No. 455 - Lower Wilmot Uniting Church

Lower Wilmot is small farming district approximately 8 kilometres north of the Wilmot Village. It is situated near the junction of the Wilmot and Hayes Roads, close to the Wilmot River.

Regular Methodist services were held at Lower Wilmot shortly after the turn of the 20th century and fundraising for a local church began in 1903. A small timber church was completed in 1904 and opened in late January 1905 after “inclement weather” caused the cancelation of the original service. The North Western Advocate and Emu Bay Times carried a report of the fundraising tea meeting that went ahead on Monday 16 January but no published report of the postponed opening ceremony seems to exist.

Like many churches in remote areas, regular newspaper reports about local religious activities are fairly limited. Apart from occasional reports of Sunday school anniversaries, harvest festivals or Ladies Guild meetings, little news about the church was published. The Methodist Ladies Guild seemed to be quite active and their fundraising resulted in the construction of a new vestry in 1925. The Lower Wilmot Anglican community used the Methodist church for a while after their church burnt down in 1914. A public hall was built alongside the church in 1930.

From the mid 1940’s newspaper reports mention fundraising being undertaken for a new church. The reason for the need of a new church is not clear but it is most likely due to the fact that the original building was too small to meet the needs of a growing community.

A new church was officially opened on Sunday 9 December 1951 in a ceremony led by Reverend E. L. Vercoe of Devonport. The building was constructed by local residents led by Mr Charleston and Mr Duncan. Some of the timber and windows of the old church were used in the new building.

The last service was held early in 2017. Up until then the small congregation had used the Wilmot church and Lower Wilmot church alternate weeks. The Lower Wilmot Hall was used for community events until recently but both the Hall and church were up for sale again in late 2018.


An article on the Wilmot church will appear on the blog in the near future.

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Undated photograph of the first Lower Wilmot Church - source: Lower Wilmot Hall Facebook Page 2017 - original source  not indicated

Regional map showing the location of the Lower Wilmot district.  source: Placenames.tas.gov.au

Sources:

North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thursday 5 January 1905, page 3
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thursday 19 January 1905, page 2
North West Post, Monday 22 June 1914, page 2
Advocate, Monday 19 January 1925, page 4
Mercury, Wednesday 25 October 1950, page 7
Advocate, Friday 16 November 1951, page 10
Advocate, Thursday 6 December 1951, page 8
Advocate, Monday 10 December 1951, page 8
Examiner, Tuesday 11 December 1951, page 8

https://www.facebook.com/lowerwilmothall/


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