Fifty year celebration for Talbingo Church

The celebratory cake was cut by parishioners who were also at the opening of the church in 1967. Photo: Nicole Diggins

St Paul’s Church in Talbingo, the first interdenominational church in Australia, celebrated fifty years on Sunday with a beautiful service that featured Catholic, Uniting and Anglican ministers.

Following the service a tree was planted by a representative of the community’s elders and its future leaders, and a cake was cut by those who were there to attend the Church’s inaugural service in 1967.

Sing Australia was also there to lead the songs of worship.

Nicole Diggins, who attended the festivities, said it was a touching day.

“It was a very unique service today for a very unique church,” she said.

“It was lovely to see the ministers from three denominations come together and celebrate united as one.

“Each one spoke of their own personal and spiritual journey before doing a reading in unison – that in itself was a unique experience to witness.

“What they set out to do in 1967, as the first multi-denominational church in Australia to offer a place of worship for the multicultural workers of Snowy Hydro, was very forward thinking back then.

“You have to think they paved the way for a more united belief path.”

A tree was planted by the youngest and eldest in attendance. Photo: Nicole Diggins

Church maintenance costs are still shared between the three churches, continuing the tradition set by the colourful variety of the Snowy Hydro workers.

On Sunday it was a full house, with every seat taken in the pews and cars parked around the block.

Of course, like any other service at St Paul’s, one of the principal draw cards was the stunning view, the glass backwall of the church revealing the green mountains surrounding Jounama Dam behind the pulpit.

It was doubtlessly a memorable day for all attending.

The view from the inside of the Church. Photo: Nicole Diggins.