No. 306 - The Congregational Church at Kempton

The town of Kempton, 50km north of Hobart, is named after Anthony Fenn Kemp, a pioneering merchant and grazier. Kempton was originally called Green Water Holes, but by the 1820’s it became known as Green Water Ponds, before being shortened to Green Ponds. It was renamed Kempton in 1895.

The Congregational Church was built in 1840 by the Van Diemen's Land Missionary Society at a cost of £500. The ‘Green Pond’s Congregational chapel opened on Good Friday, April 17th 1840 with services held in the morning, afternoon and evening.

The church was founded by Reverend Joseph Beazley, a “bush missionary” who first visited the district in about 1835 holding services in a private house before securing the use of a schoolroom. Beazley settled at Green Ponds in January 1838 and used it as a base to help establish Congregational chapels at Bagdad, Tea Tree and Richmond.

An information sign outside the church provides a few additional points of interest:

“A Sabbath school was instituted, for which additions were made to the rear of the chapel creating a school room, meeting room and vestry. In 1840, many of the 'Canadian Rebels' * working at the Green Ponds Probation Station attended here and Reverend Beazley was 'much pleased with them”.

Joseph Beazley left Green Ponds for Sydney in 1847 where he worked in the Redfern Congregational pastorate before returning to England. He became the Congregational Minister at Blackheath until his death in 1899.

The chapel closed briefly in the 1920’s to undergo major restoration. It again underwent extensive restoration in 1970 with significant funding provided in memory of the late Thomas Gorringe. In 1977 it became a part of the Uniting Church until its closure. It was later sold and it is now a private residence.

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

The True Colonist Van Diemen's Land Political Despatch, Friday 10 April 1840

The Colonial Record, Monday 8 April 1839, page 4


Sources:

The Colonial Record, Monday 8 April 1839, page 4
The True Colonist Van Diemen's Land Political Despatch, Friday 10 April 1840, page 3.
The Courier, Friday 26 February 1941, page 4
The Mercury, Thursday 11 October 1923, page 5
The Mercury, Monday 15 April 1940, page 8

Sharples, Theo E. and Congregational Union of Tasmania.  Congregationalism in Tasmania, 1830-1977 : a brief history / compiled by Theo E. Sharples  Congregational Union of Tasmania Hobart  1977

Information signage outside the church.



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