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St Andrew's Presbyterian Church
Germiston, Gauteng

AW SIMPSON: Architect

Type:Presbyterian Church


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26°12'50.32" S 28°09'39.05" E Alt: 1666m

[Note: Name changed in 1951 from Germiston Presbyterian Church to St Andrews's Presbyterian Church. The caption of the photograph in Macmillan is St Margaret's Presbyterian Church. Macmillan 1933:43.]

The Germiston Presbyterian Church was the first church to be established in Germiston in 1890. Worship was in a simple wood and iron building on the corner of President and Church streets, opposite the Clement Mine Shaft, which was opened in 1893. John Jack had given the four stands, running from President to Meyer streets in addition to 500 Pounds, for construction. In 1902 it was decided to build a new church. Stands 244 and 245 in Germiston West on Broad Street (later renamed Odendaal Street) were considered the most suitable. An offer of 2 500 Pounds was made for the stands on Market Square to the Consolidated Gold Fields Co in May 1904. A water well existed on the site chosen for the church. It is directly below the present day altar, although in later years, as a result of the floor collapsing, the well was filled with rock and sealed.

In October 1904 a competition for the church design was advertised in the Rand Daily Mail, with a first prize of 50 Pounds and a second prize of 25 Pounds. Within four weeks 12 designs had been received. A R LA GERCHE and A W Simpson were shortlisted as finalists and both architects were interviewed on 7 December 1904 and questioned, especially as to the cost which was not to exceed 6 000 Pounds. Simpson was adamant the octagonal design he had proposed would cost no more and staked his prize money and architect's fee as a guarantee and was thus awarded the first prize. The prize money was, however, held back until tenders had been received. The final contract, awarded to Smith and Saunders, was signed on 24 February 1905 for the construction of the octagonal design, having a foundation of 'Boksburg stone', brick walls and plaster fascias with stucco mouldings, at a price of 5 942 Pounds. One of the modifications made during construction was to change the proposed columns at the vestibule entrance to granite on a stone base at a cost of 2 Pounds. The original church had a second wooden spire in the center of the roof, but this was later removed due to it becoming unstable and dangerous. Church seating was in straight pews but arranged in a curve. Canadian oak, finished to 'light antique' was selected for all furniture.

[Extracted and edited from Mutch, Ken R in association with John Cubitt & other members (1907) A Brief History of the Germiston Presbyterian Church]

Writings about this entry

Macmillan, Allister. 1933. Environs of the Golden City and Pretoria. Cape Town: Cape Times. pg 43 ill