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Monday, October 17, 2011


There is something very moving about entering a church, passing over the same threshhold, as your great great grandparents did, bringing their infant son, your great grandfather, to be baptised.
Unexpected intense feelings were what I exprienced last Sunday, yesterday, when I went inside St Jude's Anglican Church at Dural.
I knew that my great great grandparents, George and Ann Mawbey, had had four of their children baptised there:
John Thomas 17-2-1850 James 25-1-1852 Elizabeth 7-11-1855 and George 28-10-1860.
So being there held special significance for me.
But apart from that, all sentiment aside, St Jude's is simply a special church, made more so by these two beautiful cushions that 'reside' there.

St Jude's Church of England, Dural (front)
Designer: Kate Blanch
Embroiderer: Anne Norris
Photo: (C) Pamela Mawbey 2012

St Jude's Church of England, Dural (rear)
Designer: Kate  Blanch
Embroiderer: Anne Norris
Photo: (C) Pamela Mawbey 2012

Architecturally, St Jude's Dural is described in the latest issue of the church bulletin as being a 'one-cell, Norman church with a curved romanesque apse at the eastern end, and is the only example of its kind in Australia. (Connect, Sept 2011) Built in 1846, it originally had a shingle roof. The diocesan school, built in 1843, stood where the parish hall is now. St Jude's is heritage-listed.
I do hope some members of the younger generation of the Mawbey family choose to get married there, to keep the connection going.
It would be hard to find a more perfect spot for a small wedding.
The church is on a hill overlooking a valley with the Blue Mountains in the distance.
There are lots of pine trees and the air is fresh and clean-smelling.
In Aboriginal Dhurag language, that of the original inhabitants of the area, the word 'Dural' meant 'valley'.

The view from a lookout near St Jude's at Dural
St Jude's is at 965 Old Northern Road, Dural, on the road to Wiseman's Ferry where the convict-built Great North Road marks the first overland route to the Hunter Valley.
Work commended on this road in 1825.
This beautiful part of the world, that I would describe as 'God's Own Country', is where John Thomas Mawbey spent the first 10 years of his life.
Fifty years after his baptism by water, he was to experience a baptism of fire when his wife, a son and only two daughters were murdered at Breelong, near Gilgandra, by Aboriginals working on his property in July 1900.
George's son, George Jnr, was there at the time, a witness to the murders, and George Snr attended the hanging of the ringleader, Jimmy Governor, at Darlinghurst Gaol in Sydney.
But that is another story, discussed in great detail elsewhere in this blog and on another of my blogs, JIMMY GOVERNOR FORENSIC.