More information on Belconnen
Belconnen Presbyterian Church began as an outreach of the Church of St Andrew, Canberra. The first worship service was held in the Belconnen Public Library on 19 February, 1984 as a preaching place of the Church of St Andrew, but the congregation soon outgrew this and in November 1984 moved for a short time to the facilities of the Baptist Church at Page. Various factors soon made another move necessary and this was to the Kaleen Community Hall which became the congregation’s home for the next twelve years.
In December 1985 Belconnen became a Sanctioned Charge with ministries from Rev. Barrie Baker (1989 – 91) and Mr. Phil Paul through 1993 (an exit student from the Presbyterian Theological College of NSW). Later, after a division by the Presbytery, it became the Belconnen Home Mission Station under the Moderatorship of the Rev. John Baillie (appointed 14 June 1994) who continued as Moderator until his death in January 2003. He led the congregation through a period of recovery and growth and the erection of the current church building on the corner of Ross Smith Crescent and Gatty Street, Scullin.
The building and landscaping was financed through a grant of $60,000 from the NSW and ACT Property Trusts, plus other loans and the Belconnen congregation’s Building Fund. Total cost approximated $190,000. Much of the internal furnishing was donated – an organ, baptismal font, communion table, Moderator and Elders chairs, pulpit, table lectern, communion silver etc.
After obtaining the land in Scullin, a ceremony was held on 2 June 1996 to mark the turning of the first sod, and the first service in the completed building was held on St Andrew’s Day (30 November) 1997. The official opening and dedication was conducted on 28 November 1998 by Rev. Peter Davidson, Clerk of the Presbytery of Canberra.
Following the death of Rev. John Baillie on 29 January 2003, the Rev. Malcolm Cram was appointed Moderator and served the congregation very well in spite of very serious physical disabilities. He died in December 2006 and the Rev. Peter Davidson was then appointed Moderator and served with great dedication and sincere commitment until 30 June 2011 when he resumed his well-earned retirement.
On 1 July 2013 Belconnen Home Mission Station was absorbed into the Pastoral Charge of the Church of St Andrew, Canberra and the Belconnen Session and Board of Management were dissolved, the Belconnen Elders becoming members of the St Andrew’s Session. Members of the congregation are now members of the Church of St Andrew. However we continue to worship each Sunday in our building at Scullin with a commencing time of 10am.
Our worship services generally follow what might be called a “relaxed traditional” style of worship. Though not presently (2014) a large congregation, and aware that “self-praise is no recommendation”, we believe we are a loving and caring group of Christ’s disciples.
A branch of the Presbyterian Women’s Association (PWA) meets on the third Friday of every month (except December and January) at 10am and all women are warmly welcomed. The group is a member of the Australian Church Women, ACT Branch, and members attend as many of their regular meetings and special services during the year as possible. There is a guest speaker at most meetings and other members of the congregation are invited to come along. Not a large group, but regularly and enthusiastically gathering together in fellowship with the Lord and praising His name.