In 1896, 32 heads of families belonging to St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Cape Town, presented a petition to their Kirk Session requesting that a place for public worship and Sunday school purposes be erected in Mowbray, a fast-expanding suburb at that time. The families promised their support. The Session agreed, and later that year St Andrew’s acquired the land on which the Mowbray church buildings are now situated. Architectural plans for the first building were also completed. The foundation stone was laid on 1 May 1897 and the church opened for worship on 10 October 1897.
The original manse, now known as Crawford House, was occupied by 1898. (In 1969 Crawford House was linked to the church buildings by a double storey building of offices and additional meeting rooms.)
St Andrew’s transferred the property to the Mowbray congregation in 1903. The original church was soon inadequate to accommodate the increase in the congregation, and in February 1904 construction of the present church building was completed and the new church consecrated and brought into use. Since then the original church has served as the church hall.
The hall, church and manse were designed by John Parker, who was a St Andrew’s member and soon a Mowbray member. The City Heritage Resources section has earmarked the church as a ‘Grade 3A’ building (the highest local authority conservation appellation).
The organ was built by Norman and Beard of Norwich and inaugurated on 24 March 1904. It has 1357 pipes and underwent a major rebuild in 1956. It is played for worship every Sunday. With the help of organists and also other musicians we are able to enjoy both traditional hymns and modern songs in our worship.
We love our church! The beautiful buildings have been a centre for worship and social upliftment for over 100 years. They are a constant reminder to us of God’s faithfulness and goodness.