No. 1414 - Kingston Beach - Methodist Church (1905)

Kingston is a large town located approximately 12 kilometres south of Hobart. The area was first settled in 1804 and was known as Brown’s River, after Scottish botanist Robert Brown, who had visited the area. The settlement was developed as a town in the 1830s which officially adopted the name Kingston in 1882. Kingston Beach is the beachfront area about 2 kilometres south-east of the town centre.

In 1905 a new Methodist church was built on Windsor Street at Kingston Beach. This replaced the original Kingston Methodist church located on the old Main Road to Summerleas which had been in use since 1838. Land for the new building was donated by Mr Joseph Bidencope, a wealthy Hobart draper. Bidencope’s holiday home was located next to the church. In September 1905 the Hobart Mercury reported on the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone of the new building:

“One of the oldest churches in Southern Tasmania some even say it is the oldest - is that in which the Wesleyan services has been conducted at Kingston for the last 73 years. It is so inconveniently situated, however, that the services are not very well attended. So a new building has been erected within easy walking distance of at Brown's River jetty, and yesterday afternoon a large party went down in the Seabird [from Hobart] to take part in the ceremony of laying the foundation-stone”.

“The building was commenced in the much part of last month; the walls, roof, and porch are up, and by November 11 the building has to be completed. It is Gothic in character, with one nave 40ft long by 20ft wide and 17ft 6in to ceiling, and will seat about 150. The foundation is of stone, the framing and porch of hardwood, and the roof of iron. There is a nice dado, the lining is V pointed hardwood, and the lining along the rafters is fixed diagonally. There is a raised platform right across the upper end of the building and the windows are made to open at the top for ventilation purposes. Mr J. Maddison, of Hobart, is the architect, and Mr H. Newall the contractor”.

“One service a week on a Sunday afternoon, is conducted in the Methodist Church, the officiating minister being the Rev. W. C. Thomas, who has charge of the Woodbridge district, and his assistant, Mr W. Hooper, the home missionary, who also holds services in seven or eight other place within the district, as far up as Gordon, during the week. Yesterday afternoon the service was conducted by the Rev. J. A. Jeffreys, J. H. Cain, and R. Bayles, from Hobart, assisted by the two local ministers named….The final ceremony of laying the foundation-stone was performed in the open air, amid a shower of rain, by Mr J. Bidencope, who has taken a great interest in the work of the Kingston Church. Among those present was Mrs Lucas, an old lady who remembers the existing church in its very early days, having been a member of the Sunday-school in connection with it when a little girl…..”.

The building was completed in November and officially opened on Sunday 10 December 1905.

The Windsor Street church closed in the 1980s. The land was sold and developed for residential apartments. A new Uniting Church has been built at Jindabyne Road.

Kingstone Beach Methodist Church (c.1910) Libraries Tasmania - Item Number PH30-1-8614

Kingston Beach Methodist Church - Weekly Courier, 15 September 1906

The site of the church on Windsor Street is now occupied by apartment buildings. (Google street-view)


Mercury, Thursday 21 September 1905, page 5 (2)
Mercury, Monday 18 December 1905, page 6
Weekly Courier, 15 September 1906, page 19

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  

Gardam, Julie and Rotary Club of Kingston (Tas.). Brown's River, a history of Kingston and Blackmans Bay / by Julie Gardam Rotary Club of Kingston Kingston, Tas. 1988 



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