The Church walls are hand pressed sandstock bricks, rendered inside and out, on mudstone foundations with stone windows and door surrounds. It is cruciform in plan, 105ft long, 92 ft across transepts, the nave is 30ft wide. The high pitched timber roof trusses have hammer beams and support purlins, rafters and boarding under the present aluminium sheeting which replaced at least two previous coverings. Most pews are of the original cedar, restored, All the windows are of stained or pressed glass, some are original. The Walker two manual pipe organ was made and installed in 1866.
The Hall walls are also sandstocks on stone foundations with a galvanised iron roof, the former two-storied master's house is now the hall kitchen, entrance hall and meeting room, with Sunday school quarters above.
1863-64 - Church exterior walls were rendered
1865 - Bellfry added to north gable
1920 - North transept was converted to a chapel
1952-53 - Sanctuary floor was replaced by a raised concrete slab and a nave centre aisle was adopted
1989 earthquake in Newcastle resulted in demolition of the 2 storey Rectory. Seismic investigations were undertaken on other buildings on site.
Church Hall: good
St John's is the "mother" church of many Newcastle parishes and is linked with the history of early Australian white settlement. Through the Australian Agriculture (A.A.) Company, which donated the land for the site, some A.A. directors in England subscribed money to build the church, school hall, and rectory. The most generous being Walter Stevenson Davidson, who accompanied John Macarthur's dispatch to England in disgrace for taking part in a duel. Davidson was a nephew of Sir Walter Farquhar, Bart., Physician to King George IV, and a patron of Macarthur, who went on to found the Australian wool industry, with some of the sheep from the Royal flock.
St John's history begins in the period of William Tyrrell, the first bishop of Newcastle and his efforts to provide schools and churches, the period of the "United Church of England and Ireland", the transition of Newcastle from mining to industry and residential, and links with colonial chaplains and their subsidised salaries.