Macclesfield Community History

Churches in the Macclesfield District

Roman Catholic

See Booklet: St James the Less Roman Catholic Church 150th Anniversary page for much more detail and images of this church's history.

Church of St James the Less

Church of St James the Less

The footbridge leading to the Church of St James the Less, a Roman Catholic church, over the recently named Battunga Creek. This Roman Catholic Church was opened on Sunday November 3rd 1867. The St Joseph's Nun's Convent is to the left of the church in the picture. This image is possibly from a postcard in about 1936. Apparently a "slab tenement" was used by parishioners before the church was built.

Note "Old Jack McMahon" walking over the footbridge, which was renamed the ‘Mary McKillop Way’ in about 2013. The first Catholic New Year's Day Picnic was held in about 1883 to help fund the bridge.

Venables Street is in the foreground. Luck Street is now behind the church, running left-right.

Also see: "Macclesfield (during 1927)" - fashions and automobiles.Back to Top



The Congregational Church in Lemar Court, overlooking Davenport Square. This photo was taken in 1912.


People outside the church

Close up of the churchgoers.Back to Top



Also see: "A Short History of St. John's Church, Macclesfield, 1857 - 1957, by the Rev. Christopher Gray"

The 'Old' Anglican Church

The first St John’s Anglican Church, since demolished, and Calaby family headstones in the adjacent grave-yard. The Calaby family were early settlers in the region. A seat by the path has since been built from some of the stone. Betty White's great-grandfather helped build this church.


The first St John’s Anglican Church and adjacent grave-yard in Luck Street, built in 1856 and demolished in 1980.  The church bell is now at the new church in Venables Street. The graveyard still exists, and some are still buried there. The majority are now buried in the "top cemetery" or General Cemetery on Penna Road.


Sir Roy Robinson visits the old Anglican Church and cemetery. The gate in the picture was hand forged. A few years ago a local lady noticed that the gate was missing and was puzzled as to where it could be; she later saw it attached to the side fence of The Three Brothers Arms Hotel. When she spoke to the Publican he was only too happy to return it as he didn’t want something stolen from a graveyard. Thought that might bring him bad luck!


The 'new' St John’s Anglican Church, built in 1926.

The new St John’s Anglican Church was built in 1926 from Macclesfield marble and sited on a portion of Davenport Square.  The roads were then realigned.

The following was taken from a note in the history files – ‘None of the furniture from the old church was used in the new building. The Altar Rails and Prayer Desk, which had been given by Strathalbyn, were offered back to that Parish. Due to the efforts of Mrs Bessie McDonald new pews were procured. The marble font was the gift of Mr Edgar Peterson in memory of his wife, and a ewer for the font was given by the Calaby family’.

Thanks to Trove  for the following article printed in ‘The Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser’ ( SA:1880-1954) Friday 26 November 1926.                
"The dedication of the new Anglican marble church was performed on Sunday November 11, by the Rev. Dr. Thomas, Bishop of Adelaide. Over a hundred people could not gain admission, the church being packed half an hour before the appointed time. Interested visitors came from as far distant as Milang and Adelaide.

The pews are all made from Queensland maple and the amber coloured lead lights, presented by Mr A Peterson, gave the interior a beautiful effect. Messrs. Ross Bros. were the contractors and the responsible committee were:- Messrs. A and E Peterson, V Moran, H and H Ross, W Springbett, W Pope and F Bartsch. The Ladies Guild have made themselves responsible for the whole of the interior furnishings.

The new church, which has a central isle, is a great asset to the town and the building of which the members of St. John’s may feel reasonably proud. The woodwork was executed by Mr. E Trigg, of Mount Barker."


St John's Anglican Church

World War 1 Memorial c1920's, and St John's Anglican Church in background, built on a portion of Davenport Square in 1926.


St John's Anglican Church

St John's Anglican Church built in 1926. Photo c1930's


St John's Anglican Church

St John's Anglican Church. Photo c2000



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Watergate (now Flaxley) Chapel

Watergate Primitive Methodist (Wesleyan) Church or Chapel circa 1905, since demolished. The Observer of 28th December 1860 reports the opening of the Chapel at Battunga near Macclesfield.

Stone from the church was later used to build a ford across a stream near the headquarters of the Angas River.

The Methodist Church in Macclesfield

Methodist Church in Macclesford

Wesleyan Methodist Church at the corner of Sturt and Cunliffe Streets, built in 1857. The vestry of red brick was built in 1936 by the Trigg brothers of Mt Barker.

Methodist Church people

A close-up of the church-goers, with little Miss Cool leaning against the fence.


Bert Davis describes his family's involvement with the church.


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