Lurline St Katoomba

Plymouth Brethren - Lurline St Katoomba

Lurline St Katoomba

For 115 years, the PBCC has had a presence in Katoomba on the upper Blue Mountains west of Sydney.  They now have 5 meeting rooms, the largest taking several hundred worshippers.  There is no platform – as they are organised on family lines, not a hierarchy – but dished seating rises in circles from the centre.  Microphones are widely installed as the brothers all take part; the sisters enjoy selecting and calling the hymns.

Plymouth Brethren - Lurline St Katoomba

But back to 1898; A Brethren family of eight moved up from Sydney because the father suffered heart/lung trouble, and purchased a guesthouse which the mother ran.  They held the Lord’s Supper each Sunday in a room set aside for that purpose.  The father’s first job was gas-lamp lighter; using a long taper he walked the town streets each evening turning on the lamps.  Gradually a few others of this Christian community moved in, and they hired a meeting room, then moved to the School of Arts, where they also had gospel preachings, Bible readings and prayer meetings through the week.

Plymouth Brethren - Lurline St Katoomba

In early 1930’s a well-off chocolate maker in Sydney whose wife was among the Brethren (himself an Anglican) used to holiday in the Blue Mountains and attend Brethren gospel preachings.  He thought it a shame that this attractive and enthusiastic little gathering did not have its own church so he arranged to build a meeting hall for them!  He provided the funds, an experienced Brethren bricklayer was builder and other members worked on the project.  This hall, at corner of Lurline and Leichardt Streets in Katoomba, became the home base of the Brethren on the mountains.

Plymouth Brethren - Lurline St Katoomba

For 70 years numbers were not great as the local economy centred round the tourist trade and jobs allowing Sundays off were hard to find.  There was some increase in Brethren numbers while the western railway was electrified by British Callendar Cables about 1953-57, but on completion many moved elsewhere for employment.  Then a good few more moved up in the 1970’s, their families grew, and now have a number of thriving mountain manufacturing businesses.  Brethren run their own school, and have recently set up a Rapid Relief Team, in cooperation with NSW fire brigades, equipped for mobile catering etc.

Plymouth Brethren - Lurline St Katoomba

So 115 years on, and still prospering within the Blue Mountains World Heritage National Park – based on family privilege and responsibility, with special care of aged and young… and all between! This Christian community moves on and eagerly watches out for the next big event on the Christian calendar, the second coming of Christ.

11 thoughts on “Lurline St Katoomba”

  1. JOE DALTON says:

    This is a great, old hall that sure holds a lot of memories!!!!
    I hope all goes well!!

  2. granny says:

    So interesting!
    Another place I’d like to go…..!

  3. Brooke says:

    Good old Lurline Street!!! Sure holds a few memories!!

  4. HAZMAT PRO says:

    pretty cool eh

  5. MUZFUZZ says:

    I have always taken a deep interest in buildings built on slopes. I admire the engineers for being so innovative. Does anyone know the gradient of the hill which this PBCC church stands on?

    1. JoeMJ says:

      The site is approximately 10 degrees, sloping front to rear.

    2. Loot says:

      You sure??? Looks like it would be at least 20?

    3. JoeMJ says:

      Feels like 20 deg when you walk up the street, but is actually only a fraction over 10 deg!!

  6. John says:

    Excellent to hear this! Very interesting history! Keep up with the RRT!

  7. JoeMJ says:

    A building that had done stout service for the brethren for many years in Katoomba! Intriguing history, and the reason behind its design and building an excellent testimony for those brethren of past times – feature someone not among the brethren being so moved by the brethren’s sincerity that he paid for a church building for use by the brethren!!
    That is certainly generosity….

    1. Anonymous says:

      Seems Brethyren Church goes back a long time. I bet the local community appreciates them, especially the fire Brigades. Hope all goes well with the new site.

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