No. 1283 - Lebrina - Methodist Church (1894)

Lebrina is a small village situated approximately 10 kilometres north of Lilydale in north east Tasmania. The settlement was earlier known as Hall’s Track before the name Lebrina was adopted when railway station on the North-eastern line was built. The name Lebrina is derived from an aboriginal word meaning "house" or "hut". Lebrina once had three churches: a Wesleyan Methodist church, St Andrew’s Anglican church and St Patrick’s Catholic Church. All three churches have closed and two of the buildings no longer exist.

The Methodist church and cemetery was located at the southern end of the town on the western bank near the railway crossing. The church is gone but the cemetery is still here although it is on private land. The church building was sold in 1970 for $50 and recycled as materials for a house in Lebrina, about half a kilometre to the north. I have not located a photograph of the church but it can be seen in the distance in a general photograph of the town taken in about 1920.

The church opened on Sunday 12 August 1894. The opening was reported by correspondents for the Launceston Examiner and the Daily Telegraph:

“The opening services of the new Wesleyan church were held on Sunday last, the preacher being the Rev. Wm, Shaw, of Launceston. In the morning, to a large and appreciative audience, the rev. gentleman delivered a thoughtful discourse on St. Matthew's Gospel… For the afternoon service the building was filled to its utmost capacity…. On Monday evening at seven o’clock a public meeting was held, followed by a coffee supper. The statement of accounts by the church steward, Mr J. D. Rees…showed that the total cost of the erection, with seats and fittings was £140. Against this £65 has been raised locally, leaving the trust debt to be nearly £80…..The building, which is a very beautiful structure in a splendid position, reflects great credit on the builder, Mr F. E. King, of Launceston, and the architect, Mr M. Tyson. Its dimensions are 30x18, with seating for 90 people. Front porch, 6x6, with side door. A handsomely polished blackwood dado, 3ft 6in in height, is in fine harmonious contrast to the pure white plastered walls. Altogether the building, with its snug and well finished appearance both inside and out, is not only an ornament to the town, but supplies a need that has been long felt”.

The date of church’s closure is not known. The last reference to it in local newspapers dates to September 1951 where a notice was placed for evening worship and at which a memoriam plaque in memory of the late Mrs. Joan Audrey Arnold was unveiled.

A view of Lebrina in the 1920s. The Methodist church is just visible below the trees on the horizon. The Anglican church and school is in the lower foreground. Source and photographer not known.


The location of Lebrina's Methodist church 


Sources:

Daily Telegraph, Saturday 18 August 1894, page 1
Launceston Examiner, Saturday 18 August 1894, page 4
Examiner, Saturday 22 September 1951, page 7

Rural Launceston Heritage Study. Margaret Tassell. Report of the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston. May 2000. 




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