Author Gael Winnick to speak about book on the Church of St Michael the Archangel, Wollombi at Cessnock Library

FASCINATING HISTORY: The book's co-author Gael Winnick, with Daryl Heslop, who was the inaugural president of the Friends of St Michael's, outside the Wollombi church.
FASCINATING HISTORY: The book's co-author Gael Winnick, with Daryl Heslop, who was the inaugural president of the Friends of St Michael's, outside the Wollombi church.

It has been flooded, rebuilt, rocked by an earthquake, closed, auctioned and even dynamited.

Now the extraordinary story of The Church of St Michael the Archangel, Wollombi has been brought to life in a new book titled The Church That Would Not Die, written by Alison Plummer and Gael Winnick.

Ms Winnick - who put about a decade of research into the book - will present an author talk at Cessnock Library on Monday, September 30.

Founded in 1840, St Michael's Wollombi is believed to be one of the oldest churches on mainland Australia.

It was sold by the Catholic Diocese of Maitland in 1991, when the Friends of St Michael's formed with the aim to keep the church in the community's hands.

Fundraising events such as dinners and bingo nights were held, and the dedication of the church's leadlight windows eventually cleared its debt.

SPECIAL PLACE: Gael Winnick inside St Michael's Wollombi.

SPECIAL PLACE: Gael Winnick inside St Michael's Wollombi.

The Friends of St Michael's continue to maintain and run the church to this day, with monthly church services, an annual service with the Bishop, and wedding ceremonies held there.

"It's a special place for the community, not just for Catholics," Ms Winnick said.

"It does the whole Wollombi Valley proud, and I've really tried to convey that."

The library talk will run from 10am to noon on September 30. Bookings are essential and refreshments are provided. To secure your spot, visit eventbrite.com.au or call Cessnock Library on 4993 4399.

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