Our History

Our Leaders

During our first years we had ministers from other congregations who oversaw the congregation at North Ryde as well as their own.

  • Rev. Harold Jefferies from Naremburn Congregation Church in 1954.
  • Mr. Alan Garlick from Parramatta Congregational Church in 1955 to 1956 who worked under the superintendence of Rev. Noel Goodsell of the Roseville and West Lindfield Congregational Churches.
  • Rev. C. Torvell from Parramatta Congregational Church in 1957
  • Mr. Eric Gifford (1958–1972)
  • Rev. Jock Young (1973–1984)
  • Rev. Beth Kelsey (1985–1986)
  • Rev. Winston O’Reilly (1986–1987)
  • Rev. Grahame Ellis (1987–1994)
  • Rev. Warwick Cadenhead (1995–2002)
  • In the period (2002–2004) we were blessed to have the leadership of a number of retired ministers who helped us to continue to serve God in North Ryde.
  • Rev. Jill Ison (2004–2010)
  • Rev. Mata Hiliau (2011–2017)
  • Rev. James Aaron (2017–2020)
  • Rev. Jean Bell (2021-)

North Ryde War Memorial Congregational Church (1954–1972)

In 1954 Harry Jefferies came from Naremburn Congregation Church and knocked on doors in and around Cutler Parade inviting people to come to a church service and Sunday School on Sunday 27th June. This was the start, a 12ft×12ft tent with a congregation of 38 children and 8 adults.

One year later in 1955, The Home Mission Board appointed the Rev. Noel Goodsell to the community as minister with lay assistance from Alan Garlick, bought the block of land at Cutler Parade and borrowed a portable church building for use. This church building was opened and dedicated on Saturday, 21st May 1955. On 19th March 1962 the foundation of the present building was started and the church building was opened on 18th August 1962.

Joint Parish of North Ryde (1972–1977)

In the early 70’s the youth groups of the Presbyterian Church in Cressy Road (St Rowan’s) and the Congregational Church at Cutler Parade joined to form one group as did the Women’s Fellowships of both churches. In 1972 Alexander Memorial Presbyterian Church on Lane Cove Road and St. Rowan’s Presbyterian Church united with the North Ryde Congregational Church to form the Joint Parish.

Jock Young from Tasmania was the first minister to the Joint Parish and under his leadership, emphasis was placed on self worth and a strong commitment to love and upholding each other as God loves us.

The Uniting Church (1977–)

On 22nd June 1977 the Uniting Church in Australia was born and North Ryde Uniting Church along with Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian churches Australia wide joined in the formation of and the celebrations for the new Australian church. Like North Ryde Uniting Church itself, UCA was not the end point of a journey but a means for the Pilgrim people who meet in this space to continue their journey of faith.