A Holy Bible to celebrate the first infant baptised, a chalice in memory of the Archbishop who died soon after the church opened, as well as news clippings of the 1991 fire set by an arsonist.
Just some of the artefacts that went on display on Sunday, August 27 to tell the story of Leura's little village church.
The stunning St Alban's Anglican Church [1898-2023] marked its 125th birthday celebrations with a 10am live-streamed service, followed by a generous lunch, cake and local history talk.
James Delanty is the new senior minister and rolled out the memorabilia for the anniversary. He is the youngest senior minister in the Sydney diocese and has been the Leura church's guardian since 2019. He grew up in the Mountains and said his place as rector "speaks of new growth and revitalisation as part of the wave of new families coming up the mountain".
His first Sunday service had 18 people, now there are more than 70 adults attending, plus a kids program and daily activities in the hall.
Special guests at the birthday included guest speaker Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, with state and local politicians, Trish Doyle and Suzie van Opdorp. The oldest parishioner, Lucie Cleary, cut the cake.
St Alban's had its first informal church service in Leura in an evening in 1897 when the clergyman in charge of Katoomba walked from his church in the company of two holiday makers to a small public hall opposite Leura railway, which was then just a railway siding. A gale was howling and the congregation of two who came to worship, did so without regular transport, footpaths, and streetlights.
Young Henry Harding's baptism was the first to be celebrated at St Alban's on June 5, 1900. The parish of St Hilda's Katoomba cared for St Alban's. As Leura's population grew land was found and a church was built on Megalong Street. The line of the foundation stone was the last ecclesiastical Act of the Archbishop of the day. He died later that month.
When an arsonist set fire to the church in 1991, destroying the pews, roof, stained glass windows and everything else made of wood, Leura rallied. It took two years to rebuild at a cost of $800,000.
"When something happens in the village it happens here," Minister Delanty said.
Over the years the church has raised funds for a school and a bore to provide clean water in Uganda.
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