St Paul’s Parish will be moving to Anglicare SQ Chapel at Edwin Marsden Tooth Memorial Home (also known as Lota House) after selling its church premises to the Education Department. The decision was made in consideration of the planned expansion of the Manly State School.
“The Parish of St Paul’s has voluntarily opted to sell the site of our current church to enable the expansion of Manly State School,” St Paul’s Anglican Church March 2022 Notice of Public Meeting said.
The notice furthered that the decision was a proactive response to the church’s “ministry context” and for the benefit of the Manly community. Despite the sale, the parish, however, will continue to service the local community.
“While this is a sensitive subject, everyone from the Bishop to the local MP and many others have expressed how impressed they were with our professional approach, community culture and Christian love,” St Paul’s Parish Priest, Daniel Hobbs wrote in his May 2022 Pastoral Message.
“I was truly gobsmacked by how well the Public Meeting went! With this important piece of work behind us, we move now to two tasks that require input from our whole parish: 1) Lota House Chapel restoration and 2) Our model of ministry for when we get there.”
Manly State School is set for major expansion with a new multi-storey building to enable the school to keep up with its enrolment growth. The $11.6-million learning centre will contain general learning spaces plus a music centre and an outdoor learning space.
Currently, the Manly SS has a maximum capacity of 707 students. Last year, enrolments have risen to 701 from 657 the year before. The expansion project has been welcomed by bayside locals including Councillor Peter Cumming who recognised the need for more learning spaces and play areas at the school.
Manly State School’s neighbouring place of worship, St Paul’s Parish Church on 99 Ernest Street, had its timber hall constructed in 1914 with succeeding developments in 1932 which saw the addition of a sanctuary, an altar and chancel as well as the construction of the vicarage. It was not until 1964 that the church was built on the same site.