No. 360 - The Church of Christ at Mole Creek - 'Grew Like a Mushroom'

Mole Creek is a town in the upper Mersey Valley, in the central north of Tasmania. The name Mole Creek comes from a nearby stream, portions of which disappear underground and flow through the caves in the area.

In January 1918 the Weekly Courier published a set of photographs with the intriguing headline; “Progressive Mole Creek: Members of the Church of Christ build a church at Mole Creek…in a day”. While the church actually took a little longer than a day to build, it was nevertheless a remarkable achievement.

In the 1870s the Church of Christ established itself in Launceston and Hobart. At first they were simply known as ‘Christians' then from 1885 as 'Disciples of Christ' and from 1915 as 'Churches of Christ'. The Churches of Christ developed numerous congregations but especially in the north-west of Tasmania. In 1911 a meeting house was erected at Cubit’s Creek at Caveside within the space of 6 days. Then in October 1917 an ambitious attempt was made to build a church in a single day at neighbouring Mole Creek. The Daily Telegraph reported this event:

“A spot on Mole Creek township was a scene of activity on Wednesday such as it is not often our privilege to witness. Nearly 20 willing workers got together to erect a building for worship, in the interests of the body called the Church of Christ. About half a dozen expert builders were there from Launceston, having motored through at an early hour, and several local carpenters, with a number of handy men, all willing to do their best. The building grew like a mushroom, so that by night the walls were up and weatherboarded, and a good start has been made with their shingling. The visiting team of workers are deserving of great commendation for the amount oI energy they displayed throughout. In fact, all seemed to vie with each other to see who could do the most.

A very substantial dinner was served at Mrs. W. How's boarding house, and lady friends kept things lively with free lunch throughout the day on the ground. The work was a matter of general interest and attracted quite a number of spectators…”

In mid November a further report in the Daily Telegraph reveals that the ambitious target had not quite been met:

“The newly-erected building for the followers of the Church of Christ is about to be completed externally, and will shortly be ready for holding service in. It was expected to erect it in a day, but the weather was unfavourable, and the workers were not so numerous as expected. It is a nice little building”.

The building was formally opened on Wednesday 26 December 1917 at the same time that a Church of Christ conference was held at Mole Creek. 

About 70 years after the church opened, the building was removed in the early 1990s to Cradle Mountain Road, Wilmot, where it was incorporated into a house.

            The Church of Christ at Mole Creek before its removal to Wilmot. Source: Libraries Tasmnia

The Weekly Courier
The weekly Courier

The Weekly Courier

The Weekly Courier - The individuals in the photo are listed as; back left to right:  F. Cooke; E. Higgs; S. Byard; C. Pearn; W. Gilham; V. Byard; j. Byard sen. and front left to right: W. Tyson; J. Byard jun.; E.R. Kilmier; E. Byard and W. Taylor.


Examiner, Tuesday 30 May 1911, page 3 
Daily Telegraph, Thursday 7 June 1917, page 8
Examiner,  Saturday 20 October 1917, page 9
Daily Telegraph, Saturday 17 November 1917, page 3
Daily Telegraph, Monday 31 December 1917, page 7

The Weekly Courier, Thursday 24 January 1918, page 21


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