No. 1088 - Longley - St Luke's Anglican Church (1898-1931)

Longley is a rural settlement approximately 20 kilometres south of Hobart. The area was originally named Leslie, a name that has been preserved in Leslie Hill which lies on the eastern side of Longley.

Three Anglican churches were built at Longley, all of which were destroyed by bushfires. The first church was built in 1892 and consecrated and dedicated to St. Luke in February of the following year. This building was lost in the ‘great bushfires’ that swept across southern Tasmania in the summer of 1897/8. [see No. 1034] A second church was built and rededicated to St Luke in 1898. This building was similarly destroyed in a bushfire in 1931. The third church, built in 1932, was lost in the 1967 bushfires. This building was not replaced. The focus of this article is on Longley’s second Anglican church.

After the destruction of the first church in January 1898, a new church was built and opened by the end of that year. It was a simple weatherboard structure built by Mr E. Tew who had rebuilt Longley’s Catholic church which was also destroyed in the 1898 fires. The new Anglican church was reopened on St Luke’s Day, Tuesday 18 October 1898. The Hobart Mercury carried a very brief report on the occasion:

“The ceremony was performed by Archdeacon Whitington, and was largely attended. In the evening a tea meeting and concert was held, when the Archdeacon gave an address”.

The church served the Anglican’s of Longley for a little over 30 years before it met the same fate at the original church. In October 1931 the Mercury reported:

“Bushfires, which occurred at Longley….resulted in the destruction of the local Church of England, which was valued at between £500 and £600. The fire was aided by a strong north-westerly wind, which was blowing towards the church. It is thought that sparks from the fire must have ignited the shingle roof, and it was not long before the building, which was constructed of weatherboard, was a mass of flames. There are no houses in the immediate vicinity, and the fire was not noticed until it had a strong hold. The church and its contents were burnt to ashes”.

Fortunately the building was insured which enabled a third church to be built. This building will be the subject of a further article on ‘Churches of Tasmania’.

The second church at Longley dedicated to St Luke. Image: W.J. Rowlands - The Mercury
                     


Sources:

The Mercury, Tuesday 11 October 1898, page 4
The Mercury, Wednesday 2 November 1898, page 3
Daily Telegraph, Monday 17 April 1899, page 3
The Mercury, Friday 9 October 1931, page 6
Mercury, 10 October 1931, page 3

Henslowe, Dorothea I. and Hurburgh, Isa.  Our heritage of Anglican churches in Tasmania / by Dorothea I. Henslowe ; sketches by Isa Hurburgh, 1978


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