No. 1373 - Clarence Point - Methodist Church (1918)

This article is one in a series about public buildings in country areas that were used as places of worship. In these communities churches may have been planned but were never built due to lack of finance or changing circumstances. In most settlements, before a church was built, worship was typically held in homes, schoolrooms, barns, halls and other buildings. Conversely, in some communities, churches were sometimes the first public building erected and were used as schools and community halls. The focus of this series will primarily be on the public halls and schools that were used as churches. These buildings, and the religious communities which used them, are often overlooked in published histories of churches.

Clarence Point point is a settlement north Beaconsfield in the River Tamar region. It was once a significant orchard growing area.

Little is known about Clarence Point’s Methodist church. In Max Stansall’s ‘Tasmanian Methodism 1820-1975’ the entry for the Clarence Point church records the following information:

“…When it started or when services were discontinued have not been revealed. It has been said that services were being held there early this century. That a third church seat was borrowed from Beaconsfield [Methodist] Trust in 1932 suggests that at that stage the congregation was increasing”.

While I have not established when the church was established, in 1918 the Examiner reported that an application had been made “for the use of the Clarence Point school for Sunday school purposes”. The school, which opened in 1915, was the venue for Methodist worship for almost 20 years. When the school closed in 1925 the building continued to be used as a Methodist church until 1932. In January of that year the Examiner reported:

“Clarence Point State School was being removed, and that Mr. Beaton had offered the use of his barn for church services”.

It is not clear if Mr Beaton offer was taken up, however the Methodists' continued to meet throughout the 1930s as was recorded in the annual meetings of the Beaconsfield Methodist Circuit. The church was still operating as late as 1950 as evidenced in a report in the Examiner which states that the “proceeds of the harvest festival held in the church at Clarence Point [had] been sent to the Beaconsfield Hospital”. By this time services were likely held in the Clarence Point hall which had opened in the 1940s.

Orchards at Clarence Point - Weekly Courier, January 1914


Daily Telegraph, Friday 1 May 1914, page 4
Examiner, Thursday 8 March 1918, page 7
Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 9 July 1919, page 3
Mercury, Wednesday 13 January 1932, page 5
Examiner, Saturday 25 March 1950, page 23

Stansall, M. E. J and Methodist Church of Australasia. Tasmanian Methodism, 1820-1975 / [by M.E.J. Stansall ... et al] Methodist Church of Australasia Launceston, Tas. 1975


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