Since its foundation in 1938, St Paul’s Anglican Church at Manuka has been ‘growing up’ with the national capital. Despite the uncertainties of the 1930s, the Anglican community of South Canberra pursued an ambitious vision to build a church of significance in a community and capital city yet to develop. Their vision for St Paul’s was ambitious and confident. How thrilled those pioneers of St Paul’s would be to have seen St Paul’s develop over the years into not only a vibrant parish church, but also as a venue for royal visits and other occasions of national and diocesan significance!
Successive generations of parishioners and benefactors have contributed to the development of the Parish Church and its site. This has included significant developments such as the completion of the sanctuary in the postwar years, the construction of the parish centre, both rectories, enhancement of the organ, the choir gallery, the extension of the west end of the church, landscaping and the installation of bells in the tower.
St Paul’s is once again in need of the support of parishioners and friends of the parish to pursue an ambitious and confident vision for the revitalisation of our parish site.
St Paul’s is blessed with a prominent site in the national capital and a church building of solemn dignity, which not only supports the vibrant liturgical life of the parish but befits the many major ecclesiastical and civic occasions that it hosts.
While parish ministries are active and growing, including example the highly successful youth choirs programme which commenced in 2020, the inadequacy of our parish centre is a major frustration for clergy, ministry leaders and parishioners. It is no longer fit for purpose, with inadequacies including poor accessibility for the disabled, lack of flexibility, wiring, roofing and plumbing issues, lack of heating and other standard amenity for ministry such as interview rooms and clergy office space. Frustrations abound for those of us who have to try and work with the current parish centre and hall. To maintain and develop our fine tradition of sacred music, liturgy and our vibrant community life, we need better facilities. The present generation of parishioners and friends of St Paul’s now faces the challenge of further developing our parish site to support the ongoing ministry and mission of the parish.
In 2020-21, a parish-wide vision casting consultation led to the development of master planning concepts in early 2022. The concepts for a revitalised St Paul’s site that emerged from this process received unanimous support at the 2022 Parish AGM.
We are now seeking to complete the first and major stage of this plan: building a new parish centre. Our vision is for a contemporary, confident and versatile facility worthy of the church building and our prominent site. Improved facilities for parish events, staff, choir rehearsal spaces and for large functions will greatly enhance parish life and improve the attractiveness and accessibility of our site.
This first stage will cost around $5 million. We need your financial support to turn this exciting vision into a much-needed reality. This vision will only become a reality through the financial support of parishioners and friends of St Paul’s, which is just how St Paul’s Church was built; through the generous giving of benefactors and the fundraising efforts of parishioners.