No. 1503 - West Kentish - Baptist Church (1891-1968)

West Kentish is a village on the Kentish Road that leads to Lake Barrington west of Sheffield. It is named after Government Surveyor Nathaniel Kentish, who, with a party of 20 probationary convicts explored and surveyed the area. In earlier times the area around West Kentish was sometimes referred to as “Promised Land”.

The first Baptist church at West Kentish opened in October 1891. The weatherboard church served the Baptists for 75 years before it was replaced by a modern brick structure in 1968. The Baptists commenced meetings at West Kentish in 1890 with services held in a barn on the property of Angus McNab. In 1891 McNab donated land for the construction of a church built by voluntary labour which included James Boutcher; Ben Martin; Archie McNab as well as the Davis; Jubb; May and Nibbs families.

The North West Post records that a tea meeting was held on Wednesday 22 October to celebrate the opening of the church:

“…A good many went out from Sheffield, shopkeepers in particular mustering up strongly with appetites sharpened by the keen air. After the first-rate spread provided by the ladies had been done ample justice to, a public meeting was held at which some excellent speeches were made by the Revs. Anderson, Edwards, Woods and Walton. Cricket and various games were also indulged in”.

In 1968 the old church was dismantled and replaced with a new building which opened in July in that year. The church was closed and sold in 2011 and has since been converted into a home.

The West Kentish Baptist church - Photograph courtesy of Laurie Rowston, Baptist Church historian.

A screen-shot of the church taken from the documentary "Roland Railway" produced by the Byard family 

The church in the process of being dismantled - Photograph courtesy of Laurie Rowston, Baptist Church historian.

The North West Post, Saturday 10 April 1897


The North Coast Standard, Saturday 24 October 1891, page 2
The North West Post, Saturday 24 October 1891, page 2
The North West Post, Saturday 10 April 1897, page 4

Williams, Helen and Williams, Dallas. Two thousand yesterdays : a social history of the Kentish Municipality / by Helen & Dallas Williams Kentish Times Press Sheffield, Tas. 1988


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