Our story began in the 1950's with a meeting held in a home in South Turramurra. Two blocks of land on the corner of Monteith St and Kissing Point Rd were donated by one of the church wardens from our mother church at St. James' Anglican Church Turramurra. In June 1957 the Archbishop dedicated St. Philip's as a branch church of St. James. As new homes were built in South Turramurra, people were visited by St James' Assistant Ministers and contacts were made. One assistant minister recalled following removalist vans as the area grew. A Sunday School began in 1957 and the first youth fellowship group followed soon after in the early 1960's.
AN EARLY MOVE
During the late 50's people began to realise that the site was unsuitable! The congregation was growing, there was the possibility of Kissing Point Rd being widened and South Turramurra kept growing further south! After 18 months of negotiations three blocks of land were purchased on the corner of Parkinson Ave and The Comenarra Parkway as a new church site. In April 1965 an architectural brief was arranged for Sydney University 4th Year Design School and a competition was held to choose the most popular of the designs submitted. In February 1967 the residence adjoining the church site, 5 Parkinson Ave was bought to become the Rectory. During 1969 the Church and Hall were built with the opening of the new facilities taking place in September 1969.
In July 1969 after a decade of sustained growth the Archbishop was asked to create the Provisional Parish of Turramurra South. This was done with the goodwill and prayers of St. James' who had been financially generous and supportive from the start. So commenced life for St. Philip's as a district having to stand on its own feet - but it was obvious right from the start that this was the Lord's doing - He was faithful to us and we were called to be faithful to Him.
Our first minister, the Rev. Allan Blanch, began in March 1970 as Curate-in-charge. Allan was a faithful preacher of God's Word. He left in February 1974 to take up ministry at St.Barnabas' Broadway. In April 1974 the Rev. David Hewetson was appointed as Curate-in-charge and when the application to become a fully fledged parish was approved by Synod in 1978, David became our first Rector. David continued a faithful teaching, preaching and pastoral ministry until December 1989. The Rev. Max Boys joined us in January 1991 and retired in June 2009. Max exercised a faithful ministry and was particularly noted for his pastoral care. During his time the staff team developed and grew. The Rev. Tom Henderson-Brooks joined us as our Senior Minister in November 2009. After six years Tom and Caroline have taken up responsibility for the Parish of North Rockhampton. Currently we are blessed to have our assistant minister Glenn Gardner as our acting rector. We look forward to welcoming the Rev. Shane Dirks, his wife Rachel and their family in June this year when Shane takes up the role as rector. We are excited by the opportunities this change will bring.
We believe it is true to say that over the years there has been a real growth in Christian godliness and maturity in the people of St. Philip's and for this we thank God and also those who under God have ministered so faithfully.
MINISTRY AT ST. PHILIP'S
Ministry at St. Philip's has been very varied and wide reaching - grow groups or home study groups first commenced in the late 1970's - these groups under the lord's guidance have been the heart and core of our Christian community - meeting for fellowship, support of each other, sharing and studying God's Word.. Ministry to the young people of our area has grown and developed from the very humble beginning in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Our first part time youth worker started with us in the early 1980's and today we have a full time youth minister - we thank God for the growth and quality of our youth work. Our Lord has led many from our midst to serve in other parts of his vineyard - some have been ordained for full time ministry in Sydney Diocese and in other dioceses. Others have served with Missionary Societies in places as diverse as Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, Sabah, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, Kenya, the Northern Territory, South Africa, Bangladesh and elsewhere. In recent times a number have been involved in various church plants across Sydney.
Other areas of ministry have included hospital and nursing home visiting, family court ministry, prisons ministry, schools ministry through scripture teaching and ministry to our community through our involvement with the Ku-ring-gai fair, Carols, Green Tent and Australia Day Breakfasts.
We thank God for leading us in the way He has and trust that we might be faithful in following His guidance and leading in all that lies ahead for us.