Remembering Arthur Stace 56 years on

Like a broken record, we’ve mentioned Arthur Stace on our website once or twice over the years.

In some ways, you might call him Sydney’s best known evangelist, chalking the word Eternity on footpaths across the city for more than 35 years. He inspired thousands to wonder at the meaning of that word – hopefully to contemplate where they would spend eternity – and to be attentive to the gospel.

In addition, Arthur was an open-air evangelist, though few were aware he was also ‘Mr Eternity’.

Arthur was called home to be with the Lord Jesus on this day (30th July) in 1967.

He was eventually buried at Botany Cemetery, now part of Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park.

As we remember this humble man, let’s also be encouraged by his example as he laboured to bring the good news of salvation to his fellow Sydney-siders.

See also these two tributes in song – by Nathan Tasker (video below) and Colin Buchanan.

Remembering Arthur Stace 90 years after he began to chalk Eternity

Ninety years ago today, on 14th November 1932, Arthur Stace (“Mr. Eternity”) heard evangelist John Ridley and felt the call to write Eternity on the streets of Sydney.

(Related posts here.)

‘Eternity – A tribute to Arthur Stace’

In 2000 and 2001, Sydney artist David Lever painted a series of paintings depicting the life of Arthur Stace.

“Mr. Eternity: The Story of Arthur Stace”, by Roy Williams and Elizabeth Meyers, launched in Sydney last month, reproduces a number of the paintings.

We thought you might enjoy seeing more of David Lever’s “Eternity” collection, now published on his website. (One of our favourites is ‘Preparing for the Eternity run 4.30am – 5.30am’.)

Photo: David and Lorna Lever with Roy Williams (centre) at the book launch.

Mr Eternity: The Story of Arthur Stace, launched in Sydney

The long-awaited biography of Arthur Stace, ‘Mr. Eternity’, was launched by Bible Society Australia in Sydney yesterday.

Appropriately, the launch was held in Darlinghurst, at the Eternity Playhouse, formerly the Burton Street Baptist Tabernacle. It was there, in 1932, that Arthur Stace heard evangelist John Ridley, and felt called to write Eternity on the streets of Sydney – something he did for the next 34 years. (Stace had become a Christian at St. Barnabas’ Broadway two years earlier, saved from a life of despair and alcohol.)

Mr. Eternity: The story of Arthur Stace is the fulfilment of a long-term project by Elizabeth Meyers, daughter of the Rev. Lisle Thompson, Minister of Burton Street Tabernacle 1951 – 1964. She was joined by Roy Williams (author of ‘In God They Trust’) who continued her research to help complete the book. The pair uncovered previously unpublished details of Arthur’s life and background.

Roy Williams introduces the book. Photo by Trevor Dallen.

To coincide with the publication, Lisle Thompson’s 1956 tract, ‘The Crooked Made Straight’, has been updated and reissued.

Photo: At the launch, Elizabeth Meyers, with Fairfax photographer Trevor Dallen, who took the iconic photos of Arthur Stace in 1963.

The book, published by Acorn Press, is available from Bible Society.

Companion material has also been published here.

Unfamiliar with the story of Arthur Stace? You can read our earlier potted version here and related posts.

Mr Eternity: The Story of Arthur Stace

The forthcoming book, Mr Eternity: The Story of Arthur Stace, by Roy Williams and Elizabeth Meyers, is now available for pre-order from The Bible Society.

It’s expected to be published at the end of October.

From here to Eternity: Arthur Stace in his own words

In 1964, 79 year-old Arthur Stace was interviewed on Sydney radio about why he wrote “Eternity”.

We’ve transcribed the brief segment. (A few words are unclear.)

Presenter: [One of ] the things that strikes a visitor to Sydney, and indeed many other towns right throughout New South Wales, is the fact that someone has been there before, in writing “Eternity” on the footpaths, on walls, almost anywhere, in very fine handwriting, and in yellow chalk.

For Monitor, Jim Waugh found Mr Arthur Stace, who writes “Eternity” and asked him, “Why?”.  Read more

Cathedral to remember “Mr. Eternity” Arthur Stace, 50 years on

This Sunday (30th July) marks the 50th anniversary of the homecalling of Arthur Stace, the man who wrote “Eternity” on the streets of Sydney from 1932 until 1966.

He died at Hammondville Nursing Home on the evening of Sunday 30th July 1967.

On Sunday, Arthur Stace will be remembered at a special service at St. Andrew’s Cathedral at 10:30am.

Why did he write “Eternity” right across our city? What happened to change him from a life of alcohol and crime and hopelessness? Was he a mystic or a loner? This Sunday, hear the wonderful news he discovered, and understand what drove this humble Sydney icon.

(He’s also being remembered, this Sunday and next, in the western suburbs. Is your church doing something? Let the webmaster know.)

Photo of Arthur Stace by Les Nixon, via Ramon Williams, used by permission. Taken at Burton Street Tabernacle, 27 December 1952. Right hand photo: the Eternity memorial in Town Hall Arcade.

Related: The Eternity waterfall after 40 years – 12th July 2017.

From Here to Eternity: Giving thanks for Arthur Stace, 49 years on

arthur-stace-headstone-photo-by-ramon-williamsToday, 30th July 2016, is the 49th anniversary of the home-calling of Arthur Stace.

Remembered today as ‘Mr. Eternity’, Arthur Stace committed his life to asking the men and women of Sydney to consider where they will spend eternity. His ‘one word sermon’ was written in yellow crayon on the streets of Sydney for three decades – until ill health prevented him.

Stace was also a keen evangelist, and was seen on Saturday nights preaching from the Open Air Campaigners van parked on the corner of George and Bathurst Streets in Sydney.

He was no eccentric, and there is no secret about his motives. He wanted men and women to place their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The 50th anniversary of Stace’s death, 30th July 2017, falls on a Sunday.

This is an excellent opportunity for churches to remind the people of Sydney of his call to consider where they will spend eternity. (It is most appropriate for older Sydney-siders who remember actually seeing his work!)

The next year gives Sydney churches time to consider how they might use this anniversary for the eternal good of the people of our great city.

Top photo courtesy Ramon Williams. Read more about Mr. Eternity here.

Are You Listening to Yourself?

“A verse that encourages me greatly, in preaching, is Jesus’ words in John 10:27:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

When we communicate God’s word, it gathers the sheep, the sheep come to listen, they recognise Jesus voice.

Its encouraging, because God’s truth attracts God’s people, so when I am discouraged by small numbers, this verse reminds me – God’s people listen to God’s voice, and want to hear Him speak to them through His word, and faithful preaching. …”

– At The Expository Preaching Trust, Jim Mobbs encourages preachers to listen to their own sermons.

Picture: Detail from “The Evangelist”, a painting of Arthur Stace preaching in the open air, by artist David Lever.

Twenty-three years closer to Eternity

Sydney celebrated the beginning of 2000 by displaying on the Harbour Bridge the word Eternity in the iconic copperplate handwriting of Arthur Stace.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, and in many ways the world has changed. But the basic and urgent need of men and women is the same – to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved.

In 2023, be encouraged to continue to trust Christ, and to live in the light of eternity. Romans 13:11.

Be Inspired by Mr Eternity!

From St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney:

Written in Chalk – the echo of Arthur Stace!

On the evenings of Friday 11th and Saturday 12th November, on our doorsteps, St Andrew’s Square is hosting outdoor screenings of a fascinating documentary on the inspirational impact of the Eternity Story on Sydney’s history and culture! The documentary starts at around sunset, 7:30pm, and runs for about 70 minutes.

It occurs at the 90th anniversary of Arthur Stace first writing ‘Eternity’ on Sydney’s streets (14 November 1932)!

All welcome for a unique experience. View the trailer here.”

Whatever line the film takes on the legacy of Arthur Stace, you can learn about the man and his story –

Making your life count for eternity.

The Eternity waterfall after 40 years – 12 July 2017.

Arthur Stace in his own words.

The Class of Chappo — A night to mark the 10th anniversary of Chappo’s departure to be with Christ

Tuesday 22 November 2022. 7:30pm

A night to mark the 10th anniversary of Chappo’s departure to be with Christ.

The evening will include:

Details and booking from Moore College.

Illustration from a Department of Evangelism videocassette cover, 1986.

The past, present and future — Southern Cross October-November 2022

From Russell Powell at Anglican Media Sydney:

“Southern Cross should be in your churches by this weekend [or next], seeking to encourage Sydney Anglicans about the past, present, and future.

The past is the great impact of John Chapman, through a new book on his ministry and influence from Dr Baden Stace.

The present includes stories on what happened at Synod and the new Album by Sydney’s own City Alight, with great new music for our churches.

The future is the new ministry areas in the Greenfields (as well as the changing face of Brownfields).”

You can download your PDF copy now at magazine.sydneyanglicans.net.

Sydney’s One Special Evangelist John Chapman — The Pastor’s Heart

Prior to the launch of Baden Stace’s book, “Sydney’s One Special Evangelist: John C. Chapman and the Shaping of Anglican Evangelicalism and Australian Religious Life 1968-2001”, Dominic Steele speaks with Baden about Chappo.

“Baden’s new work showcases the impact of John Chapman, but also gives a window into issues facing evangelicals in Sydney in the later part of the twentieth century, controversies about preaching, the place of evangelism in church life, social justice, and what role each of us plays in the evangelistic process.”

Most encouraging and informative. A ‘must watch’ episode.

Related:

Invitation to the book launch on 14 September 2022.

Order the book.

Chappo: “Do you really believe the gospel can convert your friends?”

Sydney’s One Special Evangelist — Book launch Wednesday 14 September 2022

The Australian College of Theology invites you to a Book Launch for our newest book in the ACT Monograph Series, Sydney’s One Special Evangelist: John C. Chapman and the Shaping of Anglican Evangelicalism and Australian Religious Life 1968-2001, by the Rev Dr Baden Stace.

When and Where:

Wednesday 14 September 2022. Start: 1:00 for 1:15 pm End: 2:15 pm Read more

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