No. 1265 - Beauty Point - Methodist Church (1905-1914)
This ‘blog entry’ is one of a series of articles about places of worship which are barely represented in the historical record. Usually no images of these buildings have survived. My hope is that these brief articles may result in further information and photographs coming to light enabling a more complete history to be preserved.
Beauty Point is a port town in the West Tamar region approximately 5 kilometres north of Beaconsfield. This was the first deep-water berth that was established on the Tamar River and it once serviced the goldfields at Beaconsfield. The settlement was previously known as Ilfracombe before it was changed to Beauty Point at the turn of the last century.
Beauty Point has had two Methodist churches, the first being built in 1905 followed by a second church in 1936. The focus of this article is on the first church which functioned for less than a decade.
In 1905 members of the small Methodist community approached the Department of Education with a proposal that a church at Beauty Point might be partially funded if it were used as a State school. In April 1905 the Daily Telegraph reported:
“Mr F. R. Layton, Rev. J. Freeman, and Mr G. Perry, who are the chief promoters in the erection of a church at Beauty Point, met Mr Neale, and obtained a promise that if erected the church would be rented as a school. The gentlemen mentioned that they hope to make an early start in erecting the building….”.
The proposal was clearly successful for in October 1905 the Examiner reported:
“The Methodist Church at Beauty Point has been opened, and although it cost nearly £100, it was opened almost free of debt, which is entirely due to the exertions of Messrs. George Perry and F.R. Layton, who have worked very hard in connection with it. The opening of this church has double importance, as it is to be used by the Education Department as a school, and the furniture for same arrived on Saturday, so we presume a teacher will be appointed very soon”.
For reasons not clear the arrangement did not work and regular services ceased within a few years. In 1914 the building was moved to nearby Richmond Hill were it was used as a church until 1980.
|Beauty Point Methodist Church - The West Tamar people : the story of the early settlement and its well-established families
Daily Telegraph, Saturday 15 April 1905, page 5
Examiner, Thursday 26 October 1905, page 8
Examiner, Thursday 16 November 1905, page 7
Examiner, Saturday 14 November 1914 , page 10
Stansall, M. E. J and Methodist Church of Australasia Tasmanian Methodism, 1820-1975 : compiled at the time of last Meeting of Methodism prior to union. Methodist Church of Australasia, Launceston, Tas, 1975.
Nyman, Lois. The West Tamar people : the story of the early settlement and its well-established families / by Lois Nyman Regal Publications Launceston, Tas 1996