Pioneers of Christ Church ManerooPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by John Huth

On 4th October 1936, the ruined Christ Church was reconsecrated to commemorate the pioneers of the District, Bishop Broughton, and the Reverend Edward Gifford Pryce, a pioneer of Anglican work in the Monaro.

In 1845 Reverend Price and Bishop Broughton decided to build Cooma's (and the district's) first church. The foundation stone of Christ Church was laid on 17 February 1845. Bishop Broughton drew up the plans for the church building and arranged for its construction. Due to labour problems and finance it was not completed until 1850.

Within five years it was realised that Christ Church was not located where the village of Cooma was developing. Morning services continued to be held at Christ Church, however evening services began to be held in the Court house in town.

An evening service was held in the court-house until the church was built. It was richly furnished and finally consecrated in 1872. He also built a new parsonage and school hall. His long incumbency was mostly a success and in his last years the work of the church in the Monaro was well organized.

The Bishop of Sydney arrived here on Friday, the 22nd of February. On Saturday, the consecration of Christ Church took place, the foundation-stone of which was laid by his Lordship (then Bishop of Australia) exactly five years ago. On the Bishop's arrival at the church, he was received by the Rev. E. G. Pryce, B A., minister of the district; the Rev. E. Smith, incumbent of Queanbeyan ; and by several gentlemen of the district ; one of whom, W. A. Brodribb, Esq., J.P., read the petition requesting his Lordship would be pleased to consecrate the church and burial ground. The appointed service then commenced; the Rev. E. Smith acting as the Bishop's Chancellor. After morning prayer, the Bishop preached from John, ii. 17, to a congregation of about sixty persons, and administered the Holy Communion.

On Sunday, the congregation was much more numerous, amounting to upwards of 80, assembled from great distances. The Bishop confirmed a number of young persons, and again preached from Luke, xv. 7. We believe that this is the first church that has been consecrated beyond the limits of location in the colony. It is an exceedingly neat and well finished building of granite, fifty-six feet six inches long, and twenty-one feet wide, having a chancel, and tower with a wooden spire. The cost of its erection has been nearly £600, much extra expense having arisen from the scarcity and high price of labour in this remote district, and the very high cost of carriage of materials. The Bishop expressed much pleasure at the appearance of the church, which is certainly a credit to the parish of Cooma, Besides this, there is in the Maneroo district, at Deligot, 70 miles from Cooma, a small chapel, which has been finished for some time, and another in course of erection about twenty miles from this, in a different direction, The parsonage at Cooma, a substantial stone building, has been inhabited by the Rev. Mr. Pryce for upwards of two years, having been built chiefly at his own expense.
Sydney Morning Herald (NSW ), 4 March 1850.

Cooma, Sunday. The Bishop of Goulburn (Dr Burgmann) today reconsecrated the old Christ Church at Cooma Creek, as a memorial to Bishop Broughton, the Rev E G Pryce, and Archdeacon Thomas Druitt and of pioneers of Monaro. Christ Church was built in the forties of last century, through the efforts of Mr Pryce, who was the first resident Anglican clergyman in the Monaro district, and it was consecrated by Bishop Broughton in February, 1850. The old church Is now being restored. A large number of people came out from Cooma to attend the ceremonies The Archbishop of Sydney (Dr.Mowll) preached at a children's service in the old church this afternoon and this evening a thanksgiving service was held at St Pauls Church Cooma. 
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 5 October 1936. 


Address:151 Maffra Road, Christ Church Maneroo, Cooma, 2630
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.259564
Long: 149.133504
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:Culture


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 4th October, 1936
Front Inscription

Plaque :

Christ Church Maneroo

This Church, the foundation stone of which was laid in 1845, is the first church to have been built in Manaro and was used as a place of regular worship until 1872.

In 1936 the church was partially restored and dedicated as a memorial to the pioneers of the District and to the Rt. Rev. Bishop Broughton, first Bishop  of Australia and Rev. E. G. Pryce the pioneer clergyman of Manaro, who were responsible for the erection of this church.

Within these grounds are recorded names of many of the early pioneers.

This plaque records the complete restoration and re-hallowing of the church in 1960.

The service was a feature of the Festival of the Snows celebrations.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au