MacFarlane’s History of North East Tasmania, published in 2007 by the North Eastern Advertiser.

The Upper Piper gets a United Church

The old minute book previously referred to contain the records relating to the building of the irst church.

A meeting was held in the school room on January 6th, 1879, consisting of subscribers to “The Upper Piper River United Church”.  Mr. John Sommerville presided.

A  section of land offered by Mr. Bardenhagen was accepted, and a committee was appointed to carry out plans for the erection of a church building open to all denominations.

Ministers who came to conduct services were to be remunerated by collections.

One who offered to visit the centre was the Reverend J.C. Mather, of Scottsdale, and an arrangement was made whereby he would receive stipend at the rate of 25 pounds a year for a monthly visit, commencing on October 21st, 1879.

A working committee was appointed on the basis of Presbyterian 2, Wesleyan 2, Independent 1.

Tenders for the building were called on February 19, 1880 and it was to be completed by the end of June.

Meanwhile, funds were being collected, and a “Bruce auction” was arranged, eight young ladies volunteering to go round the district collecting donations of goods and money.

Contractors for the building were Messrs John Sommerville (so spelled in the minutes) and James Wilson.

It was decided to have 16 seats made, but opinions varied as to the type suitable, and eventually those from a design submitted by Mr. Mather were chosen.

A later minute informs us that Mr. Charles Muller offered to finish the lining of the Church and provide 20 seats for 13 pounds 10 shillings.

A loan which had been arranged by the committee was to be liquidated by fees from the letting of seats, these fees to be paid 12 months in advance.

One curious record in the minutes concerns some pine boards which had gone missing and were found concealed under the floor of the church!   Mr. Sommerville took them into his possession on behalf of the committee, together with some other similar boards that had been found elsewhere.

After a number of years the Methodists decided to erect their own church building.  The Union Church was taken over by the Presbyterian congregation, and was extensively renovated a few years ago.

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