A right royal celebration
A LOCAL church can lay claim to having links with the British Royal Family as it celebrates its 125th anniversary.
The Lismore Church of Christ, which started in 1841, will celebrate the milestone over three days starting tonight with a fun night for the young at heart, but Pastor Phil Ravesteyne revealed the church had very serious beginnings.
“The Lismore chapter was founded by James and Alicia Walker,” he said.
“James was a pharmacist who also had a printing business and his father (Josiah) was a doctor. His father was a doctor in London and is rumoured to have had connections with the Royal Family.
“Supposedly he helped deliver the Princess Royal, who was Queen Victoria's first child.”
The Walkers started the Lismore church at a premises in Conway Street, before moving to another building at the corner of Keen and Magellan streets.
Eventually the church moved to the hall they now use as a base in Rous Road.
Interestingly, the Lismore chapter is the second-oldest of its denomination in NSW.
“There is only one other in Taree, which started in 1863, that is older than us,” Pastor Ravesteyne said.
“I guess you could say we remain a bit of a shining light. It's really exciting to be involved with these celebrations. There is real life being fed into the place over the last number of years.”
Celebrations start with laser skirmish tonight before a formal celebration luncheon with Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell and Lismore MP Thomas George.
A celebration service will be conducted on Sunday.