This week I visited St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Moore Street. The church was established in 1886. It is an Anglican Church in the Catholic Tradition and a Mission Church.
The church was built in 1887 as an mission church of the old St John’s church. It is designed in the Gothic Style by R. Garlick Howell and built of Brick and blue-stone salvaged from the St John’s church in Halifax Street, that was demolished in 1886. Salvaged items include the bricks and the windows.
It was difficult to find this church as it is hidden by the parking garage just before it. On the outside the church looks very plain but has a nice brick bell tower. Another interesting feature is the Memorial Plaque commemorating World War I which is next to the entrance. It is a beautiful Mosaic of Christ on the cross with Mary Magdalene weeping at his feet.
Next door to the church building is the St Peters Mission Hall for which construction began in 1912. From the Mission Hall the community runs a drop in centre that helps the homeless and transient people of Adelaide. It includes a free meal every Saturday and other services
Upon entry of the building you find yourself in a very small front porch. A metal gate decorated with Fleur-de-lisle bars the way into the main Aisle of the church. At the end of the aisle is the Alter and the only decorated windows of the church. The Sanctuary Windows was designed and executed by Vanessa Smith nee Lambe. An accomplished designer who also completed windows for other churches around Adelaide. The window is dedicated to the memory of Percy Robert Ferris, Rector of the parish from 1940-1947.
Along the wall are 5 windows and between each window is a painting by Peter Coad. The Paintings are called Autumn 2003. Peter Coad is an accomplished landscape artist who uses vibrant colours which really come to the fore in the church building.
Along each side of the walls are little plaques depicting the stations of the Cross. The carvings are exquisite and my personal favourite is number 4, Jesus meets his Mother. I spend a long time admiring each plaque and can really recommend this to any visitor.
The Altar at the back of the church is also worth a look. It is superbly carved and features saints and a some wonderful gold leaved paintings.
During my visit a service was being held and as this is an Anglican church in the Catholic Tradition it incorporates Catholic traditions such as burning of incense. I personally love the smell and enjoy seeing the smoke swirl around a church.
Another unusual occurrence during the services is that the Priest turns his or her back to the congregation so as to always face the alter and God. The responses are also not traditional Anglican. For anyone interested the church is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 12pm, Saturday from 5pm and Sunday from 9am.
At the back of the church is the baptismal font and the organ. The original organ was moved a few times but was finally replaced with in 1989 by an electronic organ donated by St Mark’s Maylands upon the closure of that church.
Overall I enjoyed my visit to this church very much. The ambiance is very Coy and homely. A lovely place to visit and explore. The parish and its rector are very friendly and welcoming. If you want some more information please visit their blog: http://stmarymags125.blogspot.com.au