No. 310 - The Former Wesleyan Methodist Church at Dairy Plains - ' An Act of God'

The church in the photograph is better known as All Saint’s Anglican church. Its history was covered in an earlier blog entry. [see HERE] This short history will look at the period before 1919, prior to its purchase by the Anglicans off the Methodists.

The original Wesleyan Methodist church was built at Dairy Plains in 1861. This building was badly damaged in a violent storm in April 1896. The Daily Telegraph provides a detailed account of the disaster:

“A great storm passed over Dairy Plains on Friday morning at about 3 o’clock, alarming the inhabitants. Its greatest strength appears to have been concentrated in the vicinity of the Wesleyan church at that place, which was a small wooden building, and stood on an allotment of about half an acre, fronting on the Dairy Plains-road. The storm came down the valley from the direction of the Needles, and struck the church with terrific force, lifting it off its foundations, then overturning and tearing it into sections, which lie scattered about. The roof was carried by the wind into Mr King’s paddock adjoining, and some of the lighter material was carried across the road into Mr R. Hall’s paddock, and about 100yrds along it. A glass globe of one of the lamps was also blown into Mr King’s paddock, where it was picked up, not having sustained injury. The organ and the pulpit are uninjured, except by the rain. The stable, on the same allotment, has also been blown to pieces…. One corner of the foundation of which the church stood has been destroyed, as if the stones were broken with a hammer. The cost of re-erecting the church will not be great, the wind having divided it into sections that can easily be put together. A new roof will be required. The stable is so hopelessly broken up that the material is destroyed, and new material will be required to build it”.

Although there is no record of the church’s reconstruction, it was evidently completed in good time. In 1901 there is a report that the church was rented for use as a public school until a school building was erected. Anglican services were held in the church from 1907 and rent was paid for each service held until 1919, when it was purchased off the Methodists for a sum of £40. Bishop Robert Hay dedicated the church as “All Saints” on 30 November 1919.



Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018 ©

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018 ©

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018 ©

Sources:

Daily Telegraph, Saturday 11 April 1896, page 5
Daily Telegraph, Monday 13 April 1896, page 4
The North Western Advocate and Emu Bay Times, Wednesday 16 October 1901, page 2
The Examiner, Monday 8 December 1919, page 3

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.





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