The ’Venerable’ Bede was a monk at the Northumbria monastery at Wearmouth, now part of Sunderland, Great Britain. He is well known as an author and scholar whose best-known work, ‘The Ecclesiastical History of the English People’ gained him the title ‘The father of English history”. Bede wrote on many other topics, from music and metrics to Scripture commentaries. He died in 673AD.
Bede at work in one of our windows
St Bede’s has a famous rose window created by Alfred Handel.
See the rose window alongside others from around the globe.
Drop us a line if you’d like to see it
St.Bedes Anglican parish has been a part of Drummoyne since the late 19th century. Early in 1884 open air Sunday School work was started outside the gates of Drummoyne House, near to the current Post Office. On Sunday 6th July 1884, this Sunday School moved to Mr Jeffress’ butcher shop in Bridge Road (now Victoria Rd). The shop was on the hill between Church Street and Day Street (long since demolished). A block of land on College Street was aquired (No.21) and the students helped raise funds for a school hall. By October 26, 1884 the Mission Hall was erected and ready for use. By the end of that year the name “Birkenhead Sunday School” was in use.
An annual statement from 1889 contains the first reference to a new name: St Bede’s Church of England, Five Dock. Within a year, the area had been formally named Drummoyne after William Wright’s prominent home, Drummoyne House. (The name has Scottish roots, being taken from a farm and cottage in the Glasgow district).
Up to this point, St Bede’s operated under the oversight of St Alban’s, Five Dock. Independance was sought on a number of occasions and in October 1900 it was reported that Synod had agreed to the division. In 1901 Mr J.G.Lennon, the owner of the block of land on which the hall was built, not only agreed to cut the debt owed from 200 pounds to 120, but also gave to the church the adjoining block at no.19 which is where the rectory now stands.
Various additions were made to the church building in the ensuing years. Up until 1911, the church had rented no.17 College Street as Rectory. The adjoining land at no.19 had a tennis court on it. The new rectory was begun in 1910 and completed in 1911. The wonderful backyard still has traces of ‘tennis court grass’, a dilapidated club-house/shed and a huge concrete roller!
The parcel of land on which the current church building sits was bought from local identity Sir Thomas Henley in 1922, for a total of one thousand pounds. Rumour has it that Sir Thomas, who lived next door in his famous, and now sadly demolished mansion, did not want any new church building to block his water views.
The building was designed by Emil Sonderstein, who also designed the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. St.Bedes church was built by the Sydney firm Kell and Rigby and was officially opened in March 1931.
The bell tower boasted an unusual cupola and light, which was a notable landmark for decades.