In 2001, Blackwood Uniting Church celebrated its 120th anniversary, the climax of which was the launch of Rosemary Mitchell’s history book called A Sacred Trust: The Uniting Church in the Mitcham Hills.

Rosemary tells the children the story of the big day in 1917 when the little wooden house of God (the original Blackwood Methodist church) was hauled by a bullock team from its original site (now the Coles car park) to its new location in Coromandel Parade. That building continued to be used as the church hall after the present church building was opened in 1922, and was demolished in 1971 to make room for major extensions to the church complex.

Although 18 February 2001 was the 120th anniversary of the Blackwood church, other Methodist churches associated with the parish – Cherry Gardens, Clarendon, Coromandel Valley and Upper Sturt – boast a longer history which the book also traces. Ironbank features early on and Belair and Eden Hills churches are well covered as the story progresses.

The book was officially launched by Rev Don Catford, the Moderator of the South Australian Synod of the Uniting Church. The copy of A Sacred Trust he held in his hand for the launch had a “pink fringe” made up of a mass of pink tags. Don hadn’t had time to read the whole book before the launch so he’d asked a friend to mark those pages that were especially worth reading. The book came back with a pink marker attached to every page!

The author, Rosemary Mitchell, was a member of the Blackwood congregation and is also the author of two other church histories. Lynne Sowerby created the many pen and ink illustrations used in the 267 page book and there are about 120 photographs. The publication of A Sacred Trust was supported by the South Australian Government through the History Trust of South Australia.

  • Title: A Sacred Trust: The Uniting Church in the Mitcham Hills
  • Author: Rosemary Mitchell
  • ISBN Number: 1740081129 / 9781740081122
  • Publisher: Henley Beach – Seaview Press 2000

This book is available in the BUC Library if you would like to ‘Check It Out’.