The Anglican Parish of Church Hill is two churches and one parish.
St Philip's is the oldest parish in Australia, together with the Parish of Parramatta.
In January 1788 eleven ships carrying around 1400 people, including 786 convicts, arrived from England on the east coast of Australia to establish a penal colony. The Chaplain of the First Fleet was the Rev’d Richard Johnson and he conducted the first Christian service in Australia on 3 February 1788. St Philip’s is the custodian of Mr Johnson’s (First Fleet) Bible and Prayer Book.
The wattle and daub church built by Mr. Johnson in 1793 was burnt down in 1798. A new stone church, named St Philip’s, was opened in 1810, and this was replaced by the current building in 1856. Sydneysiders have been worshiping Jesus Christ as Lord on Church Hill for at least 2 centuries.
The Garrison Church (Holy Trinity, Miller’s Point) was originally a church plant from St Philip’s. It was planned at a meeting convened by Reverend William Cowper (Australia’s first parish minister) in December 1839 because the seating capacity at St Philip's Church had been outgrown by the congregation. The Foundation Stone was laid in 1840, and the current building is the same building that has been used for worship and mission for over 175 years.
The name ‘Garrison Church’ is a nickname, given because of the many regiments that have worshipped there over the years. The Garrison is one of the few buildings in Sydney with 175 years of a single united purpose: to worship God through Jesus Christ.
On November 1, 2013, The Parish of St Philip's and Holy Trinity Church merged for the purpose of our united mission to the City of Sydney in the 21st Century. We are now the Parish of Church Hill, or Church Hill Anglican for short.
If you have an enquiry regarding historical records for either St Philip's or The Garrison Church please contact the office.