Castlereagh Methodist Church

Castlereagh Methodist Church – Castlereagh Road

The original Methodist Church at Castlereagh is believed to be the first Methodist place of worship built in Australia. This first place of worship was a slab building attached to John Lee’s home. Later he built a weatherboard chapel – opened in October 1817 – and gave it to the Methodist Church. Lees was a former member of the N.S.W. Corps and had led a life “highlighted by drink and gambling”, until recovery from a snakebite precipitated his reform.

The present church was built in 1847 for £450. The old chapel became the Wesleyan Common School until the State Education System was instituted and a school built opposite the church. The church was on the Penrith Methodist Circuit.

In the later part of the nineteenth century the population of the Castlereagh region declined and there were no local trust members to maintain the church. As a result, the building became dilapidated until, in 1894, a trust was reorganised and the church was repaired and improved at a cost of £70.

In 1984 a permanent conservation order was placed on the church building. The church, church hall, and adjoining cemetery are already classified by the National Trust.