Celebrating South Australia


17 May 1883 Clayton Church

 17 May 1883   Clayton Church

Clayton Church on The Parade at Norwood was formally opened by Sir Samuel Davenport on 17 May 1883. 

The first place of worship of Congregationalists in the district was in a small chapel in the north-west area of Norwood. This was relinquished in 1844 when a brick building, funded by public subscriptions, was constructed in High Street, Kensington. A break-away group in 1854 rented temporary premises, and later bought the site, on the Parade for £190 and construction of this new church began in May 1855 with the foundation stone being laid by the Reverend Barrow on 5 June. The first service in the church, named for the Reverend John Clayton of London, was held on 13 April 1856. 

In 1882 it was decided to erect a new building in front of the existing one and the foundation stone for the present Clayton Church was laid by the Mayor of Norwood, Edwin Smith (later Sir), on 27 June 1882. The spire of the Gothic Revival Church is 72 feet in height and the marble relief on the west front was sculpted by William Maxwell. When a tall cross, lit at night, was placed on the front of the building facing down the Parade, the church became known as the 'Church of the Lighted Cross'. The church remains a prominent landmark in Norwood.

The Advertiser, 7 May 1929.
Newspaper Cuttings Book, Volume 2. SLSA.