Bathurst Methodist 190 years old

Special service on May 8 at historic village church

PROUD LEGACY: The Bathurst Methodist Church celebrates 190 years Picture: MATTHEW FIELD

The Bathurst Methodist Church is celebrating its 190th anniversary this year with a special service that will be held on Sunday May 8.

Bathurst residents first decided they needed a Methodist church in 1830 after 20-year-old resident Henry Dugmore, returning from a service at the Kowie River, entered a house where another service was being held and exclaimed “Oh for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise”.

The plot where the church stands was donated by Thomas Hartley, who owned the
Bathurst Inn (now the Historical Pig and Whistle Inn). The building contract was given to Samuel Bradshaw, who was told to simply build “a room 20 feet by 40 feet”.

The original building was constructed of Bathurst freestone with a thatched roof, and on May 8 1832, it was officially opened with Reverend William Shrewsbury giving the
dedication. Rev Samuel Palmer and Rev William Shaw were the first ministers, overseeing the morning and afternoon services respectively.

In 1849, the thatched roof was replaced with Welsh slate, and again in 1946, the slate roof
was exchanged for galvanised iron. That same year, Cliff Armstrong carried out further
additions including a small vestibule at the entrance and a small vestry at the back of the
church .

The roof was replaced yet again with green roof sheets in October 2012 after a storm
exposed serious leaks in the galvanised iron.

The quaint Bathurst Methodist Church building was declared a National Monument in 1989.
In 1996, the local Shield family constructed the Wall of Remembrance as well as the layout of the garden, which they also dedicated to the Bathurst community on December 21 1997.

The pergola outside the vestry was constructed by Frank Isaacs in 2010.

The anniversary service will take place at the church at 11am.

By Matthew Field

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