Two years ago the fate of St Mark's Anglican Church on Mitchells Island hang in the balance.
Originally shut down in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, in 2021 it was threatened with closure due to roofing tiles riddled with asbestos, and a lack of funds to replace the work.
Now, for the first time in three years, the 151-year-old church is set to reopen as a place of worship.
It reopened for the first time on Friday, October 27 for a funeral. It is hoped the first Sunday service will take place on the third Sunday of this November.
"Many Mitchells Island community members have had a lifelong association with St Mark's," Anglican Diocese of Newcastle Bishop Peter Stuart said.
"The historic church has stood on the banks of Scotts Creek for more than 150 years and I am very pleased to see it beautifully restored and reopened.
"I hope it continues to be a valuable part of the community for generations to come."
St Mark's Anglican Church was commissioned in 1872, and was originally known as the Scotts Creek Church. It is the first and only church on Mitchells Island.
Historical anecdotes have it that prior to the church being built, locals used to worship at the Henry Booth sawmill. The pews, alter and the internal roof structure are said to have been built from cedar from the sawmill.
However, other legends say the actual church was built from cedar logs washed down from the sawmill during a flood. Local stories say it was built from just one log.
The church has an adjoining historic graveyard, with the first burial having taken place the same year the church was opened.
The graveyard has a memorial to the men of Mitchells Island who lost their lives during WWI and WWII.
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