On Sunday 20 August 2017 York Uniting Church celebrated 165 years of a worshipping presence in the Avon Valley town. A fairly chilly day, so typical of winters in York, the congregation joined with many friends to celebrate and give thanks. And what a celebration!
We began with our normal 9.30am worship service which was led by Rev Ruth Vertigan, who is part of the Rural Ministry Team and is our regional co-ordinator. Ruth attended the York Wesleyan Methodist Church (as it was then known) as a child so it was fitting that she come and lead the worship service on the morning of the anniversary. After morning tea we rushed home to gather the ‘good food’ for the afternoon tea which was to follow our planned ‘Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Concert.’
This anniversary concert is a very popular event in York, and this year at 2.00pm the church rang with the sound of 130 people singing Advance Australia Fair – a rousing start to the program organised by June Dawson.
The depth of talent in our town is amazing! There were three excellent soloists (Maggie Hewitt, Josie Prunster, and Mick Vertigan) and three lovely choirs (Cantara, The York Hub Choir, and Nice ’n’ Easy), while the Ukulele group lifted everyone’s spirits with their selection of tunes.
On top of the local talent we were joined by two talented visitors: Don Neander playing classical guitar and John Vandenberg’s organ solo, which added to the variety. Church members Linda Wills and Ian Burns’ comedic sketch of Moses giving a press interview was a another bright spot. Then, Bruce Davidson made our church organ rejoice with three well-loved hymns for us all to sing.
June Dawson, our congregational leader and compère, entertained us all throughout the proceedings with a nice line of shaggy dog stories which had us all groaning and laughing at the same time. Representatives from the Kardinya Uniting Church presented June with a rose bush and card to mark the special day.
After the concert we all retired to the church hall where the tables were groaning under the weight of our famous afternoon tea. The resulting party was a happy time to talk, eat, share and above all feel thankful for all those faithful folk who preceded us during the last 165 years.