Fiftieth anniversaries

The Laying of the Foundation Stone

The Rt Revd Ernest Burgmann, Bishop, laid the foundation stone of the Church Hall on 5th May 1957. On Sunday 6th May 2007, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of that event.

The congregation at the celebration included guests who had attended during the early days of St Philip's. Igitur Nos and trumpeter Matthew Stuckings sang and played. Rob Lamerton involved the many children present in the service, which added extra enjoyment to the celebration of the important day. The Revd Robert Willson, former Rector of the parish, spoke of the early formation of the church and gave an amusing and interesting address.

There were displays of photographs of parishioners at events over the years and other historical information. After the service, a fine brunch was served under the spreading canopy of the plane tree in the courtyard.

The previous evening, the day of the anniversary, we celebrated the anniversary of the church with a 1950s themed party — in the hall that had been dedicated fifty years earlier. Bishop George Browning and his wife Margaret were among the guests.

Denise and the soprano group In the Mood — plus a big shiny juke box — provided the music.

The 1950s atmosphere was set by special lighting with wall and table decorations using old vinyl records. A feature was a life-sized cutout photograph of our drum-playing Rector, Rob Lamerton, as Elvis! Black gingham table settings were complemented by the parish's old pastel-yellow 1950s china, a reminder of the time when the parish catering group used to cater for functions in the Canberra area as a fund raiser for the new church.

Parishioners and friends entered into the mood, many dressing in outfits begged, borrowed or purloined from the back of wardrobes or found in Pandoras. Dancing ended the evening; certainly St Philip's knew how to party 1950s style.

Anniversary of the dedication of the church building and the establishment of St Philip's as Parish.

On 18 December 2011 St Philip's celebrated the 50th anniversary of the dedication of our church building, and the 30th anniversary of its consecration. At the service dedicating the church building, Bishop Warren had also declared the establishment of St Philip's as a Parish. In May 2007, the Parish had celebrated the 50th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone for the church hall by Bishop Burgmann on 5th May 1957.

The Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, the Rt Revd Stuart Robinson, preached and presided at the 10am service. We were delighted that many guests joined us — people with a past association with St Philip's, including former St Philip's clergy and their descendants. We were also joined by members of the Anglican Historical Society and guest singers.

The Dinka and English language congregations of St Philip's joined forces for this service and the church was full.

(Later, on 16 December 2018, the Revd Robert Willson (Rector of the Parish, 1979-1985), joined us to preach in celebration of the anniversary of the dedication of St Philip's church and the establishment of St Philip's as a parish.)