No. 930 - West Kentish Methodist Church

West Kentish is small settlement centred on the Kentish Road 8 kilometres west of Sheffield. The area is named after Government Surveyor Nathaniel Kentish, who with a party of 20 probationary convicts explored and surveyed the area.

The Methodists were active at West Kentish as early as the mid 1920s when a minister was supplied for the settlement’s Presbyterian church. The Presbyterian church, which was built in 1915, struggled to secure the service of a permanent Presbyterian minister from outset and this continued until services ceased in the early 1930s.

In 1936 a report in the Advocate records the end of the Presbyterian’s association with the building:

“The Presbyterian Church building a West Kentish has not been used for services for some years, and regret has been expressed by residents that this should be so. Recently arrangements were made by the Methodists to use the building for services….Thanks are due to the ladies who formed a working-bee to clean and brighten the building in readiness for use”.

The first Methodist service was held on Sunday 3 May 1936 which was led by Reverend F. R. Woolhouse of Sheffield. The purchase of the church was confirmed in a report of the Annual Methodist Assembly held in October 1937:

“Under the business of the church building and loan fund it was decided to purchase the Presbyterian Church at West Kentish”.

The only photograph I have found of the church is taken from a booklet “Forward in Faith” produced by the Sheffield Methodist circuit in 1959. Although the image is not clear, the church strongly resembles two other Presbyterian churches in the district; one at Sheffield and the other at Barrington, both of which have been removed.

The history of the church during the Methodist era is sketchy and the date of its closure was mostly likely to have been in the early 1970s before the establishment of the Uniting Church in 1977. The building is no longer at West Kentish and I have yet to establish if it was either demolished or removed.

Additional information about this church is welcomed as all articles are continually updated. I can be contacted through this page or my Facebook page "Churches of Tasmania" which is linked here: Churches of Tasmania.

   The West Kentish Methodist Church (undated) source: Forward in Faith



Sources:

Advocate, Tuesday 29 September 1925, page 4
Advocate, Wednesday 26 May 1936, page 6
Examiner, Wednesday 27 October 1927, page 8

Methodist Church (Tasmania), Sheffield Circuit, Forward In Faith, Sheffield Methodist Circuit Stewardship Canvass 1959, Devonport





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