ONE of Hobart’s oldest churches will be holding a commemorative service in June to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the laying of its foundation stone.
St Paul’s Church in Montrose has a rich history extending back to when the land was first purchased in 1834 and continues to play an important role in the community as part of the Northside Anglican Parish.
After a discrepancy over the land where the church was to be built, Tasmanian architect Francis Butler designed the whole building and oversaw the first part of construction.
On 22 June 1869, the foundation stone was laid by Governor Chas. DuCane in front of a large gathering of people, and the consecration service took place a year later.
“The church has held worship every Sunday since then with the exception to maintenance matters when replacing the roof a couple of years ago,” Northside Anglican Parish rector Reverend Ross Ellwood said.
“When you look at the worship that has been here for 150 years, it’s a long time in Australian history.”
Reverend Ellwood said the church was a crucial establishment in the Glenorchy community.
“Churches are places of worship, where people get married, where children are brought to be baptised, where people come to be confirmed – St Paul’s has been fulfilling that role for a long period of time,” he said.
“People always find comfort in churches in times of hardship or stress.”
Reverend Ellwood said St Paul’s Church also did a lot by providing services to the community such as sending ministers to Glenview and Barrossa Park nursing homes, conducting prison fellowship and supporting Anglicare.
“We also run an op shop out of the Glenorchy bus mall where a tremendous amount of administration is done for people who are struggling,” he said.
“Last year about $1,800 worth of goods were donated.”
Reverend Ellwood has been with the church for seven years and has noticed the work that has been put into keeping it running.
“Whether it’s people who do the gardens or the flowers in the church, some have been doing it for 40 years, and they’re totally devoted to the operation of the church,” he said.
“Everyone who comes is welcomed as soon as they arrive – we try to make them feel at ease.”
The commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone will be held on 23 June at 10am.
The service will be followed by a luncheon and all members of the public are encouraged to come along.
Caption: Northside Anglican Parish rector Reverend Ross Ellwood is preparing for the 150th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of St Paul’s Church.