No. 473 - Wilmot Uniting Church - "Hard to Find a Nicer Church"

Wilmot is a village on the Wilmot Road approximately 30 kilometres south of Ulverstone. The district was named after Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, who was the first non-military Governor of Tasmania. The area was settled in the 1890s and was called “The Junction” by the locals. Settlers were challenged with the difficult task of clearing land which was densely timbered and where roads were poor in an isolated district.

In 1903 the settlement was officially proclaimed as Wilmot and by this time it had two churches; a Wesleyan Methodist church built in 1899 and an Anglican church, St John the Evangelist, which opened two years earlier. The Methodist church was a small building, measuring only 30ft by 18ft and featured Gothic windows and a porch. However, the building proved to be too small and was replaced by a new church which opened in March 1912.

The new building was designed Mr. W.H. Morris of Sheffield and was built alongside the the original church which was retained for use as a Sunday school. The official opening of the new church was reported by the North West Post:

“The opening of the new Methodist Church here took place on Friday last, and was a most successful function. The proceedings commenced in the Rechabite Hall with a “knife and fork” dinner, when the long tables round the hall were filled several times. After the dinner, a move was made to the new church, where the opening ceremony was performed by the Warden (Cr. Dean). Speeches by the Rev. A. P. Watsford (of Sheffield), Mr, Wiley, Hon. John Hope, M.L.C., and others followed. It would be hard to find a nicer church in a country district, and the edifice is a credit to the builder, Mr. W. England….”

Church has challenged little in appearance since it opened in 1912. It is now the only church Uniting Church open in the Wilmot region since the closure of the Lower Wilmot Uniting Church in 2017.

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

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

An early photograph of Wilmot. Source: LINC Frederick Smithies Lantern Slides NS2523-1-45

The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Monday 6 March 1911

The location of the Wilmot district in North West Tasmania (placenames.tas.gov.au)

Sources:

Launceston Examiner, Monday 16 October 1899, page 2
North West Post, Saturday 11 February 1911, page 2
The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Monday 6 March 1911, page 2 
Examiner, Wednesday 27 March 1912, page 6
North West Post, Wednesday 3 April 1912, page 4

Stansall, M. E. J & Methodist Church of Australasia 1975, Tasmanian Methodism, 1820-1975 : compiled at the time of last Meeting of Methodism prior to union, Methodist Church of Australasia, Launceston, Tas

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