No. 1470 - Copping - St Paul's Anglican Church (1893-1998)

Copping is a small settlement on the Arthur Highway approximately 20 kilometres east of Sorell. The settlement’s history dates back to the 1860s. The district was originally named Coppington after a Captain Richard Copping who was a magistrate and early settler in the district.

The origins of St Paul’s Anglican church date back to April 1887. The Hobart Mercury’ s local correspondent at Bream Creek wrote:

“Some time ago I spoke of the advisability of providing ways and means of building a church at Coppington. Since then the matter has been taken up. Mr. Bloomfield, of Coppington, and Mr. A. Hean, of Wattle Hill, have been appointed secretary and treasurer, and already have about £100 in hand, and, with several liberal offers made by a few around we anticipate that they will have good hope before them of success in raising sufficient money”.

In October 1892 a tender to construct a church was awarded to Mr James Parkinson of Brighton at a cost of £143 with the hardwood supplied by the building committee.

Church was completed in January 1893. The Mercury reported:

“The contractors for the new church at Coppington have just completed their contract, and yesterday the work was finally taken over by the committee. The new edifice is an ornament to Coppington, and reflects great credit upon Mr. Huckson, the architect, who, I am told, prepared plans and specifications for the same gratis. At the west end is the vestry, over which stands the belfry. The little chancel and altar look very well. In the centre of the building stands a font, carved out of polished stone - a present, I understand made by Mrs. Captain Copping, of Rochford Hall. The new church reflects great credit on Messrs. Parkinson and Hughes, who were the contractors. All the members of the committee have worked assiduously to get the building erected. Messrs. Bloomfield, jun., as treasurer, and W. Jenkins, of Wettenhall, as hon. secretary, have been untiring in their efforts in this direction.

The promoters in the first place were Mr Earl and Mrs. Bloomfield, and on the lady fell additional efforts when Mr. Earl severed his connection with the district. I should have mentioned that the bell was a special gift from Mrs. Copping; while Mrs. Bloomfield, sen., made a present of a very nicely bound bible and prayer book, and Mr. Bloomfield, jun., paid for the construction of the altar rails and ornamentations to the vestry windows”.

St Paul’s was consecrated by Bishop Montgomery on Wednesday 7 June 1893.

“There was a large attendance on Wednesday to witness the consecration of St Paul’s Church, Coppington. The ceremony was performed by the Bishop of Tasmania, assisted by the Revs. C. J. Brammall, Woollnough, Vaughan, and Root. The Church, which is quite a credit to the the trust, was prettily decorated by Mrs. W. Bloomfield, jun. and the Misses Jenkins, Riley, and Ada Copping. The effect produced by the floral display was very pleasing indeed. Mrs Henry Pike, of Hobart, also rendered material assistance to the ladies by her good taste and nimble fingers in this labour of love. A wreath placed by Mrs Bloomfield, jun over the table in memory of the late Captain Copping, also deserves special mention….”.

The centenary of St Paul's was celebrated in 1993 however the church was to close and was sold in 1999. The last service was held in 1898.

St Paul's at Copping. Source: Australia's Christian Heritage

St Paul's at Copping. Photographer - Sue Guinan (2015)

The Mercury 1892


Mercury, Friday 22 April 1887, page 4
Mercury, Saturday 2 April 1892, page 3
Mercury, Friday 22 July 1892, page 3
Mercury, Tuesday 13 September 1892, page 3
Mercury, Wednesday 12 October 1892, page 2
Mercury, Friday 11 November 1892, page 3
Mercury, Tuesday 31 January 1893, page 3
Mercury, Friday 9 June 1893, page 4

Henslowe, Dorothea I and Hurburgh, Isa Our heritage of Anglican churches in Tasmania. Mercury-Walch, Moonah, Tas, 1978


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