No. 290 - St Andrew's Presbyterian Church at Mole Creek

St Andrew’s Church situated on Caveside Road is the second Presbyterian church built at Mole Creek. The first church was built in 1899 and was in use for a little over 30 years before it was replaced by the current building in 1932. The old church is now used as a hall and sits alongside the replacement weatherboard church.

The old church was a small and modest structure and by the late 1920’s fundraising for a larger church began. Construction started in early 1932 and the building was completed and opened in September of that year. A report on the opening and dedication service was published in the Launceston Examiner:

“The official opening of the new Presbyterian church at Mole Creek took place on Saturday afternoon in the presence of a large gathering, including a number of visitors. The Deloraine Band was in attendance… Rev. T. J. Thomas, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Tasmania, assisted by Rev. Malcolm McQueen, of Chalmers Church, Launceston, performed the dedication ceremony. The seating accommodation was fully occupied, and those present witnessed a very solemn and impressive service.

… Mr. McQueen, who represented the Tasmanian Presbytery, extended congratulations to the Mole Creek people on their step forward. He said it spoke well for the congregation, and the minister hoped that the erection of the new building was an indication of their mind”.
 

Typically of this time, newspaper reports about the opening of new churches provide extensive detail on donations and gifts made by the community in furnishing a building. The report in the Examiner includes a detailed list of donations and gifts which also reveal the support that was given to the church by the local community and from across the region: 

“At the conclusion of the ceremony Rev. W. T. Baker announced the gifts to the church by various donors, and intimated that the church would be opened free of debt, which was very gratifying. The gifts consisted of the following: - trefoil windows, by the Deloraine congregation; curtains and drapery, by Miss F. Martin and Miss M. Scott: curtain pole, by Mrs. A. Scott; communion table by Mrs. Wilson; two jardinieres, from Deloraine and Mole Creek Sunday schools; pedestal, by Mrs. E. Hicks; pulpit cushion, by Mrs. W. Cameron, sen.; bronze tablet, by Mr. J. C. Cairns, and inscribed by Mr. D. S. Jackson; collection plate, by Mrs. J. Cairns; one pew, from the "Girls' Fellowship (northern conference); two pews from Mr. and Mrs. R. Cameron; pulpit chair, by Mrs. S. A. Richardson; matting and seats, by Miss C.A. Barnard”.

St Andrew’s Presbyterian church now is the last remaining church in Mole Creek with the Anglican, Methodist, Church of Christ congregations all having closed in the last 20 years.

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018
The old church now used as a hall. Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Sources:

The Examiner, Friday 12 April 1901, page 7
The Examiner, Monday 12 September 1932, page 1
The Mercury, Monday 12 September 1932, page 3 
The Examiner, Tuesday 13 September 1932, page 5
The Examiner, Wed 7 Nov 1951  Page 6

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