No. 669 - New Town Presbyterian Church (1911-1977)

New Town is a northern suburb of Hobart. It is also one of Hobart’s oldest suburbs and consequently the area contains many historic churches. New Town became a municipality in 1907 but was absorbed into greater Hobart in the 1920s when its municipal status was relinquished.

The New Town Presbyterian church was established in 1907 with services held in the New Town Council Chambers. Around the time of the church’s first anniversary in June 1908, an attempt was made to purchase land to build a church, but for reasons not known, the scheme did not eventuate. By 1911 the Presbyterians had abandoned the idea of building a church and instead opted to purchase a building and convert it into a place of worship.

In early 1911 the Good Templar’s Lodge on Cross Street was purchased. The Lodge was built in 1877 by Mr C. K. Ellis on land bequeathed by Mr P. Irvine to the lodge trustees. A “handsome wooden building” measuring 27 feet by 50 feet was officially opened on 20 February 1877. For many years the Lodge was hired as a venue for public meetings.

Following the Lodge’s sale to the Presbyterians, the building was renovated and was ready for the church’s official opening and dedication on Sunday 17 September 1911. The Hobart Mercury published a report of the occasion:

“The ceremony of dedicating the new Presbyterian Church at New Town took place yesterday afternoon. For some time past the need for a place of worship in the growing suburb of New Town has been felt by Presbyterians resident in that locality, and some time since a, building in Cross street,…. was purchased. This has been altered in order to render it suitable for its new purpose at a cost of over £100, and was opened for worship yesterday. It has been converted into a church capable of seating some 200 people, and will be in charge of the Rev. S. J. Atkins. The church was crowded yesterday afternoon, when the dedication service was conducted by the Rev. D. A. Cameron, director of home missions in Victoria….”.

The former Lodge functioned as a Presbyterian church until the 1970’s when it closed as a consequence of the establishment of the Uniting Church in 1977. For a while the church was was used as a Boy Scouts’ Hall and was later converted into a house. 


 The former Good Templar’s Lodge and Presbyterian church is currently back on the market for sale. (see link to the Estate Agent’s advertisement below)


A Google Street-view screenshot of the church.

The former church in 2020 - Photo courtesy of Petrusma Property

The former church in 2020 - Photo courtesy of Petrusma Property

Sources:

The Mercury, Monday 19 March 1877, page 2
The Mercury, Saturday 24 August 1907, page 8
The Mercury, Saturday 20 June 1908, page 6
The Mercury, Monday 18 September 1911, page 6
Daily Post, Monday 18 September 1911, page 6
The Mercury, Friday 29 September 1911, page 6

Link to the real estate advertisement is <HERE>

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