History of All Saints Parishes:
Riverlinks, Trevallyn-Riverside, George Town, St. Leonard’s, St. Barnabas and others
From 2021, a good deal of attention was given to gathering, sorting and recording documents and artefacts from the various churches that have now become All Saints Anglican Network, and storing them in an appropriate environment, to preserve the history of those churches and keep them available for future researchers. It is hoped that many documents and images of broad historical interest can be digitised, and published online. Already, copies of several historical publications produced by those churches from the 1960s to more recent times, have been gathered and digitised. Here are some of them:
We are grateful to the family of the late John G. Branagan for their permission to add Historical Notes – St Oswald’s Church 1893-1993 to this website.
The Heritage and History Group of All Saints Anglican Network would welcome contributions of historical information, audio and video recordings and photographs relating to the story of each of the church buildings and congregations now part of the Network, but also of buildings recently or long since sold or demolished. There were churches in towns which themselves have vanished!
Detail from painting of original church of St Mary Magdalene George Town ca 1845 by Susan Fereday
The linked publications are quite a useful source of historical information about the various centres, and shed some light on the historical connections with the parish of St. John’s Church, Launceston. Duncan Grant’s excellent online Churches of Tasmania series seems very well researched, and fills in many gaps in the history of the churches that are now part of All Saints Anglican Network, or have since closed or disappeared.
St. Oswald’s, Trevallyn, while technically part of the Beaconsfield parish when the foundation stone was laid in 1893, immediately became the responsibility of clergy from St. John’s, and continued as part of that parish until combined with St. David’s, Riverside in 1953 as the Parish of Trevallyn. At a later date, the parish was normally referred to as Trevallyn-Riverside, which seems to have been the case until the inauguration of the Riverlinks parish in 2004, amalgamating the former parishes of East Launceston, George Town and Trevallyn-Riverside.
St. David’s, Riverside, apparently known as Church of the Holy Cross in its earliest years, was established at Cormiston in 1921, apparently using a re-cycled and donated building which remained in use until the modern church was completed in 1963. See online Churches of Tasmania article Church of the Holy Cross 1921-1964. The “Holy Cross” name, however, may have been dropped earlier. Historical issues of St. John’s Parish Messenger list service times and dates for simply “Cormiston” during the 1940s, but from Feb. 1950 changed to “St. David’s, Cormiston”. More research is needed to find the reason behind that change! The site was sold in 2021, and has now been acquired by the Catholic Church, and renamed St. Francis of Assisi Church, bearing the wrought iron sign removed from the now-demolished church that stood on Pomona Road.
Based on the linked history by Peter Cox, it appears that George Town became part of a separate parish, Dorset, after an act was passed by the Legislative Council in 1837, so its history was separate from the former St. John’s parish for over 180 years, until the reunion as part of All Saints Anglican Network in 2019.
The little Christ Church building at Low Head was completed in 1877, and functioned until de-consecrated in 2019, after which it was sold by the Diocese of Tasmania. Again, see Grant’s Christ Church at Low Head for a further perspective. Likewise, St Alban’s at Pipers River, begun in 1909 but not dedicated until 1923, was deconsecrated and listed for sale as part of the diocesan plan to meet the cost of redress for victims of sexual abuse. See online Churches of Tasmania article St. Alban’s, Pipers River for further historical information.
Similarly, The Church of the Ascension at Lilydale was closed and listed for sale during 2020. It had been variously part of the Dorset and St. George’s Invermay parishes over its history, and receives some mention in the linked 1969 history of St. Barnabas, Newnham, as does St. George’s Invermay, which began with a hall in 1887, and was closed and sold in 2010 – again, a Duncan Grant article is the linked source, but see also this article in Cemeteries & Churches & Things. Duncan Grant has also published an article on the long-gone St. Andrews, Lefroy – part of the same parish as George Town in its day – an era during which Lefroy was by far the bigger and more important town. Over time, we are receiving even more information about former churches – one that has just come to our attention is All Saints, Bangor which was part of the North Launceston parish as recently as the 1990s. Again we have drawn on Duncan Grant for the link.
St. Peter’s Church at St. Leonards, despite a major redevelopment in the mid 2000s, followed the way of many other historic Anglican church buildings, and was sold in 2022, along with All Souls Church, Patersonia – which had begun life as a Methodist church in the late 19th century, but was bought by the Anglican Church in 1957. Again, Duncan Grant’s comprehensive series is our source, as also for All Saints, Ravenswood, also part of the St. Leonard’s parish, built in 1956 and sold in 2014.
Libraries Tasmania holds extensive church registers from many different centres across several denominations, but much of the archive collection has not been digitised, and particular registers might need to be booked for reading at the Hobart reading room. See Libraries Tasmania – Church registers held in the Archives Office of Tasmania (stors.tas.gov.au) for a catalogue of the register collection.
Church registers and other materials that have digitised by the Tasmanian Government’s library and archive service, Libraries Tasmania, can be searched online. Follow: Libraries Tasmania Name Index Search.