Sutton Forest

On the 20th March, 1798 white men first arrived in a place they described as “a fine open meadow country with fine green hills.” The area did not receive its present name until visited by Governor Macquarie on 2nd November, 1820, when he named it Sutton Forest after the Rt Hon. Charles Manners Sutton, then Speaker of the House of Commons and son of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
A graveyard was started on land given by Captain John Nicholson in 1828. A wooden chapel was opened and dedicated on 10th January, 1830, by Archdeacon (later Bishop) Broughton. This sacred site is the tenth oldest place of continuous Anglican worship in the Diocese of Sydney, and one of the oldest in Australia. The first Minister was Rev. Thomas Hassall, the “Galloping Parson”, who serviced the whole of southern NSW from his Rectory in Cobbitty. He was relieved of the responsibility for Sutton Forest by Rev. John Vincent as Chaplain in 1831, responsible for Mittagong southwards.
The wooden chapel soon proved insufficient and, after an attempt to build on land offered across the road, it was “proposed that the new church … be built on the same piece of ground as the present Church stands”. Edmund Blackett (the famous architect and designer of St Andrew’s Cathedral) was consulted and he provided plans for the current church which was completed and dedicated by Bishop Frederick Barker on 29th August, 1861.
The organ was built in 1872 by C.J. Jackson. The church gates, originally from the Governor’s country residence, Hillside, were donated in 1959 in memory of NSW Governors who attended this church.