A brief history of our church

St Andrews Day 2013 from Oak Flats Anglican on Vimeo.

The birth of a new parish.

The church at Oak Flats was initially a part of the Dapto parish.

The official formation of the provisional district of Albion Park and Oak Flats took place on 7 May 1961.

It later became the parish of Albion Park, Oak Flats and Albion Park Rail in 1966.

Then on 5 July 1968 St Andrews Oak Flats was declared a provisional district which became a full parish on 7 October 1975.

The years before our church building was opened

In 1937 the resident population of Oak Flats was around 200. There was a Sunday School which met every Sunday in a private hall located on the corner of Central Avenue and Fisher Street.

An inter-denominational church service was held once a month and was taken either by a Methodist or a Church of England (Anglican) minister. Mrs Stanford Senior played her harmonium for the services.

The private hall was sold for £150 in 1942 and from that point in time there was no Sunday School or church services held in Oak Flats.

Some of the Oak Flats children attended The Union Sunday School Creamery Road, Albion Park Rail (Mrs Slater Principal) or All Saints Sunday School and 11am morning service at Albion Park.

In 1946 Rev Tom Gee began his ministry at St Luke’s Dapto. Both Albion Park and Oak Flats became part of the St Luke’s Parish.

From 21 September 1947 services were once again held in Oak Flats in the home of Mr and Mrs T Kerr.

On 7 March 1948 the church services and Sunday School were moved to the home of Mr and Mrs Waters on The Boulevarde and were taken by the Church of England (Anglican) minister, Rev Victor A Evans. They continued there until 7 May 1950 when they moved to the Oak Flats Progress Hall.

In 1948 the congregation began raising money to purchase land for a church building.

The opening of our church building

The foundation stone of the School Church of St Andrew’s was laid by Percival JG Webb (Auriel Hadley’s grandfather), at 3pm on Advent Sunday, 3 December 1950. Also in attendance were Archdeacon Beglie of Camden, Rev Victor A Evans and FJ Rice.

The School Church was opened and dedicated on 7 October 1951 by the most Rev HWK Mowll, Archbishop of Sydney, Rev Victor A Evans, ARA Freeman, FJ Rice and GA Tooth.

The first service was held in the church on 14 October 1951 and was attended by 19 people. The first baptism was performed that same day. The first funeral in the church was conducted by Rev Victor A Evans on 12 February 1951 for Henry William Ford, aged 60.

The dedication of a steel belfry and a bell took place on Easter Day 1956. By 14 December 1963 the addition of the church hall was completed. In the late 70’s or early 80’s a toilet block was added to the church hall doing away with the outdoor pan toilet.

Major 1980’s redevelopment

By 1982 the congregation had grown and was considering making extensions to the original church school building.

At the Annual Vestry Meeting held in February 1982 the Parish Council submitted a detailed report of building requirements.

This list was reviewed at the first monthly meeting of the St Andrews Church of England Building Committee that was held on Tuesday, 9 March 1982. At that same meeting motions were past enlisting the assistance of architect, Mr Mark Jones and structural engineer, Mr Stephen Ireland and approving initial correspondence with the Sydney Diocesan Architectural Board.

Mr Jones presented initial drawings to the meeting held on Monday, 9 August 1982.

Following discussions with the Shellharbour Municipal Council Town Planner Mr Jones presented revised plans to the meeting held on Monday, 20 September 1982 and advised that the building cost would be approximately $160,000.

The committee prepared a submission which was presented to the Special Vestry Meeting on 14 November 1982.

On 12 December 1982 the Second Building Committee convened and proceeded to inform the Church Property Trust, Sydney and to submit the Development Application (DA No 82/365) to the Council of Shellharbour.

On 3 March 1983 consent was granted pending resolution of 10 conditions. These conditions were addressed and an amended consent was issued on 22 April 1983.

Building Application No 571/83/C was issued by the Council of Shellharbour on 13 September 1983.

A submission was prepared and presented to the Special Vestry Meeting held on 9 October 1983. This meeting accepted the submission recommendations and moved to proceed with calling for tenders only when the full project cost could be met.

Another Special Vestry Meeting was held on 28 September 1985 where the parish moved to proceed with stage (1) of the building extension program at a cost of around $45,000.

A modified Development Application consent form was received on 18 June 1986. Two tenders were received but both were considered excessive.

At the Building Committee Meeting held on 29 July 1986 it was moved that the church act as owner builders and construct Stage 1 under the supervision of Mr Harry Johanson. Construction began that same month with the digging of the foundations. Building Application No 1115/86/C for Stage 1 was received on 14 January 1987.

Construction took longer than the estimated four months but was completed using parishioner labour by December 1987.

The final inspection took place on 7 November 1988 and the extension was dedicated on 9 July 1989 by Bishop Harry Goodhew, Rector Trevor Middleton and Wardens Gordon Orange, Peter Taylor and John Wilson.

Recent developments

In 2007 the Parish Council recognised the need to provide a toilet for the disabled but also recognised that there were insufficient funds to tackle such a project.

By 2009 the council began to pursue the matter more seriously and began discussing various options. Eventually Architects Edmiston and Jones were enlisted to draw up initial plans.

In mid 2010 the Parish Council lodged an application for funding under the 2010 Community Building Partnership Program and by the end of the year submitted a Development Application to Shellharbour City Council. The church was generously awarded a grant of $25,000 under the CBP Program.

As part of the Development Application process the original two blocks across which the church was built had to be consolidated, a process which took several months.

By September 2011 three quotations had been received, all considerably larger than the original estimate of $25-$35K due to the need to build a disabled access ramp in addition to the toilet. A second unsuccessful application was lodged with the Community Building Partnership Program.

Sufficient funds were raised through parishioner donations over the following months and in June 2012 Parish Council gave approval to proceed.

Construction commenced in August 2012 and was completed in November. Shellharbour MP Anna Watson opened the Disabled Access Facility on Sunday 16 December 2012.

The history of our church Rectory (senior minister’s house)

On 2 April 1967 the church rectory was officially opened.

By October 1988 it was evident that the rectory no longer complied with the current Diocesan requirements. The Wardens met to discuss problems with the rectory and to identify possible solutions.

By February 1989 discussions were underway for extensions and Mr Graeme Krout was asked to draw plans.

The plans were completed by November 1989 and were sent to Shellharbour Municipal Council and to the Diocesan Architectural Panel. Mr Harry Johansen donated his labour and expertise and Mr Peter Taylor coordinated the volunteer worker.

Construction began on 10 March 1990. Unfortunately by May 1990 work had to cease due to lack of funds.

By October 1991 work resumed and continued intermittently into 1992 as funds became available until completion some time in 1993.

In September 2012, over $40,000 was spent refurbishing the rectory including a new kitchen, guest bathroom, painting, floor and window furnishing and general electrical upgrades.

A history of our ministers

Name Position Date
Parish of Dapto, Albion Park and Oak Flats
Rev Victor A Evans Rector of Dapto, Albion Park & Oak Flats 1948 – 4/5/1958
Rev Frederick Herbert Myers Curate of DaptoServing Albion Park/Oak Flats 1956 – 1958
Rev James Barry Burgess Rector of Dapto with Albion Park & Oak Flats 6/7/58 – 1961 (when provisional district of Albion Park and Oak Flats was formed)Institution and Induction Service held Friday, 4 July 1958
Rev Hugh Raymond James Scott Curate of Daptoserving Albion Park/Oak Flats 22/3/59 – 25/12/1960
Official formation of provisional district of Albion Park and Oak Flats took place on 7 May 1961.
Rev William (Bill) Vines Payne Curate-in-charge Albion Park/Oak Flats 18/6/1961 – 13/9/1964Institution Service held Monday, 12 June 1961 at 8pm
Rev Leslie Frank Monaghan Curate of Albion Park/Oak Flats 31/3/1963 – 20/6/1965
Rev Ronald (Ron) Noble Beard Curate-in-charge of Albion Park/Oak Flats 20/9/1964 – 1966Institution Service held Friday, 18 September 1964
Rev David Charles Woodbridge Curate of Albion Park/Oak Flats 23/7/1964 – 29/5/1966
Official formation of parish of Albion Park, Oak Flats and Albion Park Rail took place 1966.
Rev Ronald (Ron) Noble Beard Curate-in-charge of Albion Park/Oak Flats 1966-1968 (when Oak Flats was declared a provisional district)
Rev Neil Edmund Prott Curate of Albion ParkServing Oak Flats 5/2/1967 – 1968
St Andrews Oak Flats was declared a provisional district on 5 July 1968.
Rev Neil Edmund Prott Curate-in-charge of provisional district of Oak Flats 1968 – 13/2/1972Institution Service held Friday, 5 July 1968 at 8pm
Rev Trevor Middleton

Curate-in-charge of provisional district of Oak Flats 20/2/1972 – 7/10/1975
St Andrews Oak Flats became a full parish on 7 October 1975.
Rev Trevor Middleton

Rector of the parish of Oak Flats 7/10/1975 – 10/8/2003
Mr Matthew Mitchell Ministry Assistant Tbc
Mrs Yvonne Shewan Ministry Assistant Tbc
Rev Sean Wilfred Heslehurst Curate of the parish of Oak Flats 2/2001 – 4/2001
Rev James Graham Errington Rector of the parish of Oak Flats 20/11/2005 – 22/1/2012Commencement Service held on Saturday, 19 November 2005 at 2pm
Mr Timothy David Orange Youth Worker part-time 2009
Mr Benjamin Nathan Pakula

Youth Worker part-time

Assistant Minister full-time



Rev Jodie Christopher McNeill Rector of the parish of Oak Flats 30/9/2012 – 31/12/2018 Commencement Service held Friday, 12 October 2012 at 7pm
Rev Adam Hotson Curate (Youth Minister and Evangelist) 1/1/2014 – 24/7/2016
Miss Rayne Loehndorf Youth Intern 1/2016 – 8/2016
Miss Liana McNeill Year 13 Student 2016
Mr Daniel Rainey Year 13 Student 2016
Miss Jemimah McNeill Year 13 Student 2017
Rev Simon Chaplin Assistant Minister 9/1/2017 – 25/01/2019
Rev Stephen Fifer Curate of the parish of Oak Flats 17/02/2019 – 31/05/2019

Special thanks

Thanks to Lydia Milliken, Barry Hadley and others who have contributed to this mammoth effort in gathering information for this page. Thanks also to Paul Burgess for scanning in many of the images on this page.