Saint Matthew's Church, Poonindie
Our congregation celebrated the 150th anniversary and the completion of the major renovations on Sunday 15th May 2005. During the bushfire in January 2005 the Church sustained minor damage although there are ongoing repairs and maintenance required. Please contact us if you have any enquiries about the Church or would like to make a donation for it's continuing upkeep.
See Restoration photos below

The Restoration Appeal - 2003 / 2005
This is my last instalment to the website as Parish Priest. In a few weeks I will take up appointment as rector to the parish of Brighton in Adelaide. It is very pleasing to now inform you that with the final work about to be finished the restoration project is complete. The exterior walls have been made secure with necessary stonework repaired and bricks replaced. Important work was also done to the loft to make it bird proof. Previously a new roof was installed, the interior replastered and painted and necessary timbers replaced. The battlements, which were removed early in the 20th century to make way for a new roof, will be rebuilt in just a few days time. After two years I know I speak for the St. Matthew’s congregation in thanking God for his goodness in supplying all our needs.

May I also take the opportunity to thank those who have generously donated money and volunteer labour to the appeal. I especially would like to record my gratitude to the following - the wardens and congregation of St. Matthew’s for their hard fundraising work as well as for many hours spent on labour, the builders – the Hanchants (interior), Craig Brown (exterior & loft), Cliff Carpenter (roof), Geoff Rayson and team (interior painting). Many others donated goods and materials and I also sincerely thank them.

We have achieved our goal in seeing the church restored by its sesquicentenary in 2005. It is my pleasure to let you know of the celebrations that will now take place. On Sunday 15 May, 2005 there will be a service at 11.00am presided over by the Bishop of Willochra, The Right Rev’d Garry Weatherill, an unveiling of the memorial plaque and lunch. Please keep this day in your prayers and if you would like to attend please contact the wardens, as advertised in this website, for more information.

As I conclude my ministry here I am gratified to know that worship will continue in this historic Church and that the Church itself is a memorial to the many Aboriginal people who once lived here. I hope that the restored Church reminds us that reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people is still ongoing and that at sometime all God’s people will live in harmony and respect for each other, and that full humanity will be restored.

Priest – The Rev’d Chris McLeod (September, 2004)

Our Restoration Appeal was endorsed by our patrons
Archbishop The Most Rev'd Dr. Ian George
Archbishop The Most Rev'd Dr. Ian George 
Archbishop of Adelaide


"St Matthew' Church,
Poonindie is one of the most historic churches in South Australia. It is not only unique for its design but for its original purposes. 
The Poonindie settlement was perhaps the most successful Aboriginal agricultural co-operative developed in
Australia. It was the brainchild of Archdeacon Matthew Hale, subsequently first Bishop of Perth and later Bishop of Brisbane."

The Right Rev'd  Garry Weatherill ~ Bishop of Willochra

The Poonindie Mission was the most significant connection between colonial South Australian Anglicans and indigenous Australians in the 19th Century. 

I hope that this appeal will help to focus attention on the positive aspects of our shared past, and also encourage us to use our common heritage to build ongoing structures of reconciliation and hope. I hope that a restored building might be a sign of restored relationships."

I warmly commend this appeal and encourage your generous support.

The Right Rev'd Garry Weatherill

The Right Rev'd Ross Davies
The Right Rev'd Ross Davies ~ Bishop of The Murray

“I am pleased to commend this appeal in the Diocese of The Murray and throughout the Church, as Saint Matthew's Poonindie represents a fruitful and successful interaction between the Church and indigenous Australians.

Its restoration is a sign of the
continuing goodwill Anglicans have to work alongside our indigenous brothers and sisters and to work for true reconciliation.”

Restoration projects which were identified
Click on the images for the bigger and better versions then click "back" on your browser.

  The loft

Roofing iron is very rusty

The loft was originally used as the School room. As can be seen the roof urgently needs replacing.

Bricks deteriorating at the base of the famous "Double Chimney"

Famous Double Chimney and bell tower

Inside walls in need of repair

The bricks were made from a nearby clay pit, puddled by bullocks and were fired in an underground kiln.  From the photo of the base of the chimney, you can see the bricks are fretting and are badly in need of replacing. Inside the church the walls are deteriorating. 

Stone cross badly cracked

To be repaired

Crack above vestry

The original stone urgently needs re-pointing, the stone cross replaced and stone work repaired.  As can be seen some cracks need repairing and the whole structure is in urgent need of attention.

 After Completion; Inside St Matthews - March 21st 2004



The people who made this all happen


During Restoration which began - June 2003  


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