No. 1462 - Springfield - St Paul's Sunday School (1894)

This article is one of a series about buildings associated with Tasmania’s historical churches.These buildings include Sunday schools, parish halls, convents, schools and residences of the clergy. Ancillary buildings are often overlooked and rarely feature in published histories. My aim is to create a simple record of these buildings, including of those that no longer exist.

Springfield is a rural area which lies approximately 5 kilometres south of Scottsdale in north-east Tasmania. Although Springfield never developed into a town, the district was settled in the 1870s with a post office opening in 1876 followed by a school and public hall. The district once supported four churches with the Wesleyan Methodists being the first to establish a church in 1871. Anglicans at Springfield used the Wesleyan church until they opened their own church in 1884. St Paul’s church was officially opened on Sunday 23 March 1884.

An Anglican Sunday school was built in 1894 on a site near the old Springfield shop at the intersection of South Springfield Road and the Tasman Highway. In 1923 the building was moved to a new location. In 2019 it was moved a second time and it now stands alongside the Springfield Hall where it is used as a church by an Amish family.

A record of the official opening of St Paul’s Sunday school on 15 May 1894 is described in a report published in the Launceston Examiner:

“A very successful tea meeting was held here on Tuesday, 15th inst., to inaugurate the opening of St. Paul's Sunday school. For years past the question of a Sunday school for the children belonging to the Anglican Church has been agitating the minds of our several clergymen. Upon the arrival of the Rev. G. A. Breguet in our midst he took the matter up warmly and gave the churchwardens no peace until the building was finished. The building site was presented to the parish by Mrs Jonas Cherry, sen. I was pleased indeed to see the old lady present during the evening, accompanied by her granddaughter and great grandchild. The building is weatherboard, 25ft x 16ft, stopped with blackwood, and presents a very nice appearance. The cost of the building up to the present is through the kindness of the churchwardens in supplying the materials, etc., at the very lowest rate only about £30 with seats for the children”.

“The Sunday school was opened by Rev. G. A. Breguet on Sunday last with an attendance of 43 scholars, thus proving the necessity for the school. The motto of the school is “regularity, punctuality, and exactitude." At the children's feast, which took place during the afternoon, about 70 juveniles sat down, coming from West Scottsdale, Scottsdale, and Upper Springfield. Willing assistance in providing the good things was given by the ladies of the district, and by the happy expressions on the children's faces all seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves….”.

The buildings removal to a nearby site in 1923 is recorded by the North East Advertiser:

“The old Sunday School building had been removed to a site given by Mr George Gofton, in memory of his late father, and by the aid of two working bees the building was placed on good foundations and a new iron roof put on. The ladies have done their part well in raising money to pay for the removal and for the iron for the roof. It will soon be habitable and will be used for Sunday School and other Church purposes”.

The building was used as a Sunday school as well as the home of the St Paul’s Mother’s Union for many years. In 1998 the building was sold by the Anglican Church and was acquired by the Gofton family. In 2019 the building was donated to the McCallum’s, an Amish family, who moved the building to its current site and have restored it for use as a church.

St Paul's Sunday School at the site to which it was moved in 1934. Photograph: The Gofton Family - as posted by the Dorset History History Facebook Page 18 August 2019

The Sunday school in the process of being moved to its current site in 2019. Photograph: 'The Church at Springfield" (

Sources and further information:

Launceston Examiner, Monday 21 May 1894, page 3
North East Advertiser, Tuesday 19 February 1924, page 2
North East Advertiser, 4 March 2020, Tyler Clyne: "Sunday School breathes new life".

Wheatley, Ray: Memories of Springfield; Foot & Playsted, Launceston, 1989.



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