History of Our Church

Old Church

The timber building standing next to today's brick building was the original church (erected in 1891) at the 

corner of Beecroft Road and Hannah Street.  It was planned and built in less than three months by an enthusiastic band of local Anglicans, including Mrs Jemima Hull, and seated 68 people.  In 1906, the timber church was towed by a steam traction engine to its present site.


New Church

Increasing congregations prompted plans for a more substantial church building.  In July 1907 a block of local sandstone, fashioned by George Willis was used as the foundation stone of the new church (located on external east wall).  It was officially laid by the State Governor Sir Harry Rawson who was delayed as the vice-regal car got lost near Epping.



The first service in the new church was held on 18 January 1908 when the building was opened and dedicated by Archbishop Saumarez.  It was not fully completed, however, and the rear section was only built in 1967, thanks to the generosity of a Beecroft resident, Donald George McDonald and his wife.  He had been the Sunday School Superintendent and church warden for many years.  The original design featured a tower and a spire but these have never been built.

Memorial Windows

A number of the gothic windows in the church have been fitted with stained glass that add to the traditional design.  The three east windows show three evangelists, Matthew, John and Mark, while a small rose window above these show Luke with his gospel.  These windows are memorials to leading families in church life in the early days, two to the Skellett family, and one to Bessie Grant whose husband was an early trustee.                                                                                          

On the north wall a window commemorates the life of Charles Churchill Tucker, perhaps the leading figure in the early community life of Beecroft.  His civic mindedness led to many improvements in the district.  He was an original member of Hornsby Council. 

On the south wall a stained glass window remembers Harry Octavius Holcombe and his wife Violet.  Harry was another Beecroft resident who was prominent in civic life and church affairs. 

War Memorial

The carved timber 1914-1918 Honour Roll on the wall shows the high level of involvement of young men from Beecroft during the First World War.  There are 67 names on the Roll, of whom nine were killed.


As far as can at present be determined, the parish has had 7 Rectors

  • Rev. George McIntosh                                     1890-1903
  • Rev. Joseph Young                                             1903-1926
  • Rev. Roy Hamilton Bootle                               1926-1942
  • Canon John Roderic Lindsay Johnstone   1942-1982
  • Rev. Allan Morrison Blanch                            1982-2000
  • Rev. Geoffrey Collison                                     2000- 2018
  • Rev. James Smith                                                2018 - present

                                  The Rev. George McIntosh


* Information and photographs were sourced from "A Guide to St John's Anglican Church Beecroft" and "Beecroft and Cheltenham -the Shaping of a Sydney Community to 1914" - Beecroft Cheltenham History Group