The home of the Mustard Seed began life as the first Presbyterian Church to be built in the area – at 11 Mount St, Pyrmont, in 1864, through the efforts of the founder of the Scottish Presbyterian Church in the early colonial days, Dr John Dunmore Lang.
The first church became too small for the increasing population and was replaced in 1883 by the present building on the corner of Bulwara Rd and Quarry Street, Ultimo. A manse (now Uniting Care’s Harris Centre) was added a few years later, followed by the hall in 1902 for Sunday School.
In 1977, the Presbyterians combined with the Methodist and Congregational churches to form the Uniting Church in Australia. And in 1996 a non-denominational group that would become the Mustard Seed began to meet on Sundays at St Bede’s Catholic Church, Pyrmont after the 8am service. From there, the group moved to the Ultimo church building and the Mustard Seed became a Uniting Church faith community in 1998.
The group inherited a big restoration task in the historic church building, which by 2001 had deteriorated to the point that it was closed due to an unstable floor and spire.
The Mustard Seed group determined to raise funds needed to restore the old building by launching a huge community effort.
With a Federal Government cultural heritage grant, help from Sydney Presbytery and raised funds, the church was refurbished in time for the Christmas Service of 2004. It was the first time a Christmas service had been held in the building since 1996.
What’s behind the name?
The Mustard Seed is a congregation of the Uniting Church of Australia, based in the Pyrmont / Ultimo area of Sydney.
Our name is derived from an image used by Jesus Christ as a symbol for growth. Amazing growth! Mustard seeds are tiny — as small as poppy seeds — yet the trees they become can stand several metres tall.
In the same way, The Mustard Seed is a small group with big hopes for the future, seeking to help people experience the power of God’s love in their lives.
Click here to see an article written by Rev. Robin Davies about the the church.