St Cuthbert’s Wedding Chapel Story
An historic part of the Dandenong Ranges resounded with song in December 1997 as members of the local community gathered at St Cuthbert’s Church, Menzies Creek to sing Christmas Carols. It was the first event at the church for over eight years.
Built in 1907, the church is the oldest public building in Menzies Creek and is recorded by the National Trust. There has been a congregation in Menzies Creek since 1897 (before the church was built, parishioners met at Menzies Creek school for weekly services with functions such as fêtes, concerts and card parties – raising money for the construction of a new church). In accordance with tradition, golden oaks were planted to celebrate the new building. Over a hundred years later, these magnificent trees still give pleasure to visitors to St Cuthbert’s and to passers-by.
St. Cuthbert’s is very much part of local history – the relatives of the original donor of the land, the builder and the first church wardens still live in the area. Over the years the little pioneer church has served its congregation well. Many of the local residents attended the Sunday School.
In 1996, St Cuthbert’s was purchased by a local civil celebrant. Having seen the “For Sale” advertisement by accident, Wendy visited and fell in love with the building. She saw that the church would be ideal as a chapel for weddings, namegivings and funerals. She could also see the possibility of continued community use on occasions such as carol services and concerts.
The Church has been beautifully and lovingly restored. With a new bell tower and lych gate added to the original buildings. Another addition to St. Cuthbert’s was the specially commissioned sanctuary window, designed and made by local stained-glass artist, Alan Humphries. The triptych, which features Puffing Billy and local flora and fauna, is dedicated to Edith Shepherd.
In 2010 St Cuthbert’s changed hands, its current owners, Anne Aldridge, a civil celebrant and husband Steve are continuing to use this unique little chapel for weddings, namegivings and funerals as well as continued community use.
Concerts and meetings are frequent evidence that the little church is once again part of the Menzies Creek Community.