The life of the church congregation began in November 1849, when a group of Christians from various denominations who had been meeting, informally, in a sail loft in the Port formed themselves into the ‘Congregational Church of Port Adelaide’.
The church met in three different buildings before the present church was built in 1867-8. In 1978 the church became part of the Uniting Church of Australia. The church celebrated its Jubilee in November 1999. Historic tours of the church building and grounds can be arranged by calling the church on 8240 0200 or by emailing us. The building is built from Dry Creek sandstone with very elaborate brick work.
The window and door arches feature alternating red and black bricks and the cornices are constructed of red and blue bricks. These colours are now faded but in its original condition it must have been a very colourful building. A feature of the church is the magnificent flight of steps at the front which sweep up to the entrance porch with its three wide arches.
The interior seats 250 and is of traditional Christian church design with a high ceiling and Gothic styling. There is a large gallery across the back of the church and the original pipe organ at the front which has been restored to its original colours.
Rev. J.C. Kirby
Many of the prominent citizens of the Port through the years were associated with the church and the walls of the church are covered with memorial plaques which give a commentary on the life of the church itself. The most famous minister at the church was the legendary Rev. J.C. Kirby (1880 – 1908), pictured on the right. Kirby is best remembered for his activities in the temperance cause but was also an outstanding teacher and public figure who was involved in many causes to improve society.
Celebrating 140 Years
On Sunday the 14th of December, 2008 we celebrated 140 years since the Port Adelaide Uniting Church building was completed.
The rediscovery of an historic letter written by Matthew Hodge recalling the early days of settlement in Port Adelaide prompted the realisation that 140 years had passed since the completion of the current building. It seemed timely to honour the past and look forward to being part of the rejuvenation of the Port.