Christ Church, Lavender Bay

Christ Church, Lavender Bay is an Anglican church in the Sydney suburb of Lavender Bay, New South Wales, Australia, just north of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The church is listed on the (now defunct) Register of the National Estate.[1]

Christ Church, Lavender Bay
Christ Church, Lavender Bay
33°50′33″S 151°12′27″E
LocationLavender Bay, New South Wales
Functional statusComplete
Architect(s)Benjamin Backhouse
Architectural typeGothic Revival
Years built1869–72
RectorRev. Lachlan Edwards


Christ Church was founded in 1868 and the present building was built to Gothic Revival designs by Benjamin Backhouse, chosen by competition.[2] It was constructed by William Eaton in 1869–72, using sandstone quarried on the site. Services of worship have been conducted since 1872. The church uses the most recent liturgy of the Anglican Church of Australia, A Prayer Book for Australia.

One of Australia's first popular music stars was a young member of the choir here around 1951. The choir at that stage had 10 or 12 members mostly young pre teenagers with some adults with as the deeper voices. The choirmaster was Mr Booker who was also the local scout master. Young Laurie Rix was a soprano and for a couple of years, won the coveted Silver Medal for singing. They had 2 services of a Sunday and had choir practice on Wednesday nights. The Rev Dr Cash was the church chaplain of that time.

Ten years later, Laurie Rix had become one of Australia's most popular singing stars under the name, Lonnie Lee. On 26 November 1960 Dr Cash conducted his marriage there to Pamela Beveridge. The church was overflowing with guests, many of them well known stars and VIPs. The biggest star of that time, Johnny O'Keefe was Lonnie's Best Man and as they left the church, Lonnie's band, 'The Leemen' formed a guard of honour at the church entrance.

After this, they headed of to the ABC TV studios where they made an appearance on the top TV music show of the time, 'Six O'Clock Rock', which Johnny O'Keefe compered and Lonnie was their most popular star.

Current ministry

The current rector is Reverend Lachlan Edwards. The church conducts services every Sunday at 10am.

See also


  1. The Heritage of Australia, Macmillan Company, 1981, p.2/48
  2. Holt, H. T. E. (1976). A court rises: history of the judges of the District Court of New South Wales. Law Foundation of New South Wales. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-909136-02-4. Retrieved 30 August 2018. Benjamin Backhouse soon had a continuity of work. One of his first architectural assignments in Sydney was Dalton's store in Pitt Street. Christ Church, Lavender Bay, was another of his achievements as an architect.

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