No. 1243 - Taroona - St Luke's Anglican Church (1956)

Located on the Western shore of the Derwent River, Taroona is an outer southern suburb of Greater Hobart which lies within the Kingston municipality. The name ‘taroona’ is a Mouheneener word for chiton, a marine mollusc found on rocks in the intertidal regions of the foreshore. The name ‘Taroona’ was adopted by Clarendon James Cox Lord for his 18-acre property which he purchased in 1894.

St Luke’s Anglican church is located in the southern half of Taroona on the Channel Highway. Most of the information used in this article has been gleaned from a publication by the ‘Taroona History Group’.

The first Anglican church services at Taroona were held in the old Public Hall and on occasion in private houses. When the Presbyterians built a church at Taroona Crescent in 1950 the Anglicans used the building for morning and evening services on alternate Sundays.

In about 1950 a committee was formed to plan the construction of a church hall. Work on the building began on 1956 with the contract awarded to Mr Charles Viney, a local builder and a member of the congregation. The hall and sanctuary were dedicated by Bishop Cranswick on 17 June 1956. The sanctuary was at the western end of the building and was closed off between services by a pair of metal doors. The church hall was also used for community events. For a short period a room in the church hall was used as a surgery for the District Medical Officer. In 1960 the hall was let to the Education Department while extensions were made to the old State Primary School next door. In 1967 the hall was used by local groups, including the Boy Scouts, following the loss of public venues in the bushfires in the summer of that year.

In 1958 additional land was purchased on the north side of the hall which was to allow easier public access after the Education Department permitted entry through its property from Coolamon Street. In 1961 a further room was constructed on the south side of the hall for use as a vestry and Sunday school.

In 1964 plans for a new church were drawn up but these were shelved due to the high cost. Instead plans were made to redesign the hall to make it a more fitting place of worship. Consequently the entrance to the church was moved to the north side of the building. Work began in 1968 and in March 1969 the new sanctuary on the east end of the building was dedicated by Bishop Cranswick.

St Luke’s remains an active church and forms part of the Anglican Parish of Sandy Bay and Taroona.

The sanctuary - photo:

St Luke's Church Hall before the Sanctuary was moved to the east end of the building. Photo: Len Bell (Taroona Historical Group)

The old Taroona Public Hall where Anglican services were held in the 1940s and early 1950s. Source: Libraries Tasmania - PH30-1-6816

Sources and Links of Interest:

Taroona Historical Group.  Taroona, 1808-1986 : farm lands to a garden suburb / written by past and present residents of Taroona, Taroona Historical Group [Taroona, Tas.]  1988


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