Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Ulverstone

The first Anglican church in Ulverstone was opened in 1868, “on the site of the cemetery” in Leven St. Prior to that services were “held in Mr. Fogg’s store, on the Esplanade”. In the 1890s, the church was moved to its present site and enlarged. The current building was constructed c.1960.


10 Kings Parade, Ulverstone. Google Maps.
Facebook page.
Photo c.1960>

The Holy Trinity Church of England at Ulverstone will celebrate its centenary during October [1966] — six years late. The record (the Rev. H. D. Ikin) said yesterday it had not been possible to celebrate the centenary in 1960 because the new church was being built.

In a history of the church, printed in 1928, it was recorded that services had been held in an old store on the esplanade, and that the first Sunday school had been conducted in the other old watch-house near the present bridge. In 1866 a strong move was made to build a church building. One of the treasured records of the church was a copy of letter sent by Mr. E.B.E. Walker, on behalf of members of the Church of England, to Mr. J.G. Calder, of Hobart Town, seeing finance for the project. Mr Walker wrote:

“I take the liberty of troubling you with the following, being sure that you take an interest in all that concerns the welfare of the church–especially in those parts of the colony that have hitherto had few privileges and advantages with which the more settled districts have been favoured. Members of the Church of England have been accustomed to meet for public worship in a room kindly lent for that purpose, but such an arrangement can be only temporary. As, necessarily, there are but few means of performing divine services, with that decency and order which all wish for it, it has been determined to erect on the reserve for church purposes, a building in every way suitable for public worship and which may be used during the week as a school.”

The original church was built in the present cemetery grounds. It fronted on to Leven St. The church remained on this site until 1893, when it was moved to the site of the present church and enlarged. This site was given to the Church of England by Mr. James Smith, discovered of the Mt. Bischoff Tin Mine.
The Mercury, 30 September 1966


John Walker arrived in the district from Cressy in 1858, the journey taking five days. There were then no bridges, the Mersey, Forth and Leven rivers having to be forded. At that time the few families in the district were favored with a visit, and spiritual ministration by Canon Adams, once or twice a year. E. B. Walker was local lay reader, and George M’Donald was first secretary and treasurer. Miss Brooks (later Mrs. T. Jowett) was first organist. Divine service was then held in Mr. Fogg’s store, on the Esplanade.

The first Sunday school was con ducted in the old watchhouse (near the railway bridge), which was dismantled some years ago. Thus these pioneer settlers of Leven were the foundation of the Church’s life in Ulverstone. In 1866 these devoted workers made a strong move to erect a church. A list of contributions was opened and subscribed to, and an approach made by letter for help “from the large-hearted and liberal-minded men in the more highly favored parts of the colony, who have always shown themselves willing to help those who are trying to help themselves.” This was addressed to J. G. Calder, Esq., Hobart Town. The store of Mr. Fogg and the watchhouse continued to be the centre of the church’s activities un til 1868.

The register of services at Leven commences with this entry “Church of the Holy Trinity, Ulverstone, Leven River. Opened by the Ven. Archdeacon Reibey, assisted by Revs. E. P. Adams and C. B. Broome, on Thursday, the 26th of November, 1868; morning prayer and Holy Communion; offertory, £7/13/6; church crowded Text: Isaiah, 14-32. (Signed) Thos. Reibey.”

At a meeting of church wardens held in the old watch-house, it was resolved that the church be called “Christ Church.” It appears however, that at the subsequent meeting, before confirmation of the minutes, it was unanimously resolved to call the church “Trinity Church.”

The late Mr. Frampton, of Corn Hill, gave the timber, which was chiefly blackwood, the carting of which was largely done by Mr, Frampton’s two sons, (James and Fred.) For the following 25 years the church remained where it was first erected, in the present cemetery grounds, fronting on Leven street. In 1890 it became apparent that the church needed enlargement and removal to a more central site. This was undertaken three years later, the present site being chosen. The church was officially reopened on Sunday, December 24, of that year, by Canon Beresford, although the first recorded service was the Ordination of James Roper to the order of deacon, on St. Thomas’ Day, December 21, by Bishop Montgomery.
Advocate, 25 November 1948

(From our own Correspondent.)
The new church–of which I have spoken at different times as in course of erection was opened for Divine service last Thursday. The officiating clergyman on that occasion was the venerable Archdeacon Reibey, who preached an eloquent sermon to an apparently attentive audience. The Rev. Mr. Adams from Deloraine and the Rev. Mr. Brome, who is to be the regular incumbent, also assisted in the services. The building, which is a neat little edifice, was quite filled, and some few persons had to take up a position about the door. There must have been more than 150 present, and there is no doubt that number would have been exceeded had the accommodation been greater.

Launceston Examiner, 5 December 1868

The great question of where the Anglican Church is to be located (when we can afford one) was settled on Thursday night by vote of the congregation. The vote was called a ballot, but that was a misnomer, inasmuch as each paper had to be signed with the name of the person voting. This was necessary as, to have settled question by ballot pure and simple, it would have necessary for the people to have attended personally, which meant that the opinion taken would not have been so thoroughly representative a one. As it was, out f 132 papers set out, 127 were returned, showing the interesting taken in the matter. The papers were opened at a meeting in the Town Hall on Thursday evening, which was fairly attended considering that the state of the weather out of doors was not at all attractive. The Rev. C.W. Roberts occupied the chair, and before announcing the results of the voting made a few very touching and sensible remarks with regard to accepting the decision arrived at in a right Christian spirit, and working together heart and heart and hand and hand to raise a new church on the site chosen. The voting resulted as followed:– For the Esplanade site (given by Mr Jas. Smith), 65; for Badger-street, 48; for the present site, 7; informal papers 7.

Daily Telegraph, 16 December 1892

Report of the Anglican Synod, 1894:
The church at Ulverstone has been moved on to the township to a site given by the veteran Mr James Smith. The new building includes the old, but is more than twice as large.
The Tasmanian, 14 April 1894

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