The Pitt Street Congregation, founded on a nearby site in 1833, became the mother church of Congregationalism in New South Wales. In 1846, the congregation moved to the present building which was expanded in size and design in 1867. In these early times, the church was involved in debates on a number of social issues, especially education. It supported initiatives such as the establishment of the Sussex Street Mission, the Boys' Brigade and the YMCA. Plaques of early Pitt Street members such as David Jones and John Fairfax, founding leaders of this country, adorn our church walls.
In the early decades of the 20th Century, the church was filled with people and activity. In 1928 Church House (now Pilgrim House) was erected, its tenants being both church and community organisations.
In the 1960's there was a proposal to demolish the building. Jack Mundey and the Builders Labourers Federation responded to a plea by the congregation members and declared a Green Ban on the project, thus saving the building.
by the mid 1970's, the congregation, although few in numbers, devoted itself to renewing the life of the parish and began restoring the church and Pilgrim House. In 1977 it became part of the Uniting Church.
A history of the first 144 years of the Congregation was published in 2008, to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Congregation. You can purchase a copy of Pride of Place: A History of the Pitt Street Congregational Church (by Susan Emilsen, Ben Skerman, Patricia Curthoys and William Emilsen) by contacting the church office.
Paperback copies are $29.95 + $5.00 postage
Hardback copies are $44.95 + $5.00 postage
Please make cheques/money orders payable to Pitt Street Uniting Church
'Most histories of local congregations fudge their failures, embellish their successes, deal discreetly with their embarrassments and ensure that niceness triumphs over truth-telling. This one doesn't. The writers tell it like it is, or at least like it was: a major church set in the midst of Australia's oldest, biggest and spiritually most confused city trying to make sense of its setting and discern its calling. Be inspired by the story. Just occasionally, be appalled. Read of the Pitt Street congregation's journey to the brink of extinction and back again. Through it all, as what, in their shoes, you might have done. For this struggle of years past has light to cast on our struggles today.'