A New Model of Church in Strathfieldsaye
A partnership of Strathfieldsaye Uniting Church, the Anglican Mission District of Strathfieldsaye, and the Bush Church Aid Society (BCA).
For more information and service times follow this link to the Strathfieldsaye Community Church Website
Through consultation and with a need to renew the Memorandum of Understanding, the parties of the 2011 partnership agreed that we wanted to continue the arrangement, and in fact deepen our commitment to the local Church, the local community and to Christ. In 2014 after reviewing other cooperating Anglican-Uniting centres around Australia, a new model of Church was agreed upon and the name “Strathfieldsaye Community Church” was chosen to represent it. This new model began operating in 2015.
The Strathfieldsaye Community Church remains firmly within the broader Anglican and Uniting Churches. Operating in a ‘Cluster’ arrangement with South East Bendigo Parish, we remain in close relationship with Holy Trinity Flora Hill, sharing resources and staff across both churches. As an active member of the Loddon-Mallee UCA Presbytery, Strathfieldsaye will continue to be involved with regular Uniting Church activity and decision-making locally.
A brief history: St Stephen’s Anglican Church, Emu Creek
On 19th October 1886 the inaugural meeting concerning the erection of a brick Church was held at Mr Fox’s vineyard. The foundation stone was laid Thursday September 15th 1888 by the Ven. Archdeacon MacCullagh from St Paul’s Bendigo. Emu Creek has been a part of a number of Anglican Parishes in Bendigo, and until 2014 was part of the South East Bendigo Parish.
In March 2014 damage due to termite activity was found in the interior of the Church building, and further inspection revealed substantial issues with the building. The building was unfit for public worship, and all services were transferred to the Strathfieldsaye Uniting Church (see relationship below).
St Stephen’s Anglican Church was deconsecrated by Bishop Andrew Curnow on Sunday October 26, 2014 and sold to a private purchaser in December 2014.
Strathfieldsaye Uniting Church
Strathfieldsaye Uniting Church began as the Strathfieldsaye Methodist Church in the 19th century, serving the local community of landholders around Strathfieldsaye and Emu Creek.
Many of these landholders had worshipped at a common Christian gathering at Emu Creek State School and the ‘Sheepwash Creek’ locals (now Strathfieldsaye proper) moved to build a new Church closer to their homes.
The original wooden church and outbuildings were replaced in the 1950’s with the red brick building now on site, and the new worship centre, toilets and kitchen were added in the 1990’s.
The new partnership: 2011
Beginning in 2011, the Strathfieldsaye Uniting Church has entered into a partnership with the Anglican Parish of South East Bendigo and Bush Church Aid. The St Stephen’s (Emu Creek) Anglican congregation and the Strathfieldsaye Uniting Church congregations join together for combined worship on Sundays at 9.30am at Strathfieldsaye Uniting Church.
In 2014 when St Stephen’s was unable to be used, the Strathfieldsaye Uniting Church graciously opened their doors and hearts to the combined Uniting/Anglican congregation to meet at Strathfieldsaye every week, while maintaining a fortnightly cycle of worship in the two traditions.
A regular Holiday Program has been initiated in Strathfieldsaye with the Anglican Parishes of South East Bendigo, and Boronia, and a Sunday 5pm family ministry is being developed. These new opportunities reflect the rapid growth of young families in Strathfieldsaye and the surrounding areas.
The Bush Church Aid Society of Australia (BCA) has enabled the Strathfieldsaye partnership to be initiated, and continue through these seasons of change and growth.