St Ives Community Church commenced in 1980 with a different name, Community Bible Fellowship, Belrose, and at a different location, Bambara Road Community Hall, Frenchs Forest. The foundation for this local church was laid by a group of Christians from neighbouring churches who for a number of years had conducted a Sunday School and weekly clubs for boys and girls as a gospel outreach to a newly developing community. In addition to regular Sunday church services, weekly home Bible study and prayer groups, a monthly women’s fellowship and a weekly teenage youth fellowship were initiated. There was forged a close association with Camp Kedron, a Christian campsite at Ingleside, which was developed to provide Christian camping programmes for the children and young people of the Northern Beaches district of Sydney.
In 1991 a property was purchased on Forest Way, Belrose, with the vision to redevelop the existing house into a multipurpose building for the activities of the church. Initially the house was rented and subsequently, the property was used for a range of church activities including church fellowship times, baptisms, youth activities, Time Out – a ministry for young mothers and their children, and lecture courses for Forest Pines – a Christian educational centre for growing through losses.
In 1995 because of growing numbers and the need for larger facilities, the church moved its Sunday services to the Terrey Hills Community Centre. By this time plans for the development of the Forest Way property had been drawn up and submitted to local council for approval. This process was still underway towards the end of 1997 when there was an unexpected turn of events.
We were approached by Ku-ring-gai Chapel, 32 Horace Street, St Ives, and received their offer for our church to move and be established on this site. We had already experienced the faithful guidance of the Lord since the commencement of the church and had witnessed the Lord’s blessing in many ways. After prayerful consideration we concluded that this was the Lord’s will for our church.
With a new name, St Ives Community Church conducted its first Sunday service in February 1998. The Forest Way property was subsequently sold and proceeds of the sale has enabled the building of necessary renovations at the St Ives site and the establishment of a fund to support our partnership with churches in a region of the Democratic Republic of Congo where a missionary commissioned from our church is working.
There remains the continued challenge of reaching our community with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and we approach the future with confidence and trust in God seeking to be obedient to His will.