BRUNY ISLAND CEMETERY AND CHAPEL ASSOCIATION (BARNES BAY) INC trading as:
BARNES BAY CHAPEL AND CEMETERY ASSN.
ABN: 34 604 284 666
95 Church Road, Barnes Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania 7150
HISTORY OF ST PETERS CHURCH ON NORTH BRUNY
April 1847:The first "St Peters" Anglican church, was opened at Variety Bay on 15 April 1847 by Archdeacon Marriott.
The foundation stone for that church had been laid about a year earlier on 14 July 1846 by Bishop Nixon, assisted by Captain William Lawrence, the major patron for that church.
A photo of the foundation stone taken in 1978 is shown below:
Being the first church on Bruny Island that church had considerable historical significance.
(Kathy Duncombe has compiled a book which includes the history of the Variety Bay church along with full Baptism, Burial and Marriage records for the period 1850 to 1895. To obtain a copy of Kathy's book please contact our Secretary.).
The picture below shows the ruins of the church at Variety Bay. The date of the picture is unknown but possibly around the 1930's.
Photo downloaded from: http://www.bica.org.au/historicalsociety/Varietybay.html
December 1895:The building of a new St Peters church was commenced at Barnes Bay. (The previous church at Variety Bay was abandoned and fell into ruin).
The following quote is taken from "Church News", January 1896:
"The foundation stone was laid on 18 December 1895 by Bishop Montgomery.
The steamer "Huon" was chartered and conveyed the clergy and visitors from Hobart. The party was welcomed by the Incumbents Rev R J Coetlogen who escorted them to Mrs Lindsay's home ["Lynedenne"] where a procession formed and marched to the site of the new church."
A quote from Bev Davis's book "Timber Industry Bruny Island", states that:-
"Gray Bros. cut and gave all the timber necessary to build St Peter's Church, Barnes Bay in 1895".
(Gray Bothers had a sawmill on South Bruny Island).
Church News, March 1896 states that the new church is fast approaching completion and in the May edition it is described as a most suitable Church and an ornament to Barnes Bay.
dedicated in October 1899. (The consecration ceremony, which was performed by Bishop Mercer, was not until 6 years later on 4 September 1905).
The date of the photo below is not definitely known and although a caption on the picture gives a date of 1895, this cannot be true as only the foundation stone was laid in 1895 (December) and the building was not completed until the following year (1896).
Thus it is likely that the photo below was taken at the Dedication ceremony which was held in October 1899.
1919 Peace Celebration following the end of World War 1:
See also: Notes on Bruny Island Church History.
7 February 1967 :The church, which had been completed near the turn of the century, was destroyed in the Black Tuesday bush fires .
Only the Foundation stone of the original church remains and this now stands near the entrance to the new building.
The "A.M.D.G." inscription was often used on foundation stones and the like.
It stands for Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam, a Latin motto which translates as:
"To the greater glory of God."
The stone shows clear signs of being overheated in the fire which destroyed the church but the stone is still in one piece - just !
15 December 1968 :A newly constructed St Peters Church (funded by the Tasmanian Government) was dedicated by the Archdeacon of Hobart, the Venerable Ian MacDonald.
May 2015 :Due to falling attendances at the church, St Peters was de-consecrated by the Anglican Church of Tasmania and in May 2015 the building and land was purchased by the Bruny Island Cemetery and Chapel Association Incorporated.
Finance for the purchase ($25,000 + GST) was obtained by seeking pledges from the community.
Soon after the purchase the exterior of the building was repainted, a new water tank installed, a new boundary fence was constructed and the grounds were mowed and tidied up. (The photo below was taken on 3 February 2018).
Timeline of Churches on North Bruny Island