St Matthews stands at the junction of Castle Hill and New Line Roads, on a piece of land originally known as Smith’s Hill, the result of God’s rich blessings over many years.
A handful of local Anglicans living in the sparsely settled rural area of orchards, poultry or flower farms and market gardens decided to gather for worship in one of their homes in 1937. By 1941 this small group had grown and the meetings were moved to the Progress Hall on the corner of New Line and Gumnut Roads.'
With the formation of the West Pennant Hills Church Committee and a Women's Guild in 1952, the enthusiastic and dedicated members began the process of buying land and building a church. On 31st May 1953, this small group of people gathered in a tent, on their newly acquired land, to worship and give thanks to God. Despite the lack of a building, the church began to grow.
Within three years, through the generosity of its members in labour, materials and time, a brick hall seating 150 people was opened and by the generous blessings of God, it had been outgrown by 1962 and so a white timber hall was added to the site.
By 1964 St Matthews was recognized as a provisional district with an official name, church hall, Sunday school hall, rectory and a rapidly increasing congregation.
On 4th July 1971 the present church building was completed with the hall complex added in 1988.
While buildings have been transformed over time, so too have the lives of many people who have come to know Jesus through the ministry of St Matthews and by God’s grace, we have extended beyond the main church site.
In late 1996-97 a group of St Matthew's members began to meet for prayer, Bible study and worship to plan and prepare to plant a new church in Cherrybrook. In October 1997 services began in the Cherrybrook Community Centre. By 2002 they were financially independent of St Matthews and Cherrybrook Anglican Church was formally recognised. This made them in effect, the first parish in Sydney ‘without property or boundaries’.
Our Chinese speaking congregation formed in 1995 and our English speaking Asian congregation formed in 2004, have both flourished and to enable their continued growth and outreach, in 2008 their meetings moved to the nearby Cherrybrook Public School. By God’s grace and the work of the Holy Spirit, the Chinese Congregation has maintained its faithful witness to the gospel, with the Asian congregation experiencing substantial growth over the past few years.
St Matthews was blessed with the opportunity to plant a new congregation in the local West Pennant Hills Public School in 2009. Known as St Matts @ School, this congregation has been reaching out to the families in our local community and is steadily growing in number.
We praise God for his generous blessings upon our church community and continue to pray that we will be increasingly effective in reflecting the generosity of Christ in and to our community for the glory of God.
In this endeavour we hold firmly to the strong foundations laid by those who have gone before us, as we continue to proclaim the truth of God’s word locally, throughout Australia and across the world.
Reference: “A History of St Matthews Anglican Church” by Judy Taylor (1996)