No. 279 - Bridgenorth Methodist Church - 'A Bridgenorth Mystery'

According to M. Stansell’s ‘Methodism in Tasmania’ the church at Bridgenorth was built in the early 1900’s by voluntary labour for the use by all denominations. Stansell states that by the end of World War One Methodists begun to use this church for services. However, the Methodists may also have attempted to build their own church at Bridgenorth according to a report in the Daily Telegraph from February 1915:

“A meeting was held…. to consider the advisability of erecting a Methodist Hall to conduct services and other meetings in. The site to be chosen is on the Long Plains-road. The building will fill a long-felt want, and will also take the place of a public schoolroom, as there are several families residing there that are outside the three miles limit as regards Bridgenorth and East Glengarry schools. Another meeting is to be held to finally settle the site, as three have been offered”.

It is unclear if this proposal was successful or that the Methodists continued to use the ‘union’ church. Stansell states that in the early 1930’s Mr J. Jones made a ‘gift of land’ on which the church stands, which suggests that the ‘union’ church was taken over by the Methodists. Henslowe’s directory of Anglican churches states that Anglicans continued to share a church at Bridgenorth until at least the 1970’s. Stansell also notes that the church’s shingle roof was replaced in the 1930’s and replaced with galvanised iron and that the pulpit from the old Craythorne Road Methodist church was gifted to the Bridgenorth church in the 1950’s. To confuse matters, a report from the Examiner in September 1939 refers to the reopening of Methodist Church at Bridgenorth after its closure for several years.

In conclusion, it is possible that the Methodist's acquired the ‘union’ church in the 1930’s ending a brief period of its closure and continued to share it with the Anglicans until the 1970’s. I have not found out when the church closed or what has become of it. In fact, I am not entirely convinced that the ‘union’ church and the Methodist church are one and the same building. My hope is that someone reading this blog entry can shed some light on this mystery.

The Bridgenorth Church in 1955 - Source: QVM 1983 P: 1053

Sources:

Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 10 February 1915, page 3
Examiner, Thursday 15 May 1919, page 7
Examiner, Wednesday 26 March 1930, page 5
Examiner, Thursday 14 September 1939, page 4

Henslowe, Dorothea I. and Hurburgh, Isa.  Our heritage of Anglican churches in Tasmania / by Dorothea I. Henslowe ; sketches by Isa Hurburgh  [S.l  1978

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.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Welcome to Churches of Tasmania

No. 1058 - Strahan - St Finn Barr's Catholic Church (1900-2005)

No. 1017 - Hobart - St Peter's Hall