St Andrew’s Lismore


The area Richmond River valley has been the home of the Bundjalung nation for thousands of years. Europeans have been here just 200 years.

The Richmond River, on a branch of which Lismore is situated, was first explored by a ship of the British navy in 1828. Graziers from south arrived in the valley by an inland route in 1840, followed two years later by cedar cutters arriving by sea. Much of the land around Lismore was covered by dense forest, the ‘Big Scrub’ and as this was cleared, farms and villages grew.

The aboriginal name for the area was ‘Tuckerimbah’ meaning the junction of two creeks. The branch of the River on which Lismore is situated has been renamed Wilsons River.

‘Lismore was the name given to a grazing run of 23,000 acres occupied in 1845 by William Wilson. The name means ‘great garden’ in Celtic. But there had been other grazing runs nearby in the previous three years.

The first Anglican service in what was to become Lismore was on 20 April, 1844, when a minister from Grafton visited the Richmond River district. The first St Andrew’s Church Lismore was built in timber in 1871, on the same site as this building.  (kind permission Geoffrey Folley)

St Andrew’s

Amongst the many things to see while touring the Far North Coast of NSW, Rainbow Region, St Andrew’s Lismore (Garrison Church) is an outstanding heritage-listed brick building with numerous historic stained glass windows and intricately carved timber furniture dating from an era when cost was no barrier. The building and grounds provides a stunning venue for weddings, funerals and other community events. Other smaller historic Parish churches also suitable for weddings are located at Dunoon, Nimbin and Wyrallah.


The church grounds, with gently sloping lush, manicured lawns and stunning Jacaranda trees in full bloom (in season) provide a beautiful, tranquil setting for memorable wedding photographs any time of the year.


The historic bell tower contains a full peal of 8 bells, enthusiastically rung in the traditional method by a team of experienced ringers at weekly Sunday worship services and at weddings and other special events by arrangement.

In 2002 a peal of six bells was installed in the tower. These bells came from a church in Wilton, Wiltonshire, UK which was installing new bells. Since then two new bells from the famous Whitechapel bell foundry in London have been added.  (kind permission Geoffrey Folley) more information


The historic pipe organ is a superb and rare example of its type, and normally played by one of the finest organists in the Northern Rivers region. The organist is included in the wedding fee, if required. A new Yamaha Clavinova with full 88 weighted keyboard is also available.

The organ was installed in 1914 by the British Pianoforte Depot of Sydney.The design and construction was done by Ernest Ladegast, a German organ builder. He used many German parts. The organ has been restored in 1955 by Simon Pierce and the same German firm of August Laukhuff was able to supple replacement parts. The original pipework was by the famous English firm of Alfred Palmer.

It is regarded as one of the significant historic organs of Australia, both because of its intrinsic quality and also for having survived in almost its original configuration. (kind permission Geoffrey Folley) More information.

Organ Historical Trust Australia

Stained Glass Windows

From the 1930’s to the present stained glass has been put in place. The left, centre and right windows over the alter were made by Alfred Handle, whose son restored them in 2005. They depict Christ as priest, and the four gospel writers, Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.

The second and fourth windows over the alter, and the windows on the left of the chancel are the work of William Bustard. He also did the ecentral windows in the  two trancepts.

The other windows in the northern chapel or transept (Lady chapel) are the work of Patty Robinson. The newest windows in the south transept (Warriors’ chapel) are by Bill Klease, is a memorial of the war in Vietnam.  (kind permission Geoffrey Folley)

In 2012 the Sandakan Memorial window was added and dedicated by Bishop Keith Slater.

The Flags

For over 100 years Lismore has had a military unit of volunteer troops stationed here. During wars in which Australia has been involved, this volunteer unit has been subsumed into its parent and regular army unit. The flags are precious to the unit, having been presented by the king or queen of the time, and many bear battle honours denoting campaigns in which the unit fought. St Andrew’s Lismore is classified as a Garrison Church (one of 2 in NSW), and when the flags are too fragile for daily use, they have been solemnly laid up in this church.  (kind permission Geoffrey Folley)