Sydney Architecture Images- Northern Suburbs

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church


John Sulman and Power 


56 Raglan Street Manly  




Federation Romanesque




  A striking composition with a landmark tower exploiting the round arch motif.
  St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
Just up the hill in Raglan Street, Manly NSW
History of original church building
For over 100 years, St Andrew’s has been a significant landmark in the Manly area. Construction of St Andrew’s commenced in 1886 and was completed in 1890. Built from local white sandstone, this beautiful Church, with its stately bell tower, rich outlines, guarded by strange sentinel gargoyles, continues to attract visitors from Australia and overseas. The exterior of the Church exhibits a profusion of intricately carved sandstone decorations on column capitals, arches and piers. The medieval architecture is unusual and is undoubtedly one of the finest examples of Romanesque revival architecture in Australia. The Romanesque Revival Style with Celtic influence is rarely found in Australia, yet St Andrew’s exhibits all the hallmarks of this unique architectural design.

The Romanesque era dates from the late 10th Century until the 12th and 13th centuries, a mysterious time in church architecture. The style features rounded apses, fanciful carved beasts, bell towers, heavy walls, small windows and the use of open timber ceiling. It developed from earlier medieval architecture that prevailed in Western and Southern Europe.

The original front section of St Andrew’s is entered in the Register of National Estate and is classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW), and stands as an example of architectural excellence. For this reason it provides the community both locally and at large with a paradigm representing their aspirations. The church is also listed on Manly Council’s Local Environment Plan as a building of heritage significance.

Designer and extension
The Church was designed by Sir John Sulman, one of Australia’s most eminent architects of the post-Colonial era. Commissioned to design St Andrew’s in 1885, Sulman went on to become Chairman of the Federal Capital Advisory Committee from 1921 to 1925 and is credited for much of the town planning success of Canberra.
The Church was extended in 1961. In building the extensions, the modern craftsmen managed to reproduce almost perfectly the beautiful, original interior work.
Today, the church continues to serve the Sydney community both in terms of the activities of its congregation, and as a popular venue for weddings and baptisms.

With its warm woodwork and imposing pipes, the organ was originally built
in 1898 and installed at St Nicholas’ Congregational Church, Ipswich,
England. It was brought to Australia and restored by the St Andrew’s
congregation in 1977.

Recent Repairs
In 2004 work began on repairing and strengthening the bell tower. Financial assistance was received from the Federal Government to complete this vital task. The repairs were done by Jasper Swan.

Over 100 years of wind blown sand and salt had taken its toll on this landmark of Manly. The work was completed early 2005 and a Thanksgiving Service was held to give thanks to God for the repair work, the skill of the craftsmen and the fact that the work was completed withour any injuries.

The next challenge facing St. Andrew’s is the re-roofing of the Church Hall.

The Present and The Future
St Andrew’s is rising to the challenge of the new century. Unlike some
parishes, St Andrew’s celebrates traditional worship services every Sunday,
which have been a feature of traditional churches for generations.

But this does not mean that St. Andrew’s is not moving with the times. Many innovations in worship are welcomed by the whole congregation. Care is always taken to ensure that worship does not denigrate into entertainment for those attending, but remains what it always has been - a sacrifice of praise to God.

St. Andrew’s recognises that this can be achieved through a mixture of traditional hymns, psalms as well as new hymns and meaningful choruses. Our choir, under the direction of our Music Director Mr Brendon Lukin, is constantly rising to new heights as its members make their valued contribution to the musical element of worship.

The talents of our younger members are also used regularly in Sunday Worship.

We are constantly adding new features to the life of our church to meet the
challenges of today and tomorrow.

Books About St Andrew’s
* The First Hundred Years 1884-1984 (St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Manly)
* The Windows Speak (St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Manly)
Contact Details
Church Address
56 Raglan St. Manly (cnr Augusta Lane)
Derek Bullen
(02) 9976 2801
Session Clerk
Dr. John Begg
(02) 9949 2046