No. 334 - St Barnabas at Gray

Gray is a small settlement 6km south of the town of St Marys. It was originally known as Thompson’s Marsh but later adopted the name Gray after a pioneering family in the district.

There were two denominations at Gray; the Methodists and the Anglicans. St Barnabas, the Anglican church, was built in 1904. The church was established with the support of Colonel William Legge of Cullenswood. A report in the Daily Telegraph on the church’s dedication by Bishop Mercer in October 1904, provides some information about the building:

“The important event in the past week was the dedication of the Gray church. For many years services have been held in the schoolroom, but owing to the energy of Colonel Legge, Messrs. R. Speers, B. Beddy, W. King, V. Smith, and a few others, who have worked hard for many years, a nice little church has been erected. It is built on a hill in the centre of Gray, and can be seen miles away on either side.

Sunday was a perfect day, and large numbers came from various parts. At 3.10 the Bishop and clergy, robed in the Methodist Church, kindly placed at their disposal by Rev. Mr Wellard. …From the Methodist Church the procession marched to the church, which was crowded. After evensong his lordship gave an impressive address. He said that he would dedicate, but could not consecrate the church, as it might he necessary in years to come to build a larger church, and then this building could be used as Sunday-school, or for some other religious purpose, so that he would dedicate the church to St. Barnabas. …The church is well designed, (measuring: Main building, 30ft by 17ft, chancel 12ft. by 10ft. The belfry rises 10ft. from ridge, with an ornamental ball and large iron cross fixed in the ball lined with plain iron. Great credit is due to the contractor, Mr Sydes, for the workmanship, and design of belfry, also to Catholic friends, who kindly assisted in the cartage of material from St. Marys….”


As the population of Gray declined both of the settlements churches closed. St Barnabas was sold and removed in 1948. According to Dorothea Henslowe’s compendium of Anglican churches in Tasmania, it was sold to the Presbyterians for £110 and removed from Gray. To where it was moved and its ultimate fate is unknown.


St Barnabas at Gray: The Weekly Courier 20 February 1908

The Mercury, Saturday 24 April 1948

Sources:

The Examiner, Wednesday 2 November 1904, page 7
Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 8 November 1904, page 4
The Mercury, Thursday 10 November 1904, page 6
Daily Telegraph, Thursday 4 April 1907, page 3
The Weekly Courier, 20 February 1908, page 23
The Mercury, Saturday 24 April 1948, page 11

Henslowe, Dorothea I and Hurburgh, Isa Our heritage of Anglican churches in Tasmania. Mercury-Walch, Moonah, Tas, 1978.



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