All Saints Anglican Church, Swansea

From an article written for the parish’s centenary (1939):

Religious services were held in the district as early as 1833, conducted by the Society of Friends. Later, Congregational services were held. In 1838 the building of an Anglican Church was discussed. The Rev. Joseph Mayron visited the district this year, when the first baptism was recorded in the register.

On March 1, 1839, Mr. Mayron was appointed by Bishop Broughton, of Sydney, to be colonial chaplain of Great Swan Port. On March 17 the first service was held in the “new school,” as the church building was called. Early baptisms include children of members of the 11th and 96th Regiments, 57th Fusiliers and Light Infantry, who were stationed at Waterloo Point, the site of the settlement then.

The first meeting of the church committee was held in September, 1839. The church was situated in a square of gum trees, on the present golf links. About 1881 the building was in a dangerous condition, and was pulled down. The present church was built by Mr. A. Gemmell, to the design of Mr. H. Hunter, of Hobart, at a cost of £450. The foundation stone was laid in 1871, and the consecration and dedication took place at the end of the same year, at a service conducted by Bishop Bromby and the Rev. Joseph Mayron.
The Mercury, 21 October 1939


Cnr Noyes & Wellington St, Swansea.
Opened 1871.


Extracts from a report by the “Van Diemen’s Land Committee of the Societies for Promoting Christian Knowledge and Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts:

Besides thus providing for the debt due by the Hobart Town Committee to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, the Standing Committee have voted grants of £30 and £50 towards defraying the expense of erecting Churches near Waterloo Point and at Brown’s River respectively: and by these votes they are happy to learn, from the Venerable Archdeacon of Van Diemen’s Land, that in both those two placet the amount of subscription has been secured, which entitles the inhabitants to the assistance of the Government; whilst a clergyman has been placed in the remote township of Swansea, on the eastern coast, where but for the vote above mentioned, that destitution of sacred ordinances which had so long prevailed, would in all probability have still continued.

For Swansea, it has not yet been possible to obtain the necessary designs and specifications but as soon us these can be procured, the works will be proceeded with. In the meantime a school-room, which has been erected on that township, is used as the place of worship.
Cornwall Chronicle, 28 September 1839


Towards the close of 1868 the Swansea Church was pronounced unsafe, and it was determined to hold services in the council chamber until anew building could be erected. A committee was formed for the purpose of raising funds &c., and in 1870 sufficient money was guaranteed to warrant the commencement of building operations.
Cornwall Chronicle, 20 November 1871


This edifice is progressing rapidly just now and the walls are nearly completed ; the uprights and arches of the nave window were placed in position this (Saturday) afternoon, under the immediate supervision of the superintendent of the work, Mr. Smith ; it now shows well in all its proportions, and in consequence of the suitable and conspicuous site selected for the church, will be taking and pleasing to the eye. The contractor is having the principals for the support of the roof prepared, and the residents of the township will shortly, it is hoped, have the satisfaction of seeing their now church as far completed as to admit of its being used for public worship.
The Mercury, 15 March 1871


Four o’clock on Wednesday, the 1st inst., was the hour fixed for laying the foundation-stone of the above church, and shortly after that time (the meeting of Council having terminated) residents in the neighbourhood, and some few from a distance, assembled to witness the ceremony. Tho walls commenced were decorated with numerous flags, and presented a lively and gay appearance. Unfortunately, arrangements could not be made at the date of the first commencement of the foundation to carry out the desired ceremony, and consequently it was determined that the first stone on the left side of the chancel arch should be set apart as most suitable under the circumstances to be laid. In the underlying stone a cavity was made, in which was placed a sealed bottle, containing the accompanying memorandum, and the papers and coins therein referred to. The service was conducted by the Rev. J. Mayson, and the stone laid by John Meredith, Esq., M.H.A. and Warden of the Municipality.
The Mercury, 8 February 1871


The now church was opened on Sunday last by the His Lordship the Bishop of Tasmania, but unfortunately the weather was rather too moist to add to either the attendance or pleasure on such an occasion, consequently there was no overcrowding or crushing to gain au opportunity of listening to the instinctive, eloquent, and suitable address

About a fortnight since it became generally known that the Bishop intended to open the church in person, and during that time much had to be accomplished in preparing and finishing the seats, and decorating the unfinished walls, &c., a number of young ladies rendering most valuable assistance in the latter interesting undertaking. Texts lettered with ivy leaves, and sewn upon strips of calico, looked very becoming, wreaths of green, interspersed with flowers, looped in double rows along the sides of the nave gave quite an appearance of rejoicing , the communion rail also was bridaled with loops of oak leaves and prettily made stars and rings filled many blank places.

Arriving from Lisdillon (the residence of John Mitchell, Esq.) at a little after 10 o’clock, a.m., His Lordship and Mrs Bromby almost immediately repaired to the church, where the congregation was already waiting, having wended their way thither as best they could through rain and mud. The text was taken from the 8th chapter of St Luke, 46th verse, “And Jesus said, somebody hath touched me, for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” The attention of all was rivetted upon the preacher during the discourse, which was delivered in an earnest and attractive manner, and at its conclusion a collection in aid of the building was made, realizing the sum of £13 7s. It hating been arranged that a service should be held at Lisdillon in the afternoon, and little time being to spare, as the distance is considerable, the Bishop and Mrs Bromby partook of luncheon at the inn and shortly afterwards drove off, the rain still falling.
The Mercury, 18 November 1871


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