning in 1868, residents had erected two church buildings, the Lay Methodists in Rugby Road and the Wesleyan Methodists in Victoria Street. Members of the Anglican Church however had no place to meet and had to travel to neighbouring Lambton to worship at St Johns church.  This situation endured for many decades, although by 1918 the New Lambton Anglicans were at least catering for children by running a Sunday School in the Mechanics’ Institute hall.

In 1924 the first Anglican Church building in New Lambton was erected on the corner of Cromwell and Oxford Streets. Costing £750, it was “of the Gothic architecture, constructed of rusticated weatherboard, 60 feet long by a width of 24 feet.”

At the dedication service on 26 April 1924, the bishop of Newcastle, Dr Reginald Stephen declared to those present that “it was going to be used for the worship of God, to pray for themselves and for others” and that “the building was intended to be a blessing to the whole neighbourhood.”

The new church, given the name All Saints, was still part of the Lambton parish. However, growth in the congregation meant that four years later in November 1928, New Lambton became a separate parish and appointed their first rector, the Reverend Hugh Linton.

In 1958 the Anglicans purchased a large block of land on the corner of Regent Street and St James Road and erected a spacious brick building. The Newcastle Morning Herald reported that over 1000 people attended the opening service in September 1959. Around 1970, the original wooden church on Cromwell Street was demolished, and the current brick hall and parish office erected in its place. In 2024, one hundred years from opening their first church building, New Lambton Anglicans are undertaking major renovations and refurbishment of the Regent Street building, making it ready for the next hundred years of being a blessing to the neighbourhood.

The original All Saints New Lambton church building erected in 1924. Photo from the collection of Thomas Ernest Millington, via Lyn Millington.
The All Saints church office and hall now occupies the site on the corner of Cromwell and Oxford Street.

The article above was first published in the April 2024 edition of The Local.

Additional Information

The Anglican Diocese of Newcastle purchased land at the corner of Cromwell and Oxford Streets on 25 August 1913. Vol-Fol 2397-69
Interior of All Saints church building, New Lambton. Date unknown. Photo courtesy of Lyn Millington.
The original wooden All Saints church building at New Lambton. The photo is undated but must be before 1937, as the parish hall to the right of the church has not yet been erected. Photo courtesy of Lyn Millington.
The foundation stone of the first parish hall was laid on 24 October 1937. The stone was retained in the foyer of the new brick parish hall that was erected around 1970.
Aerial photograph from 1938, showing the 1924 church (red), newly erected parish hall (green), and the block of land where the current church would be erected (yellow) completely vacant apart from one small shed. Living Histories, University of Newcastle.
The Anglican Diocese of Newcastle purchased land at the corner of Regent St and St James Road in July 1958. Vol-Fol 3546-230
A small 20 feet wide block of land that was originally part of Lot 1, Sec V, DP 1949 had previously been purchased in April 1958. Vol-Fol 3546-224
The foundation stone of the new brick church building on the corner of Regent St and St James Rd was laid on 14 December 1958.

The exact dates when the original wooden church and parish hall was demolished, and new brick parish hall erected in its place is not known. Looking at aerial photographs at NSW Historical Imagery website shows that the demolition/erection occurred sometime between 1966 and 1974.

A 1966 aerial photo showing the original wooden church building (red) and parish hall (green).
A 1974 aerial photo showing the new brick parish hall of All Saints New Lambton.

In 2020 major structural defects were discovered in the brick bell tower, posing a significant safety hazard.

All Saints Church, March 2020.

In December 2020 the bell tower was demolished.

The demolition of the bell tower in progress, 1 December 2020.
Entrance to the church after the bell tower demolition. 12 December 2020.

The church that never was

In the 1950s the parish of New Lambton made plans for a new church complex including a church, hall, offices, Sunday School rooms, and a rectory. In 1950 the diocese purchased an acre of land on the corner of Royal Street and William Street.

Purchase of land in 1950 for a church complex for All Saints. See Vol-Fol 1994-240 and 4081-173.

In 1951 plans were drawn up for two buildings on the land, with space leftover for a tennis court and a future rectory.

The 1951 church plans overlaid into Google Earth.

Overlaying the 1951 church plan over the building that was eventually constructed in Regent St, shows that the planned church was a very similar size and shape.

I have no information on why the plans for the Royal Place church was abandoned in favour of the 1959 building on Regent Street. Possibly cost was a factor. After the Regent St land was purchased in 1958, the Royal Place land was sold in 1959, some of it to the Catholic Diocese for expansion of St Therese’s Primary School.

Newspaper articles / timeline

Article Date Event DateNotes
16 Sep 1869"There has been some talk of building a place of worship in connection with the Church of England here ; but as that denomination is erecting a church at Old Lambton, and as the distance between that township and New Lambton is only about a mile, it is now supposed that one chapel will, for some time hence, at least, be sufficient for both places."
8 Feb 1913
1 Feb 1913
"The children of the New Lambton Church of England Sunday School held their first picnic at Speers' Point on Saturday …"
18 Jan 1918"The adherents of the Presbyterian Church hold their services in the mechanics' institute, while the Anglican Church use the same building for Sunday school purposes."
28 Apr 1924
26 Apr 1924
"The dedication of All Saints' Church of England at New Lambton by the Right Rev. Dr. R. Stephen, Bishop of Newcastle, on Saturday afternoon marked another advance step in the work of the Anglican Church In the Newcastle district. The service was conducted in the presence of a very large congregation. The new building has been erected at the corner of Cromwell and Oxford streets at a cost of £750. It is of the Gothic architecture, and is constructed of rusticated weatherboard. Its length is 60 feet by a width of 24 feet, the finish and furnishing being of a high class. The interest taken in the church is given evidence to by the large amount of voluntary labour in its construction, and in the making of the furniture, with the exception of the seats. Mr. Sowerby was the builder, and Mr. W. E. Lalley acted as clerk of works."
25 Aug 1928"The Anglican Parish of Lambton has grown so big during the last few years that it has been deemed advisable to divide it into two portions. When this can be conveniently arranged, All Saints will have a rector of its own, and will have to shoulder the financial responsibilities thus incurred."
6 Oct 1928
7 Oct 1928
"Special services will be held in the Church of England to-morrow, as advertised. New Lambton, which was part of the parish of Lambton, has been now formed into a separate district. "
3 Nov 1928
1 Nov 1928
"The parishioners of the new parish of All Saints' Church of England, New Lambton, held a social in the Institute Hall on Thursday night, when a welcome was extended to Rev. Mr. Linton, the newly-appointed rector." Mr. Chapman said … " Many perhaps were pessimistic on breaking away from the Parish of St. Johns, Lambton, under the control of which all Saints' Church had been built. He, however, was optimistic in believing that as New Lambton was a growing suburb so would the cause of the Church of England grow to such an extent that additions would shortly be needed."
7 Nov 1928
5 Nov 1928
Induction of Rev Hugh Linton as the first rector of the All Saints New Lambton parish.
24 Feb 1934
21 Feb 1934
All Saints annual meeting … "The urgent need for a parish hall had not been forgotten, and plans had been drawn up."
1 Feb 1937
30 Jan 1937
"At the New Lambton Mechanics' Institute on Saturday night, the parishioners of All Saints' Church, New Lambton, tendered a farewell social to Rev. Hugh Linton and Mrs. Linton."
24 Oct 1937Laying of the foundation stone of the new parish hall.
2 Apr 1938First mention in Trove of an event in the new parish hall.
25 May 1938
24 May 1938
"Bowls of poinsettia were used to decorate the stage of the new parish hall at New Lambton last night when the first of a series of dances was held …"

One thought on “All Saints Church, New Lambton

  1. The Local was forwarded to me by a school friend, I now live in Sydney.
    In 1948 my grandfather, William George Percival donated a gold Chalice to All Saints New Lambton Church in memory of his wife Mabel Lillian Percival (nee Bramble). The Chalice is inscribed on the bottom. There were 6 boys in the Percival family, living in Queens Road New Lambton who all attended and helped in the church. William George Percival was Treasurer, Warden and choirmaster and Mabel member of Mothers Union and Guild.
    This Chalice I believe is being held at the Cathedral in Newcastle.
    It was and I believe has been allowed to return to New Lambton on special occasions, such as my father’s funeral in 2005.

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