Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about St Stephen’s Uniting Church
1. A congregation with history
Although construction of the current church was completed in 1937, the St Stephen’s congregation itself actually dates all the way back to 1842. Over the decades, the congregation has formed an important part of the Uniting Church and the wider community in New South Wales. For instance, notable figures such as NSW State Governors Sir Eric Woodward and Sir John Northcott were honoured with State Funerals here.
2. Music has always been important
The church has a long history of championing the arts. Australian musicians such as Paul Kelly and Marcia Hines have performed for large crowds here, and the famous five-hundred voice Handel’s Messiah choir use the site as a rehearsal space. They also have their own choir that perform every Sunday as well as at Easter and Christmas.
3. A 90-year-old pipe organ lives here
In 1934, the current organ that takes pride of place in the church was built by the English firm Hill, Norman & Beard. Although it went under some design renovations in the 1970s to fit the neo-Baroque style, the organ still boasts its original 2,500 pipes and 61 stops.
The mesmerising Candlelight series continues to dazzle audiences inside St Stephen’s Uniting Church. From iconic groups like Coldplay and Queen to musical legends like David Bowie, Elton John and Joe Hisaishi, these stunning tributes cover a wide range of genres and artists. And for fans of the classical, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons are also getting a candlelit performance inside this historic Sydney setting. The combination of flickering candles and live music make for a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t forget any time soon.
What else can you do at St Stephen’s Uniting Church?
The church opens every Sunday from 9am until 12pm, and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10:30am to 3:30pm for their services. They run annual charity events in conjunction with organisations such as Sydney Alliance and help run the Healing the Earth campaign – a mission to promote recycling and protect the environment. What’s more, there’s also a café on-site that serves coffee and breakfast between 7am and 8am.
The gorgeous St Stephen’s Uniting Church is a marvelous venue that stands proudly on the historic Macquarie Street. It possesses a range of stunning features designed in the Gothic style that are definitely worth the visit. So if you’re keen to see the church for yourself, why not head to one of the many dazzling concerts by Candlelight that are illuminating this Sydney landmark? The magical series of concerts is actually lighting up magnificent venues across Sydney, and you don’t want to miss out.