Showing posts from July, 2018

No. 204 - Former Baptist Church at Cluan - 'The Church in the Meadow'

Cluan is a small rural settlement in northern Tasmania about 5km south of Westbury. The name Cluan is probably derived from the Irish ‘cluain’, meaning ‘meadow’. The former Baptist church at Cluan is a brick structure built in 1975 replacing a much older timber building constructed in 1906. At this time the church's location was described as: “Prettily situated on a sloping rise that is dry at all times. It overlooks the agricultural vale of Cluan, which is backed by the Cluan Tiers down whose sides course crystal streams, which then wend their way across the fertile plain thickly fringed with black wood and other evergreens”. In 1906 the correspondent for the Launceston Examiner explained the origins of the church: “For the past couple of years the Baptist section of the religious community at Cluan has been holding fortnightly services in the schoolroom. The liberal patronage and good attendance during this period was proof positive that in no locality was a church so necessary a

No. 203 - The Former Ringarooma Methodist Church - "A Victorian Visitor"

Ringarooma is a small rural town in northeast Tasmania. It was once known as Krushka, after Christopher Krushka, a German migrant and local landowner who, with his brother Charles, had prospered from tin mining in the nearby Derby district. The Wesleyan-Methodists along with the Anglicans initially used the non-denominational Union Church at Ringarooma for their religious services. However, it seems that that the Anglican’s had difficulty in procuring a minister for regular services. In 1882, a correspondent to The Tasmanian complained: “I repeat that had it not been for the Wesleyans, God’s word would not have been heard here until now. It is only two years since I was told there was no Sunday this side of the Billycock ” [Hill]. In 1881 the Methodists were negotiating with the trustees of the Union Church for its purchase. The cost of the upkeep of the building and paying down its debt had become a burden and the trustees: “Proposed selling the property to the Wesleyan denomination.

No. 202 - St George's at New Ground (Moriarty) - "Deeds of Conveyance"

New Ground lies just east of the village of Moriarty near Latrobe. New Ground was originally granted to Captain B.B. Thomas who was infamously murdered at Parker's Ford near Port Sorrel in 1831. The first church at New Ground was built about 1857 on land donated by Edward Shaw. The present church was opened on 12 June 1881. There are no surviving newspaper reports of the opening but there is an account of its consecration published in the Devon Herald in January 1887: “The Bishop of Tasmania arrived at Latrobe by train on Saturday evening last, for the purpose of consecrating St. George’s Church, New Ground…. On Sunday morning his Lordship drove out to New Ground, accompanied by Bishop Thornton of Ballarat, the Rev. Claude Roberts, and the Rev. William Hogg, Incumbent of the Mersey Parish, to consecrate the pretty and picturesquely situated church and burial ground. The Bishop, attended by the other clergy, was received at the west door of church by the clergymen of the Parish,

No. 201 - Gravelly Beach Methodist Church - 'Henry Pearn's Church'

Gravelly Beach was originally a small holiday settlement on the Tamar River north of Launceston. As Gravelly Beach is located close to Exeter it was served by two churches there. However, for a few decades a small church operated at Gravelly Beach which accommodated the Methodist and Anglican communities. Tasmanian Methodism published in 1975 notes that: “Sometimes the establishment of a church in a particular place centres on the vision and enthusiasm of one person. This can be said of the late Henry Pearn. Land was purchased by him at the end of 1936 for £25 and subsequently the church was built. He along with Fletcher Barber and Frederick French, formed the first trust”. A report from The Examiner in March 1937 provides a few details about the church: “The church of wood and plaster sheeting, is 30 feet by 20 feet and was designed by Mr. H. A. Pearn of Gravelly Beach. It  was built by Mr. Pearn and Mr. H. A.  Hurst, the circuit missionary stationed  at Exeter, with some assistanc

No. 200 - The Former Wesleyan-Methodist Church at St Marys - 'The Band of Hope'

In 1879 the first Methodist services at St Marys were held in a non-denominational Sunday school built by Robert Legge of Cullenswood House. By the early 1880’s Reverend Robert Brown led fundraising for the Wesleyans to build their own church. This was quickly achieved and a church was built and opened in February 1884. The local correspondent for the Hobart Mercury reported on the first services: “The opening services of the Wesleyan Church took place on the 17th… Rev. Mr. Greenwood of Campbell Town, preached at both…. There was a very large and attentive congregation…. The church, now open for Divine service with every auspicious omen, is a very beautiful structure, a credit to all concerned and an ornament to the township. It is seated to accommodate about 150. The windows are of a Gothic style, and with coloured and ornamental glass. The inside of the church is very neatly and chastely painted. The dome is coloured sky blue, the sides of a light red, and the seats and pulpit