The Church of England Orphanage was established in 1893 by the Community of Sisters of the Church of England. It was not connected with any of the official welfare agencies of the Church of England. It moved to Burwood in 1905 and in 1912 the Orphanage included a Girls' Home on Weldon Street, and in 1917-1918 a Boys' Home, on Wyatt Avenue. In 1927 the Community of Sisters of the Church of England withdrew from the orphanage and its name was changed to Church of England Children's Homes, Burwood.
Despite its name, the Church of England Orphanage was not connected with any of the official welfare agencies of the Church of England in Australia. The orphanage was opened due to the relevations of cruelty to, and neglect of children, that had happened in 1892.
From 1893 it was situated in rented premises by Sisters of the Church of England. The orphanage moved to Burwood in 1905.
A former Anglican missionary, Bishop Montagu John Stone-Wigg (1861-1918) moved to Burwood in 1908 and became interested in the Orphanage, creating a committee of local church and business people to place it on a sound financial footing. This committee took over the running of the home from the Community of Sisters of the Church of England.
By 1910 between 40 and 50 children had lived at the Church of England Orphanage.
In 1910 the Orphanage purchased a block of land and in 1912 Lord Chelmsford, the Governor of New South Wales, laid the foundation stone for a Girls Home. This was completed within six months and opened by Archbishop Wright. The Boys Home, located next door, was purchased, renovated and opened by Dame Margaret Davidson in August 1918.
The first president of the Church of England Orphanage was Arthur Yates, who had founded Arthur Yates & Co Ltd, the garden supply company. Stone-Wigg was listed as honorary organising secretary, but died of malaria and other health issues he had contracted in his time in Papua New Guinea in October 1918. His wife remained associated with the Home until the late 1950s.
Most of the supporters of the home were from Burwood and Ashfield. From 1922, the President of the Committee of the home was AW Green, the retired president of the State Children's Relief Department. Green also presided over the Church of England Children's Home, until his death in 1935.
The Church of England Orphanage buildings were described as 'eminently suitable for the work that is being done; there are wide sleeping-out balconies, ample playground areas and necessary accommodation and equipment.'
In 1927 the Homes were incorporated under the Companies Act, with limited liability, as The Church of England Children's Homes, Burwood. This created a new institution.
1893 - 1927 Church of England Orphanage
1927 - 1993 Church of England Children's Homes, Burwood
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Church of England Orphanage', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 2 June 1910, p. 5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15163150; 'Orphans', The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 February 1921, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15959476; Annual report of the Council of the Church of England Children's Home Burwood., The Home: Church of England Children's Home (Burwood, N.S.W.). Council., Burwood, 1927-1967. Also available at http://library.sl.nsw.gov.au/record=b1162177~S2; 'Mr. A.W. Green: Cricket President's Death.', The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 August 1935, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/17184543; Crittenden, Victor, 'Yates, Arthur (1861-1926)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, Australian National University and Melbourne University Press, 2005, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/yates-arthur-13259; Langmore, Diane, 'Stone-Wigg, Montagu John (1861-1918)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, Melbourne University Press, 1990, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/ardill-george-edward-5048; Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, https://clan.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/connectkin_guide.pdf.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 4 March 2011, Last modified: 11 July 2016