In 1910 the Evening News included a history of St. Mary's Church on the occasion of the Jubilee celebrations -
The first movement
to establiish a church in West Maitland was initiated many years ago by Lieutenant
John Wood, R.N., who was a catechist at the
Government town of Maitland, now East Maitland. He accomplished splendid work in urging the settlers of Wallis Plains to do something in establishing a church, and was followed by Rev. C. P. N. Wilton, of Newcastle, who used to hold frequent services among the settlers.
However, it was 1835 before anything in
the way of church building at West Maitland
was initiated, and then the movement was started by Rev. G. K. Rusden, who was pastor of St.
Peter's, East Maitland. A public meeting was
held, and the members of the Church of England decided that the time had arrived to build
a chapel at West Maitland. The sum of £500
was speedily subscribed, but the will of the
Governor of the day apparently was law, with
the result that he decided that St. Peter's
Church should be erected at East Maitland.
This, however, did not daunt the West Maitland Anglicans, and their persistence resulted
in a small brick building being erected in Scotia-street, the Rev. Rusden conducting
services till the arrival of Rev. William Stack,
who was responsible for the establishment of
the new parish of St. Mary's, January 7, 1838.
English supporters of the Church of England
donated about £100, and a start was made, in
church building on a site now included in the
rectory grounds. It was in 1842, when Rev.
Stack opened this stone church.
Up to 1859, this little church had served the
purposes of the people, and it was then the
parishioners decided that more accommodation
was necessary. The Rev. Robert Chapman, who succeeded
Rev. Stack, on October 1, 1846, was then rector,
and the population of West Maitland was about
2400, while East Maitland's citizens numbered
just under 1000.
Right Rev. Dr. Tyrrell presided at a meeting and it was definitely decided to spend £5000 on a church, and £700 was
at once subscribed.
The Right Rev. Dr. Barker laid the foundation-stone on September 7, 1860, in the presence
of a large assemblage, the new building being
opened on July 18, 1867, by Bishop
Tyrrell. In 1878 the church was consecrated.
In 1887 a tower and spire completed the original design, the cost being £2500. A large
clock with chimes was subsequently installed
in the tower at a cost of £1085, the time
piece chiming for the first time on June 21,
Rev. Robert Chapman continued there
till February 9, 1879, after thirty-three
years, and the Rev. W. H. H. Yarrington was
appointed on January 6, 1880.
Rev. Yarrington was succeeded on July 1, 1898, by Rev. Arthur Killworth, who superintended the jubilee
celebrations in 1910
- Evening News 24 September 1910