A Brief History of St Michael’s

In 1875 the Foundation stone was laid for St Michael’s.  The first Church, designed by Edmund Blacket was opened on 17th February, 1877.  It was part of a larger design but consisting of three bays which are still part of the present west end. Built of stone with a timber east end it could accommodate 52 people.

In 1902 the Governor of New South Wales resided at Cranbrook and attended St Michael’s.  The front pews were cushioned and reserved for the vice regal party.

In 1905 plans were drawn up to extend the Church by the addition of a chancel designed by Cyril Blacket (son of Edmund).  In 1908 the Church extended with a south transept, a shallow sanctuary and temporary vestry.  The stone was supplied by the Wentworth Estate from a quarry in the parish. In 1910/11 the Church was further extended b y a choir and sanctuary, organ chamber and a second temporary vestry.  The organ was donated by Mr J R Love whose residence was Tivoli, now part of Kambala.  In 1910 adjacent land was purchased for a rectory which was subsequently built in 1923. The new Church was consecrated on 30th July, 1911.

In 1913 St Michael’s Vaucluse was created as a parish and in 1920 electricity was installed in the Church. In 1929 the Parish Hall opened (designed by Leslie Wilkinson).

In 1931 there were moves to extend the Church which was designed to be harmonious with existing building by Leslie Wilkinson. Included in this extension were the west end, baptistery, tower and bells and steeple.  For his work, Wilkinson was awarded the Sulman Medallion for architecture.  In 1939 the extended Church was dedicated.

More recent changes have included opening up the space of the sanctuary, new prayer desk, removal of west end pews and creation of open space.  2010 saw the uncovering and cleaning of the stone floor, new sanctuary, chancel and narthex carpet, roll out aisle carpet with west end storage, provision of a new copper roof and new landscaping.

In 2016, the Church buillt a boat as a congregational project using timber from the old Church roof.

There are many beautiful stained glass windows within the Church.  The North Transept windows feature “The Parables”;  South Transept Windows feature “The Miracles”.  There are many others which are well worth spending some time viewing. Please refer to the ‘What to See’ menu for further information.

St Michael’s Church is registered as National Trust (NSW).

Past Rectors

H Wallace Mort MA  –  1877-1902

G E C Stiles BA   –   1902-1906 (Curate in Charge)

A H Champion MA   –   1906-1909 (Curate in Charge)

A M Hopcraft   –   1909-1912 (Curate in Charge)

G A D’Arcy-Irvine   –   1912-1926

M G H Garbett   –   1926-1927 (Acting Rector)

H W A Barder MA   –   1927-1938

Canon H N Powys Th.L   –   1938-1957

Dr The Revd H W Guinness MRCS LRCP   –   1957-1971

Canon K H Short Th.L   –   1971-1975

Canon Lawrence F Bartlett   –   1975-1998

Grant M Bell   –   1999-2003

Michael K N Palmer   –    2003-September 2017

Rev. Bishop Stuart Robinson  – 6 May 2018 – 

A ‘merging’ of the Watson’s Bay Anglican Parish and the Anglican Parish of Vaucluse/Rose Bay

View Our Journey So Far