No. 625 - Beauty Point - St Mark's Anglican Church Hall

Beauty Point is a port town in the West Tamar region approximately 5 kilometres north of Beaconsfield. This was the first deep-water berth that was established on the Tamar River and it once serviced the goldfields at Beaconsfield. The settlement was previously known as Ilfracombe before it was changed to Beauty Point at the turn of the last century.

Not much is known about Beauty Point’s short-lived Anglican church. According to Dorothea Henslowe in ‘Our Heritage of Anglican Churches in Tasmania’, before a church was acquired in 1922, Anglican services took place in an old railway carriage. I have found no further information about this and the earliest report of regular Anglican services date to about 1914. Worship probably took place in various locations. In 1916 Launceston’s Daily Telegraph reported:

“The Church of England’s monthly service was held in Mrs Gibson’s Cottage last Friday. Fire and lights were provided, and there was a good attendance. It was a pleasant little service, and Rev. Harrison’s address was appreciated by all”.


In the previous year the Examiner reported that the Beauty Point Church of England Sunday school concert and social was held in Mr. T. Haslam’s packing shed.

As the Anglican community grew the need for a permanent place of worship became desirable. In May 1921 the Daily Telegraph reported:

“The need for a church here has been long felt, and to try and overcome the difficulty a well attended meeting of local residents was held at Mr E. Tevelein's house on Tuesday night.  Archdeacon Beresford and Rev. Gibb were present. Rev. Gibb presided, and explained that it was the wish of the Archdeacon that an effort be made to get a hall or church in which services could be held regularly every Sunday, and would suggest that they not aim at building a church just yet, but try and get a parish hall built that would suit the purpose for some time to come…”.

A building committee was established and in June of the following year the Daily Telegraph reported:

“A meeting of the church building committee was held at Mr Tevelein’s house on Thursday night, the Rev. Gibb presiding. The chairman explained that he had one of the classrooms of the Beaconsfield State school offered to him by the Education Department for a reasonable amount and he would like an expression of opinion from the committee if they thought the building could be purchased, and removed to Beauty Point, and re-erected for church purposes…. It was decided to write to the department making an offer for the building, the committee to meet again on Tuesday afternoon to inspect a site to erect the building on…”.

By October considerable progress had been made and land was donated for the hall:

“At the close of the service held in the Rosialand Hall on Sunday afternoon Mr E. Tevelein, secretary of the church building committee, reported that arrangements were well in hand with respect to the erection of a church at Beauty Point, and that he had a letter from Archdeacon Beresford expressing his great pleasure, and congratulating the committee on their work. Rev. Gibb took the opportunity to thank Mrs J. Edgecumbe for her generosity in giving the building site”.

By the end of the year the schoolroom had been moved from Beaconsfield and the first service held. The Examiner reported:


"Recently the Anglican Church people at Beauty Point purchased one of the large class-rooms of the state school and this has been removed and re-erected on a piece of ground on the King’s Jetty Road…. the building, which is to be used as a church hall, was opened on Sunday afternoon by Archdeacon Beresford…”.

I have yet to establish the exact location of the hall and have not found a photograph of it. A full church was never built as was intended and according to Henslowe, St Mark’s Hall closed about 1944. The building however remained in use for some time after this for in the 1950’s there are reports of St Mark’s Hall being used for social functions including fortnightly square dancing.

Although St Mark’s Anglican Hall is a fairly minor and short-lived church, it is nevertheless a significant aspect of the town’s history and it would be interesting to learn more about the building including its location and what became of it.

Additional information and sources about the hall are most welcome as all articles are updated. I can be contacted through this page or my Facebook page "Churches of Tasmania" which is linked here: Churches of Tasmania.

A view of Beauty Point from the wharf (c.1920) Source: Libraries Tasmania  LPIC 147-1-93

An early map of Beauty Point (1899) shows land reserved for the Church of England at  the corner of Ross Street and Oxford Street. An earlier church may have existed at this site, operating from as early as 1873.

Beauty Point's location on the West Tamar - placenames.gov.tas.au


Sources:

Examiner, Tuesday 31 August 1915, page 6
Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 15 August 1916, page 8
Daily Telegraph, Thursday 12 May 1921, page 8
Daily Telegraph, Saturday 17 June 1922, page 7
Daily Telegraph, Thursday 12 October 1922, page 2
Examiner, Wednesday 13 December 1922, page 11
Examiner, Thursday 4 June 1952, page 15

Henslowe, Dorothea I and Hurburgh, Isa Our heritage of Anglican churches in Tasmania. Mercury-Walch, Moonah, Tas, 1978.


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