St Peter’s Church Schofields

by Winsome Phillis

Forty years ago, Schofields was a small township built around the Railway Station and surrounded by farms and market gardens. Now in 2015, the Station has gone, replaced by a larger complex situated near what was once Pye’s Dairy paddocks. The township is rapidly expanding, old houses of fibro and weatherboard being knocked down and large housing developments appearing, stretching out to the Windsor Road.

St Peter’s Church in St Albans Road which had not been used for over 25 years was also demolished. The site will now be used for housing.

Schofields is part of the Parish of Riverstone. Anglican Church services had been held in Schofields since the 1920s, in a hall belonging to Mr W. Wiggins. This hall was bought in 1929 and adapted for use by the Schofields people, assisted by Messrs Bliss, Senior and Junior, to become the St Peter’s Church Hall.

Some news from the St Peter’s Archives 1931:

    • Church Secretaries: Mr Rees-1929; Mr W. Lambert-1930; Miss M. Skuthorpe-1931.
    • Miss Skuthorpe and the young people enjoyed a Wattle Social.
    • A Concert and Social was held with Miss Griffin and her Orchestra supplying the music.
    • Sunday School was held every Sunday at 2pm, taken by Mrs Alderton.

Guild members in the 1930s included Mesdames Streeter, J. Alderton, West, Bliss, and Stockwell. The Guild arranged many Concerts, Socials and fund raising events. The Church Hall needed a lot of repairs and maintenance and to build a new Church was always a dream for the future.

Finally in 1959 it became possible to build a new Church.

St Peter’s Schofields. Photo: Rosemary Phillis

St Peter’s was never a large imposing building. It was built around the frame of an unused building from Parklea, transported to Schofields in two pieces and transformed into a neat little weatherboard Church by voluntary labour and donations from the people of Schofields. After being opened in 1959, services were held twice a month, taken by Rev. H.W. Robey, the Rector of St Paul’s, Riverstone. The Wardens were Messrs F. Bliss, P. Haberfield, D. Wylie.

A few other snippets of information about the church include: –

    • The first wedding in St Peter’s Church was on July 7, 1962 between Norman Smith and Dell Mortleman. It was conducted by the Rev. Barker of St Paul’s.
    • Many Baptisms were carried out in the Church.
    • The Organist was Mrs Haberfield.
    • Sunday School was being held under the care of Mrs Alderton and other members.
    • Mrs Wylie and Mrs Pomroy ran a GFS group.
    • A CEBS group was operating.
    • The Ladies Guild was very active and many Social events were held.

In 1963 the Church was going well. The Vestry was added to the Church.
Fred Bliss and Norm Pomroy were Wardens. Church Committee members were Mr & Mrs Haberfield, Mrs Peck, Mrs Burton, Mrs Streeter, Mrs Pomroy and Mrs Alderton.

By 1964 a Service was being held each week at 9.15am.

Unfortunately, early in the 1970s Church attendance declined and services were not held regularly. In 1978 and 1979 plans were made to increase the congregation but finally in the 1980s the Church was not being used and it was decided to close St Peters.

Interior of St Peter’s Church, Schofields. Photo: Rosemary Phillis