No. 978 - Irishtown - All Saint's Anglican Church (1907-1979)

Irishtown is rural community situated approximately 10 kilometres south of Smithton. The area was first settled in the late 1850s by Irish migrants when the area was known as Upper Duck River.

Irishtown’s All Saint’s Anglican church was built in 1907 on a site between the village post office and the State school. It was a weatherboard building with Gothic stye windows made in Melbourne. The church was designed by the rector, Reverend G.W. Ratten and was built by Mr. W. Dale of Smithton while the stone foundations were laid by Mr Harris. The church seated about 125 people and included a chancel measuring 12 by 10ft., a nave 32 by 21ft. and a vestry and porch.

The church’s foundation stone was ceremonially laid on Tuesday 18 June 1907:

“A solemn and impressive ceremony took place on Tuesday afternoon at Irishtown on the site of the Anglican Church now being erected, when the Rev Canon de Coetlogon, rector of Devonport and Rural Dean for the North-West, in the absence of the Lord Bishop and the Archdeacon of Launceston, performed the function of laying the foundation stone. A goodly number witnessed the ceremony, visitors from Forest and Smithton being in attendance”.

The church was officially opened for its first service on Sunday 11 August 1907. The opening was recorded by the Circular Head Chronicle:

“This pleasing function was inaugurated with pleasant weather conditions, although the previous week had been stormy, and the bad state of the roads prevented many from attending the ceremony. The rector, Rev. G. W. Ratten, endeavoured to secure the Archdeacon of Launceston and other city clergy to perform the ceremony, but pressing engagements prevented them, consequently our rector was obliged to open the sacred edifice for divine worship himself, which he did on Sunday afternoon in the presence of a packed congregation…. One of the pleasant features was the valuable assistance rendered by the united choirs of St. Paul's, Stanley, St. Bartholomew’s, Forest, Smithton and Montagu. …. The building is not quite completed, but the interior was sufficiently advanced for service. It is a most commodious church, well appointed, lined, ventilated, comfortably seated, and in appearance, both exterior and interior, “churchy,” which cannot be said of all similar buildings.”

All Saints was dedicated by Bishop Mercer on Wednesday 30 October 1907. Irishtown was in the Parish of Smithton until April 1950. The de-hallowing of All Saints Church occurred at Holy Communion, 29 April 1979. The subsequent fate of the building is not known.
All Saint's - Irishtown - Source: Weekly Courier 1914



Sources:

North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thursday 9 May 1907, page 2
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thursday 13 June 1907, page 2
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Friday 21 June 1907, page 4
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thursday 18 July 1907, page 2
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Wednesday 14 August 1907, page 2
Circular Head Chronicle, Wednesday 14 August 1907, page 3
Circular Head Chronicle, Wednesday 28 August 1907, page 2
The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Tuesday 5 November 1907, page 4 
The Weekly Courier, Thursday  5 February 1914, page 24.




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