Having been a constant in the Penrith community for over a century, Kingswood Anglican Church will be marking its 125th anniversary this month, with a celebration for all.
Kingswood Anglican Church opened as St Philip’s Anglican Church Kingswood in 1898, on the corner of Bringelly Road and Second Avenue, as a branch Church of St Stephens Penrith, until becoming a Provisional Parish in 1983.
Though the church quickly outgrew the building, with the newest worship centre built in 2004, the original is now heritage listed, and has been operating as an op shop since the 1980’s.
For current Minister, Rev. Simon Twist, this has been just another way to connect with the community.
“We’re excited to be part of the Kingswood community, with outreach through the op shop,” he said.
“All the things we do are to promote the gospel, and that christ came into the world to save sinners.”
Twist joined the church at the beginning of the year, with only three Sundays under his belt. But, he now believes that what makes it so special is how welcoming the people are, despite many attending for their entire lives.
“New people have come in and just been welcomed straight away,” he said.
“It’s a very welcoming church, and I can testify to that.”
According to Rodney Page, Twist is just one of many incredible Ministers the church has had, totalling 14 over the years.
“We’re blessed with such wonderful leaders,” he said.
“I’ve been here since 1983, and I’ve seen how God’s worked through all those difficult times where we haven’t had a minister, or we’ve been looking for a minister, and he’s always come up with the goods!”
Lynda Harris has seen the generations come through first-hand, with children attending with their parents and grandparents only to continue on their journey alone.
“Some of the people that are on the staff now, grew up here,” she said.
“One attended uni and is now the uni minister, so you’ve really seen them grow up, which is wonderful.”
It’s for this reason that the team are aiming to make the 125th anniversary so special for the local community.
“What we’re celebrating, really, is not just the age of the building and the history of the building, but the people that make up the church, and the community that gathers here,” Twist said.
The 125th anniversary celebration will be held on Sunday, February 26, with a combined Church Service at 10.30am complete with the singing of songs from each generation. The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney and the Bishop of Western Sydney will be in attendance for the service, which will be followed by lunch.
The team hopes to see members past and present attending on the day.
“In one sense, it will be big, but it will be very simple, because we want to present the church as you’d see it,” Twist said.
“We’ll be celebrating the past and giving thanks to God for the provision of this place where we can meet, recognising the present, but certainly looking to the future.”
For more information or to contact the church, visit kingswoodanglican.org.
Cassidy Pearce is a news and entertainment journalist with The Western Weekender. A graduate of the University of Technology Sydney, she has previously worked with Good Morning Macarthur and joined the Weekender in 2022.