St. John the Evangelist Church | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


St. John the Evangelist Church

Item details

Name of item: St. John the Evangelist Church
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Church
Location: Lat: 8931-3-S Long: KJ 281 002
Primary address: Main Street, Wallerawang, NSW 2845
Local govt. area: Lithgow
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Main StreetWallerawangLithgow  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Historic: a rare example of a major church building erected by private philanthropy, equalled in Lithgow only by the Hoskins Memorial Church. The Walker-Barton family are of the highest local and considerable state significance. The builder was mayor of Lithgow and responsible for the best stone buildings of the late Victorian period in the area. Aesthetic: a fine example of the architecture of Blacket and Sons, rare in the study area. Social: unique in Lithgow as a dual-denominational church and chapel, St John's has had wide social significance, retained still by the Presbyterian community.
Note: There are incomplete details for a number of items listed in NSW. The Heritage Division intends to develop or upgrade statements of significance and other information for these items as resources become available.


Designer/Maker: Blacket and Sons
Builder/Maker: George Donald
Physical description: A large imposing church symmetrical with rectangular body, high bell tower in 3 lifts (no turret), smaller chancel and transepts. Entrance porch at street side only (possibly an early addition). Pointed-arched sandstone windows, some stained glass, some diamond and square panes. Tower has interesting animal face gargoyles. Mix of dressed stone quoins and bush hammered stone elsewhere. Walls are buttressed. Cement on the roof is unsympathetic. There are fine stained glass windows erected between 1906 and 1962. Victorian Gothic Sandstone/cement tiles
Further information: A grand sandstone church with stone front/street fence and arched driveway all symmetrical


Historical notes: The church was built on part of James Walker's original Wallerawang station by his daughter, Mrs Georgina Abbott, in 1881. It was to be used by both the Presbyterian and Anglican denominations in memory of James Walker, his wife and Georgina's first husband Edmund Barton. The architects were the Blacket family, the builder George Donald of Lithgow. The church doubled as Wallerawang estate chapel and a public dual-denomination church: in 1952 it was formally given to the Presbyterian and Anglican churches. The Presbyterian minister at Bowenfels conducts regular Sunday services but the local Anglican parish no longer uses the church regularly. Historical Period Built 1876 - 1900, Used 1876 - 1900, Used 1901 - 1925, Used 1926 - 1950, Used 1951 - 1975, Used Post 1975

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Ethnic influences-Activities associated with common cultural traditions and peoples of shared descent, and with exchanges between such traditions and peoples. (none)-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Pastoralism-Activities associated with the breeding, raising, processing and distribution of livestock for human use (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
This item has historic significance and is assessed as rare on a local basis.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
This item has aesthetic significance and is assessed as rare on a local basis.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
This item has social significance and is assessed as representative on a local basis.
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan  09 Dec 94   
Potential Heritage ItemL 22 Apr 02   
Heritage study  01 Jan 97   

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
Greater Lithgow Heritage Study 1997-19981998B112Ian Jack in conjuction with Graham Edds & Assoc, J Colleran & E Higginbotham.  Yes

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 1960173

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