No. 172 - Beauty Point Uniting Church - 'The Baby Church'

Beauty Point acquired churches fairly late in its history. Originally known as Leonardsburgh and then Ilfracombe, it finally became Beauty Point in 1903. Its first church was an Anglican church built in 1922. The second, a Methodist church, opened in 1936, at a location that was then known as Sandy Beach.

The Methodists had tried to establish a church much earlier but without much success. Speaking at the anniversary of the Beaconsfield Methodist Church in 1913, the Reverend George Wong referred to Beauty Point as:

“Their baby church, and refused to walk; but they had to help it by the hand, and trusted that they would yet see it walk and grow”.

It took the Methodists of Beauty Point some time to find their feet and success in building a church was only achieved by the 1930's. In 1936 the Hobart Mercury reported on this progress:

“A Methodist Trust at Beauty Point was formed a few months ago, and, as a result of their deliberations, a church hall at Sandy Beach has been erected, which it is felt will supply a long-felt want of this seaside community. The new church hall, which is nearing completion, is a strong weatherboard structure 50ft. by 36ft., and will have a fine entrance porch, 12ft. wide, made with concrete pillars and Gothic window”.

The church was in fact not a new building and had been transported from nearby Beaconsfield where it had once served as a Primitive Methodist church hall.

An important reason for this success in finally building a church was due to the growth of Sandy Beach. According to the Mercury:

“During the last few years, Sandy Beach, which is situated about one mile from Beauty Point, has grown beyond recognition. Where there were only one or two small huts, there were now dozens of well built bungalows, a large number owned by holiday-makers, and also quite a number of persons have chosen this delightful spot for permanent residence”.

The church was opened on Friday 20th March 1936 with a dedication service. A music festival followed this over the weekend. The celebrations began on Saturday with over 200 attending a morning tea at the hall. Three special services were held on the Sunday bringing the celebrations to an end.

Some time in its history the church has been substantially modified with the original weatherboard replaced by metal sheeting and the gothic window on the porch has been remodelled to fit into the new sheet metal veneer. This must have occurred after the 1970's as an inventory of Methodist churches compiled in 1975 notes that while the Beauty Point church "still serves a weekly congregation, its weather-boards and window sills are deteriorating badly". 


The church still operates today under the banner of the Uniting Church and a Baptist community also shares the building. It is now the only church remaining in Beauty Point.


Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018
Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018
Sources:

Examiner Wednesday 17 September 1913, page 7
Mercury Monday 2 March 1936, page 5
Mercury Thursday 19 March 1936, page 5
Mercury  Monday 23 March 1936, page 10
Examiner Friday 29 March 1940, page 3

Stansall, M. E. J. and Methodist Church of Australasia.  Tasmanian Methodism, 1820-1975 / [by M.E.J. Stansall ... et al]  Methodist Church of Australasia Launceston, Tas  1975.

Comments

  1. The Point Baptist Church no longer meets here.
    Beauty Point Uniting Church is a small, but warmly inclusive congregation.
    Sunday Worship alternates with Beaconsfield.

    ReplyDelete

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