Celebrating 185 years at St John’s Church, Stroud

Don Broadbent presenting his grandmother, Amy McPherson's copy of St John's Centenary Souvenir 1833-1933 book to parish priest Fr Martin Davies.
Don Broadbent presenting his grandmother, Amy McPherson's copy of St John's Centenary Souvenir 1833-1933 book to parish priest Fr Martin Davies.

The presentation of a recently unearthed souvenir booklet celebrating the centenary of St John’s Church, Stroud was a highlight of the historic building’s 185th celebration in late December.

The sealed souvenir booklet, located in a collection of memorabilia owned by the late Amy Millum McPherson (nee Single), detailed the history and listing of church families from the first 100 years of its operation.

Mrs McPherson was an organist at St John’s along with a number of churches in the Stroud area, Girvan, Booral and Stroud Road and a music teacher.

She rode to the various sites on horseback.

The framed booklet was presented to the church on behalf of Mrs McPherson’s grandchildren

The history of St John’s began in 1824 with the formation of the Australian Agricultural (AA) Company which had been granted one million acres of land west of Port Stephens to produce agriculture products for the new colony of NSW.

Stroud became the headquarters of the AA Company after successful Antarctic explorer, and second superintendent, Sir William Parry established Booral and Stroud.

Today, the AA Company which is headquartered in Brisbane, owns and operates feedlots and farms covering around seven million hectares in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The foundation stone for St John’s was laid in April 1823 by Sir William – who financed much of the construction – and by the end of June the walls had been erected and the roof installed.

The AA Company later provided fifty guinnes for the internal fittings.

The church held its first service in December that year.