No. 1480 - Upper Stowport - St Raphael's Anglican Church (1910-1959)

Upper Stowport is a rural district in the hill country south east of the city of Burnie. It is an area that was first settled by employees of the Van Diemen's Land Company.

The construction of an Anglican church at Upper Stowport began in 1910. In June of that year the North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times reported:

“The new Anglican Church, being erected in Upper Stowport, is rapidly nearing completion, and promises to be one of the prettiest churches on the coast. It is built on a gentle rise on land generously given by Mr. John Sturzaker, and will serve residents, both of Stowport and Natone. The dimensions are 25ft by 16ft, with an apse to contain the altar. The door and windows (5) are early Gothic, the latter being filled with cathedral glass of a pale green tint. The roof is an open one. The upper part of the walls is painted pale green, with a 4ft panelling stained and varnished oak, running round the building. The contractors, Messrs. Metcalfe and Son, have done their work well under difficulties. Mr. Hilder supplied the well-seasoned timber, and Mr. Tallack provided the seating, lectern, etc. The church will hold comfortably between 60 and 70 people….”.

The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times records the church’s dedication to St Raphael on Sunday 3 July 1910:

“The new Anglican Church was dedicated on Sunday last by the rector, Rev. J. Tryon Wilson. Fortunately the weather was beautifully fine for the ceremony and there was a large attendance Although the decoration of the interior was not quite finished, the effect was bright and harmonious in tone. After the dedicatory prayer had been recited, the rector, in an appropriate sermon, commended the erection of churches to be the spiritual homes of the people, centres of light and learning, and rallying points for all that is best and noble. He also thanked Mr. Sturzaker and all who had contributed and helped the good work in any way….”.

The church was almost lost in bushfires in the summer of 1912. The North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times reported:

“Stowport is again under a cloud of smoke. For several days bush fires, fanned by a strong southerly wind, have been working their way through the district, …Mr. Bonney's house was burnt completely in the early hours of Sunday morning. The Methodist chapel at Upper Stowport, and Mr. P. Hall’s house narrowly escaped destruction, and the Anglican Church was only saved by the unremitting exertions of Mr. John Sturzaker and his neighbours.…”.

St Raphael’s was eventually lost in the late 1950s when the building was destroyed in a windstorm.

I have yet to find photograph of the church.

North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times


North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thursday 23 June 1910, page 4
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Tuesday 5 July 1910, page 2
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thursday 22 February 1912, page 1

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


Popular posts from this blog

Welcome to Churches of Tasmania

No. 624 - Dunalley - St Martin's Anglican Church - "In grateful memory of the men who fought in the Great War"

No. 592 - Gretna - St Mary the Virgin - "Worthy of Imitation"