The Hunters Hill Congregational Church has a rich and noble heritage, which can be traced back to a company of Christians in Norwich, England, in 1580. The Norwich fellowship, and other independent congregations which emerged throughout England, sought to develop local churches marked by purity of life and doctrine at a time when the Established Church was characterised by worldliness and corruption.
Persecution drove many Congregationalists from England's shores to Holland, where the Pilgrim Church was established and from thence the Pilgrim Fathers sailed to America in 1620.
Mayflower's passage Pilgrims arrive, Plymouth Rock
As they departed, Pastor John Robinson uttered the words which have come to epitomize Congregationalism's Faith, “The Lord hath yet more light and truth to break forth from His word.”
Seventeenth century Congregationalism found a champion in Oliver Cromwell, but this brief time of respite from persecution was to end with the Restoration, and in its infamous Act of Uniformity. The following century witnessed growth in Congregationalism, and the founding of the London Missionary Society, which was to commission Robert Moffatt, David Livingstone and a host of less known but all carrying the Gospel around the world.
England's first great hymn-writer Isaac Watts, was a Congregationalist, as was the poet, Milton. Some of Christianity's greatest preachers were to come from Congregationalism in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, e.g. Jonathon Edwards, Charles Finney, R.W. Dale, P.T. Forsyth, R.J. Campbell, Joseph Parker, Campbell Morgan, Martyn Lloyd Jones.
Jonathan Edwards Charles Finney
Congregationalism came to New South Wales toward the end of the 18th century. A congregation was formed in Sydney in 1810, and by 1850 a Home Missions Society was developed, with churches being founded across Australia. In 1866 the Congregational Union of N.S.W. was born. Evangelical Congregationalism has as its spokesman Lionel B. Fletcher during the early years of this century, and many churches were established or revived, in Australia and around the English speaking world, under this noted evangelist's ministry.
This Church stands for those principles affirmed by Congregationalism's founding fathers, i.e.
1. Regenerate Church membership;
2. Full liberty of conscience;
3. An open Bible, and the belief that ‘the Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth from His Word‘
4. Self-governing churches with full authority residing in the local church under the Lordship of Christ, and complete
freedom from all external ecclesiastical control;
5. Fellowship and co-operation with sister Congregational churches.
For more than four centuries godly men have pursued the Congregational Way - a Way which is Reformed, Puritan and Evangelical. It has given the wider Church some of the world's finest scholars, preachers and evangelists.
As such, the Hunters Hill Church is a mainstream church with a sense of history. She is also an evangelical church with a vision for the future and a love for missions. In recent years the church has been active in providing care for the aged. In the 1970's a serviced apartment facility and self care units were built on the site. In the 1980's land was purchased at Narellan – then a country town on the outskirts of the city of Sydney, for a twofold purpose.
1. To eventually provide accommodation for aging parents with a disabled son or daughter and,
2. To plant another church.
The vision to provide for the disabled is nearer now than ever before. Funds are required to provide the necessary infrastructure to give the required backup and care. In the meantime, self care units have been built and we are now looking to the Lord for the provision of funds for the next stage of care.
In the early 90's work commenced on the planting of a church. The Fellowship of Congregational Churches provided funds so that Jeanette Kingston, wife of the Senior Minister might be able to help start a new work. A small band of people met in various self care units before moving to what is now the Pastor's residence. In the late 90's a call was extended to the Rev. David Beasant and his family in Northern Ireland and following the acceptance of the call the Beasant family were finally brought to Australia by the Hunters Hill Fellowship. The story of the ongoing growth of the work at Narellan is justification of the faith and determination of the Hunters Hill Church Members who rejoice in all that God is doing.