St Paul’s Anglican Church, Stanley

The first church was built in the 1840s. By the 1880s it was in need of major repair work. So it was torn down and a new church built in its place (photos near bottom).

Examiner 4 September 1844
Launceston Examiner, 4 September 1884

CHURCH AT CIRCULAR HEAD.-The foundation of a new church, to be erected on the township at Circular Head, has been commenced.
Launceston Examiner, 9 November 1844

At Circular Head (called the Township of Stanley) a handsome new church is commenced building, to cost, it is said, £1000.
Launceston Advertiser, 9 November 1844

Photos, 1860s
Photo of town, showing church

It is feared that a similar effort will have to be made in aid of repairing or perhaps rebuilding St. Paul’s Church, Stanley. The western and southern walls appear to be giving way, and by many the condition of the building is regarded as anything but safe. It was built by the V.D.L. Co. in the early days of the settlement, and bad proper care been used in its construction, it ought to have lasted for many long years to come. Although the building has no pretensions to architectural beauty, its mantle of ivy gives it a very picturesque appearance. At a meeting of the congregation lately held, under the presidency of the incumbent, it was decided to engage Mr, Conway, architect of Launceston, to inspect the building, and report fully upon its condition. Mr. Conway is expected here next week.
The Mercury, 3 July 1882

In a former letter I intimated that the services of Mr. H. Conway, architect, of Launceston, had been engaged to inspect and report upon St. Paul’s Church, Stanley. That gentleman has since visited Stanley, and has made a thorough examination of the building. His report was submitted to a meeting of the congregation, held in the church on the 13th inst., under the presidency of the incumbent, the Rev. H. D. Atkinson. Mr. Conway condemned tho building entirely, considering the foundations the most defective part of the structure. One of the walls is considerably out of the perpendicular, and he thinks the roof, if allowed to remain, will certainly some day collapse altogether from the want of proper tying. Any patching up of the building he thinks would be very unsatisfactory, and would have to be repeated at no distant date. Mr. Conway therefore advises the pulling down of the church with a view to its entire re-construction, much of tho old material being fit for use again, if it be decided to have a stone building. Estimates of the probable cost of a wooden and of a stone building respectively were given. Considerable discussion ensued on the reading of the report, the general opinion being in favour of a stone building. Ultimately it was agreed, on the motion of Mr. Spicer, that the architect’s suggestions should be adopted, and a stone church erected at a coat of about £700. It was also decided that the chairman should procure from Mr. Conway plans to be submitted for the approval of a meeting of the congregation, to be called immediately upon their receipt. The undertaking thus entered upon is a large one, and will no doubt tax to the utmost the energies and zeal of local churchmen ; but its promoters, knowing what has been done before at Stanley in the way of raising money for kindred objects, feel no misgiving about their ultimate success. To enable the work to be proceeded with at once, it is proposed to borrow a sum of money, and then to raise funds by a series of bazaars, to be held at suitable intervals. It is probable that the first of these will be held on New Year’s Day.
The Mercury, 29 July 1882

The dangerous condition of the building has at length led to the temporary closing of St. Paul’s Church, and services are now bring con ducted in the Presbyterian Chapel, kindly placed by the trustees at the disposal of the incumbent. It is proposed to re-build the damaged portions of the old church, and should this be found impracticable, the only alternative will he a new structure. The decisive course adopted should call forth all the latent talent and energy of the congregation now practically without a place of worship, for only vigorous and united nation can prevent the present state of affairs from becoming a lasting reproach.
Launceston Examiner, 11 June 1883

The Church of England, covered as it is with ivy, looks pretty, and somewhat venerable, but the walls are fast crumbling away, and soon the whole building will totter and fall. The congregation assemble in the Presbyterian Church. It is said 40 years ago a contract was let for the building, but the contractors having no boss to overlook them, got on the spree, sold the lime that was to be used for mortar, and with sea-sand built the church, hence the decay.
Launceston Examiner, 8 December 1883

Early on Monday morning last the bell of the Church of England tolled once, causing some little anxiety to know who had gone to ” that bourne from whence no traveller returns.” Upon inquiry, how ever, it was found that the alarm was occasioned by workmen, who had been set on to pull down the building itself. Let us hope that bell has tolled for the last time, for of all the unpleasant ways of telling un pleasant news, bell tolling is the most un pleasant and startling ; very often when the street door knocker has to be muffled with greatest care, and every sorrow deadened where some invalid lies, the sudden tolling of the church ball has caused such a shock to the nerves of the sufferer, that life has been endangered. The practice, I think, has passed away in almost all other towns but Stanley. We can do without the tolling, but we miss the old church with its ivy-covered walls — such another sight is not to be seen out side the United Kingdom, at least, so say those who have been in the Old Country. It was one of the few things strangers found to admire in our township, and we were proud of it, and I can tell you it caused no little stir amongst the old residents when they knew the mandate had gone forth to pull it down ; some angry thoughts were thought, and some angry words were used as the work of destruction went on. A willingness was shown on the part of some to rescue the old church from the hands of the destroyer. One energetic individual went round for signatures, protesting against the act of vandalism, hut it was too late. The ivy was torn from the walls, and the walls knocked down, whilst the residents looked on with grief. How ever there is one consolation, we have the old hut left yet ; if they take that away we shall go off our heads
Daily Telegraph, 6 April 1886

In religious matters we are somewhat peculiarly situated, having a resident minister (Anglican), without a church to preach in, and two churches (Presbyterian and Wesleyan) without a resident minister.
Daily Telegraph, 18 September 1886


After four years’ weary working and waiting, our new St. Paul’s Church is at last un fait accompli — built and paid for. Bishop Sandford conducted the opening ceremony of consecration last Sunday, and preached twice to a crowded congregation. The building is a credit both to architect and builder— neat and unpretentious out side, while the inside is characterised by elegance and comfort. Advantage was taken of the Bishop’s visit to give a tea meeting and concert, the proceeds to be devoted to parsonage repairs. His Lordship presided at the concert. As soon as it was opened, our local larrikins, who so dearly like to hear their own sweet voices, promptly commenced their yells and cat-calls. This was as promptly suppressed by the chairman, and during the remainder of the evening there was little to complain of in the behaviour of the occupants of the back seats;
Daily Telegraph, 23 February 1888


Photo of interior

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