No. 1140 - Crabtree - St David's Anglican Church (1929-1967)

Crabtree is a rural settlement in the local government area of the Huon Valley and is situated about 15 kilometres north of Huonville. It was once an important timber and orchard-growing district. The settlement is named after the Crabtree Rivulet and the abundant crab apple trees that grew in the valley. Crabtree had only two places of worship; a Salvation Army hall which was built in 1917 and an Anglican church hall which opened in 1929.

Crabtree’s Anglican church was designed as a community hall and a place of worship. The building, which was built by Mr James Lucas, used sliding doors to screen off one end of the main hall in which the pulpit and other church furnishings were located. Land for the church was donated by Mr Charles Parsons.

On Sunday 14 July 1929, the newly completed church hall was dedicated to St David. The Huon Times published a report on the occasion:

“On Sunday, last the dedication of the new church hall, recently erected at Crabtree, was celebrated by his Lordship the Bishop of Tasmania, Dr. R. Snowden Hay, in the presence of a very large gathering of residents of the district and visitors from distant parts of the Huon. The property, it will be remembered, was presented to the Church of England by the late Chas. Parsons, on condition that a building of the type now on it was erected. The work and material was very largely secured by working bees and individual efforts. The whole property is practically free of debt, and is a monument to the zeal and generosity of the people of the district”.

The report continued:

“After dedicating the altar to the service of the church, Bishop Hay congratulated the people of Crabtree on having a hall which could be used for the two-fold purpose of a church and social gatherings. He commended the idea of holding amusements in a hall, and under such conditions as the Saviour could be an invited guest. The responsibilities, cares and worries of every day life sometimes made men forget God and their duty to Him…”.

The church remained in use until it was destroyed in the 1967 bushfires which swept across southern Tasmania. A decision was made not to replace the building due a decline in the population of the district.

St David's church hall at Crabtree - The Mercury, July 1929


Sources:

Huon Times, Friday 26 April 1929, page 2
Mercury, Monday 15 July 1929, page 3
Huon Times, Tuesday 16 July 1929, page 2
Mercury, Wednesday 17 July 1929, page 10

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


Comments

  1. Thanks for yet another recording of Tasmania's church building history. Three things struck me: the name derived from crab apples; "the Saviour could be an invited guest"; and the wooden building underused by 1967 was consumed in the fearsome bushfires that year. Was the land sold long ago or in the more recent - pardon the pun - fire sales?

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  2. Phil, there is so little information about this church and I am not even sure of its exact location. I assume that the land would have been sold soon after the decision was made not to rebuild.

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