Bulli Anglican Church (BAC), originally known as St. Augustine’s, has continuously operated as an Anglican church since 13 December 1882. It all began when faithful Christians in the Northern Illawarra responded in large numbers to the Bulli Tent Missions of 1877 and decided a new church should begin. They gathered their wits and resources and built first a graveyard and then a church at 66 Park Road Bulli.
When the Bulli mine disaster occurred just 5 years later in 1887, God had supplied for the Northern Illawarra a gathering place where they could meet for compassionate care, learn again to declare his praises, receive his comfort through His Word, be instructed in life and faith, bring all their concerns before Him in prayer, be strengthened, reinforce their identity, and reach out with the saving news of Jesus to the surrounding areas and beyond.
Stirred by the Holy Spirit in the decades that followed, church members proceeded to plant and establish Anglican churches south and north of Bulli at Corrimal, Thirroul, Austinmer, Coledale, Scarborough, Stanwell Park and Helensburgh by 1909, and then at Woonona in 1926. In God’s kindness, the church continued with a strong and enduring heritage of faithful Christian witness and mission to the Northern Illawarra. It has been well documented that many came to know Jesus as Lord through BAC’s faithful proclamation of the gospel through the trying years of the Great Depression and two World Wars.
Spurred on by the need to increase the capacity of the church, building and development works took place in the early 1980s. This included construction of an additional staff house, consolidation of the cemetery, construction of a new ministry centre, and extension to offices, meeting spaces and amenities.
The ministry of the church grew locally in the years that followed. As patterns for gathering and fellowship evolved, real needs emerged in the areas of children and youth ministry, with existing site constraints again becoming a barrier to growth. However, the renovation of one of the on-site cottages into a children’s ministry centre with accessible playground provided additional capacity, with mercy ministries also added to the local work. Children and youth ministry have since become the backbone of interaction with the local community. Residual connections likewise continue with the Bulli Black Diamond Heritage Centre. Locals can often be found on site visiting the resting place of their loved ones.
For more than 140 years Bulli Anglican Church has served the people of the Northern Illawarra with the gospel. It was originally established as the heart of local community life. It is time to reclaim that place so that the people of the Northern Illawarra will know Jesus Christ as Lord.