Presbyterian/Uniting Church, Fingal

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Opened 1881.
Cnr Seymour & Grant Streets, Fingal. Google maps

Tourist information boards says: A small wooden structure, constructed on a stone base. There is a bell-cote on the iron gabled roof. Services were first conducted in Fingal in October 1876. The foundation stone was laid in 1881. The first Sunday School was held in 1885 under the guidance of Owen Holder and Mrs Harkness. A Mr McKercher rang the church bell to announce to the townspeople that the Boer War had finished.

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In reference to Fingal it was moved and agreed to “That the Presbytery having heard Mr. War drop’s report in connection with Fingal, thank him for his efforts to supply the Presbyterians in that neighbourhood with ordinances, are gratified to hear of the warm, attachment manifested there towards the church, and hereby appoint Mr. War- drop to take the oversight of that district, and, to arrange for regular services in accordance with the desire expressed by the people,” It was agreed that the Rev. A. Michie, should, as soon as possible, preach in Fingal and neighbourhood, and announce the arrangement to the people.
The Mercury, 8 March 1879

The Rev. Mr Wardrop has been appointed to labor in the districts of Fingal, Mathinna, and Mangana, with a view of organising a pastoral charge there.
Launceston Examiner, 31 December 1879

The St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at Fingal will be opened for public service on Sunday next, when the Rev. J. R. Wardrop will preach.
The Tasmanian, 9 July 1881

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A far pleasanter subject is the opening of the new Scotch Church. It was built by Messrs Thompson and Bushby from plans prepared by Mr Harry Conway, and the contractors have faithfully carried out their work, which is a credit to all concerned. It is a very pretty church, situated on rising ground just off the main road. The inside is neatly painted and varnished, and the seats are comfortable. The building was opened for public worship on Sunday, July 10th, when the Rev. J. R. Wardrop, M.A., preached a most, excellent sermon, which was thoroughly enjoyed by a large congregation. The remarks made by the rev. gentleman were so good that I cannot resist quoting the concluding ones.

Mr Wardrop said, “In drawing these reflections to a close, permit me to express my gratification that we have been privileged, in the good providence of God, to assemble to-day in this house of prayer. Surely we may be permitted, on this the first Sunday on which service has been held in this building, to repeat the language of David :— ‘Now, therefore, our God, we thank Thee and praise Thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee. For we are strangers before Thee, and sojourners, as well all our fathers; our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. O Lord, our God, all this store that we have prepared to build Thee a house for Thine holy name cometh of Thine hand, and is all Thine own.’ To me, personally, it is a matter of thankfulness that in the near prospect of leaving for a neighbouring colony, I have been able to do something in the way of building up a congregation here, and that I shall leave behind me a comfortable and commodious church, in which I trust Christian worship shall be conducted for many years to come. I can look to my ministry in the district with feelings of unmingled pleasure. For a considerable period now I have gone out and in among you; and all my intercourse with you has been of a pleasing kind. I hope I have been the means of doing some good in this town and neighbourhood, and that I have laid a foundation on which other men shall build. I take this opportunity of thanking all, and especially those connected with other churches, for the liberal contributions they have made to the building fund. When all the promised subscriptions are gathered in, I believe the debt on this church, if any, will be infinitesimal. There is every probability that this district, so picturesque in beauty, so delightful in climate, will become a most important one ; and I trust the day is not far distant when alongside of the church which has this day been opened, a manse will be built for my successor, and that the Presbyterians of the neighbourhood may be able to maintain a minister of their own. I shall carry with me to a neighbouring colony most pleasing recollections of my sojourn here, and though far separated from you I shall be delighted at all times to hear of your temporal and spiritual welfare. I trust you will remember that it is better to be a true Christian than a sound Presbyterian, and that One is your master, even Christ ; and all ye are brethren.” A collection was made in aid of the building fund, and about £9 was gathered.

It is a matter of universal regret in the district that we are about to lose the Rev. Mr Wardrop. During the time the rev. gentleman has been amongst us he has gained the esteem and goodwill of all classes and creeds, and although all are sorry at his leaving, everyone is glad to know that our loss will be Mr Wardrop’s gain, for the church to which the rev. gentleman is going is a large one, and the stipend far in excess of what he has been receiving here, besides there will not be the travel ling to do as there was here. I can thoroughly endorse the general opinion that Mr Wardrop will carry with him the good wishes of the whole district, and that at all times we shall be glad to hear of his well doing. When Mr Wardrop commenced his ministry in the Fingal district the Scotch people were distributed between other congregations, now they have a fine church of their own, and an average attendance, I believe, of about one hundred.
The Tasmanian, 16 July 1881

One thought on “Presbyterian/Uniting Church, Fingal

  1. During my time in Fingal from 1973-1996 many of my friends attended this lovely church . I myself have attended special services there occasionally. I believe like the other denominal churches around, is probably closed for worship, which is a great shame. Whenever one visits these small country towns, it’s the local churches that one looks for. The last time I drove through Fingal (about 4 years ago) I sat in the shade of the church area, remembering all the parishioners’ that once attended this lovely church.

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