Brief History of Mangrove Mountain Union Church

In 1908 William Kelynack purchased land in Waratah Road, Mangrove Mountain, and he and his wife Annie and daughter Florence lived in a tent until the house was built in 1910.

Church services were held on their front verandah until the Union Church was built, near the corner of Wisemans Ferry and Bloodtree Roads. On occasion, over 40 people attended these services.

Union churches came about in many areas of Australia at that time and the Mangrove Mountain Union Church was part of that evolution. The settlers of the area were keen to have their own churches, but the population was limited both in terms of numbers and financial capabilities.

A local committee was formed with the objective of securing land and building a Union Church on it. At a Committee Meeting held on 18th August 1910 it was decided that “The building not to be commenced until £35 in hand”.

As can be seen from the photograph below, the first Annual General Meeting held on 27th August 1911 was well attended:


The First Annual Report dated 27th August 1911 included the statement:

‘With regard to the Church Building and Site – The Minister for Lands has approved of the two acres (on part of which we stand today) to be set up for Auction Sale and from recent correspondence it may be safely assumed that we will be the owners of this site within a few weeks.’

On 8th July 1911 a tender for the erection of the Church in the amount of £180 was received from the builders Messrs Gibson, Greentree and Benson.


The Church was officially opened on 12th May 1912 by Mrs W. H. Kelynack using a chased silver key engraved with the date and which was presented to her.


The Mangrove Mountain Union Church was home to Methodist, Presbyterian and Church of England congregations. The building enabled all groups to conduct their individual services and also to meet occasionally in combined activities.

Five people who witnessed the development of the “Mountain” area from near pioneer days are seen below on the happy occasion of an annual luncheon of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Mangrove Union Church.

Mrs Burns holds a prized family possession, the chased silver key with which her mother,
Mrs W H Kelynack officially opened the little church which had meant so much in the lives of the “Mountain” people of all denominations for 50 years.

Since then the key has been passed on to Joanne Metzke, a great, great granddaughter of Mrs William Kelynack.

Mrs Burns with the key

Stewart Brougham wrote a brief history of Mangrove Mountain Church from 1912 to 1991. Click here to read the article he wrote for Gosford City Library.

Many people contributed to MMUC throughout the years.

Learn about the people that made the Mangrove Mountain Union Church what it is today. Look at “The People of Mangrove Mountain Union Church” to find out more about them.