Showing posts from May, 2018

No. 164 - Forth Methodist Church - "Heads and Faces"

The 50th Jubilee celebration of the Methodist Church at Forth in 1925 was a memorable event for the town. The Advocate reported that it was: “…Attended by the largest crowd that has assembled at Forth for many years…Services were held at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., but the largest congregation was in the afternoon. The building had been provided with extra accommodation, but this was all occupied 20 minutes before the time of starting…” The size of the congregation continued to grow to the point that an “open air service was decided upon”. The seats were removed from the church and the service was conducted from “one of the numerous motor cars nearby” to a crowd of some 350 worshippers. The extent of the crowd was an acknowledgement that Forth had at one time been an important centre in the expansion of the Methodism across the North West Coast. Methodist and Wesleyan activity began in 1853 at Don and gradually extended westwards. The first service on record in the Ulverstone area was at the h

No. 163 - Our Lady Help of Christians at Newnham and Holy Cross at Ravenswood

In February 1968, Our Lady Help of Christians Peace Memorial Church was opened by Archbishop Guilford Young to serve the growing northern suburbs of Newnham and Mayfield.  A small church school opened in the parish in 1961. W ith the purchase of a 24 acre property in 1960, t here were ambitious plans for the parish with the intention of establishing a boys’ college at Newnham. This project never eventuated but the junior school served local Catholics until 1988 when it amalgamated with St Finn Barr's Primary school at Invermay.  A well know student at the school was Dr Brendan Nelson, one time Federal Opposition Leader and now director of the Australian War Memorial.  Launceston's northern suburbs grew rapidly in the 1960's and the parish thrived and expanded with the establishment of a new church in the nearby suburb of Ravenswood. Prior to this, Ravenswood masses had been conducted at the local State school and the Ravenswood community hall. In the 1960’s, nego

No. 162 - Former Tunnel Methodist Church - 'Built on Ashes'

The first Methodist Church at Tunnel was destroyed in a bushfire in 1922. The second church, which replaced it, survived a further bushfire in 1934. But the church is no longer at Tunnel; a small cemetery is the only visible reminder of its existence. But it has survived and can be found at nearby Lilydale, hidden behind the town’s Uniting Church, where it was relocated to serve as a hall. This is the story of the Tunnel church’s origin, destruction, revival and relocation. Up until the 1890’s the people of Tunnel had been without a church. In June 1895 this changed: “The desire of many residents of this place is at last to be gratified. The isolation of the farmers and the bad state of the roads have made the attendance at Divine worship almost an impossibility; but the difficulty is to be overcome by a preacher coming to visit us. The Rev. G. Andrews, Wesleyan minister of Lilydale, preached here for the first time last Sunday, and has promised to come again…” By November 1895 fun

No. 161 - St Andrew's at Lebrina - "We Want a Cemetery for Lebrina"

In 1890 a report in the 'Colonist’ provides the first details about the construction of a new church at Lebrina. Mr Bernard Shaw donated land for an Anglican church and a small building measuring 16ft by 26ft to accommodate 60 people was planned. Alongside the church a new state school was built and both buildings were completed in late 1890. This close proximity of the school to the church was the cause of a minor ruction in 1893 over the matter of a cemetery. Shaw’s donation of the land was conditional that no burials take place on it given that a school was to be built alongside. The Lebrina correspondent for the Examiner took acceptation at the tactics of the Anglican minister from Scottsdale, the Reverend Breguet: “This has been quite a season for petitions at Lebrina; indeed it seems to me that some people will go signature hunting as much for mere love of exercise as for anything else…. and again last Friday one of our most prominent residents did the district soliciting

No. 160 - St Thomas' at Avoca - "A House Divided"

The word ‘Avoca’ is derived from Gaelic and means ‘meeting of the waters’. The church of St Thomas sits at the confluence of the South Esk and St Paul's rivers. The meeting point of two bodies of water can at times be a place of great turbulence. This is an apt symbol for the story of Avoca’s iconic church. In October 1838, the Governor, Sir John Franklin was petitioned for a grant in aid to build a church at Avoca. The petition was successful and a church was commissioned. The architect was James Blackburn who had also designed the church at Port Arthur three years earlier. In March 1840, the Governor visited Avoca to inspect the progress of the church. A subscriber to the Colonial Times of Hobart wrote an account of the journey: “His Excellency, Lady Franklin, and party, having embarked on board the Eliza, at Spring Bay, [they]…arrived the following day at Waterloo Point, [Swansea] where they remained…until Wednesday, when the party proceeded on horseback over the Tier to the