St Bartholomew's Church
& Cemetery

St Bartholomew’s Anglican Church


St Bartholomew’s Church, which opened in 1841, was the first church to be built in the Prospect area. Before this date church services were held in the home of the schoolmaster. In 1836 William Lawson started to interest the community in building a church at Prospect. On 23 February 1837, the Sydney Herald published a list of subscription towards the erection of the Prospect church that totalled three hundred and seventy six pounds and three shillings and contained many names of well know people.  The list was marked ‘to be continued’.


 In 1838 William Lawson, through the Australian and the Sydney Herald, called for tenders for the building of the Church. On 2 October 1838 a contract to complete the church and tower within fifteen months was signed with James Atkinson of Mulgoa as the builder and William Lawson as Senior Trustee and Nelson Simmons Lawson and Robert Crawford as Trustees. The witness was Lawson’s son-in-law, architect and civil engineer Edward Hallen. The building was not completed within the specified time. On 26 October 1840, the Trustees entered into another contract with James Atkinson to supply the furniture within six weeks. On 17 April 1841, the Sydney Herald stated ‘On Wednesday last the Bishop of Australia laid the foundation of a Parochial Church at Prospect’. There is no foundation stone in St Bartholomew’s; it is believed that this action of the Bishop signified the ‘foundation’ of the Church as a group of people.


The first baptisms recorded were of Margaret, Mary and James Goodin, on 2 May 1841. Sadly, Margaret’s elder sister, Ann, and Margaret herself were the first burials on 18 July 1841.


The Church operated until New Years Eve at the end of 1967, when, due to a second attack of vandalism, it was closed. In 1972 Blacktown Municipal Council took out a fifty-year lease on the property from the Church of England Property Trust, Diocese of Sydney. On 4 November 1989 fire gutted the Church, destroying the 1850s organ and the 1908 furniture.  During 2000 restoration work costing $1,374,000 began under the supervision of Graham Edds and Associates, Heritage Architects. This work was funded by Blacktown City Council and the Commonwealth and State governments. In January  2001 Blacktown City Council purchased the property from the Anglican Property Trust.  The building is now  available for hire for civil wedding services, concerts, exhibitions or any other event that Council considers appropriate.


The Church is of Colonial Georgian design, being a rectangular brick structure with a nave, chancel and two vestries, each vestry having an entrance door.  The main entrance is through the bell tower at the front of the building. The tower has a square base with an octagonal belfry. The bell has recently been reinstated to the tower


Heritage Significance - In December 1948, The National Trust of Australia (NSW) included St Bartholomew’s, Prospect, on its first list of buildings considered essential to our Heritage.

In 1973, it was Classified Potential ‘A’, amongst the top 70 buildings in NSW. In the 1970s, it was listed in ‘The Register of the National Estate’.On 19 February 1982, Permanent Conservation Order No 37 was placed on St Bartholomew’s on recommendation of The Heritage Council of NSW.

St Bartholomew’s Cemetery


St. Bartholomew’s cemetery is located on the same property as the Church. When the Blacktown City Council bought the Church property  in 2001 the sale included the cemetery. It was once known as the Prospect Cemetery. As the population of the area grew and churches other than Anglican were established in the area, burials from the Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist congregations were permitted. In recent years burials of people from the Orthodox faith have also been permitted. There will be no further sale of burial plots.


Former St Bartholomew’s Church Hall


The hall located on the St Bartholomew’s property at Prospect was originally the Public School and Chapel during the construction of Prospect Reservoir. It is believed that it was built c1882. The original site of the hall is marked on the Sydney Water Supply Map of 1893. After the completion of the Reservoir in1888, the hall continued as a school until the opening of Greystanes Public School in 1906. In 1908 it was transported to the St.  Bartholomew’s property by the horse teams of ‘Butty’ McMahon, grandfather of Sir William McMahon, to serve as Parish (later Church) Hall.


In 1969-70 the present brick foundations were put under the hall. This work was done by volunteers led by Robert Brown and a local scout group. The then Commissioner of Railways, who had an ancestor buried in the St. Bartholomew’s graveyard, organised the delivery of thirteen railway jacks to the property. These were used to jack up the hall to enable the brick foundations to be built. The jacks were there for approximately six months. The glass in the hall windows had been broken. Robert Brown replaced the wooden frames and put the metal covers on the windows. The intention was to replace the glass and remove the metal covers when the hall was in use, but the glass was never put back into the windows.


Ministers who have officiated at St Bartholomew's church


Click here to go to the list of ministers




© Prospect Heritage Trust Inc.


Click on the Thumbnails below to see a larger version of the picture











Thumbnail 1.

View of Prospect Church 1937










Thumbnail 2

Interior Prospect Church May 1937












Thumbnail 3.

During Restorations 2000











Thumbnail 4.

During Restorations 2000










Thumbnail 5.

Becomes very impressive when lit up










Thumbnail 6.

Lit at night

St B Thumb 2
St B Thumb 3
St B Thumb 4
St B Thumb 5
St B Thumb 6
St B Thumb 1
Home.Prospect History.People.Meetings / Tours.Our Publications.About Us / Contact Us.