Recent news and coming events at St Albans


Breaking News

Our incumbent, Deacon Mike Wilkinson, will be ordained as a full priest on Saturday December 2nd at Newcastle Cathedral. So Sunday 3rd December will be our first service at which he is able to preside over Holy Communion. Be there if you can!

Upgrades to the surrounds

OK, the church photo on our home page is now out of date! We have some great new paved pathways, full disabled access, and the final piece in the work was a park bench style seat. We like tourists to trudge up the hill to see our church and it seemed a good idea to give them somewhere to sit down when they got there. The seat is dedicated to the memory of the late Doug Shannon. Doug and Gay were our Synod representatives for very many years and huge supporters of the church in many other ways. So the seat bears a plaque in his memory and we had a formal dedication after our 1st October sevice.

seat dedication

So here we see Gay Shannon and her son Tony formally being the first to take their place on the seat. Thanks to Sue Inman for the picture.

Easter services, 2023

A wonderful Easter at St Albans. Mike and Lilli produced some very novel, and very moving, additions to the services. On Good Friday Lilli told the folk tale of the three trees - one of which became a certain manger, the second became a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee - and you can guess what the third became. She got all the children up on the altar steps and at the end got them to give everyone a handpainted card.

On Easter Sunday Lilli had handmade fabric scrolls for everyone, each containing a few words from Isaiah. But we also had the traditional decorating of the floral cross - it was spectacular.


Folk Festival coming up - for the first time in several years - 21-23 April. Traditional Gospel service on Sunday 23rd - free access and it will be fun!


Well, 2022 was the year of the floods and that severely curtailed the number of services we could hold. Fortunately Church and Hall were above flood level, unlike the Fire Shed, so in July the Hall became the rescue coordination centre, manned by the RFS. Brian and Gaynot loaned theit satellite equipment so that it had connectivity. Not quite the factilies that they were used to, but it worked.


Christmas Eve Carol service, 2021

The Childrens' Choir show that they really can sing. Click the image to start the video and use the back button to return at the end.


(Sorry about the somewhat abrupt ending).

Well as we have all found out the batproofing made a huge improvement but was not 100% effective. It seems that the local wildlife has diecovered this too and is taking advantage.

Photo by Vigo Aboltins.

Batproofing follow-up - an unusual service

Scaffolding over the altar

The scaffolding is down outside the church but now there is scaffolding inside while we try to eliminate the last remaining gaps. It was not worth dismantling it for our monthly service on November 1st so arrangements were a bit unconventional.

Batproofing the church

A dramatic change! On Wednesday 10th June the scaffolding firm arrived early and finished late, and working through rather miserable drizzle, comprehensively enveloped the church in scaffolding.

roof off vestry The roof is being taken off, section by section, and the gaps caused by shrinkage of the ceiling boards are being blocked with plywood strips. Then a thin tough sheet is laid down, followed by 'pink batt' type insulation. This will keep the church warmer in winter, cooler in summer and less vulnerable to bush fires. It will also reduce the space available to bats, and prevent any poo from descending.

We are also trying to block all points where bats can enter. So far we have found very few bats and these are being handled in accordance with advice from one of Australia's top specialists. National parks have inspected the work and given their approval. No bats will be harmed. Weather permittting, the work should be finished by the 25th June.

JV playing organ

Our new organ

We now have a real pipe organ. It was installed on Tuesday 1st October, but still had some problems and the techicians (Darell Pitchford and Matt Richards) made a flying visit on Friday 4th to make sure it was ready for Sunday. Since these were both coffee mornings they did at least get refreshments.

The organ's inaugural appearance was at our regular service on Sunday 6th October in the hands of our resident expert John Vallance.

We have two brief video clips of it in action. Hit the 'back' button to return to this page when the clip finishes.

The offertory hymn. (Stops rather abruptly!)

John plays Frescobaldi after the service.

Read the full story of this organ here.

Mark, my words

The 'Mark my Words' project, after a year in preparation, was launched on September 1st. Read about it, and access all the recordings, here.

St Phillip's signboard New sign-board at St Phillips

To show to the world that our little church is still loved and used, we've put up a new signboard to announce when the next service is happening. Higher Macdonald residents now have no excuse for missing a service!

St Alban's Day at St Phillips

The Feast Day of St Alban the Martyr is 22nd June, and we always have some sort of special service on the closest Sunday to it. This year the closest Sunday - June 24th - was our regular St Phillips service day, so we had a service celebrating both saints. Instead of a sermon, Rev. Peter hosted the 'TV programme' "Saints Alive", interviewing both saints. St Phil[l]ip was played by Phillip Perry and St Alban by Mike Wilkinson, and they both entered totally into the spirit of the thing.

Saints Alive 1 Saints Alive 2

You can watch the whole programme in a video taken by Nerida Sternbeck. Use the 'Back' button to return to this page.

The hymns were all gospel, with a New Orleans jazz accompaniment, and the capacity congregation entered into the spiri of things with great enthusiasm.

The swinging congretation

Thanks to Dianne Chambers for taking the pictures (with Rev. Peter's camera).

Please send all information about future events to Guy Cox or phone 4568 2188 and leave a message.