Exploring Our Church
Pilgrim Uniting Church, an Impressive Living History
One of the Adelaide City's Best Kept Secrets
Hidden behind the stone walls of Pilgrim Uniting Church, (formerly known as Stow Memorial Church), in Flinders St, is a treasured history, dating back to the early beginnings of the colony. It's a present day wonder.
From the colony of South Australia's early beginnings in 1837 sprung the current Pilgrim Uniting Church. The Stow Memorial Church, held the very first congregational service in the colony provided by the Colonial Missionary Society of England. In 1969 the Pirie Street Methodist Church and The Stow Memorial Congregational Church formed a united parish and the name Pilgrim Uniting Church was approved in 1976. In 2017 the original Stow Memorial Church celebrated its 150 year anniversary.
Discover this hidden gem in the heart of the city and be amazed and inspired by what you can learn.
The church's many features include: its rare Revival Gothic architecture, stone carvings that have stood the test of time, including a pet squirrel! memorial plaques, relics from the original Pirie Street Methodist Church; and the exceptional detailed stained glass story windows along the aisles. They leap to life in the morning light. Then there is the magnificent Rose Window in the western transept. Hear of the ghostly mystery of the gothic lamp, forever shining, as it hangs from the inaccessible high rafters.
Added to these characteristics are the rolling curated art exhibitions that the church boasts. During the History Festival, an exhibition highlighting the theme of change, will be on display. It will be curated from the church's archives.
The Pilgrim organ, the largest in the city of Adelaide, was built in London in the early 19th century. Its soaring pipes, 88 speaker stops and 35 couplers deliver a sonorous, dynamic acoustic that attracts international artists to play.
For those of you who stay on or are local, you can hear the organ at our fortnightly recitals organ recitals. (cancelled during COVID restrictions)
Instead view Evensong for Anzac Day 2020 . . .
Join the many people who come along for a free self-guided tour of the church.
Self Guided Tour for Smart Phones App HERE . .
Visit now, or join our free historian guided tours during the History Festival month of May.
Book a dedicated tour for your group or organisation.
Contact Julie at the Pilgrim Office. Phone 8212 3295.
Office hours: Monday to Thursday, 9am - 3.30pm
Church Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 12noon - 2pm. Closed Wednesdays
Sunday Services: 8.00am Eucharist, 9.30am Community, 11.00am Choral with choir and organ.
What others have said about Pilgrim Uniting Church
What a remarkable church, a for real unifying church when a Congregational church and a Methodist church were combined to create this one large lovely edifice. Built with the warmth of wood and modest, true to life stained glass windows throughout, it brought us to a pause in our day to chat with a volunteer there and discuss the church's mission. Through the unification the church inherited the building of one huge organ. I bet it sounds amazing.
Ruth and Vern Wilton, California
I revisited Pilgrim recently to attend a lunchtime concert.It is a marvellous historic old church in the centre of the city with plenty of architectural interest. It also has wonderful acoustics. This Gothic church has attractive stained glass windows, interesting sculpted capitals on the columns, an impressive organ, and many items of interest within. I would recommend a visit to any tourist coming to Adelaide: if the Uniting Church had cathedrals, this would be one! The church is open for visitors most days.
- Download Pamphlets
Self Guided History and Heritage Tour (pamphlet)
History from 1837 (pamphlet)
A Brief Historical and Architectural Guide (booklet)
Stained Glass Windows (booklet)
Thank you for visiting Pilgrim!