The Blue Cross atop the tower of St John’s Anglican Church in Victoria Street has long been prominent on the Taree skyline. For Christians it is a reminder of their faith, while for others it may simply serve as a landmark for weary travellers – but it does signify Taree.
An Anglican Church has stood in this vicinity since the early days of European settlement of Taree, and in 1937/38 the well known Sydney Architect, Mr H O Woodhouse, was commissioned to design a new church for the site. With the outbreak of WW2 and amidst concerns over costings, the church was not completed and dedicated (minus the tower cross) until February 1963.1
On 10 March 1963, the Bishop of Newcastle returned to Taree to dedicate the tower cross. This was eleven feet in height, outlined in blue and illuminated at night.2
Being lit by fluorescent tubes, it was susceptible to the vagaries of the weather and its maintenance and energy usage eventually gave cause for concern. The answer was to replace the illumination method with LED technology. The cross was removed while this work was undertaken and it was repositioned in its rightful place atop the church tower in August 2006.3
To this day, it continues to shine its guiding light over Taree.
Author: Penny Teerman
1 Anglicans in the Parish of Taree 1845-2003 by Joyce Kirby and Peter Cane and published by Anglican Parish of Taree.
3 Manning Great Lakes Extra Thursday 31 August 2006 Pg 1.