The ‘Weekly has been following events in the lead up to Wentworth’s St John’s Anglican Church’s big celebration day as preparations for their Sesquicentenary − 150th anniversary got under way.
Last Sunday saw the much anticipated occasion celebrated in the glorious, heaven sent sunshine and blue skies, which attracted people in large numbers to enjoy the market stalls, live music and refreshments on hand.
The day’s events commenced at 10.30am with the CWA hosting morning tea, following which, at noon, the Delta Scouts fired up the barbecue for a sausage sizzle.
The Wentworth Makers were out in force with a variety of arts and crafts on display, together with a range of other stalls selling food and wares.
Live music was provided by popular local artists Julia and Greg Evans, and there was a poetry recital by Allison Whiting.
Inside the church, a diverse range of memorabilia was on display and information on the various parts of the interior of the church was imparted to those in attendance by volunteers.
A highlight of the afternoon was the cutting of the 150th Anniversary cake which was presided over by the Right Reverend Donald Kirk, Bishop of Riverina, who travelled from Griffith for the occasion.
At 3pm Bishop Kirk conducted a church service, during which, a commemorative foundation stone was blessed to coincide with the laying of the original foundation stone 150 years ago to the day, for the first church to be built along the Darling River.
“It’s been a tremendous day of celebration and we’ve had crowds of people throughout the morning and this afternoon, and they have all thoroughly enjoyed themselves,” Bishop Kirk said.
“150 years is a long time and in terms of Australian history, it’s quite significant, because there aren’t a lot of parishes that have buildings that have been up for that amount of time, particularly in rural Australia.”
Wentworth Mayor Susan Nichols also attended the event, joining the throng of other people who came along to be a part of the historic day.
“It’s a wonderful occasion and it’s all about community,” Mayor Nichols said.
“You only have to look around at the people here and they are the same ones who always donate their time and bring out their wares, set up the barbecue and this is what happens in small towns, where everybody gets together and works together.
“We had the CWA doing the morning tea and the Scouts doing the sausages…
“It’s a great honour to be here today.”