Doonside Church of Christ celebrating 80th anniversary

ICONIC: Doonside Church of Christ elder John Dempsey and pastor Ian Jeffress. "It's a remarkable building. Try fixing the slate roof though," Mr Jeffress said.
ICONIC: Doonside Church of Christ elder John Dempsey and pastor Ian Jeffress. "It's a remarkable building. Try fixing the slate roof though," Mr Jeffress said.

At the end of Kildare Road, one unusual building draws the eye of passers-by.

Doonside Church of Christ is celebrating its 80th anniversary during the usual 10.15am service this Sunday, October 15.

The faithful worshippers are hoping their neighbours will be as curious about the church itself as they are about the building.

“Our theme would be firm foundations in Jesus Christ,” pastor Ian Jeffress said.

“It’s the firm foundations that our society was built on. They’re all getting broken up, they’re disappearing,” church elder John Dempsey said. “We thought it wasn’t a bad idea to say we’re still on the firmest of foundations.”

Aged 92, Mr Dempsey still helps maintain the church grounds. He has been attending since 1990 but a few parishioners have been part of the flock since the church began in 1937.

The current building was constructed in 1967, with most of the work done by the congregation using bricks from a demolished pub in the Central Coast.

Attendance peaked at around 100 in the 1980s, at which point the parishioners helped build a church in India among other local and international projects. Today it averages 15 to 20 people each Sunday morning, and there is talk of merging with another church.

Mr Jeffress said he hoped this Sunday might see more people come to hear about the “timeless truths” espoused by the church.

“You’ve got a lot of questions, why don’t you come in and let us answer some,” Mr Dempsey said.