No. 54 - St George's Sunday School and Church - A 38 Year Wait

This modest building was built to serve as a Sunday school although Anglican services were held here for 38 years. The Sunday school was built and consecrated in 1887 and used for worship until St George’s Anglican Church was built on land next to the school in 1925. The new church will be covered in a seperate blog entry.

A Sunday school had been operating at Invermay for some time before the schoolhouse was opened in 1887. The Examiner's report on the laying of the foundation stone described the schools origins:

“A Sunday school under the auspices of the Holy Trinity Church … has for some time past been conducted under disadvantageous circumstances at Invermay. The nucleus of the school was commenced some time ago by Miss Whitefoord, who fosteringly (sic) held it at the private residence of Mr J. Whitefoord. The time arrived when it was deemed desirable that the growing number of scholars should be located in a permanent institution…”

The report described the building as:

“…of the Gothic style of architecture, with brick walls and slate roof - octagon shape [tiles] - and polished stone heads and sills, the interior being lined with varnished pine. The schoolroom is 50ft. x 23ft., and the porch 8ft. square. Mr. Alfred E. Luttrell, architect, has generously drawn the plans and superintends the erection without charge”. (Tasmanian 1887)

The future development of a larger church was planned even at this early stage:

“The site is a most valuable one, the school is being erected some distance back from the road. The intention of those interested in the spiritual wants of this extending suburb being to have a Mission Church a branch from Holy Trinity erected on the front plot at no distant date”. (Examiner 1887)

The Sunday school was extended in 1913 to accommodate growing enrolments and the church was finally built in 1925.   A report in the Examiner in that year reveals that the building had hosted religious services for many years:

“Yesterday marked the closing services in the original building of St. Georges at North Launceston, which was opened for worship nearly 40 years ago. …From this week the services will be held in the new church erected on the corner of Invermay Road and Mann Street. …. No doubt there were many who would regret leaving the old building but… the parish was on the eve of a big forward movement”.

The Sunday School continued to be used as a hall for the new church. During the 1929 Invermay floods it acted as a relief centre distributing clothing to the community.


The former Sunday School and Church is now houses the Tasmanian Academy of Dance and St George’s Church is now run by the ‘Praise Methodist Church’. This building will be covered in a follow up blog report.


Photo: Duncan Grant 2018

Photo: Duncan Grant 2018

Photo: Duncan Grant 2018

The East side of the Sunday School showing the 1913 extension.  Photo: Duncan Grant 2018
Sources

Examiner Saturday 18 November 1922
Examiner Monday 25 April 1887
Examiner Monday 7 December 1925
Examiner Tuesday 16 April 1929
Tasmanian Saturday 13 August 1887

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