No. 485 - Meander Baptist Church

Meander is a small town about 20km south of Deloraine. The town dates back to the late 19th century when the area was informally known as East and West Meander. In 1900 a township near the present town of Meander was surveyed but this was never developed. The proposed town was to called be Cheshunt Town after the nearby Cheshunt Estate. The present town of Meander was planned and laid out a short distance away and gazetted in 1907. Three denominations were established here including Methodist, Anglican and Baptist.

The Baptists were active at Meander for about a decade before the church opened in December 1914. Meetings were held in local homes but the congregation grew to such an extent that a large tent had to be erected to accomodate about 100 people for the harvest festival held at the home of Mr Herbert Harris in April 1914.

The opening of the new church was reported by the Launceston Examiner:

“The opening services in connection with the new Baptist Church were conducted by the Revs. V. G. Britton and A. Butler. The congregation at each service taxed the seating accommodation to its utmost. The Rev. A. Butler, in his opening remarks, referred to the good service rendered to the work by Mr and Mrs H. Harris. Their house for the past seven years had been open for the people to gather for service; the congregation had grown, and the proposal was made for a church building. Every effort was then put forward in this direction, and by united effort the end was achieved, and today, said the speaker, they have the result of their efforts. Their best thanks were due to Mr Warren, who donated to the church the ground upon which the church is erected On the following Saturday a sports and tea meeting was held, but the weather was very unfavourable…”

The Meander church did not have baptistry which meant that baptisms had to take place at the Deloraine Baptist tabernacle. The church was also not large enough for the harvest festival and the Meander public hall was used for this this annual event.

There were several Baptist churches in the Deloraine region including at Golden Valley, Quamby Brook and Montana. All of these churches have closed, including the Meander church which held its last service in 1983.

The Meander Baptist Church - undated 


Sources:

Examiner, Saturday 11 April 1914, page 5
Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 15 December 1914, page 7
Examiner, Tuesday 15 December 1914, page 3

Hemsley, Jennifer Around the country circuits : reminiscences of the Baptist Church family throughout "Tassie's top half". Regal Press, Launceston, Tas, 1996.

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