Land for the church was purchased from Thomas Roads in 1854 with money raised from donations.
On August 24th 1994 a parishioner saw what appeared to be an image of the Virgin Mary high on the back wall of the church to the right of the altar. The virgin was veiled and leaning over the child standing on her lap. The incumbent priest, Fr Andrew Notere reported it to Bishop Graham Walden, and eventually after two years, the image was acknowledged by the Parish Council and a wrought iron frame was placed around it. An article in the Advertiser in 1996 attracted attention and pilgrims began to come to the town.
Sometime later the image appeared to show Mary with the prostrate Jesus across her lap after the crucifixion, known as a ‘pieta’.
Even now we still have many pilgrims coming to Christ Church Yankalilla, especially those who count the Virgin Mary as an important part of their worship. This includes members of the Kerula Church in southern India who attend their church service in Adelaide, and attend our Sunday Services. In the porch of this lovely old church, which is open everyday, there is literature and other items including holy water. Candles can be lit in the church, and there is facility to write down prayers. At each of our Sunday services some of these prayers are read out. There is also a statue of Mary in the grounds. It is a challenge to have a shrine in an Anglican church, there are shrines to the Virgin Mary in other churches, particularly at Walsingham, England.