Parish ‘confident’ St Matthias’ Church will be saved

CONFIDENCE: Holy Trinity Anglican Parish Archdeacon Dane Courtney speaking at the meeting. He is confident the community can raise $45,000 to save the church. Picture: Stefan Boscia
CONFIDENCE: Holy Trinity Anglican Parish Archdeacon Dane Courtney speaking at the meeting. He is confident the community can raise $45,000 to save the church. Picture: Stefan Boscia

The Holy Trinity Anglican Parish is confident St Matthias’ Church will be saved from sale. 

The Windermere church was chosen as one of 108 properties the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania plans to sell in order to partly fund its commitment to the national redress scheme for sexual abuse survivors. 

The diocese estimated the church would be sold for a little under $200,000, with a quarter of it going toward the redress scheme. 

Speaking at a public meeting on Sunday, the Holy Trinity Anglican parish Archdeacon Dane Courtney said the community could successfully raise the amount expected to go toward the redress scheme to save the church.

ICONIC: The church was described as iconic at the meeting.

ICONIC: The church was described as iconic at the meeting.

The parish is the steward of the Windermere church.

“The indicative amount is a little over $45,000, which is not a huge amount of money,” he said.

“We are very confident this will be successful...we want today to be about that and to assure people we can do this.”

Clifford Craig Foundation chairman Don McTaggart attended the meeting and echoed Mr Courtney’s confidence.

“[Clifford Craig] raises many-times the amount required in medical research every year,” he said.

“I'd be confident with a proper committee and organised functions that we could raise [$45,000].”

I’m inspired and I’ve been given hope by what’s been spoken about today.

Jill Dickson

The meeting was attended by more than 100 people, with a large number signing up to help the fundraising effort. 

One East Tamar Valley resident to offer help was a descendant of the church’s founder Dr Matthias Gaunt. 

“I’m inspired and I’ve been given hope by what’s been spoken about today,” Jill Dickson said. 

“I’m an amateur photographer, so I’m going to offer my services perhaps for a raffle or any other way I can.”

Parish council member Evelyn Tuba said the church was an iconic symbol of the Tamar Valley. 

“There's a recurring theme here – it has had a great, rich heritage,” she said. 

“We really do envisage that with continual, ongoing support...we can be ongoing custodians of that heritage.”