No. 248- The Selbourne Methodist Church - 'A Virtual Church'

The Methodist church at Selbourne has vanished. Before going out to photograph churches I use Google Maps ‘street view’ to check the location and properly identify the building. But when I visited the site on Selbourne Road I found that the church was no longer there. On rechecking Google Maps I discovered that while the church was visible in ‘street view’ [taken in January 2008] it had vanished in a more recent satellite photograph. [See screen shots below]. The church had either been removed or been demolished some time after January 2010 as a photograph was taken of it in that year. [See below] The 2010 photograph reveals the church to be in reasonable condition so hopefully it has been removed rather than demolished. I will follow this up when in the Selbourne area again.

The church’s history is fairly short as it was open for a little over 60 years. There is a record of its opening in January 1922:

“The newly erected Methodist Church at Selbourne was opened on Sunday, January 8 (1922), when services were conducted at 11 am and 3pm by Rev. T.H.P. Woodford, the circuit minister, who preached appropriate and impressive sermons to crowded congregations. During the afternoon service Mrs Woodford rendered a solo. On Monday, January 9, a tea meeting was held, and was well attended, people coming from all parts of the circuit. After tea the Rev. Mr Woodford welcomed the Premier (Sir Walter Lee) and the Warden (Hon. G.H. Pitt), who expressed their pleasure at being present on such an interesting occasion…”

The church could accommodate 150 people and was opened free of debt. The porch and vestry were added in 1925. The families associated with church in its early years include: Clayton; Wadley; Eyles; Hingston; Viney; French ; Cox and others.

Services at the church ceased in 1984. This blog entry will be updated once I have determined the church’s fate.

A link to Google Maps can be found:HERE

The church in c.2010  - With thanks to Robert Clayton (see note in sources below)

An early photo of the church - source unknown

The Google Street view image of the church recorded in 2008.

The Google earth view of the site of the church in 2018. Green patches mark where the church once stood.


Stansall, M. E. J and Methodist Church of Australasia Tasmanian Methodism, 1820-1975 : compiled at the time of last Meeting of Methodism prior to union. Methodist Church of Australasia, Launceston, Tas, 1975.

The Examiner, Saturday 28 January 1922, page 3.

A special thank you to Robert Clayton for his assistance and supplying photographs, information and of course his memories of the church in a discussion on 'The Friends of Westbury and Districts Historical Society Facebook Group' (March 2018)


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