No. 476 - Lower Wilmot Anglican Church

Lower Wilmot is farming district and small settlement approximately 30 kilometres south of Ulverstone. It is situated near the junction of the Wilmot and Hayes Roads, close to the Wilmot River.

Two churches were established at Lower Wilmot, a Uniting (Methodist) church and an Anglican church. Little is known about the Anglican church which opened in 1900 and was destroyed by a fire in 1914.

The North West Post carried a report on the church’s opening which took place on Thursday 18 January 1900:

“The new Anglican Church at Lower Wilmot was formally opened for divine service on Thursday by Rev. R. J. de Coetlogon, rector of the parish. The evening was decidedly wet, but the little building was well filled, and a very hearty service tendered…. At the conclusion of the service, a meeting was held, when church matters were fully discussed. Mr. A.H. Lovett was heartily thanked for the excellent way he had built the church, and the rector promised to hold another service next month. All left well pleased with their little church, and the first service held in it”.

In 1906 the church came close to being destroyed in a bushfire which had swept through the Lower Wilmot district. The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times reported:

“The Anglican church had a narrow escape, the flames almost reaching it. Messrs. W.M. Gowan, Dan Smith and H. Grainger worked hard to save it. The latter two had to retire before the heat, but the first named endured the ordeal, and to his efforts the safety of the building is due”.

Eight years later, the church was not so lucky and was destroyed in yet another bushfire. The North West Post’s report in June 1914 indicates that the church had not been used for some time:

“The Church of England building, together with its contents, was recently destroyed by fire, and considering that it was closely surrounded by dense scrub, it is a matter for surprise that it was not burnt long ago. The church was situated on the roadside, far away from any other dwelling, and services had not been held in the building for some time”.

The Anglican’s did not replace the church at Lower Wilmot but services resumed in 1926 in the State school which was used periodically. St John’s church at nearby Wilmot also served the Anglican community and mitigated against building a new church at the settlement.

No image of the church is known to exist and it is unlikely that the building was dedicated due to its infrequent use and short existence, being little over a decade.

North West Post, Tuesday 16 January 1900

The location of the Lower Wilmot region in North West Tasmania - placenames.tas.gov.au


Sources:

North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thursday 3 August 1899, page 2
North West Post, Tuesday 16 January 1900, page 3
North West Post, Saturday 20 January 1900, page 2
Daily Telegraph, Saturday 10 November 1900, page 8
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thursday 25 January 1906, page 3
North West Post, Monday 22 June 1914, page 2
The Advocate, Monday 27 September 1926, page 4



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